The things I do for Bacon…
Stand in long lines, up to 2 hours just to get baconGet drenched in rain, just to get baconStand in line for 2 hours while getting wet just for bacon WTH is wrong with me you may ask? Well I just love bacon, actually more than I realized ever before. When I heard that this festival was coming to Pittsburgh, I knew I had to go. I purchased my tickets the day they went on sale. I paid $12.50 and got 2 sampling tickets. It was held at Station Square. The America Loves Bacon Festival had bacon in every way imaginable. Bacon Nachos, Flavored Bacon on a Stick, General Tso’s Bacon, Shrimp wrapped in Bacon, and Bacon Funnel Cake..just to name a few.
When I arrived, I decided to go straight for the Swiney Sweets booth. I ordered the bacon funnel cake and the chocolate covered bacon. OMG!! The chocolate was warm and gooey and the bacon was nice and chewy. It was the perfect combo. I’ve had chocolate covered bacon before and there was no comparison. The funnel cake was tasty as well, the crispy bacon topping with powdered sugar was an unlikely pair, but worked well together. After I used my 2 sampling tickets I purchased 11 more for $20. I then headed over to Poor Piggy’s. I wasn’t sure what I was in line for at first. I asked the people ahead of me and they told me it was Smoked Bacon wrapped Shrimp. I said “I’m in the right line!” and I was right. That shrimp was out of this world. I’m glad I got two. I probably could have gave them all my sampling tickets and would have been happy with a whole heap of the bacon shrimp.
After scarfing down the shrimp. It was time for the female bacon eating contest. I was fortunate to get a spot right up front to catch all the action. There were 9 women who competed to see who could eat a pound of bacon the fastest. It was a lively contest and the commentator was Chef Brian Duffy, of the TV series Bar Rescue. Watching these ladies shove bacon in their mouth was pretty exciting. I was able to get a picture of the winner and Chef Duffy post Bacon devouring. The winner won $50, and of course bragging rights.
After taking a few flicks, I headed to the Burgh Bites to try the nachos. The line was long and it began to rain. I don’t remember how long I was in line but I missed the male bacon eating contest. Once I got my food I was pleased. The pita chips were sweet and salty; topped with chili, corn, and of course bacon. At that time I decided to grab the signature bacon cocktail to wash down my nachos. Too bad I couldn’t use sampling tickets for it, because it was $10! I took a seat under the tent and began to grub. The nachos were definitely worth the wait. The flavors and textures complimented each other so well. Before I knew it they were gone and I was in another line to use more tickets. This time it was the Street Foods Truck. They offered Pork Belly Sliders. Again, the line was long. The slider was bomb! LOL. The bread was so soft and the pork belly was so crunchy. Yum!!
At 4pm, It was about time for me to leave, so I thought. I decided to spend my last few tickets where I started off, Swiney Sweets. What a mistake that was. I was in line for 2HOURS!!! Not only that, it began to pour down rain, and Breelicious didn’t bring an umbrella!! I began to melt 📷…luckily one of the ladies standing in the long line with me had a poncho and offered it to me. She saved me, lol. In addition to her giving me the poncho she also gave me a large Ziploc bag to store my swine in. I grew increasingly irritated as I seen the line wasn’t moving, my feet were killing me and my phone was dying. While standing in line a gentleman offered me a piece of bacon on a stick. It was flavored with orange and pineapple and was absolutely delicious. Finally, at 6pm I arrived to the front of the line. And guess what??? They had ran out of almost everything. All they had left was baconless donuts and chocolate covered bacon. I gave her the majority of my tickets and walked away. On my way out, I spotted a line with no one in it. I used my last two sampling tickets to get general tsos and garlic buffalo bacon. I headed to the trolley stop, wet, tired and disappointed.
Overall the event was a great concept, but the execution was poor. The variety and taste of the bacon dishes was great. No complaints there. However, the long lines, loud rock music, and the fact that they ran out of some of the bacon samples, was very disappointing. I wrote the management team with my concerns, as well as many others. I hope that they will listen to the consumers and make major changes, should they return next year.