Baconfest. A magical word representing some incredible creations worthy of an Iron Chef. The Chairman would certainly have been proud of Michigan’s culinary giants who came together this past Saturday at Royal Oak’s Farmer’s Market and wowed the crowd with bacon, pork belly, peameal bacon, and sausage.
With an open heart and empty stomach, some 1,200 bacon-loving foodies feasted on offerings from 40 restaurants, caterers and food trucks.
Imagine a barn filled with sliders, skewers, plus ice cream, pie, and brittle—all using bacon as the “secret ingredient”.
Our first stop was Panini Press, which made a delicious Panini of bacon, turkey, cheddar, tomatoes and bacon-infused mayo on ciabatta. They’ll be serving this sandwich through the month of June.
Union Woodshop was next with its legendary mac and cheese—done up as “triple-cheese mac and bacon threat”. Continuing the cheesy theme, Café Muse featured a “grilled cheese mac and cheese” –fontina, havarti and mozzarella tossed with tomato, basil, honey scented gratin and bacon. Delicious, as was their homemade butterscotch pudding with bacon.
For a picture perfect presentation, MGM Grand took top honors with their Faygo Root Beer pork belly – and peppercorn Nueske bacon, piled onto a savory corn cake with a sweet ginger glaze, house-made butter pickles and micro cilantro. Another great selection, not as pretty but definitely outrageous was the Detroit BBQ Company “Franken-Bacon”— Bacon wrapped bacon, with sausage and cheese, smoked and sauced. Amazing smoky goodness. Rattlesnake Club featured a bacon and grit cake with thick cut maple-pepper bacon and redeye gravy.
Several venues featured pork belly, either on a stick or served up as a slider—Cork Wine Pub carried this theme to perfection serving the tender meat on a pretzel roll with pickled red onion, bacon jam and grainy mustard. I may have gone back for seconds.
One last savory highlight— Zin Wine Bar’s bacon stuffed squash blossoms with black garlic and tomato sauce tasted as good as they looked.
Several venues served dessert. One of my faves was Rock City Pies’ sweet potato, maple and bacon pie. Lilly’s served up some tasty molasses cookies with bacon; Lockhart’s BBQ offered candied bacon with chocolate ganache; Lazybones cooked up some “pig candy”—scrumptious strips of bacon topped with brown sugar. And finally, Treat Dreams ice cream served batches of “Sunday Breakfast” —vanilla swirled with maple syrup, waffles and bacon (dreamy!), and “Boss Hogg” – Bacon fat, puree’d bacon and more bacon pieces. Both are available all this week.
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