How much more American can you get munching on bacon, with a cold beer at the MLB stadium? While there wasn’t an actual baseball game going on, there was some heated competition at this year’s Bacon and Beer Classic at CitiField this weekend! Perfectly timed too, right in the middle of the Subway series this weekend, thousands of people flocked to the smokey bacon goodness, including Mets and Yankees fans (imagine that both fans under one roof!)! It was a Saturday filled with beer and bacon from over 40 local restaurants and 50 breweries, all enjoyed on field and in the dugout! Here are some of my favorites!
Bacon Jam Blue Cheese Burger
One of the longer lines all day, I was lucky enough to get one! Props to these Bareburger reps—individually prepping each slider! No ready-made burgers here! The juicy beef was slightly pink in the center, not overly seasoned, but the perfect burger bite. Topped with the sharp blue cheese and bacon jam. Oh the bacon jam, I could literally eat a tub of this! And they literally decorated their table with tubs of this stuff! A symphony of smoky, meat goodness, slightly sweet but also hints of chocolate and even coffee in it! Will definitely need to treat myself to a full-sized burger soon!
Roll with It Booklyn
A classic Italian lard-bread made with bacon fat, and with bacon and sausage pieces studded in the roll. A perfect bite, slighty crunchy outside, but the dough is tender and light, smokey from the bacon and sausage! A bonus: Roll with It supports local, humane and sustainable farmers in NY, NJ, and PA!
Cured Bacon with Tomato Chimmichurri
Another winner for me with a slight char and caramelization, but sliced thin so it melted in my mouth! The tomato chimmichurri added a zing to the rich bite.
Pork Belly Lettuce Cup
A beautifully caramelized, succulent piece of pork belly. While they offered one served on a lettuce leaf and one with a spicy slaw, I loved the lettuce cup—really let the pork sing.
Pork Belly Taco
This Tex-Mex eatery is often lumped together with Chipotle—big mistake! They have a very distinct smokey flavor in each dish, heightened with their use of herbs and spices. On the menu this weekend were their melt-in-your-mouth, pork belly tacos. Heated tortillas, kissed with a habanero pepper sauce and pickled onions, perfect contrast to the chunks of thick, fatty smoked pork belly!
Harlem Brewing Company
Perfect to wash down all this pork! Lightly hopped, yet a surprising kick of coriander, cumin, grains of paradise and mellowed out with a hint of orange!
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
A clean, sweet and smooth brew, almost reminiscent of sweet tea! Not overpowering but a lingering, frothy foam that I didn’t mind.
Judges for the “Brunch” session included Liza De Guia, the Founder/Chief Storyteller, food. curated., Adam Poch, Bacon Minister/Bacon Connoisseur (Remember we met up with him at last year’s Pig Island!), Lisa Fernandes, Chef/Owner of Sweet Chili, Derrick Prince of Stanton Social/Masterchef season 2, David “The Rev” Cancio, Director of Marketing Schweid & Sons, James Tai, an independent craft beer consultant, Herb Karlitz, a food and beverage event marketer and owner of Karlitz & Company, and Chef Plum, who has been featured on many television segments and has a popular podcast called Plumluvfoods Live.
Best Sweet Dish- Pig Guy NYC- Bacon S'mores on a stick
Best Savory Dish- Bar Bacon
Best Overall- Sweet Chili- "Pork-Gasm"
People's Choice- Rudy's Original Cheesecake Drops- Bacon infused
Winning beers from Abita Brewing, Southern Tier Brewery and Original Sin Hard Cider.