A trip to Miami Springs requires maneuvering over one way canals and a circle park, but it is so worth it. We came for the deep fried bread pudding and fried chicken at Crackers Casual Dining but we stayed for the bacon jam.
This homey restaurant serving delicious Southern comfort food is run by a hospitable husband-and-wife team. The inside dining room feels like you are in someone's home, and the enormous covered patio makes you feel as if you are on vacation awaiting a luau.
However, it is the food at Crackers that deserves the most praise. We ordered the chicken sammich ($7.50), which allows the choice of grilled, blackened or fried. Obviously, we chose the latter. After we made that selection, there were plenty of add-ons to dress your bird, including avocado and bleu cheese. Then we read, bacon jam. Game changer. We added it to our sandwich for $1.50.
The fried chicken and the sandwich were great but it was this bacon jam that stole the show. It was sweet and savory with a hint of something tangy. We began asking questions. When we suggested to the the waiter that it had maple syrup, he said that only the owner Jeff knows all of the ingredients.
When Jeff checked in on us later, we asked him about the jam and were pleased at how forthcoming he was with such a delicious and special recipe. He said that the jam features bacon, coffee, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, black pepper, onions, garlic and brown sugar. It takes about two and half hours to make because everything is cooked separately and then together.
Jeff told us that people put it on everything: sandwiches, burgers, on Texas toast with eggs at brunch and also as an appetizer that you can spread on bread. When asked how he came up with this elaborate recipe he said, "Watching cooking shows, it took us about ten tries until we found a combination we liked."
We were already planning on ordering the ultra decadent deep fried bread pudding but now we had this jam on our mind. We ordered the bacon jam appetizer ($6.95) promising ourselves that most of it would be wrapped up. It came circled with garlic toast all worshipping the jam in the center. We did take most of the jam to go and the next morning we mixed it with our eggs and, again, it was spectacular.
We ended up still getting the dessert. We couldn't remember the last time we had such a splurge day but Crackers is that good. And we wanted to be that bad.
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Crackers goes beyond casual dining. It is dining with some country fried heart and soul. It is the best kind of food for cheat days and just remember that whatever you order, you oughtta spread some bacon jam on it.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst