Food and Drink

Restaurant Review: Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen

Maybe this new McKinney restaurant shouldn't try so hard.

At Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen in McKinney, the eponymous sugarbacon—cubes of pork belly heavily slicked with house barbecue sauce and stacked like toddlers’ blocks atop toast rounds—clearly read as playful. So do tater tots squiggled with ancho chile-barbecue mayo circling mounds of pulled pork and pimento cheese. They were both more cute than delicious. The best dishes gave the impression that chef and co-owner Jon Thompson wasn’t trying so hard. An arugula salad with toasted sunflower seeds and citrus segments charmed, as did black-eyed pea succotash with corn kernels and roasted tomato. A salmon BLT with lemon-tarragon spread came on sourdough criss-crossed with a diamond-patterned char. Many dishes reflect Southwestern flavors (Thompson previously worked with Stephan Pyles), as in heritage Berkshire pork tenderloin that harmonized beautifully with gentle green-chile hominy. There are many sweet things at Sugarbacon—the cocktails and the service. But the grainy butterscotch banana pudding with whipped cream that tasted like the walk-in wasn’t one. It left a bad last impression.

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