Saturday was a beautiful day for the The City Beer Hall’s annual Bacon Fest. Perfect for sitting on the patio, catching up with friends, enjoying some cocktails, eating some pig and cooling down with some Nine Pin Cider. Let’s take a look at the food porn.
Tickets were $7 a piece or 5 for $25 and at $5 piece everything I had was an absolute steal. Each cocktail or dish cost one ticket, other than some of the smaller bites which included a couple per ticket. The tickets helped eliminate any confusion between the bar and the food stations outside.
I started off the day with one of the cocktails, an American Breakfast Martini that had bacon infused bourbon, maple liquor, and orange juice garnished with a piece of bacon. This was like breakfast in a cup, and although I would have preferred my bacon on the side this was still quite delicious.
The concoction was so good Mike had to go grab one of his own.
After finishing the first drink we headed outside to see what the food situation was looking like. I’ll be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. Dimitrios has never let me down before, but with the internet bacon-izing everything under the sun, it’s easy to turn bacon dishes into something gimmicky. Luckily, everything we had was mind blowingly good.
Before we even ordered Dimitrios walked over with a skewer of some of the most delicious chicharrones I’ve ever had, amped up a with a healthy dose of maple. Basically bacon candy on a stick. I think we went back for fourths on these, and I can’t believe I forgot to take a pic. Believe me, they were beautiful. These pictures of the chocolate covered bacon and chicken fried bacon mini cheesecakes will have to suffice (both great):
Next up was a unique take on the “parfait”. I use that term loosely, as it was only a parfait in looks, and the way it sat in the cup it certainly could have fooled you from a distance. However this parfait was anything like the yogurt dessert, with layer after layer of pulled pork, bacon, BBQ sauce, and mashed potatoes with a roasted tomato on top in lieu of a cherry. I can’t believe how well this worked, and I also can’t believe this isn’t some fair or festival staple. Very portable but still very delicious.
Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that feel incomplete for me. Sure, I’ve had some outstanding mac and cheese in my lifetime, but when presented the option for adding bacon, lardons or bbq scraps you bet your ass I’m going to go with it. The truffle mac and cheese at City Beer Hall is quite good, but this bacon version is much more to my liking.
Becky and Jim shared some of their ice cream made with bleu cheese and bacon (of course) topped with a strawberry balsamic sauce. This was interesting since this wasn’t a very sweet ice cream, and the bleu cheese made things a bit savory. Not something I would make at home (if I could, RIP ice cream bowl) but surprisingly this worked.
Lastly while sitting around chatting with Nuzzy and Maghan we were treated to a round of Piggy Back shots. After doing a shot of the bacon infused bourbon, you cooled the heat down with a little shot of maple jello. Delicious.
It was a pretty awesome event to say the least and a nice way to generate a little buzz during a (track) season that is typically pretty slow in Downtown Albany. Looking forward to the next event, as always.