It's the most wonderful time of the year. Sac Bacon Fest has returned so we can celebrate all things swine over through Sunday, January 31.
With over 100 events planned, there's sure to be something for everyone. But for my time and money, here are the four I'm looking forward to:
Monday, Jan. 25: Bacon Fest Opening Night at Empress Tavern, featuring one of the underground 86'ed chef competitions between three former Bacon Fest champions: Brad Cecchi (formerly of Grange), Kelly Hogge (Magpie) and Ian MacBride (Lucca). Doors open at 6 p.m., with competition starting at 7:30 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: Bacon Fest Happy Hour at the new Magpie. featuring Pretzel Dogs (Nido made pretzel buns, kosher dog and BLT relish), Pork Belly Bao (Steamed buns, Magpie's braised belly, spice honey and cilantro), Corned Pork, roots and cabbage, Kelly's Lamb Bacon, Morocco spice, yogurt and flat bread,
Pork and Beans (Llano Secco heirloom beans and lardon), Magpie cured Guanciale, chicory and poached egg, and Bacon and Nut Brittle (Gunther's ice cream)
From 4-7pm. $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Includes tax not tip, food not booze.
Friday, Jan. 29: The Golden Bear presents the Baddest Bacon Happy Hour, featuring Chow Mein (Caramelized Pork Belly, Fresh Veggies, Sweet Soy Sauce), Belly & Beet Salad (Baby Spinach and Arugula, Toasted Almonds, Feta Cheese, Pork Belly Croutons, Bacon-Honey Vinaigrette, Mini BLTs, (House Made Apple Smoked Bacon, Mixed Greens, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Garlic Aioli, on Peppered Bacon Focaccia) and Buffalo Wings (Boneless Wings Wrapped in Peppered Bacon, House Made Buffalo Sauce). All special Bacon Fest food items are $7.50. 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30: Bacon paella at Selland’s in East Sacramento. Paella cooked in Selland's giant 4-ft Paella Pan outdoors, filled with house-cured traditional bacon and chorizo bacon, prawns, mussels, chicken stock, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and saffron rice. Their house recipe Sangria will also be available! $11 per bowl.
VIDEO: Fried Baloney sliders featured at Sacramento’s Bacon Fest - This morning chef Jason Azevedo from the Paragary group's Hock Farm is in the KCRA kitchen preparing fried baloney sliders for Sac Bacon Fest. On KCRA.
Feast Q&A: Barkeep stirs things up for Bacon Fest throwdown - Which takes us to the fifth annual Sacramento Bacon Fest, Jan. 25-31 at various venues. Opening night will be at Empress Tavern, the unusual brick-walled space underneath the Crest Theatre. The homage to bacon will continue with bacon-centric meals (including bacon paella at Selland’s in East Sacramento), a tribute to actor Kevin Bacon and a bacon-themed brewery tour aboard a bus. Debuting at this year’s porcine party be the Bacon Fest Cocktail Battle at Bottle & Barlow, the hybrid bar and barbershop along the R Street Corridor. There, co-owner and house mixologist Jayson Wilde will serve his bacon-infused cocktails and oversee a throw-down involving area bartenders who will “battle for cash with the best bacon-inspired concoctions.” Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.
Time travel - RailBridge Cellars & Co. is expected to serve breakfast, lunch and happy hour fare. No menu yet, but it’ll probably be simple stuff. The main draw will be its grand setting. The restaurant occupies the ground floor of the Elks Tower (921 11th Street), a beautiful, historic building and favorite downtown wedding venue, which also hosts the RailBridge Cellars penthouse tasting room. With vintage decor and a swingin’ vibe, owners say they hope diners will feel like they’ve traveled back to the 1920s. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.
Feast Q&A: Delivery service calms one’s inner cookie monster - Sometimes hunger strikes late at night, and only a snickerdoodle will do. Yet people who crave cookies at midnight often are the same people who perpetually lack the ingredients – flour, cinnamon, ambition – needed to bake them at home. For them, there’s Cookies & Milk, a service that delivers still-warm, baked-to-order cookies, along with small cartons of milk, to Sacramentans within the central city and some adjacent neighborhoods. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.
Best buffets and places to gorge and overeat in Sacramento - Go for that last chicken wing. You can always wheeze yourself to sleep, baby. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.