Sacramento Bacon Fest offers a full week to pig out on the most beloved of cured meats. You’ll find fancy prix fixe dinners, curing classes and even cocktails that revel in bacon-mania.
Visit Bacon Fest’s Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/SacramentoBaconFest ) for a full lineup of events, which run Sunday through Jan. 26. In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to help you navigate through the smoked and sometimes boozy goodness that is Bacon Fest.
If you want a bacon cocktail ...
1131 K St., Sacramento; (916) 443-3772
OK, we admit that a cocktail with bacon sounds kind of sketchy on paper. But lest you think that bacon should be relegated to breakfast plates and cheeseburger toppings, the sweet and smoky character of bacon lends itself perfectly to some spirits, especially a casky bourbon.
Chris Dooley, Ella’s bar manager, has crafted a couple of bacon-themed cocktails that could change your mind about ways to appreciate this cured meat.
The “bacon and eggs” cocktail uses bacon-washed whiskey with port wine, cinnamon syrup, egg white and other ingredients to create a savory and spiced-up libation. Dooley’s “off the beaten path” takes a lighter approach to the bacon cocktail, blending bacon-washed vodka, green apples, white wine, a strip of bacon as garnish, and more.
Take a drink, and give a “bottoms up” to bacon.
If you want to get schooled on bacon ...
1900 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento; (916) 455-2667
Class is in session. The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op will present an educational side of bacon with two local chefs – and no need for a No. 2 pencil. Chef Kevin O’Connor, who heads the Tree House series of pop-up dinners, will teach a “Bacon 101” class Tuesday that delves into the basics of butchering, curing and more about the beloved bacon. The class includes cooking demonstrations of bacon-onion jam and other recipes. Can’t you just smell that lovely bacon fat rendering?
Aimal Formoli of east Sacramento’s Formoli’s Bistro will lead a cooking demonstration on small-plate bacon dishes and other bistro fare. His class Thursday will also highlight how to pair bacon best with various seasonal ingredients.
Each class costs $55, or $45 for Co-Op members.
If you’re on a budget ...
Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J St., Sacramento; (916) 492-4450.
The many low-price deals found around Sacramento Bacon Fest are part of why the event’s such a hit. But one of the best bargains can be found on Sunday’s opening night at Grange.
For a mere $6, many bacon dishes can be sampled from a variety of Sacramento’s top chefs, including Billy Ngo of Kru, Enotria’s Pajo Bruich, Ravin Patel of Ella and Grange’s own Oliver Ridgeway. Also highly recommended is Grange’s “tusk” cocktail, with bourbon, bacon vermouth Angostura and a swizzle stick of candied bacon.
Along with these eats and drinks, Sunday’s event will bump with beats from DJ Shaun Slaughter. And don’t worry sports fans: The big San Francisco 49ers game will also be broadcast on a TV.
If you’re a little too high on the hog ...
Sign up for Uber.
For those who haven’t used this 21st century type of car service, the Uber app allows folks to connect with town cars via a smartphone. Uber will be offering a promotion during Bacon Fest for new users that knocks $20 off the bill from that first ride.
Buckle up, and don’t forget the bacon.
Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias.