Big Bite Bacon Fest at the Queen Mary, Long Beach
The Big Bite Bacon Fest made its Long Beach debut last weekend. With the majestic Queen Mary looming in the background, hungry bacon fans sampled unlimited “bites” of pork and bacon dishes from local restaurants, bakeries and food trucks. I attended the VIP morning session, which started at 11:00 AM. I arrived promptly at 11:00 and was met with short lines for the various food and beer vendors.
We hit Slater’s 50/50’s booth first and sampled a big portion of their signature burger. The moist patty is made with ground bacon and the burger is topped with cheese, bacon and a fried egg. It’s served on a brioche bun and was one of the highlights of the festival.
My favorite item had to be the Mango Bacon Coconut Macaroon made by the Queen Mary Tearoom. It had a hint of mango flavor and was deliciously sweet and chewy. I was not expecting these flavors to work so well together and was pleasantly surprised by the result.
Another standout was the Bacon-Wrapped Meatball from Meat, Inc. The succulent meatball was generously wrapped in bacon and coated with a tangy BBQ sauce. Despite giving me a hard time for asking if the meatballs contained any dairy, the Meat, Inc. guys had plenty of food to go around although a batch of chocolate-covered bacon had apparently failed. Bummer!
The lines moved quickly and requests for dairy-free samples for my lactose-intolerant partner-in-bacon-crime were graciously accommodated. For the longer lines, we split up and requested two samples each. The aroma coming from the huge vat of bacon grease that was used to fry the chicharrones (pork rinds) sent me straight to hog heaven. Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ served up this dish along with a pulled pork taco.
The food truck Dia de los Puercos also offered up some tasty bacon goodies including a creamed corn dish with cheese, bacon and cojita cheese sprinkled on top. Also, they served a bacon-wrapped hot dog.
After an hour of tasting, we settled in the VIP section with a sample of Deschutes Brewery’s Twilight Summer Lager. When the GA peeps arrived, the lines got pretty long, but we were stuffed anyway and decided to visit the Queen Mary. Admission to the Queen Mary was included with our festival ticket—a huge perk! We took the opportunity to walk around the beautiful Art Deco ocean liner.
No new food festival is without its problems, and apparently some food and beer vendors ran out of samples for the afternoon session, but hopefully Big Bite Events will have all these kinks worked out for next year. I will plan on being there at 11:00 AM sharp for next year’s morning VIP session!
Other items that I sampled included:
Bacon Pop Tart made with bacon jam from The Prince and Pantry.
You really can’t go wrong with a Bacon Sundae from Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.
Candied Bacon Slushie from Whole Foods tasted much better than it looked. Made with butter, bacon fat, brown sugar and bacon, it was a cool, welcome bite on a hot, humid day.
Maple Bacon Bar from Orange County’s Donut Bar ran out quickly, but I did manage to get a photo:
See ya next year, Long Beach!