Operation: Take-Out • Pork Belly and Chopped Bacon Tacos for Two at Hope Breakfast Bar

Pork belly and chopped bacon tacos from Hope Breakfast Bar // Photo by Tony Saunders

Pork belly and chopped bacon tacos from Hope Breakfast Bar // Photo by Tony Saunders

Each week, Operation: Take-Out brings you specially crafted meals for two with ideal beverage pairings from your favorite local restaurants. We’d like to thank Hop & Barrel Brewing for their underwriting support in the month of June.

THE RESTAURANT: This week’s bacon taco meal comes from Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul.

Founded in a 142-year-old former fire station just off of West 7th Street, Hope Breakfast Bar is what founder Brian Ingram describes as a purpose-driven business. “In our first year we’ve given almost $380,000 back to the community,” he says. “A lot of that was the 72,000 meals we’ve made for free during the pandemic,” he adds. The restaurant has been delivering its meals to first responders and other families in need in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond.

The restaurant’s concept revolves around breakfast all day—Hope’s menu is known for rich, comforting, elevated twists on breakfast classics.

THE MEAL: Hope’s meal kicks off with two giant pretzels from the Milwaukee Pretzel Company, whose founders, says Ingram, “spent a lot of time in Germany, honing their craft so they’d be great at making craft pretzels, hand-dipped in lye the traditional way.” The pretzels come seasoned with ranch and are accompanied by a dill pickle dip.

Bacon tacos are the heart of the Hope meal. “They’re a super savory taco that’s very pork-forward,” says Ingram. “It’s got super caramelized pork belly, bacon, jalapeño, bacon jam, and some guacamole on it… and eggs and potatoes as well.” The tacos come with flour tortillas.

Dessert is breakfast-focused, as you might expect from a joint with the first meal of the day in its title. The restaurant’s German Chocolate Pancakes arrive with a coconut, chocolate ganache, and maple syrup topping on the side. Just reheat and frost to your heart’s content.

Two tallboys of Slice of Paradise, a Key lime-pie inspired beer from Pryes Brewing, comes with the meal. Its crisp lime flavor serves as a perfect pairing for the tacos.

Meals are pre-order only and available for pick-up on June 18. No substitutions. Ticket sales will close and no refunds will be given after 5pm CST on June 17.

Hop & Barrel Brewing Co., located in downtown Hudson, Wisconsin, takes a modern approach to classic beers. Hop & Barrel is best known for its clean and classic Minnesconsin Helles, its wide variety of IPAs, and the innovative brewing behind its true-to-flavor Lemon Breaker Shandy and Paul & Babe’s Breakfast Ale. Regardless of your taste, Hop & Barrel brews a little something for everyone!