Bacon LIVE: Bacon Contest Extravaganza

On last night’s show Sean and I announced the Bacon Contest Extravaganza to give away four $50 Denny’s gift cards. We are going to do three contest over the next three weeks for a chance to win $200 in Denny’s gift cards.

Contest Details

  1. Bacon Art Contest: (Deadline: April 20th) All you have to do is create some kind of art that includes bacon (drawing, photo, painting, etc.). All we ask is that you create it yourself and send us a picture of it.
  2. Denny’s Baconalia Review Contest: (Deadline: April 21st) We want to know what you think about the new menu. You can review one item or the whole thing. It just has to be 200-300 words and include a photo.
  3. Bacon LIVE Promo Video Contest: (Deadline: April 28th) This is the most involved and that way we are giving you 3 weeks to create it. What we are looking for is a video that tells us why you watch Bacon LIVE. It can be a simple testimonial ora real commercial.

Rules:

  • You are not allowed to use copyrighted material in your entries but you are allowed to use any content on MrBaconpants.com or Baconknight.com.
  • You are allowed to enter as many entries you want into each contest and you can enter all of the contests. Note: We will be judging the entries to find a winner so entering a lot of crappy content will not improve your chance of winning.
  • Email entires to contest {at} mrbaconpants.com.

Winners will be picked by Sean and I, with ties being broken with the help of a guest judge. We will then announce the winners live on Bacon LIVE. After all contests are completed we will also be rewarding a best in show. This will be picked from the winners of each contest.

Prizes: One $50 Denny’s gift card will be rewarded to the 1st place winner in each contest. The winner of the best in show will receive an additional $50 gift card.

If you enter all the contest you have the opportunity to win $200 in gift cards!

If you have any questions about the contest please leave a comment. Also watch/listen to this episode of Bacon LIVE for more details about the contests. Have fun and enjoy bacon!

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe, call the show, and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Watch the live video recording on uStream.tv!

Denny’s Baconalia BBBLT Review

In a bold move Denny’s for the Baconalia menu, decided to take on that age old question, “How does one improve the BLT?” That simple question has sparked debate in the bacon world for years. Some try by adding green peppers, cheese, or even avocado but people argued that when adding extra toppings it no longer can be classified as a BLT.

There are also people out there from the “don’t mess with perfection” school that claim there is no possible way to improve the BLT because it is perfect and only a fool would claim other wise.

Taking all that in to consideration Denny’s did the only thing that could be accepted in the BLT loving community, add more bacon!! Bacon has always been the star of the BLT but in Denny’s BBBLT Sandwich the bacon is the super mega star that leaves the tomato and lettuce jealously wishing that they too were bacon.

We are talking 8 (that’s right I said 8 ) strips of bacon on this monster.

  • Sean’s Review:If you’re looking for a sandwich that really packs that bacon punch the BBBLT is a sure bet. The beauty of the sandwich is they didn’t mess with the basics. It still tastes like the normal BLT but with more bacon. The price is a little higher than one would normally pay for a BLT but when you see the size and amount of bacon on this thing you will know its money well spent.

    As added bonus it comes with a side of some awesome fries. They are the cross between a crinkle cut and steak fry and have this amazing little crease that looks like it was made just for ketchup to lie in.

  • Jason’s Review: I am going to have to agree with Sean, this is how a BLT should be when you order it from a restaurant. Most people tell me that it’s standard to have 2-4 strips on a normal BLT. That’s all well and good if your eating at home and your trying to make one package of bacon feed a family of four. But when you got at to eat, you expect to get something you couldn’t make yourself. I would like to personally thank Denny’s for finally raising the bar for restaurant BLTs.

    If I could change one thing about the BBBLT it would be the lettuce. I am really not a fan of it shredded on sandwiches. Other then that its a great BLT and one of my favorite items on the new menu.

Bacon LIVE: New Studio and New Denny’s Menu

Last night Sean and I did the first Bacon LIVE from the new Bacon HQ studio. Sadly, this was not the perfect show we wanted it to be. During the middle of the show uStream decided to stop steaming audio. Then today I can’t even play back the videos it recorded.

With that said, I think this is the last strike for uStream and we will be streaming the show elsewhere. I have been looking in to other services and I think I might of found one.

Luckily, I also record the audio version on the show on my computer so no matter what you will always get a full show. You just might miss our faces this week.

Now that that’s out of the way it talk to talk about show notes. Sean and I talked about the new Denny’s Baconilia menu, homeless advertising, and a robot French Press coffee maker.

The reason the coffee maker came up was because we have a new bacon coffee to try for next week. It’s made by CoffeeAM and is a Maple Bacon coffee. If it’ anything like the last bacon coffee we had, it should be good.

Also, we talked about a contest that Denny’s it putting on to win two VIP tickets to the Chicago Bacon Festival. Check out the details and enter on there Facebook page.

Go to BaconLIVE.com to learn how to subscribe in itunes and watch us live Wednesdays at 7pm ET!

Bacon Beer: Jim’s Breakfast Brew

This is a guest post of Jim, the man who made the Bacon Beer we reviewed on Bacon LIVE. Jim is a former Executive Chef and restaurant manager who works now at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY, running all of the retail food operations there. I ask Jim to explain to how and why he made the beer and this is what he sent me.

Jim Writes: I like to think of this as a “Breakfast Brew,” as it contains so many elements of a hearty breakfast. I used dark malt extract; caramel, crystal, and chocolate malts; and Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. Essentially, the base of the beer was a Guinness clone, and any Irish Stout homebrew kit would have a similar effect.

At the start of the boil, I added some oven-toasted, steel-cut oatmeal, brown sugar, Vermont maple syrup, and whole beans of Starbucks Komodo Dragon coffee. I baked a pound of thick-cut bacon until crispy, drained the fat into a Tupperware container (saved for later), and added the cooked bacon about 15 minutes from the end of my hour-long boil, the same time as I added the Northern Brewer finishing hops. That went into fermentation for a week.

I put a cup of vodka in the Tupperware with the bacon fat and stored that in the fridge for the week while the beer fermented, making a bacon extract to add a little extra bacon flavor to the batch right before I bottled. Also, for my bottling, I made a simple syrup with hickory Liquid Smoke, water, and sugar, and added a ¼ teaspoon to each bottle to carbonate it and give one last hit of smokiness. The beer bottle-conditioned/lagered for 3 weeks.

I find that this is best enjoyed room-temperature to slightly-chilled. If it’s served very cold, the bacon flavor fades away. The bacon flavor hits most if you let the beer sit on your tongue for a moment rather than drinking it down straight away. The coffee is strong in the front, the oatmeal subtle in the middle, and the bacon and smokiness follow through in the end. The maple syrup was somewhat lost in the process, but it’s in there!

Coffee, oatmeal, brown sugar, syrup, bacon and beer. There’s no better way to start your morning.

All of my equipment is bought at Hammersmith Homebrewing in Latham, NY, a family owned-and–operated store that can be found online at http://www.hammersmithhomebrew.com/. They have great prices and selection, and are very knowledgeable about the craft and eager to help others learn to make great beer and wine at home.

I currently have a high-gravity Banana Oatmeal beer bottle-conditioning, a Vanilla Clove mead fermenting, and as I write this, I’m making a BBQ Beef cream ale.

Glad you enjoy it! -Jim

Denny’s Baconalia: It’s all about the bacon!

So now it was time for the bacon and to kick things off at the Denny’s test kitchen we were given a small sampler of the three bacons on the Baconalia menu, Hickory Smoked, Pepper, and Turkey . The cool thing about having three types of bacon is that even though most of the menu items are made with the Hickory you can replace it with any type you want when ordering your meal. Now on to the review:

Hickory Smoked Bacon

  • Sean’s Review: First off I’ll let you in on a little secret, the Hickory Smoked bacon is the same bacon that has always been included in all your favorite Denny’s meals, it’s just that now they are identifying it has Hickory Smoked.

    The bacon was very good. It was crispy and had that classic Hickory flavor that bacon lovers know and crave. It reminds you of all those breakfasts you had growing up with your best friend bacon.

    I was very glad to see that with Denny’s going to have to use a ton more bacon than usual that they didn’t skimp on the quality. I think everyone will agree that this is a solid Hickory Smoked bacon that does what it’s meant to do, be delicious.

  • Jason’s Review: I agree with Sean on every point in his review. The only think I would have to knock Denny’s for is just using there standard bacon. I would have thought the Baconalia menu would have been a great time to introduce Applewood or even Cherrywood bacon.

Pepper Bacon

  • Sean’s Review:Very few chain restaurants are willing to go on a limb with specialty flavored bacon and for that I give Denny’s some mad props. Not only did they decide to try and introduce their customers a new flavor they have done it extremely well.

    At first I was a little worried about the pepper bacon. I have had pepper bacon in the past where the pepper was overwhelming and took away from the flavor of the bacon. I was pleased to find Denny’s Pepper Bacon was the perfect blend of bacon and pepper.

    At first all you taste is the bacon (not like I’m going to complain about that) but then the pepper hits you and you are left with that pepper after taste and a small amount of heat. This is a great bacon if you want something a little different than the norm with your eggs. I think it would be great mixed in scrambled eggs with a little salsa.

  • Jason’s Review: Giving Sean first crack at these reviews might not of been the best idea I have had in a while. He is taking the words right out of my mouth.

    Where Sean give’s Denny’s props I am going to give them a meh. Yes, the pepper bacon is better then I expected, but its also a very safe bacon. Papper Bacon to me is so mainstream that I am wondering why it wasn’t on the menu sooner.

    I did like the fact the the pepper was not right in your face and it had a nice finish. So I guess if Denny’s is right, and this will be a lot of peoples first chance to have this verity of bacon, its a good one.

Turkey Bacon

  • Sean’s Review: Here at Mr. Baconpants we like to consider ourselves as bacon purists and anyone that watches Bacon Live will tell you we don’t look to highly on Turkey Bacon. With that being said the Turkey Bacon is what it is.

    It looks like bacon and has that hickory flavor but I can’t get past the fact that it didn’t come from a pig. If you are unable to eat pork belly then Turkey Bacon is definitely a better substitute than Soy Bacon but it’s just not as good as the real thing.

  • Jason’s Review: No Comment.

Over all the bacon selection is a good mix of classic and (kind of) new. I would like to see some more extreme bacons like jalapeno or thick cut but I understand some bacons just don’t mix well in certain types of environments. I would recommend giving all three a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Denny’s Test Kitchen Experience

Most of you know by now that Denny’s paid for Sean and I to fly down to their Headquarters to try their new Baconalia menu. While we where there Sean and I got to see a place the many will never see, the Denny’s Test Kitchen.

When we walked in they had the whole menu wheeled out on a cart for us to drool at. Sean told me that he couldn’t wait to sink he teeth in to that fired pork belly. Lucky for me Sean was on his best behavior and stayed in his seat.

Before they would let us eat the food, they wanted to share with us how the created Baconalia menu and what market research was done to make sure it was something customers were ready for. I guess not everyone is a bacon fanatic like us. Sean and I both agree that it was interesting to see behind the curtain of what it takes to bring a new recipe from concept to your local Denny’s.

Sean said, “I always knew it was a little more complicated than some guy standing in a kitchen throwing bacon in a pancake and then calling it a day but the amount of research and testing can leave your head spinning.”

We could only wish it was the simple.

While they were talking about the menu and what everyone on the product development team does they gave us some fruit. When I looked over a Sean I know what he was thinking, ” Why are we not being force fed handfuls of bacon”?

They ensured us that fruit was just a palate cleanser and boy I was glad they had it. If it wasn’t for the fruit I think I would have eaten my arm off. We could smell the bacon cooking from the other room.

After all the talking was over it was finally time to try the food. They started things off with a small sample of all three bacons featured in the menu, Hickory Smoked, Pepper, and Turkey. That was then followed by the rest of the menu, Bacon Flapjacks, BBBLT Sandwich, Bacon Meatloaf, and the Maple Bacon Sundae.

Now that we have this introduction out of the way, and the discloser that we tried this food in a controlled environment. It’s time to get on with the reviews. For the remainder of the week, we will be posting up our reviews of each item. Each review will have my opinion and Sean’s. That way you will get the full Mr. Baconpants teams views in one post!

Stay tuned for more…

Denny’s Baconalia: A Celebration of Bacon

As many of you bacon fanatics already know Denny’s Restaurant has launched their first ever bacon event called Baconalia(facebook)! Proving that Denny’s is so committed to doing bacon right that they invited some experts down to their Head Quarters to try out their new menu, and by experts I mean, a group of bloggers that include the Mr. Baconpants/Bacon Live team of Jason Mosley and myself.

So what exactly is Baconalia? According to Denny’s lure, Baconalia is a long forgotten Roman celebration where Bacon was seen as the main course and not just the side dish that it sadly has become over the years. So to bring bacon back to it’s rightful place at the table, Denny’s is launching this 10 week celebration of bacon where customers will be able to order specialty bacon items off the Baconalia menu.

I have been eating at Denny’s ever since I can remember so getting a chance to go to their head quarters and set foot in the same test kitchen where they developed all my favorite Slam meals was almost too much to bear. Luckily I was able to contain my excitement and not embarrass myself by blurting out the Nanerpus song.

After meeting with the people behind Baconalia I found that they are truly dedicated to giving people the best bacon experience they can. The amount of research and development that went into each new item is amazing. Even with this new impressive menu I was surprised to learn that there were tons of recipes that they didn’t use, but not to worry, Denny’s would like to make Baconalia a reoccurring promotion so this is just the beginning of what they have to offer.

Now on to what you really want to know about, the menu. The printed menu itself is very cool. The front is a giant pile of crispy fried up bacon that just makes your mouth water. Once you snap out of the shock of seeing a menu dedicated to bacon you will open it to reveal 7 bacon inspired dishes.

The Ultimate Bacon Breakfast, Bacon Flapjacks, Pepper Bacon and Eggs, Triple Bacon Sampler, BBBLT Sandwich, Bacon Meatloaf, and the Maple Bacon Sundae. We will be diving deep into the menu over the next week giving you our reviews of each dish, but just to wet your appetite a little here is one of the new Baconalia TV Spots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPcqJYMFTWE

Check out the rest on there YouTube page.

By Sean Brett

Discloser: Denny’s paid for us to visit their test kitchen in South Carolina. They also give us gift cards that we plan to give away in a few contests. We are telling you this because we have to, even though mainstream media does not. If you have questions just check out our discloser policy.