This is the second Bacon Elegance dinner at Cafe di Scala. The first one was last year, Heather of Bacon Unwrapped wrote a great post about it with pictures. I plan to do that same for this years event. I will update this posts with photos and our (Beth and I) thoughts after the dinner tonight.
This post is now updated with photos and our notes.
Bacon Inspired Dinner: Taste of Bacon Elegance
Cafe di Scala : February 24, 2010
644 18th Street | Des Moines, IA 50314-1043 | (515) 244-1353 www.cafediscala.com
bacon, egg and cheese napolean with a sweet garlic sausage bechaemle Drink: Coors Banquet Beer
Notes: This is what we would call the perfect breakfast. It reminded me of biscuits and gravy. Beth thought a biscuit would have been delicious with the dish, but that the pastry was a nice way to keep it light as the first course of the meal. I thought that the pastry added a bit of elegance to the dish. I need to make bacon gravy sometime in the near future.
korean styled pork belly with kim chi Drink: Pearl Vodka Martini
Notes: Beth enjoyed the food and drink pairing with this one. The Pearl Vodka Martini was able to stand up well to the strong flavors of the kim chi and the succulent pork belly. It did add something to the dish. A pork belly has three layers, a meaty part which was perfectly seasoned and tasted amazing, a fatty part which was buttery, and the skin which was a bit tough/crispy.
cream of potato soup with a chive creme fraiche & bacon bits Drink: Blue Moon
Notes: They made this soup last year and it was amazing. This year was no different. I wish I could eat this soup everyday of my life. Beth really enjoyed the velvety texture of the soup. This soup is the perfect wintery comfort food. The beer pairing with this dish was Blue Moon, a beer that we envision as a summery drink, with orange notes and light wheat flavor. It went surprisingly well with the soup. I guess in this case it’s true what they say: opposites attract!
gorgonzola stuffed Iowa Farm Families pork loin wrapped in bacon
served over a soft polenta with Niman Ranch pancetta and demi sauce Drink: Pinot Noir
Notes: This dish had mixed reviews. It was very rich and had a lot of flavor. Sadly, not all of it was good. The bacon on the outside of the loin was fatty. A crispier bacon would have worked well with this dish. The loin itself was amazing and saved the plate. The polenta had a great flavor and texture and the pancetta was a nice touch, but some of it tasted burnt or over smoked. I thought I would have enjoyed this dish more if it came as an early course or if the rest of the meal was not as rich and heavy. The pairing with this dish, a Pinot Noir (Volpi, Barbera d’Asti – 2005), was an excellent match with the smokey flavors of the pork.
applewood smoked bacon bread pudding with a
Templeton Rye caramel sauce and Picket Fence vanilla ice cream Drink: Templeton Rye Butterscotch shot
Notes: Amazing! I love bread pudding, ice cream and bacon so this was an instant hit with me. Beth was never a big fan of bread pudding, but she loved this one, especially the Templeton Rye caramel sauce. The candied bacon made the dish, as always. The Templeton Rye Butterscotch shot was smooth and tasty, a welcome addition to the final course.
Last years dinner was great, but the dishes were safe choices to make. This year they took more risks and some of them payed off and others did not. I enjoyed the dinner and I am glad they took risks this year. It was an impressive showing of skill and guts. They took bacon to new levels last night. Can’t wait to see where they take bacon next!
Well it’s that time of year again when I make my yearly pilgrimage to bacon country. This year the Des Moines, Iowa Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival promises to be bigger and better then the following two years. With over 600 tickets selling out in less than 25 minutes and the fact that they already have over 1,050 lbs of bacon, I would have to believe this is going to be the biggest bacon event in 2010. You can see the press release and more information about the event in my previous post about it.
The event is Saturday, February 27 at the Scottish Rite Consistory but I will be leaving of the Iowa today. The goal is to make it in time for some of what the bacon event planners are calling “Bacon Week”. During the week they are having smaller satellite events at local restaurants. You can learn more about them on the events website.
While I am in Iowa I will be tweeting like it’s going out of style. I will be using the hashtag #brbf10 to keep things organized. If you would like to join in the fun feel free to do so on twitter. Just remember to tag your tweets.
I also plan to do a Bacon LIVE from my hotel room either Wednesday afternoon or night. Watch twitter for details on that. If the restaurant as wifi I may even do it at the bacon dinner. Also, Sean may call in with bacon update from Pittsburgh.
This is going to be a crazy week ahead and I will try to keep you as up-to-date as I can. If you are asking yourself “Why do I need care about whats happens in Iowa” then you are not a true bacon lover. This is the heart of bacon nation; this is where boys become men and pigs become bacon.
This week’s Music Monday is not a band but an internet radio station called Woxy. When Sirius XM started charging ungodly amounts of money to stream what you already pay 12.99 /mo. for, I started looking for cheaper/free alternatives. This is when I found Woxy.com, the future of rock and roll.
I tried listening to Pandora and Last.fm but something was missing from their streams, a DJ. Call me old fashioned but I enjoy the soothing voice of DJ telling me what I am listening too. I also like to hear their insights on the bands and any current music news they feel important enough to share. I like the human/semi-human touch of terrestrial and satellite radio.
Woxy fills my thirst for indie rock and a live DJ really well. I think it has something to do with their history. Woxy started out on the FM dial in Cincinnati Ohio, and then took the big leap to be online only once there stream was being listen to all over the world. This is why they have a radio feel to their online stream. I know other streaming stations have a DJ but there is just something different about these guys.
The music they play is a nice mix of indie rock, new and old alterative, and whatever else the DJs find lying around. For example in one day of listen to the station I heard Garbage’s Stupid Girl and the new track from the New Pornographers off a cd that’s not even out yet. There is something here for everyone and I think that’s way they hung around so long.
Check out there about page and you can learn all about the crazy history of the station and its ambitious beginnings. Woxy is ahead of its time and once broadband accesses in more accessible they will give terrestrial and satellite radio stations a run for their money.
Please support these guys so they can make it to that day. Since they now have an iPhone app and a few streaming bit rates it shouldn’t be that hard for you to add them to you list of music to listen too. When you get sick of Pandora’s robot music picker thingy, turn to the humans a Woxy.com. They know good music and they are the future of rock and roll.
Its official the new internet bacon meme is cute animals. I first noticed this trend a few weeks ago when the bacon turtles photo was posted to the blog “This is why your fat”. Well now a Celeb is getting on this new meme.
Last night Ke$ha(maybe NSFW), the girl that sings songs about getting drink, posted a tweet about a new bacon animal, a Narwhal. Yes, I think a Narwhal is kind of cute.
The tweet that went along with this photo was a little unsettling, Kasha says, “Gross. But. Amazing.”
I hope when she said gross she was talking about whatever it is that is making up the horn of it and not the fact that it was something wrapped in bacon. Since she is a drunk (or a lot least that’s what her songs make her out to be) I can almost bet the “amazing” part of the tweet was referring to the bacon.
There is nothing better than a big old mess of pork belly when you’re drunk. Just ask the people that work at late night breakfast buffets. There always running out of the stuff.
Back to the point of this post, I believe that cute animals made of bacon will be what we are going to nuts for this year. I guess a better way to say it would be, bacon animals is this year’s bacon explosion.
I can’t wait to see how far this meme will go. Will someone make a pig next, or better yet make Kevin Bacon out of bacon! I guess we will have to wait and see, the year is still young.
While I was writing this post I couldn’t get her song “Tik Tok” out of my head. Damn you Kasha for being so damn catchy.
I hope as many people as possible watched Shaun White last night in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Just after seeing is qualifying run I was impressed. He made the snowboards who went before him look amateur, and I am not trying to rip on the other competitors. There were some other great runs that night, but Shaun is on another level.
To keep with my Olympic tradition of writing a post about the top athlete, I was going to try and figure out how many BLT’s Shaun White could eat. I did the same thing for Michel Phelps back in 2008. Sadly there is no information to be found on Shaun’s diet. Even if there was, I can’t see him being able to consume 10,000 calories per day, snowboarders need to stay light. On top of that snowboarding for 120 mins burns less than 1,200 calories.
That means the Shaun White could only consume a normal amount of bacon on any giving day. With that said how should the bacon community honor this snowboarding world champion?
Bacon Shaped Snowboard – That would be kind cool, in fact someone should make one of those ASAP.
A strip of bacon dipped in Gold – As awesome as that would look, I would hate to render a strip of bacon uneatable by dipping it in gold.
Bacon Bandana – I see lot of snowboarder sporting a bandana when there’re in the pipe.
Watching someone eat 20 BLTs – Since he couldn’t do it and still be the snowboarding champion, would he get enjoyment out of someone else doing it?
Bacon Snow Pants – I could make a pair of snow pants that look like the pants I wear. We could call him Mr. BaconSnowpants. It sounds lot better than the Flying Tomato.
If you think of anything else please let us know via a comment. Better yet, if someone one can find out how many calories he consumes when he is training I can let you know how many BLT’s he could eat. Someone has to know.
Today on Bacon LIVE Sean and I reviewed the first batch of Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon. We both thought it was really good and I was impressed with how lean the bacon was. Watch the show for the full review.
Luckily we are not Catholic so we can continue to review bacon during Lent. As for @iscoolerthanyou, he will not be eating bacon anytime soon, he give it up for Lent. Sean and I couldn’t believe it. This is the same guy that won the Wendy’s bacon twitter contest! I don’t think I could make it if I give up bacon.
How many other bacon lovers gave up bacon for Lent? Maybe you guys could get a support group together. If not were going to have a lot of frustrated bacon lovers on our hands over the next few weeks.
Burgers’ Smokehouse supplied the bacon that we reviewed on this show free of charge. This is a good thing because if we had to buy everything we reviewed on the show we would be broke. Read our disclosure policy for more information.
I am sure there are multiple times in peoples lives where they say, “Wow I have seen everything”. Well, today is one of those times for me. Just when I thought the Bacon Nation couldn’t surprise me, someone invents the Caffeinated Maple-Bacon Lollipop. Yes, thats right a bacon lollipop that also has as much caffeine as two cups of coffee.
When I first read about this my initial thought was, “This is ridiculous, why would anyone want a caffeinated lollipop?” But then I thought about it for a few more seconds, “Wait a minute, I could eat this thing in the morning on my commute to work.”
Yes, instead of trying to carry my maple bacon in one hand and a coffee in the other, while driving, I could just suck on a Caffeinated Maple-Bacon Lollipop. No more side-swiped pedestrians and dirty looks from other drivers for me. Thanks to the fine folks at Lollyphile, I can save time and lives.
Caffeinated Maple-Bacon Lollipops
4 Maple-Bacon Lollipops- $10
Dozen Maple-Bacon Lollipops- $24
Case of 36 Maple-Bacon Lollipops- $52
Whoa! After looking at the price it might be expensive for them to replace my morning cup of joe. They’re $2.50 a piece, which is just as much as overpriced designer coffee, but I don’t drink overpriced designer coffee on weekdays. I guess these will have to be my weekend pops and I will still have to juggle my bacon and coffee on my way to work.
I have yet to try these, so if you know how that taste let us know via a comment. I have had other bacon pops and liked them so I am sure these are good too.