Brown the bacon over medium-high heat until well caramelized and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, drain the cooked bacon off excess bacon grease and transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and garlic to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté just until starting to look a little cooked. The onion should still be firm.
Add half the cut cabbage to the pan, and season with salt and cracked pepper. Then add the other half of the cut cabbage and season again.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is slightly reduced and starting to look wilted. Do not cook until completely soft.
Add the cooked bacon to the cabbage. Drizzle some of the balsamic vinegar and some of the brown sugar. Stir to distribute the seasonings evenly. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and/or brown sugar as desired. The fried cabbage should taste savory with a hint of sweet and sour.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.