The consistently best bacon I have found in SF is the Hobbs applewood smoked bacon, and I buy it at Bryan's (no relation!) in Laurel Heights. Yesterday, though, I was on a long walk and passed by A.G. Ferrari in the Castro, and decided to see what they have. I ended up with the Pancetta Affumicata (Italian for "smoked bacon" I presume) made by Molinari.
I asked the butcher what's the difference between pancetta and American bacon, and he said "Well, pancetta is seasoned...with salt, and, uh, peppers and stuff..." and admitted that it's been a while since he's had to answer that question.
Fair enough, so I bought the leanest package I could find. $7.99 a pound. (Well, it IS a Yupscale place).
(I also got some Molinari Finocchiona, a fennel spiced dry salami, for $10.95 a pound and found it absolutely delicious.)
The pancetta fried well, almost no splattering (indicating no water added) and was a bit saltier than Hobbs, but the main difference was the flavor -- not at all sweet, very little smoke, lots of cured pork flavor. Couldn't identify the "seasoning." Would buy it again. Came thick-sliced, and would be superb for a BLT.
Used the left-over fat to fry up some okra, and it came out perfect. I think the lack of sugar in the cure makes the fat easy to fry with, with no darkening and smoking.
What is your favorite bacon in SF, and where do you get it?