4.16.2012

Monday Foodie Porn: Baconfest 2012!

Baconfest: a celebration of all things bacon. There's bacon, bacon, and more bacon... and let's not forget the bacon cocktails to wash it all down. The fourth annual Chicago Baconfest took place this past Saturday and Diana and I were lucky enough to score tickets to the coveted event (seriously, it sold out in five minutes!). It was the first time at the festival for both of us... and it was quite a crazy, awesome, salty, and magical day. :-)

In our two hours of extreme bacon consumption, we encountered everything from bacon-wrapped sausages deep-fried in croissant dough with horseradish mustard (Bleeding Heart Bakery) to double-chocolate flan with cherry-smoked bacon (May Street Café). We gobbled up bacon-inspired creations from some of our favorites restaurants and discovered wonderful new places; my personal favorite, bacon pancake pops in a bourbon glaze, came from a restaurant I've never been to before (Zed451) and definitely want to visit now that I've sampled their amazingness.

Let me just say that while I had a fantastic time, I'm glad Baconfest only happens once a year. I swear I was sweating bacon grease out of every pore by the end of it! I think I definitely made up for the ten years of my life I went without bacon (5 years as a vegetarian/5 years as a pescetarian). In fact, seeing as I don't cook pork at home (I usually only have it when I'm at events or cooking classes), I would venture to say that I consumed more bacon in one day than I have during most of my adult life. Oy.

(please excuse the quality of some of these photos - it's not all that easy to take photos with one hand while balancing various plates of bacon goodies in the other hand and simultaneously dodging the bacon-crazed masses)


This was the crowd waiting to get into Baconfest... an hour & a half before the doors opened (yes, I was obviously amongst the hungry, crabby, and overly excited crowd).

Baconfest is some serious business.





Bacon mac-n-cheese bites from Café des Architectes. While the bacon pancake pops were my favorite overall, these mac-n-cheese bites were a very close second. They were my favorite non-dessert dish by far - so much so that we actually skipped several of the other restaurants in order to have seconds. :-)









My beloved bacon pancake pops from Zed451. Sweet, smoky, savory, salty, crunchy, chewy... and in cake pop form. Can it get any better?!








White & dark chocolate bacon cake bites from The Cooking Chicks








Bacon financier with bacon & egg ice cream from deca Restaurant









Bacon rice crispies from Hearty. The cereal was surprisingly delicious (so crunchy & salty!) and the display was totally adorable - premixed cups of rice crispies & bacon bits, bacon sugar to sprinkle on top, and selection of fun flavored milks to choose from.







The milk bar from Hearty: Captain Crunch, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, chocolate, and plain (I chose Captain Crunch)









Bakon Vodka (yes, it's bacon-flavored vodka)










Cocktails from Bakon: I tried the one on the right (Elvis Presley: Bakon, hazelnut liqueur, banana liqueur & cream). It wasn't as gross as it sounds, but it was quite strange (and really, really potent). As much as I love the sweet/savory combo, it didn't work as well for me in drink form. I think this vodka would work best in a Bloody Mary (which they also had, but I just couldn't drink any more alcohol - I was already drunk enough on bacon!).


Bleeding Heart Bakery assembled and fried their sausages on site. The line for their booth was crazy long, but everything was so fresh & it was fun to watch them!







Bacon-wrapped sausages from Bleeding Heart Bakery











Smoked Bacon Baklava from Chicago q
(read Diana's write-up of Chicago q here)














Adorable piggy balloons galore!












Freaky Pig Man (yes, he was chowing down on bacon)
















Wah wah. No bacon for you. Maybe next year... if you're lucky.

Full Baconfest menu here.

6 comments:

Renee @ Tortillas and Honey said...

So incredibly jealous! All those treats look so amazing!

Jacky said...

Glad you got to experience Baconfest, and enjoyed it. We went last year, and honestly we considered going this year but I swear I was still full. I still recall feeling so happy yet sickly full after the event. Totally worth it though!

Annie Oakley's Kitchen said...

What an awesome event! You were so lucky to score tickets! Those bacon pancake pops look incredible!

Starr Nordgren said...

@Renee: There were so many delicious things - it's amazing what you can do with bacon!

@Jacky: I totally understand. I may not have bacon again until next year's Baconfest! SO. MUCH. BACON. :-)

@Annie Oakley: They were *so* incredible - the perfect combination of flavors & textures!

Danielle said...

Looks like so much fun! I didn't get to go, but the company I work for was there - Sweet Baby Rays. I brought a bacon pecan pie to work Monday and they were like "nooo more baconnn!"

Starr Nordgren said...

@Danielle: LOL! I'm soooo on the same page as your coworkers! :-)