This weekend, we went to the first shift of Baconfest Chicago which was an amazing display of bacon-themed dishes from some of Chicago’s best restaurants. Here’s a PDF link describing everything we ate. We walked to the event from Joel’s, stopping first at the Logan Square Kitchen pastry market to take a look and taste some samples. The event was a bit of a zoo due to the small space, multiple vendors and many strollers, but the pastries were quality. We ended up picking up some cheesecake brownies and promptly left. I don’t do well in crowds and was expecting a similar situation at Baconfest.
We were pleasantly surprised when we got to Baconfest to find a very civilized event! Considering Baconfest tickets sold out within ten minutes, I was expecting an elbow-to-elbow disaster, which it definitely was not. I think it was partly due to the 3-hour window for each shift (there were 2 total). From an operational perspective (hello, MBA here), they could probably have accommodated more people if they did four 90-minute shifts rather than two 3-hour shifts. However, I’m not sure volume was the organizers’ goal or whether the guest chefs would really want to accommodate that many more people.
In addition to the chefs, there was Bakon Vodka, amazing bacon bloody marys from The Fifty/50 and a slew of vendors in the basement selling chocolate covered bacon, house-smoked bacon, bacon-chip cookies, pig ears for your dog, bacon cupcakes…you name it! Not surprisingly, 12 bacon-themed dishes, 8 drink tickets and many samples (an amazing deal considering tickets were only $45) from the vendors meant we were overstuffed and ready for a nap. We walked slowly home with our bacon booty…but not before stopping at Miko’s Italian Ice for a refreshing lemon ice to cleanse the palate (which we traded for a bacon lollipop).
When we got home, we took a nap and then drove to the south side to bottle our first porter! We’ll be brewing a Kolsch this weekend. Here are a bunch of pictures. If you want more details, click on the image.