Everything is better with Bacon and if you add a little bourbon it becomes a match made in heaven. This year was the 2nd Annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival in Delray Beach. The event featured bacon inspired dishes, a huge collection of bourbon & whiskey as well as great mixed drinks. If bourbon is not your thing then they did have some beer and wine and even tequila. To top it off they had live music, lots of tables and seating, and some games to pass the time. So was the event worth it? Keep reading and you be the judge.
With over 80 bacon inspired dishes the hard part was choosing one. We tasted several and they were all quite good. The portions were big and definitely sharable. Prices averaged around $10-$12. I would have liked to see lower prices and smaller portions so I could taste more things but that is just my preference. Check out the menu and pricing here
What else did we try? We tried the Bacon Infused Crab Cakes, Grilled Bacon Jerk in a Cup, Chicken and Bacon BBQ Flatbread, and the French Fries with Bacon Bits. The crab cakes were huge and did have quite a bit of crab in them, what was missing was the bacon flavor. The bacon jerk was excellent, lots of flavor and not extremely spicy. The fries were unbelievable but you must like garlic because that was the overall flavor.
Also available was a bacon bar. This was all about bacon dipped in different sauces and toppings at a cost of $3 for 2 slices of bacon. We tried the chocolate peanut butter, caramel almond, and pecan rosemary. I cannot decide which one was my favorite.
With a collection of over 40 whiskeys and bourbons to sample there was enough booze to make your head spin. They had several bars in the different tents and the lines were never very long. Some catered to sampling the whiskey and bourbon straight or on the rocks, and others as part of signature mixed drinks served on tap.
The mixes were non-alcoholic and then bourbon was added right before serving in a plastic mason style jug you got to keep. Discounts were provided on refills if you continued to use the same jug. Between all of us we tried several of the signature drinks and while they all tasted very good at $16 a pop they were quite pricey considering they only had about 1 oz of bourbon in them. Drinks were priced between $8 and $20.
The event had live music throughout the day. None of the bands playing were known to me but I enjoyed hearing them play live. The genre of music was Blues mixed in with some country. I think it was a perfect pairing for the festival. Would have loved to hear a bigger act and maybe as the festival grows it will attract more well-known performers. Still it was a nice touch to have bands playing live.
In addition to listening to live music, you could try your hand at some backyard games like corn whole, bocce ball or jenga. You could also try your luck at the pig races (extra $1 cost per race), or take pictures at their photo booth.
The Special Events
This is where this festival truly shines. You could purchase special tickets for Seminars and Tastings. These were hour long special events with limited tickets. The tasting consisted of 4 -5 small bite size dishes prepared by a local chef and perfectly paired with a bourbon or whiskey sample. Well known restaurants and chefs participated and all events sold out. We attended the USA vs Ireland (American whiskey vs Irish whiskey) event.
This was run by S3, Executive chef Chris Miracolo and the menu and whiskey tasting were incredible. In addition to these tastings they also had special tickets for a Brunch or Dinner and these events lasted about 2 hrs. Check out the events page here for listing and pricing.
General admission was $25 and it included a ticket for $5 off a drink or food item. However for $59 you could receive entry to the event and access to 1 seminar of your choice with a commemorative glass to take home.
If you wished to partake in the Brunch that would cost you $75 a ticket and the Diner experience would cost $150.
So what do you think? Would you like to attend next years event?