4.22.2013

Monday Foodie Porn: Baconfest 2013!

Bacon Nation!
Baconfest: we came, we saw, we conquered. Well, realistically, it's more like Baconfest conquered us... no matter how much you love the swine, really, there's only so much you can inhale before it gets the best of you (as first-timer Mario discovered). :-)

Baconfest 2013 was even more fabulous than its predecessor - mostly because I knew what to expect and and I actually followed my own advice. As much as I wanted to stuff my face with one (or five) of everything, I knew I couldn't handle it, so I made a plan and mostly stuck to it (admittedly, I did get sucked into a few extra tables once I saw their fabulous creations). In our two hours of extreme bacon consumption, we encountered everything from bacon scrapple with bacon sriracha, bacon-salt cured egg yolks, and a bacon Malort Julius (the "Wake n’Bacon" from Three Aces) to chocolate bacon mousse in a bacon phyllo cup topped with bacon granola and bourbon caramel (Triple Bacon Chocolate Mousse from Chicago q). Mario's favorite (it was a tie for me) was the Benton ham & scallion waffle with Nueske’s bacon jam, Tim Burton’s bourbon maple syrup, and boozy smoked bacon & banana ice cream coupe from deca. Holy amazingness!

Feed us bacon!

Of the sixty-something restaurants that participated in the dinner shift, we sampled bacon delights from thirty of them... that probably equates to at least a pig each, right? As I mentioned last year, I had a fantastic time, but I'm glad Baconfest only happens once a year. While there's no such thing as too much bacon, my stomach does need a full year to recover from the meat-eating mania! :-)



(click to enlarge photos)



During the hour & a half wait in line, we poured through the official guide and mapped out our route.  


The aforementioned amazing Benton ham & scallion waffle from deca.






Pork belly pastrami sandwich served on pretzel bun, with Gruyere and caramelized onions from firefly grill
. This was by far my favorite sandwich/burger of the evening, thanks to the delicious pastrami & the adorable presentation.


Bacon fat fries topped with homemade cheese sauce & bacon crumbles from Hash House A Go Go
Can you really ever go wrong with fries and cheese?




French toast, seared bacon confit, cured egg yolk, and bourbon barrel aged maple whipped cream from 3 Floyds Brewing Co
I'm a huge fan of the sweet/savory mix and this dish was totally spot on! 








Bakon margarita (Bakon vodka, tequila & bacon salt rim). Super potent & delicious! I wasn't sold on Bakon last year, but I can now say I am officially a fan.











Maple glazed potato hash, house smoked bacon, Labatt's bacon gravy, and smoked bacon Labatt's beer cheese from ManBQue.






Goose Island bourbon county stout braised bacon with kickapoo blue cheese, rhubarb salad, and pickled quail egg from State & Lake.







Applewood-smoked bacon finocchiona with fig mustard & cornichon (right); Cherrywood bacon country pate (middle); and port cherries, fennel, smoked bacon & peanut butter verrine from Quay
The verrine was one of my favorite dishes of the entire festival (there's just something about peanut butter & bacon!). On the other hand, I came to the definite conclusion that I really don't like pate.








Carnitas de Pescado: 24-hour cured braised cod with fava beans, corn salsa, bacon vinaigrette, and crispy bacon from Mercadito












Bacon and Sweet Corn Hush Puppies with crème fraîche and chipotle lime emulsion from Market Bar.











Maple bacon tartlet with candied bacon from Terzo PianoI am a sucker for just about anything maple - I sooo could have had another piece if I hadn't already been stuffed by the time we made it to their table! This tartlet had the *perfect* balance of sweet maple and bacon.








Bacon gelato and nutella drizzle (served over a mini waffle square) from Black Dog Gelato. BDG is my favorite gelato/ice cream store in the city. They have a wide variety of sweet & savory flavors (the sesame fig chocolate chip is incredible!) and the owner, Jessica, is super nice & so passionate about gelato. 





Bacon onion jam poptart with smoked vanilla ice cream and  bacon topping station (bacon icing, bacon powder, bacon bourbon maple caramel, bacon hot fudge, bacon peanut brittle, bacon whipped cream) from Acadia.




Bacon pate, beer jam aspic, bacon brioche, and bacon mostardo from Perennial Virant.












Smoked pork belly sliders: Hawaiian buns, pickled pineapple relish & brown sugar ginger soy glaze from SableYes, that is Chef Heather Terhune from Top Chef Texas!




Maple bacon mini doughnut from Glazed and InfusedHoly doughnut o' heaven! I've had maple bacon doughnuts before, but wasn't overly impressed by any, as they were all far too greasy. This one was perfection... I shouldn't be surprised seeing as it was from Glazed and Infused (their Crème Brûlée & Red Velvet doughnuts are to die for!).






P. Double B.L.T. (pork belly, bacon, lettuce, tomato & bacon jam) and Chef Ryan Poli from
Little Market








Bacon Cake from Gingersnap Sweets & SuchOnce again peanut butter + bacon = awesomness!










Rhubarb-glazed Italian-style doughnut w/Nueske’s bacon crème anglaise from Cafe SpiaggiaYes, that is the adorable Chef Sarah Grueneberg (Top Chef Texas) and yes, I acted like a total goofy fangirl when I met her (girl crush alert!). Not only was she sooo nice (especially considering everyone wanted to take pictures with her), but also, her food was seriously incredible. It was a tie between this awesome doughnut & deca's waffle for my top pick of the fest.



Adorable/morbid piggy balloons galore!










Pigs everywhere give Baconfest two hooves up!


Full Baconfest menu here















6 comments:

My Kitchen Stories. said...

OMG how did you do it. All the photos, all the descriptions, all the eating. You are a wonder

chicago foodie girl said...

@My Kitchen Stories: Baconfest is totally insane, but soooo much fun! Needless to say, I've had my fill of (delicious) bacon for quite awhile. I'll need the next year to recover! ;-)

Jane @ She Speaks said...

Holy mother of bacon! I want to go there NOW!

Quay said...

Glad you enjoyed the dish, come visit us soon!

Jacky said...

Great recap and awesome photos. Intrigued by the bacon margarita!

chicago foodie girl said...

@Jacky: The margarita was amazing - it had a similar spice profile as a Bloody Mary, but with the classic margarita taste. LOVED it! The Bakon Mary was also fantastic. They have most of their recipes listed on their website: http://bakonvodka.com/recipes