I thought they couldn't top last year's bacon extravaganza, I am seriously proven wrong. The Great Big Bacon Picnic 2016 was everything I ever wanted in a food festival and literally made me reflect on how much I love NYC and how much I appreciate all of the restaurants and breweries that participated in this magical event. The Old Pfizer Factory in Brooklyn was the scene of bacon lovers like me who came from near and far to partake in the meaty food festival. I was fortunate enough to score an early admission ticket to The Great Big Bacon 2016.
I attended Saturday's brunch session from 11:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. Honestly, I had no clue which booth I wanted to go to first so I just chose a random one. The first dish I got to try was a smoked pork belly, pan seared in olive oil with raisin caper chutney from Walker's Bar. It didn't disappoint and was a great way to kick off my experience at this year's Great Big Bacon Picnic. I don't remember the exact order of everything but I can tell you what else I tried.
Let me start with the Caramel Chocolate IPA Bacon Donut and the Chocolate Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cold Brew from Gossip Coffee. First of all, kudos to the crew from Gossip Coffee for giving out large mini donuts. Most restaurants only hand out bite-sized portions but these guys were serious about feeding the masses 'em bacon donuts! Secondly, I love how creative they were with the ingredients. They really thought about the weather. They thought about what flavors and textures work well together. So, with that said, I think Gossip Coffee won my heart for the day.
There were a handful of desserts there (which I will get to later) but I also really enjoyed the savory dishes that were available for devouring. I loved the Ridgewood sandwich from Grilled Cheese Alley- it was on Rye Bread, Sour Crout, Russian Dressing, Swiss Cheese and Bacon and it was amazing. I loved that the bread was a bit crispy on the outside and it was pure bliss as I bit into it. I meant to go back for another but I was baconed out (yeah, that's a word now). Another dish that I really liked was the Mini Pork Taco with Apple and Onion Jam, Braised Cabbage and Mustard Greens from Urban Smoke. The apple and onion jam elevated the pork's flavor and I loved how it mixed together. It didn't bother me at all how there wasn't really a crunchy element in the dish. I liked how the texture was uniformed. Another dish I also really enjoyed was a meatball but I don't know which booth it was from. I just remember it being really juicy and savory. It would have been amazing in between buns (lol, that's some foodporn for ya).
If there was one dish that summarized just how insane The Great Big Bacon 2016 was, it would be the 5 Shades of Bacon by 1633. Their booth had the longest line and people couldn't stop talking about this bacon concoction on a stick. What was it? Okay, brace yourself- it was pork belly cooked under pressure, dipped in maple bacon glaze, sprinkled with bacon pop rock crumble, wrapped in clear edible paper with smoke of bacon, topped with powdered bacon, mixed with crumble bacon biscuit. I'll give you a minute to let that sink in. I know right?! How insane was that! I don't have any words to describe it other than 'bacon'. The 1633 also get a lot of props from us for having a lot of fun with their dish and taking the whole bacon thing to the next level.
I couldn't wrap up my blog post about The Great Big Bacon without mentioning an exceptional brew from Greenport Brewery. There were other breweries there but my favorite beer was Greenport Brewery's Leaf Pile. It's a perfect brew for the Fall season without being just another pumpkin beer. It has hints of ginger and nutmeg and