by Tom Gogola
Sometimes you just want to throw down about a dish. Thick cut bacon. A dish with healing powers. Thick cut bacon. A dish to thicken the blood, brighten the mood, and get yer mojo working. Thick cut bacon. A dish whose various elements come together in a combination of plain ol' googly-eyed comfort and crispy, primal bliss to satisfy the inner yowling caveman. The Brick Chicken & Brussels Sprout Bacon Hash at the friendly Petaluma outpost Pub Republic is one such dish. Thick cut bacon. Here's how it works: You take a brick, wrap in it some foil, stick it on top of the chicken, and cook the freaking chicken. Behold the result: Crispy, flattened skin of the bird, encasing some juicy white meat so tender a spork can cut it. Thick cut bacon. I'd have taken a picture but for the fear of stealing that dish's soul.
From the menu, it appears that the Brick Chicken is actually a poem, disguised as food:
Give that dish a MacArthur Genius Grant! Make it the poet laureate of well-tendered poultry! Thick cut bacon. And salute the power of the non-boiled Brussels Sprout, which also appears on the menu in a munchy-lunchy taco incarnation. Thick cut bacon. Is it time for lunch yet? And here's a question, for the ages: Why would you not order the jumbo Arugula and Pistachio salad to go with the Brick Chick? The $11 salad with the toasted nuts and juicy bites of luscious grapefruit? The one with a Mt. Tam-size heap of fresh, crisp, musky greens, a little shaved fennel throughout, and those little pebbles of pistachio. Thick cut bacon. Oh yes. And I love a restaurant that doesn't charge ya for seltzer water, and whose bartender doesn't give the stink eye for not ordering a beer with your supper. Did I mention the thick cut bacon? Or the thick cut bacon? They also have some thick cut bacon at Pub Republic.