Thursday, April 6, 2017

Baconfest Chicago 2017

Hello fellow bacon lovers! I had another awesome time at Baconfest Chicago. Sixth year in a row! This year, a friend of mine joined me in the annual bacon chowdown. This was her first time going and Baconfest did not disappoint.

I followed my usual plan of attack (i.e., walk up and down each aisle and try the dishes that looked appealing and limit my bread intake).

Here's the bacon deliciousness I had:

Chop Shop: The Butcher's Bacon
This was a nice sweet dish. It was like a fancy candy bar, but light and a little crunchy.

Big Jones: Bacon and Apple Sorghum Cake
This was another sweet dish that was very good. The cake, the bacon-flavored ice cream and caramel tasted great together. This was my second favorite sweet dish.

Pork & Mindy's: Pig Candy Cannoli
This was good. It wasn't heavy and had a decent amount of bacon.

South Water Kitchen: Blue Cheese and Bacon Pierogi
This was my first savory dish. It wasn't my favorite savory dish, but still tasted good.

Kinzie Chophouse: Chocolate Bacon Toffee Gelato
This was my favorite sweet dish. All of the ingredients tasted so great together and it just melted in my mouth. My mouth is watering just thinking about this.

Kaiser Tiger: BBQ Bacon Meatball
Bacon and beef meatball covered in BBQ sauce. Definitely can't go wrong with that.

Whirlyball: Chai BBQ Bacon
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I could definitely taste the Chai which wasn't a bag thing. It was a good dish.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken: Loaded Mash
This was my second favorite savory dish. Mashed potatoes with a little chicken, bacon, and hot sauce. I could definitely taste the heat with this dish.

Bottlefork: Bacon Churro
A piece of bacon wrapped and coated with brown sugar and cinnamon. The coating was just right and the bacon wasn't super greasy.

Jerk Modern Jamaican Grill: Chocolate Candied Jerk Bacon Pop
The rub or marinade on the bacon wasn't overpowering or spicy.

Sheekar Delights: Maple Bacon and Bourbon Baklava
Baklava with bacon. Need I say more??

Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits: Green Chile Bacon Meatball
This was okay. I was expecting more flavor.

Hutch: Meatballs and Pork Belly
This was my favorite savory dish. The carbonara sauce with the meat is so good.

Orso's Restaurant: Mama Orso's Meatball
Bacon-wrapped meatball with a flavorful marinara sauce. This tied for the spot of my second favorite savory dish.

Le Bouchen & La Sardine: Maple-Bacon Macaron
I wasn't sure if this was really a macaron. If so, it's a different take on a macaron. It tasted like a thin pancake with cream and oats coated with maple on top. It was a good dish.

Bacaro: Bacon Noodle Soup
This dish had a good bacon flavor.

The Duck Inn: Frankenduckie
I only ate a small piece of the bun. This was okay. I wasn't really a fan of the cheddar sauce, but the meat was good.

Cantina Laredo: Bacon Jam Tostada
This was my last dish. The jam was good and tasted better than the bacon jam I've tried from the store.

This is the t-shirt I wore. I didn't get any grease stains on it like I did last time.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Baconfest Chicago 2016

Hello fellow bacon lovers! For the fifth year in a row, I have attended Baconfest. My plan of attack for 2016 was the same as 2015 (i.e., walk up and down each aisle and try the dishes that looked appealing and didn't have a lot of bread). 

Here's the bacon deliciousness I had:

Burger Bar Chicago
Bacon Steak and Eggs: Applewood smoked bacon steak, cured egg yolk, pork glaze

Bacon Cheddar Cheesecake: Iberico bacon cheddar cheesecake, Iberico bacon jam, petit wasabi

Flo and Santos
Roasted Red Pepper & Bacon Gnocchi: Gnocchi made with potatoes, roasted red peppers and bacon, finished with a spicy arrabbiata sauce

Unwrapped Bacon Date: Bacon sausage wrapped in bacon with red wine-bacon date puree

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Bacon Chicken and Grits

Hutch American Bistro
Meatball + Porkbelly with a carbonara sauce

Karikaribekon Maki: Crispy applewood bacon, marinated sundried tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, avocado inside coated with cherrywood bacon and togarashi mayo

Jerk. Modern Jamaican Grill
Chocolate Covered Jerk Candied Bacon: Bacon marinated in Rude Boy Jerk marinade and candied with brown sugar then bathed in chocolate

Kitty O'Sheas
BBQ Pork Pie: Bacon lingonberry jam, spiced onions, petit celery

Mastro's Steakhouse
Bacon Adovado
Note: Adovado is pork simmered in a chili-based stew. 

Mity Nice Bar & Grill
Pigskin Wings: Bacon-skinned chicken wings dusted with peppered bacon spice, accompanied with assorted sauces.

Pearl's Southern Comfort
Tasso Bacon Pimento Cheese on a Cracklin

Sheekar Delights
Bacon and Bourbon Gourmet Baklava: Paper thin phyllo hand buttered and rolled with freshly chopped walnuts mixed with applewood smoked bacon, drizzled with a house made syrup with a splash of bourbon

Sociale Chicago
Bacon & Lamb Merguez Sausage
Note: Merguez is a traditional North African spicy lamb sausage

Stout Barrel House & Gallery
Sweet & Sour Braised Bacon with Bacon and Sweet Potato Farro Risotto: Braised bacon glazed with sweet and sour sauce on top of a bacon and sweet potato farro risotto. Topped with a crispy bacon and pickled onion salad.

The Cotton Duck
BLT Scrapple: Bacon scrapple, romaine butter, pickled tomatoes, candied beef tongue bacon vinaigrette
Note: Scrapple is essentially a loaf formed out of pork and cornmeal and possibly certain herbs and spices.

Troquet River North
Bacon Bourguignon
Note: Bourguignon is a red wine sauce with mushrooms and onions. 

West Town Bakery
Bacon Cinnamon Rolls: Brioche cinnamon rolls studded with bacon, topped with frosting and candied bacon

Wollensky's Grill
Beef Bacon with Blue Cheese Dip

World of Whirlpool
Bacoron (macaron)

Deep Fried Bacon on a stick

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Baconfest Chicago 2015

For the fourth year in a row, I have attended Baconfest. My plan of attack for 2015 was to walk up and down each aisle and try the dishes that looked appealing and didn't have a lot of bread. Bread is not your friend when you're trying to consume as many bacon dishes as you can. I don't completely rule out dishes with bread, but I definitely try to limit the ones that do have it.

Here's the bacon deliciousness that I had:

Bacon Parfait: Chocolate bacon bits, white chocolate bacon mousse, raspberry bacon crumble, and salted pistachios

This was a pretty good dish. All of the ingredients worked well together.

Beaver's Coffee & Donuts
Bacon Donut Truffles: Mini buttermilk bacon infused cake donuts covered in butterscotch chocolate bacon icing

I've heard that Beaver's donuts are good and it was definitely true in this case. I didn't even bother taking a bite, I just popped the whole donut in my mouth, with a nice creamy taste. Yum!

Grilled Pork Belly: Pork belly with honey poached cranberries, roasted carrots, Anson Mills grits

Initially I was skeptical about grits being in this dish, but holy cow, it complemented the pork belly and cranberries very well. The sweet taste of the cranberries with the non-sweet grits. This was a very good dish.

David Burke's Primehouse
Bacon Tarte Flambe: Vidalia-braised applewood bacon, ramp soubise, black pepper hollandaise, crispy leeks, puff pastry

Hands-down, the bacon was good, but I wasn't a complete fan of the pastry.

Firefly Grill
Cauliflower Bacon Panna Cotta (with crispy bacon fat sage)

I wasn't sure how to attack this since I wasn't given a eating utensil. I wasn't sure about the cauliflower being part of this dish, but it worked well. 

Flo & Santos
Bacon Whiskey River Lasagna: Bacon barrel-aged whiskey served with a bacon five-way lasagna (bacon pasta, bacon ricotta, bacon bits, bacon sauce and bacon)

I like lasagna so I was expecting this to be really good since this had bacon throughout, and this dish didn't disappoint.

Flo Cafe & Bar
Hatch Green Chile Bacon Quiche: Hatch green chile, scrambled eggs, aged sharp cheddar in a bacon bowl

This was a very good dish and the green chile added a nice kick to it. The heat from the green chile was tolerable.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken French Toast: Fried chicken, french toast, bacon honey butter and maple bourbon syrup

This was a good dish. The french toast was soft; however, the chicken was a little hard. The butter and syrup were really good which helped.

HUB 51
Braised Applewood Bacon Tacos (with jalapeno slaw, oaxaca cheese, and cilantro)

This was an okay dish. I felt like something was missing to make this a really good taco. I thought the tacos this restaurant had last year were far better.

Meatballs + Porkbelly (carbonara style, grilled bread)

I inhaled this pretty quickly, most likely due to this being the first dish I had after being hungry for a couple of hours. The meatball wasn't dry and it had a good flavor. I could have eaten a whole tray of these.

Kaiser Tiger
Bacon S'mores: Roasted bacon marshmallows with chocolate bacon bark melted between graham crackers

This was very good. I could definitely taste the bacon in this dish.

Kama Indian Bistro
Tandoori Pork Belly Namaste: Braised pork belly, tamarind, jaggery, pickled spice BBQ glaze, charcoal tandoor smoked with bacon and rose jam

Initially I wasn't sure what to think of this dish just by its appearance, but this was probably one of the best dishes I had. All of the ingredients worked well together and it had a little heat to it too. I actually took my time eating this dish instead of inhaling it.

Bacon Lard Spread with Maple Crostini

This was so small and I popped it in my mouth that I don't know if I caught a taste of bacon or not.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate
Pig Liver & Bacon Mousse: Aerated pig liver and bacon with crostini

I wasn't sure what to think of this dish. The presentation was great; however, the aerated pig liver was something I wasn't quite prepared for. This dish was definitely different.

Osteria La Madia
Bacon Ravioli

Maybe a bacon meat sauce would have added something more to this dish. It was still good though. 

When Pigs Fly: Chocolate bacon oreo, bacon pop rocks

This was so cute and good. None of the ingredients overpowered each other. I could have eaten a whole bunch of these like tic-tacs.

Red Butter
Ancho-Chile Candied Bacon Bhel Puri: Puffed rice salad with ancho chile candied bacon, potatoes, onions, cilantro, serrano pepper, mint chutney, tamarind chutney, lime and Indian spices

This was an interesting dish, but in a good way. This packed some heat. 

Signature Room at the 95th
Pastrami Pork Belly with scotch bonnet slaw, scorched fruit, bacon focaccia roll

I pretty much ate the middle and didn't eat the roll (remember my rule about bread). The pastrami tasted really good.

Spacca Napoli
Involtini di Melanzane: Eggplant in a roll with smoked pancetta, fior di latte mozzarella, sage; oven roasted

Normally I'm not a fan of eggplant, but I tried this anyways. It was actually pretty good. This was a flavorful dish due to the sauce.

The Salsa Truck
Tamal de Tocino: Bacon tamale with chipotle bacon crema

This is another dish that falls into the "pop into my mouth like a tic-tac" category. I really liked the chipotle bacon crema; it was quite tasty.

Unite Urban Grill
Grilled Hanger Steak Wrapped in Bacon: Painted hills hanger steak, grilled and basted with house baste

This dish was good, but I think it would have been really good if the meat was a little more moist.

Untitled Supper Club
Bacon "Snickers" Bar: Applewood smoked bacon, bacon fat caramel, bourbon nougat, peanuts, milk chocolate, sea salt

If they sold this in the store, I would definitely buy it. I took my time eating this. This truly did taste like a snickers bar with bacon. 

Whole Foods
Miniature Brownie with Bacon

This was really good. So good that this could be made at home. You can buy brownie bites from Sam's Club, put some type of icing on top with a nice piece of bacon. Voila!

Below are restaurants that had interesting dishes, but I passed on due the amount of bread the dish contained.

Bacon Wrapped Bacon Dog: Crispy maple cajun bacon-wrapped bacon hot dog, served Chicago Style

The Radler
PB&J: Bacon peanut butter, bacon grape jam, bacon bread and bacon milk shot