Sugarbacon (Photo by Kathy Tran)Fresh ingredients, many bought locally, and a welcoming atmosphere are what keeps the customers of Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen coming back for more.

Talk to the people who are behind the scenes at the new Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen in Lakewood and the message is clear: it’s all about the food.

Though the original Sugarbacon is in McKinney, adding a second location close to the heart of Dallas means more people get to indulge in what the restaurant’s chef Andrea Maricichi describes as “New American cuisine with Texas undertones.” But what is that exactly? It’s a little bit of everything.

“We’re not particularly trying to rewrite the culinary bible but what we do, we really try to perfect,” Maricichi says. “It’s straightforward comfort and things that people can really embrace.”

For Maricichi, this is the restaurant’s pulled Berkshire pork chop that is brined and grilled to order.

Johnny Carros, one of the restaurant’s three partners, has a few recommendations of his own. His favorite dishes include the shrimp and grits, enchiladas and burger as well as the pork chop. Getting that food to the table and making sure it will be something patrons enjoy isn’t the result of a few quick decisions — it’s a process.

“It’s just years of operations and eating out,” Carros says. “We really wanted to try a balanced menu to hit all the notes on what you might want when you come in a restaurant.”

As for the process that goes into those dishes, it all starts with fresh ingredients that are brought right to the prep kitchen. Maricichi points out they try to also keep what goes into the dishes local, like the grits that come from a farm right outside of Waco.

However, at Sugarbacon the food isn’t just served, it’s presented. Take the pork chops for example. It’s not just a smoked pork shoulder, it’s enhanced with a salad of granny smith apples, arugula and lime on top while roasted chili hominy sits underneath to create a combination that Maricichi describes as hearty and scrumptious.

“You have to tie everything together, it has to smell delicious, it has to look delicious, it has to taste delicious,” Maricichi says. “But the first thing you eat with is your eyes, before you put the first bite in your mouth, so we really try to elevate some of the classics through presentation and perfection of execution.”

Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen
6400 Gaston

Ambiance: Trendy dining

Price range: $15-$50

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Did you know: When it comes to views, table number 29 is the best seat in the house, according to Carros.

Sugarbacon (Photo by Kathy Tran) Sugarbacon (Photo by Kathy Tran) Sugarbacon (Photo by Kathy Tran)