I’m pro-bacon at any brunch. It belongs alongside a brunch plate as much as a knife and fork in my book. And while I definitely see its prominence in all brunch menus, few have chosen to embrace it the way that Sage General Store in LIC has. As I noted last week, Sage is one of my lunchtime favorites. I’ve long looked at their brunch pizza offerings and this weekend when I was out in LIC for a one act play festival, it was finally a chance to see what it was all about.
Originally I’d planned to just try the pizza. When I saw their three course bacon brunch option though, I couldn’t resist. Sure it’s $25, but the menu selections (and, likewise, the kinds of bacon) that you get to try for that cost are more than worth the expense. I was pleasantly surprised by the large mason jar of orange juice which came complimentary with the three course option. They do not serve alcohol but there just happens to be a store next door with options to dress up your OJ, should you feel so inclined.
First up, there was what they call “the bacon trio” – which was a plate of three different bacons: Neuske’s applewood smoked (Wisconsin), Dewigs slab (Indiana) and “Ham I Am” peppered (Tex-Arkana). The bacons were accompanied by a large cheddar biscuit as well as bacon marmalade sourced locally from Brooklyn. Just to note, the marmalade is actually available for purchase in the store along with other pro-bacon garb (my favorite being a t-shirt reading “Bacon: Better Than a Boyfriend”). Of the three bacons, I really liked the “Ham I Am” peppered version. As far as peppered goes, it was extremely peppered, which was a nice contrast to the more standard offerings on the plate. It was a much stronger seasoning and provided an extra punch to the mix. The bacon marmalade was really good – something I will have to buy to use to dress up chicken or burgers at home.
Second came the pizza. I could tell when the pizzas came out that I would have actually preferred my friend Jenn’s selection – their New Mexico pizza, made with grilled chicken, avocado, jack cheese and an ancho chile sauce. I had their Wisconsin breakfast pizza, which was prepared with Neuske’s bacon, caramelized onions, ricotta and crème fraiche. My choice didn’t have the same cheesy presence, with the creme fresh only bringing a slightly sweet creamy element to the dish. And though fine while out with a friend, the combination of the onions and the bacon made for a massive attack for any and all nooks and crannies in my teeth. Order with a side of floss. Next time, I’d choose their sandwich – grilled bacon and cheese with jack, Vermont cheddar, Gruyere and the “Ham I am” peppered bacon I enjoyed so much. Other options for the main include their casserole of creamy five-cheese mac and cheese with bacon (I’ve never had this specific version, but I’ve never been less than pleased with their mac and cheese).
Third came the grand finale: their double chocolate and bacon brownie with Jack Daniels whipped cream. Amazing. I was expecting a regular brownie serving size and was surprised the plate arrived with two large wedges instead. Those less than fond of whiskey, fear not. The Jack Daniels flavor was just barely present in the light and fluffy whipped cream. The brownie was moist and chewy. It was not overwhelmingly chocolatey, which made for a nice finale to the meal. And of course the bacon added a nice salty element to the course. Even if you don’t go with the three course option, I highly recommend their brownies. Even though I try not to hang out around my work place too much on the weekends, I definitely foresee a trip back here in the near future!
Sage General Store – 24-20 Jackson Ave., Long Island City – 718.361.0707
No Reservations / Brunch Offered on Saturdays and Sundays