“The Great Chipotle Carnitas Famine of 2015 May Soon End” read a January eater.com headline. Unfortunately, as most Chipotle-lovers know, the great carnitas famine has not ended on Eagle Rock Boulevard, and those fiending for pork products will have to search elsewhere. After Chipotle’s pork suppliers failed to meet some unverified standards of production, the Mexican fast-food chain—whose net worth is $2 billion—limited their supply of carnitas to one third of their 1,700 restaurants. Despite celebrating its grand opening on February 12 Chipotle Eagle Rock did not make the cut.
In this vegan, gluten-free epoch, the challenge of finding pork is greater than one might expect. A few weeks ago, I was offered tempeh bacon with eggs. Later that week, I had the misfortune of making tacos out of what I thought was ground beef, only to find out that it was, in fact, “soy meat.” Given that meat is defined as the flesh of an animal, I was genuinely disappointed and upset by this classification of dehydrated soy concentrate as “meat.” “Facon” or “Smart Bacon®”–a combination of soy protein concentrate, fermented rice flower, potassium chloride and sulfated polysaccharides extracted from seaweed, appears on breakfast menus all over Los Angeles. Though these ingredients may appeal to some, it is especially egregious that this falsified “meat” is called “Smart Bacon®”, appropriating the high level of intelligence of the sow. Smart Bacon® has the same amount of protein and sodium per serving as regular bacon, and less potassium. One must question the health “benefits” of facon before jumping on the “all-natural” Angelino bandwagon.
If you do happen to like the taste of juicy, crispy, greasy, mouth-watering pork products, I recommend Eggslut, located in Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. Founded in 2011 by a graduate of the Oregon Culinary Institute, Eggslut’s menu includes exceptional versions of breakfast classics such as the Bacon, Egg & Cheese ($6), Sausage, Egg & Cheese ($7) and the Eggslut Cheeseburger, which includes Wagyu beef on brioche for just $9. Though bacon is frequently associated with guilt and glutton, delve into the tasty, bacon-wrapped menu at Eggslut — I promise you won’t regret it.