Hans Hempler and Otto Hahnel amongst pork, 1947.
  • hemplers.com
  • Hans Hempler and Otto Hahnel amongst pork, 1947.

Sometimes people email me for restaurant recommendations. I always answer! Here's one for Christine, her husband, and our friend bacon.

My husband has made the admirable decision to stop eating factory-farmed pork. Our problem is that we don't want to be that couple from the Portlandia skit (you know, the ones who wind up living on a hippie commune when they go to visit their dinner) when we go out to eat, so he winds up just avoiding pork altogether, which can make him a wee bit cranky at times (especially at breakfast time). Where can my hubby get some damn bacon without the guilt of supporting those horrible pig factories? We're in Ballardish Greenwood, so Northend joints are preferred.

Thanks for your help!


Dear Christine,

Indeed, your husband IS admirable, and we should all follow in his admirable footsteps. Also: Mmmmm... bacon. Why don't you buy some Hempler's (sold at lots of local supermarkets—click "Where to Buy" and scroll down) and make it for him like a good wife? I jest. But you could! Or he could make it for you, so you wake up because you smell it frying. I would submit that if you're nice enough to email me about bacon for him, he should be nice enough to do this for you.

But out in the world, in Ballard (and the U-District, and South Lake Union), people enjoy Portage Bay Cafe, which gets its bacon from Hill Meat Company in Pendleton, Oregon, and has ham and sausages made in-house with Carlton Farms (also Oregon) pork. For a big-ass chop or other porky dinner plate—right now it looks like they have a Kurobuta pork shank (probably from here) with eggplant puree, padon peppers, and marinated tomatoes, which sounds quite good—there's Staple & Fancy in Ballard. Golden Beetle has "Carlton Farms’ Slow Roasted Baby Back Pork Ribs - tamarind, rice, mustard greens" on the menu right now. Another dinnertime option: Stumbling Goat in Greenwood, with pork belly AND a Tails and Trotter chop waiting for your husband.

Here's our list of restaurants that have a local/organic/sustainable focus for your perusal—it is searchable by neighborhood, too. UPDATE! And searchable by all those things plus "Breakfast/Brunch," too!

I'm sure there must be other breakfast places near you with non-horribly-sourced pork, but I'm drawing a blank right now... anyone?

Mmmmm... bacon,