Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival: Recap


The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa was a bacontastic event. There was so much bacon goodness I don’t know if I can even give it justice with only my words. That’s why during this week I will be posting a lot of videos and photos of the event.

I would like to mention how impressed I am with Iowa’s capitol city, it’s clean, new, and the traffic is very mild. The people that live there are so friendly and they left a lasting impression on me. Des Moines is a city with a small town atmosphere. I felt safe and comfortable as soon as I got into town.

This is the part where I bore you with vacation pictures. The following pictures were uploaded live via my cell phone.


This was the view from the hotel room. As you can see Iowa is flat, which is nice because if you get lost all you have to do is find some high ground. Then look for the building you’re looking for. Getting lost in this town was impossible.


After Beth and I got settled in we looked for a place to eat lunch. Legends was the first place we found. For my fellow Pittsburghers I would compare the food here to Eat n’ Park’s and the atmosphere to a Damon’s. It was good but you could really tell it was just a local chain restaurant.


Before the trip Beth told me about the Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company. It’s a local micro brew with a restaurant. The beer was good, they all seemed to fit the style they were trying to achieve. I really liked their Pointer Brown Ale and the Honest Lawyer I.P.A. The food was also yummy as you can see in the picture; we had a Grilled Chicken Pizza.


This is a map of the enjoyable skywalk. It takes you to pretty much anywhere you want to go downtown. From the hotel we could walk to the Court Avenue Restaurant without even having to go outside.


These next pictures are of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival at the El Bait Shop. This first one is of the breakfast that was served as soon as I walked in. It’s a Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit. I wish I had one of these every morning.


It seemed that the people of Iowa love to drink and eat (not a bad thing), so as soon as I was done with my breakfast I had to get a Bacon Slider and Bloody Mary. After I finished my slider it was time for the Bacon 101 class. I was so amazed with this class I forgot to take a picture of it.


Around that time I started to notice how crowded the place was getting. It was starting to take some effort to get to the free bacon.


Around noon lunch was served. This picture was taken after I ate most of it. Just watch the Mini Documentary I will post this week to find out what all this food is.


This is the mighty Lance from the Sara Lee’s test kitchen serving his tasty Bacon Cheesecake. He will hopefully be sending me the recipe to post sometime this week.


The bacon eating contest proved to be the best part of the event. It was so loud it was like I was at some kind of gladiator game. People were cheering for their favorite eater with great intensity. Watch the video of it I will post later this week and you will see and hear what I am talking about.


Here is the winner of the contest, he won bragging rights and a nice pig trophy. I wonder how the pig champion is doing today, he ate so much bacon.


After the bacon eating contest the event seemed to settle down. I spent the next few hours meeting and talking with a lot of great people. After a while the owner of the El Bait Shop, Jeff, invited me to join him for a beer at one of his other bars. It was the Royal Mile, an English themed pub with a Belgian Bar located upstairs called The Red Monk. This was the perfect way to end the day, with great beer and food.


The next morning we packed up and headed to Buzzard Billy’s for lunch. It’s a Cajun style restaurant located in Des Moines.


This is the end of the pictures from my cell phone, but don’t worry you can find even more pictures here and on the DM Juice blog. Here is a link to Beth’s photos of the event; she took way more photos then I did.

I will be posting the bacon eating contest video very soon. I am just having trouble exporting it from iMovie into a format that will look nice on YouTube. If anyone could help with that please let me know.

I would like to thank Brooks and Jeff for the invite to come to the event and for showing me great hospitality. The new slogan for Iowa should be, “Who knew it could be this much fun?”. I would also like thank everyone else that attended the event. Over 200 people singing “Happy Birthday” to me was a nice surprise and something I will never forget.

Ohhhhhhhh BACON!