Chicago has lots of cool food festivals every year. There’s the Food Film Festival, where you get to watch short films about food and eat what’s on screen, Chicago Gourmet, which is strictly for rich people, and then there’s Baconfest. I can already hear some of you complaining like little clowns, saying, “Dannis, people put bacon on everything. When is this going to be over?”
The answer is never, jerkbag. Bacon is forever. It’s salty and fatty, just like your mother, but way more palatable. I went this year with my friend Drew, who I’d never met before in person (apparently I have a lot of Internet friends who do exist in real life), and we ate a metric assload of bacon. Also, Drew enjoys alcohol a lot. If you ever hang out with Drew, the only thing you should do is drink and eat and listen to him tell you how much he loves you. Because he does.
So instead of cooking something stupid this week, I decided to go to Baconfest and enjoy the fun. Also, along with finding out I’m going to lose my job, I also got into a car accident and I’m still sangry. That is a combination of sad and angry.
Seth Zurer is the cool dude on the left. He is the co-founder of Baconfest. Drew is on the right. The guy in the middle is a jerk and has no friends. I don’t know who he is. He is really handsome, though. A handsome loser who nobody will date or touch intimately aside from your mother.
This is the line for Baconfest. If you think people are not interested in bacon, you are wrong. This event sells out every year now, because this day is the next best thing to Thanksgiving, except we eat pig tummies and not turkey. I’m a 34 year old man who just used the word “tummies.” Never trust a man who says the word “tummy” unless it is to children.
As you can see, there are a lot of dead pigs at Baconfest. Apparently there were protesters outside earlier that day, but I missed them. I wish I saw them so I could give them some bacon. This piggie has a shot of Malort on its head. Malort is a drink that is mostly enjoyed in Chicago (and apparently nowhere else) that tastes like burnt rubber bands and grapefruit, and it gives you huge balls.
Drew is taking a shot of Malort. As you can see, he has huge balls.
I did a Malort shot too, and I also grew HUGE BALLS.
This was very good. It’s from E+O Restaurant. It is Hawaiian style bacon and albacore poke laced with inamona, avocado, ginger, chili water, sesame and shoyu. I don’t know what inamona is, but it went inside me. Poke is a raw fish dish from Hawaii. I poke’d your mom last night. It wasn’t very good.
This is the cutest thing I have ever seen, considering pigs were slaughtered to make this dish. It is Budino al Caramello – caramel budino, applewood caramel sauce, salty chocolate bacon-covered pretzel, from Francesca’s Restaurants. Budino is Italian pudding. This wasn’t too bacony, but it doesn’t matter. It has very cute chocolate pigs on it. If I hadn’t forgotten to bring Harvey and Mr. Bee, they would probably be headfirst in one of these. However, a grown man bringing stuffed animals to a food festival is very sad. It doesn’t matter. I hate myself anyway.
These were very interesting. They are bacon cigars with crushed Jolly Rancher candies, Pop Rocks, and candied tobacco from Osteria Langhe. That restaurant used to follow me on Twitter but I made a lot of penis and semen jokes and a bunch of people stopped following me.
But yes, you read that correctly. Tobacco. I ate tobacco, like a real man. See, I don’t smoke cigars, I just eat them and get really sick. The cigar part was sort of like a little egg roll or Filipino-style lumpia (which are also like egg rolls). I would say I have an egg roll in my pants, but I’m Korean, so that sort of ruins it. As I was eating it, a Pop Rock jumped into my face. It was definitely the most inventive dish of the night.
This is the candied tobacco. I thought about smoking it but I think I will stick to crack cocaine, because without it, I would not be the man I am today. I guess I shouldn’t be making fun of drugs, so I take that back. Addiction is a very scary thing. I’m keeping it real.
Now, penis-shaped food is very important, so naturally, the chef from Vie Restaurant made a bacon Slim Jim served with potato bacon soup. I had at least two people that ran up to me and said, “Dannis, there’s a bacon Slim Jim. It’s shaped somewhat like a penis. You need to see it. You like penises, right?”
I have a cool reputation.
I liked this dish a lot because it had so many interesting parts to it. It was pepper and applewood smoked bacon waffles with sriracha butter, chicken-fried bacon, bacon bourbon gravy, sour cream, and green onion from Freestyle Food and Drink. All of it was good, including the sriracha butter, but the bacon was the most interesting part. When you chicken-fry bacon, it loses some of its smokiness and becomes like a battered chip.
This is bacon headcheese served with smoked strawberry rhubarb & camomile gelee, micro arugula and green apple from Bridge House Tavern. Headcheese is a dish where you boil an animal head for a long time to get the meat off. When it cools down, it automatically turns into this cool loaf that has lots of pig parts in it. The gel on top was delicious, subtle, and gently smoky. I gave your mother some headcheese last night.
I apologize for being so crass today. I guess that car accident scrambled my brains.
This is from Farmhouse. It was cotton candy, white chocolate, Letherbee Besk (Letherbee’s version of Malort), and a bacon hand pie. People came running over to this booth. Apparently cotton candy makes grown adults act like children.
These people dressed up to celebrate Baconfest. I don’t know who they are, but they were very good looking and made me feel bad about my assface.
I have to say that this was probably my favorite dish of the evening. It was bacon stroganoff, which was bacon pasta, paprika pork belly, and bacon fried mushrooms from Charlatan. One of my favorite dishes is called beef stroganoff because when I’m with your mother I tell her I stroganoff on her beef.
Anyway, the pasta was delicious, the bacon was fried just right, and the mushrooms were perfect with the whole thing. This isn’t very descriptive food writing, but at this point in the evening I had a lot of alcohol and was very busy making stroganoff jokes.
I have no idea who the fuck these people are. This is from Drew’s camera and he was busy making friends with good-looking people.
This picture has nothing to do with bacon. It’s just what I did after I came home from Baconfest. I was feeling lonely, I guess.
As you guys can see, I had a terrific time at Baconfest this year. It’s always a very good time. I highly recommend you guys attend, because Seth works his ass off to get this event together and he is a good person to be around. Congrats for whooping some major ass, guys. And I’d like to thank Drew — he took some of these photos and he told me he loved me like a brother after he had a lot to drink.
And just so you know, all of you are welcome to come along to events and stuff with me. Lately, people have been asking me in person if I’m the Pizzle guy. I usually get embarrassed but then I get proud. It’s kind of hilarious and nerve-wracking. Either get a hold of me via Twitter or email me at dennis at spacesbetween dot net if you would like to spend some time together.
I’m going to go poop out some more bacon now. Maybe I’ll eat that carrot too now that I’m done with it.