Chef Jon Thompson made a name for himself in Dallas working under local legend Stephan Pyles at global tapas spot Samar, then the hyper-Texan Stampede 66. Now at Sugarbacon in downtown McKinney, he's blessing the 'burbs with plenty of pork products in a historic old building that was once a gas station. Here's where Thompson eats when he's not cooking up housemade tater tots and beer-braised short ribs in the Sugarbacon kitchen.
Favorite breakfast or brunch place?
For brunch, my wife and I love Smoke Plano. We go a couple times a month. I like the brisket hash or pulled pork benedict, and my two-year old son Edwin loves the bacon.
Where do you go for a quick lunch?
I mostly eat lunch at Sugarbacon but when we were under construction, I ate at Patina Green a couple times a week. Chef Robert Lyford is doing some great stuff there. They change it up a lot, but I used to get the ham, cheddar, and jalapeno jelly sandwich all the time.
Where and what do you eat after you get off work late?
If it's not too late I will pick up some In-N-Out, but usually I prefer to make a sandwich at home. At home I've been in a ham and swiss melt with dijon on rye mood; I also love a fried egg sandwich with sharp cheddar, bacon, and hot sauce.
Best date night destination?
Our favorite date night destination is Lucia. We usually get the charcuterie board and one of every pasta dish on the menu.
What's your favorite pizza place? I love Cane Rosso, Fireside Pies, and Pie 3.14. I really just love pizza.
Do you have a favorite burger in town?
Honestly, my favorite burger ever is the SB burger at Sugarbacon. Our ground beef blend is so good, even when it's cooked well-done it's still juicy.
What about other international cuisines — Japanese, Thai, Indian, etc.?
We like Sushi Sake in Richardson. I make Indian at home — I have a batch of butter chicken, just like we made at Samar, waiting for me for my after-work snack tonight. I also like JS Chen's Dim Sum in Plano, they do a whole Dungeness crab fried rice that is really good.
How about hidden gems or hole-in-the-walls you swear by?
I don't really know if hidden gems really exist anymore — these days if you are good, it won't take long to get discovered. The best example I can think of is Chito's; they used to be in a gas station near my house, but they make really solid Mexican food. Now they are on 75 [between Spring Creek and Parker], not really hidden anymore.
Any other favorite restaurants elsewhere in the U.S. (or beyond)?
My favorite place outside of Dallas is Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, my hometown. Last time we ate there was during the riots. We were just enjoying our meal and didn't know what was developing nearby. When we got home and turned on the TV it was like, didn't we just drive through that intersection?