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I'm in northern Minnesota right now, my fingers numb from baiting fishhooks in weather that's better suited for firesides and old books. Before my trip up to the lake I stopped for dinner at the most buzz-worthy restaurant in the Twin Cities right now: Saffron, where the 24-year-old chef, Sameh Wadi--a Palestinian born in Kuwait--skillfully juggles the ingredients of North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Especially lamb. I was mandated not to leave Minneapolis without tasting Wadi's lamb BLT, which he serves as a happy-hour snack (I begged one off of our waiter at dinner). I'm glad I did, because it was the best sandwich I've eaten in a long, long time. Let's start from the bottom: A spongy slice of challah cut Texas-toast thick, grilled in lamb fat; a smear of tangy tomato jam, a thin layer of crunchy butter lettuce; a generous layer of crispy, house-cured lamb belly (which is less fatty than pork bacon and deliciously lamby); topped with another piece of challah, this one spread with saffron aioli.
I hope lamb bacon catches on elsewhere. Everywhere, actually. It might be just be the Excalibur Sword needed to battle the impending bacon backlash.