Restaurant Review: The Smiling Bison
The Smiling Bison is located on Bennett Road in Orlando Florida. They recently opened their doors for business and definitely spread the word by setting up a booth at The Festival of Bacon on October 5th.
My husband Ric, friend Jon, and I were skeptical about stopping by the booth at first. The line wasn’t long and they seemed to be tucked away from the main traffic flow. But, none the less, they had a great deal on a Bacon Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie. $1? Short line? Sure!
The cookie was flat. But you could see the golden color and chucks of chocolate screaming at you. As I bit into the cookie, my mouth just started to water. It was moist, gooey, sweet, and just melted in your mouth. I didn’t actually get any bacon taste, but did find very small pieces. Though, the cookie itself was delicious! But to be frank, the name of the cookie states “bacon fat” not “chunks of bacon”. You could tell bacon fat was used though. Bacon fat has a distinct way of working perfectly in baked goods and many other types of recipes, making ingredients blend together well. I do believe they found a great combination to a different type of “bacon cookie”.
About an hour of walking around looking for more delights, we still craved something with a new twist. Ric and I have tried all the same ol’ bacon recipes. And everyone seemed to be doing those same ones. We were burnt out, but then we came back around to The Smiling Bison’s booth. And then we remembered – They had a sandwich to offer! And I think they knew what they were doing and that they were doing it right.
The cookie (which was now sold out for delicious reasons) was described simply by it’s name on their sign. But with this sandwich, they made sure to list the art put behind it. “The BLT Biscuit: Fried pork belly, bacon fat biscuit, tomato jam, tomato jam, frisee, bacon vinaigrette, bacon mayo. Made using house cured and smoked kurobata pork.” Just reading it made my cholesterol-induced heart skip a beat. But I had to tell myself to calm down. I needed to try it first.
To begin, It was a nice presentation. It was slapped together quickly but neatly. As I took a bite, you could feel the the slight crunch of the outer layer of the pork belly and then feel it just melt, as it combined with all the other ingredients. You could actually taste every single ingredient included on the biscuit in just one bite. The pork belly was perfectly cooked. The tomato jam, bacon vinaigrette, and bacon mayo were not overwhelming. This was amazing since most people get carried away with the condiments. And the frisee to be honest was just there. It was there to complete the ‘B.L.T.” but what bacon-fiend is going to notice it anyway? And the biscuit itself was so moist and perfectly warmed. It just barely crumbled in your mouth as a biscuit should. Overall it was perfectly made, with a kiss of sweetness on your lips and a blanket of love on your tongue. You could once again tell these guys know how to use bacon fat.
I have not had the pleasure of visiting their restaurant yet, but I do plan on making it there soon. Their menu seems to consist of creations for individuals looking for something different. Something that will wake up your taste buds once again. Remind you of taste again. Even their drink menu is something to look forward to.
I applaud owners Joshua Oakley (Chef) and Ron Thomas Jr. (General Manager). They have my attention and I wish them the best of luck in their business and future creations.