Bacon and Bourbon

When did eating become a hobby?  Not just something you do for fun with family and friends, but an art to be honed?  It seems everyone has a chance to pretend to be a foodie these days.

Tonight my awesome friend Loretta invited me to a bacon and bourbon festival (do you remember all the love this blog has given Lori?  This is her mom, and since Lori has left us and gone and gotten married, Loretta and I console ourselves with things like this).  Our friend Mary Agnes had managed to get tickets (they’re pretty limited, so it sells out every time) but something came up and she needed to get rid of them.

It was at the Loveless Barn, a venue just behind the famous Loveless Cafe.  I’ve wanted to check out the venue for awhile, just in case I needed to plan a wedding or some fantastic party, so I eagerly accepted Loretta’s invitation (once her husband decided he couldn’t go… Thanks, Geoff!).  The promise of bacon and bourbon didn’t hurt, either.

We received a little card when we got there that had 8 spots to be marked off for our bourbon samples.  Throughout the barn and an adjoining tent, there were about six different distilleries offering a variety of samples.  Scattered in between the distilleries were booths from 15 to 20 local restaurants, all offering dishes that involved bacon.

I won’t even try to describe everything we ate.  We ate a lot.  From bacon wrapped shrimp to sausage stuffed figs with smoked pancetta to bacon burger bites to bacon tacos to turkey wrapped in bacon… it was all there.  There were some lighter things, like plantain soup with bacon bits, and then there were things like maple glazed donuts with bacon.  No joke.

From the Donut Den:

IMG_6992You see the eclairs over on the far side?  Yeah, those are strips of bacon on top of those babies.

Would you like a closer look?  Of course you would.

IMG_6996I went for the chocolate and bacon doughnut myself.

IMG_6993

My other favorite dishes included:

-some cheesy jalapeño popper wrapped in bacon from The Row – I don’t exactly know what it was, but I’m pretty sure I made happy noises while I ate it.

-a little bite of sweet potato with a marshmallow on top and a crispy piece of bacon.  It was such a neat texture combination and a nice mix of sweet and salty.

-A mini whoopee pie with maple cream, bacon, and pecans.  Pictured below with a bacon banh mi sandwich (I think… everything is running together…)

IMG_6998-Bourbon-bacon chocolate mousse with bourbon-infused whipped cream, a bourbon caramel drizzle and candied bacon from {Pub}licity.  I only remember all of that because I took a picture of the sign so I wouldn’t forget.  A lot of the dishes were that complex and awesome.  This one was mighty tasty.

IMG_7014-Maple Bacon Milkshakes.  No joke.  Deeeelicious.

IMG_7028There were also plenty of savory dishes, but my favorites were definitely the desserts.

And then there was, of course, the bourbon.  My dad will be sad to hear there was no Pappy Van Winkle, although the bourbons were almost all from Buffalo Trace.  I’m no bourbon connoisseur, but my least favorite was Blanton’s Single Barrel, and my favorites were Col. Taylor and Weller.  And of course the Bourbon Cream.  Because I am, after all, a dessert person at heart.

Another fantastic eating and drinking experience.  Much thanks to Loretta and Mary Agnes for making it possible.

 

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