Archive for June, 2013

The 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha will return to Oak Canyon Park in the hills of Irvine on Saturday, September 7th, 2013. As Orange County’s grandest beer fest not organized by a sole brewery, this beer fest always delivers the goods with everything they stock into one venue. Unlike some beer fests that only cares about numbers, Orange County Brew Ha Ha will likely sell out of tickets before the fest arrives. They only invite micro breweries with terrific craft beers, not that Shock Top junk, and this year, they plan to invite over 70 breweries to booze up all the guests. Not only will guests get to revel in all the beer goodness, but they will also have the chance to listen to keynote speakers from the craft beer industry, as they speak about all things craft beer and the industry. We must not forget the amazing food on hand, as Southern California’s top food trucks will drive in to sling some killer eats, plus the many other booths serving treats, including Drunken Udder ice cream. Last but not least, as announced this past Wednesday morning, Huntington Beach ska band Reel Big Fish will perform at the Brew Ha Ha! If you have not seen them perform since the release of their last album last year, then you can kill two birds with one stone by indulging in craft beers while skanking to Reel Big Fish. Their presence alone will attract hundreds more to Brew Ha Ha, so you must act quick and obtain your tickets before they sell out! Buy your tickets now by clicking this link, where you can choose between a $45 general admission that starts at 1pm and comes with 10 beer pours, or a $60 VIP admission that starts at 12pm, comes with 15 beer pours, and grants access to a special seminar and tasting with one of the keynote speakers. Do not dawdle on this opportunity – block out that day on your schedule, buy a ticket, invite your friends, and as Reel Big Fish says, Don’t Stop Skankin!

Reel Big Fish performing Beer at House of Blues in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on January 5, 2013.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton hosted their 4th Annual Summer Solstice Festival & International Taco Festival this past Sunday. This two-in-one festival combines an international cuisine taco fest with an arts & crafts fair for all ages. The Summer Solstice Festival requires no admission fee, as guests could simply park for free and walk into the cultural center area, where guests would find plenty of arts & crafts booths, activities, games, and live music on the stage. Inside the cultural center, various acts performed in the center room, such as storytelling and cultural dancing.

The International Taco Festival occurred inside the summer fest. This small food fest featured booths hosted by various businesses, groups, organizations, and charities from around Orange County. Each booth prepared tacos using a particular cuisine from around the world. Some of the international tacos included Tex-Mex, Kenyan, Swiss, German, Greek, Somalian, Moroccan, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Singaporean, and many more. Basically, each booth used some sort of tortilla or other holder, and added meat from the booth’s respective cuisine. For example, the fest featured Chomp Chomp Nation as one of the booths, and they served a Singaporean taco by taking their Singapore Sloppy Joe and placing it in a fried wonton shell instead of a bun. A Kenyan booth simply used Kenyan-style beef in a normal tortilla. A taco more common to today’s community included BBQ tacos using pulled pork and tri-tip.

This small festival provided a treat to the local community. On the first Sunday of summer, families arrived all ready to enjoy a day together while enjoying some delicious food in small portions and exploring the cultural center and all the arts & crafts booths. The original ad mentioned Bootlegger’s Brewery and tequila at the taco fest; however, I never found any alcohol at the event. This did not deter the event from prospering, as the lack of alcohol meant that families could truly enjoy the day without worrying about the endangerment of the children. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center plans to hold plenty more events throughout the rest of the year, including a luau in a couple of weeks. If you seek something to do with the family, check out the Muckenthaler’s calendar of events to discover something different and unique to expand your cultural knowledge.

What happens when you combine two dudes hungry for sliders, beer, and cake? You can cross ‘really bad sitcom’ off the list of guesses, because I refer to Ben & Drew, the two food dudes behind the group L.A. Foodie. Always in search for Los Angeles’ great hidden gems, L.A. Foodie ventures out around Los Angeles County weekly for that perfect bite. In addition to these adventures, they also record a podcast a few times a month, which you can find on their Soundcloud channel. These gentlemen also find time to organize monthly dinner events such as Get Porked, which occurred last month. This month, they returned to a previous event that they host every two months: Bite Flite in Culver City.

Welcome to Bite Flite, a craft beer and gourmet slider pairing dinner at Bar & Garden in Culver City, with endless desserts provided by Mwokaji Cakery. Unlike Get Porked last month, Bite Flite does not follow any structured schedule. Guests simply show up anytime during the event hours, and receive their food and drinks at their leisure. The $22 admission includes one slider, four craft beer tastings, and unlimited desserts. Upon arriving, guests receive tickets good for whatever the ticket says on it: one slider of choice, and four different craft beer tastings to pair with the sliders. Optionally, guests could purchase additional sliders at cost as specified by the vendor.

Vagabond Grillyard provided the food for the night with their mobile grill stand. This mobile catering company crafts gourmet sliders with quality ingredients and find cooking techniques to rival that of official restaurants. Rarely does one find a slider cooked perfectly medium-rare due to the size of the patty, yet Vagabond Grillyard has perfected a perfectly pinkish medium-rare slider patty. They only brought four sliders to serve off their menu, which included:

  • The Signature: grass-fed dry-aged beef, homemade garlic cilantro aioli, sweet onion marmalade, sharp cheddar, wild baby arugula, brioche bun
  • Bacon Bleu: grass-fed dry-aged beef, homemade garlic aioli, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, wild baby arugula, brioche bun
  • Pulled Pork: 12-hour roasted pork shoulder, fried onions, sriracha-poppyseed coleslaw, BBQ sauce, brioche bun
  • Grilled Cheese: American cheese, buttered brioche toast

A local artist even featured some work at Bar & Garden during the event. I did not obtain any contact information, however.

Missed out on Bite Flite? Fear not, as L.A. Foodie runs Bite Flite every other month. Check back again in early August for the announcement of the next Bite Flite, which will likely occur at Bar & Garden again on a Saturday night. Make sure to like L.A. Foodie on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date with all the latest on food & drinks in Los Angeles County!

How do you raise money for prostate cancer research while having a fun time? How about throw a meatball-eating contest? Eager teams gathered this past Saturday evening in Downtown Los Angeles for Philanthro LA’s Balls For Balls, a meatball-eating contest raising money for prostate cancer research. As the cancer that has caused the second-most deaths of any cancer, prostate cancer research does not receive nearly as much funding as breast cancer research. As a result, prostate cancer rarely gets treated, as most men simply do not bother to get checked, or doctors miss the early symptoms. Ironically, more women than men run Philanthro LA, a non-profit group of volunteers primarily consisting of UCLA graduates, albeit this philanthropy supports men’s health.

This meatball-eating competition follow an elimination system, placing teams in heats to compete against one, two, or three other teams. When the announcer starts a heat, an individual from each team must completely ingest all the meatballs on their plate before the next team member can start eating. A team finishes when all four members have consumed all their meatballs sequentially. Imagine playing Flip Cup, but with just eating meatballs instead of drinking & flipping a cup. The last team to finish in any heat loses and walks away, while the remaining teams move on to the next heat. This setup of eliminating one team per heat continues until only two teams remain, and those teams eat it out until one finishes first and takes home the grand prize of $400. Registration to compete only cost $60 per team, or $15 per individual. Note that one can write off this registration fee as a charitable donation.

Philanthro LA raises money for a justified cause, and they raise it in crafty, exciting ways. With Balls For Balls, they decided to have a little fun with word play, and it worked out great. Philanthro LA will have plenty more fundraising/charity events in the near future, so like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or connect with them somehow to discover their future events. By participating, not only do you support a great cause for the greater good of mankind, but you have fun doing so.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm, June 26
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/382088235230963/

Catch a sexy burlesque show this Wednesday night in Downtown Santa Monica, dedicated to women on film. Have cash available for parking and a potential cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

New Kids On The Block 2
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 27
Handlery Hotel, San Diego
http://nkotb2.bpt.me/

From the organizers behind the Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Festival comes NKOTB2, a festival of beer and food featuring breweries, brewpubs, and restaurants that opened less than two years ago. The admission of $30 includes parking and grants all-access to beer tastings and food samples until it runs out; however, with a hard limit of 300 tickets and over 15 breweries on board, do not expect any vendor to run out of food or beer by the end of the fest, so go nuts. Local bands will play live music to fill the room with uplifting beats. As of this morning, less than 100 tickets remain, so act quick and purchase your ticket today!

Union 13 @ The Airliner
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 27
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=188069541357373

Union 13 returns to their hometown of Los Angeles to headline this street punk show featuring Rats In The Wall (Leftover Crack + F-Minus), Sleepwalkers, Nomads, All Out Attak, and more. Admission to this show costs only $5. No one under 18 may enter. Remember to bring your ID too, as security will not allow anyone in without showing it. Guests can find plenty of street parking in the neighborhood across the street.

Jack Bradshaw Dog Show
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 28-30
Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.jbradshaw.com/

Watch multiple dog shows and competitions this weekend in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, breeds will compete in show and athletic contests throughout the weekend. Expect parking to cost $15. Take public transportation (free on the Passport bus) or ride a bike to circumvent the hefty parking fee.

OC Tastefest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 28
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 29
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 30
OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa
http://octastefest.com/

Get a taste of Orange County’s top restaurants at the annual OC Tastefest this weekend at the OC Fair. This fest follows the pay-as-you-go system, foregoing last year’s admission fee to allow anyone in, and allowing guests to purchase as many tickets as they would like. Guests then use these tickets to exchange for food & drink samples from the 20+ participating restaurants. The more tickets you purchase, the more you save – $10 for 10 tickets, $25 for 30 tickets, and $40 for 50 tickets. Based on last year’s ticket requirements, a single person can consume more than 10 tickets, so I suggest 30 tickets for two people, or 50 tickets for three people. Parking at the OC Fair costs $5, so have cash available for that. This fest takes place mostly outdoors, so if you go early on Saturday or Sunday, dress for the warm weather, and apply sunscreen.

CH3 @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 28
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/137967

Catch punk rock band CH3 as they headline a punk rock show at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Friday night with The Simpletones, The Gears, White Flag, and Shag Rats. Admission to this costs costs $8 presale and $10 at the door. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking on Orizaba Ave or in the neighborhood across the street. Avoid parking on N Gladys Ave, or in the Autozone parking lot.

Color Burst 5K
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 29
Irvine Lake, Silverado
http://www.thecharitybomb.com/

Enjoy a summer kickoff color run this Saturday morning at Irvine Lake. As with all color runs, this all-ages run covers a 5k dirt & grass course along Irvine Lake, complete with color “bursts” along the route. Participants should wear white to absorb and display all the colors the most upon reaching the bursts. As a fun run, no participant will win an actual prize other than the fun of running through color, and the colorful clothes they leave the event with. An afterparty will feature a beer garden, food trucks, live music, and other miscellaneous games. Registration costs $50 per individual, $35 per individual running for a team of four or more, $20 for children ages 9-15, and free for children 8 and under. Parking costs $5 at Irvine Lake. I strongly suggest carpooling and arriving early, as traffic here gets intense with only one road leading to the lake.

Pirate Invasion of Belmont Pier
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, June 29
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 30
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-pierdaze.html

Come see and act like pirates at the beach! Visitors may choose to dress as a pirate or arrive in normal clothes. Many others will fully dress up to play their parts. Expect to see pirate shows, vendors, music, a (mock) ship fight, and cannon blank shots fired at the pier. This FREE and all-ages event runs on Saturday & Sunday starting at 10am both days. If you plan to stay for a while, note that this takes place entirely outdoors, so have sunscreen available. Guests can find free street parking in the neighborhood across Ocean Blvd.

Riviera Village Summer Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 29-30
Riviera Village, Redondo Beach
http://www.rvsummerfestival.com/

This FREE and all-ages annual street fair occurs in the Riviera Village neighborhood of Redondo Beach. Numerous vendors, arts & crafts, food & drinks, carnival rides, entertainment, and more will take over the streets, as visitors stroll through all the roads gazing at all the wonderful booths. Do not attempt to park nearby – instead, park at South High, right off of Calle Mayor and Pacific Coast Highway, and take the free shuttle. The festival takes place entirely outdoors, so keep sunscreen handy.

Beachwood Brewing 2nd Anniversary Celebration
11:30 am – 2:00 am, June 29
Beachwood Brewing, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/500598403341008/

Celebrate Beachwood Brewing’s 2nd anniversary at their restaurant/brewery in Downtown Long Beach this Saturday. Free to attend, expect to find rare beers on tap, as well as a handful of guest breweries and their brews. Beachwood BBQ will also serve up some food specials unique only for this glorious day. Guests can park for free for up to three hours with validation in the parking structure in the alley behind the restaurant.

Bottle Share #5
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 29
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/661742867176287/

Brew your own beer? Got an interested craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

1st Annual BrewGrass Craft Beer & Music Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 29
Packinghouse Brewing Company, Riverside
http://blog.pbbeer.com/?p=27

Rock out to bluegrass music as you sip on unlimited craft beer samples this Saturday at Packinghouse Brewing Company in Riverside. This festival brings together food trucks, bluegrass bands, and craft beers from a handful of local breweries for your afternoon enjoyment. The fest will even provide a wine booth and a cigar lounge for those interested. Admission costs $35 presale and $40 at the door. Guests may bring a picnic blanket and/or chairs into the event. Food and full pints come at an additional cost. No one under 21 may attend.

Farm Folk Festival
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 29
Packing House, Anaheim
http://anaheimpackingdistrict.com/izevents?izc-event-id=13

Check out a local arts & crafts fair near Downtown Anaheim this Saturday afternoon. Expect live music, art, vendors, cooking demos, other merchandise, and more. Hungry guests can munch on food from food trucks or from Umami Burger right around the corner. The tasting room at Anaheim Brewery will remain open for normal business as well.

4th Annual Los Angeles Street Food Fest
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 29
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://lastreetfoodfest.com/

Experience the best of mobile eats in LA at the 4th annual LA Street Food Fest. This all-ages food fest features hundreds of chefs, restaurants, food carts, food trucks, food stands, pop-ups, bars, and more. The list of participating businesses includes more than enough food to cover your entire day, plus plenty of dessert, ice cream, coffee/teas, drinks, alcoholic drinks, mobile boutiques, and so much more. General admission costs $50, starts at 5pm, and includes parking and ALL food & drinks. VIP admission costs $75, starts at 3pm, and also includes access to a VIP lounge. Children 7 and under enter free with a paid adult admission. Attendees should bring a picnic blanket and/or chairs, as the venue cannot provide enough tables for the thousands of attendees.

4th Annual Claremont Village Blues & Brews Craft Beer Walk
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 29
Streets of Claremont Village, Claremont
http://www.claremontbluesandbrews.com/

Exhibit the local businesses of Claremont while sipping on craft beers and local food at this annual music and beer fest on the streets of Claremont Village. Over 30 of the local businesses will serve as sites where attendees to this fest can pick up some food or beer as they continue to stroll through Claremont Village to enjoy the live music and the goods & services offered by the local businesses. Admission costs $35 presale and $40 at the gate, and includes free parking and 12 beer tasting tickets. The site does not mention if admission includes food, so if you plan to eat, have some cash available. No one under 21 may attend.

Space of Light
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 29
Tierra de la Culebra, Highland Park
http://p-ai.com/pages/space-of-light

If you have attended Autumn Lights before, you will not want to miss this. Space of Light takes art as we know it and transforms it into glow-in-the-dark works of art. For a fee, guests can actually turn into the canvas for the artists. Other types of art will go up on display at this art show. Join in the communal fire pit lighting at 10pm. Guests will also find live music, vendors, raffle prizes, food & drinks, and more. Admission costs $5 presale and $10 at the door. The site makes no mention of age limits or parking, so prepare for whatever happens in that case.

Fang @ The Airliner
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 29
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/645092898852090/

See some 1980’s bay area punk rock bands play at this show at The Airliner this Saturday night. This show costs $5 to enter before 9pm, and $7 to enter after 9pm. No one under 18 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking in the neighborhood across the street from the venue.

Volcanik Rockers + more @ Bob’s Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 29
Bob’s Bar, Baldwin Park
http://www.facebook.com/events/384314968341846/

Support local punk rock bands at this show that only costs $5 to attend. This show will include raffle tickets to upcoming shows for Luicidal, Lace ‘Em Up, and Agent Orange. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual Pasadena Marathon & Expo
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 29
5:15 am – 11:00 am, June 30
Pasadena City College, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenamarathon.org/

Have you prepared for the 26.2? Enter the Pasadena Marathon, occurring this Sunday morning at Pasadena City College. A marathon festival occurs at the start/finish line until 11am, complete with vendors, activities, and other services. A marathon expo takes place on Saturday at Fuller Theological Seminary from 9am to 7pm. Full marathon registration has already sold out, but you can still register for the half marathon, 10k, or 5k until Wednesday night – after that, interested individuals will have to go to the expo and register there.

Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 30
The Pickwick Gardens, Burbank
http://www.caskeylees.com/Vintage/Vintage.html

This expo features over 65 vendors selling their antique textiles, vintage clothes, accessories, and more for attendees to exhibit and purchase. Admission costs $7 per person and comes with free parking.

13th Annual Taste of Adams Avenue
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 30
Adams Avenue, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://www.adamsavenuebusiness.com/Taste-of-Adams.html

30 restaurants, 30 tastes. Taste the local flavor of Adams Avenue this Sunday afternoon, as you stroll up and down Adams Avenue checking out all the local restaurants in the area. A ticket bundle costs $30 presale and $35 on the day of the event, and provides guests with 30 taster tickets. Park in the neighborhood, and pick up your tickets from Smitty’s Auto on the day of the event if you purchased presale.

2nd Annual Dog Day Afternoon
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 30
Fountain Valley Recreation & Sports Park, Fountain Valley
http://www.meetup.com/desperatepawsofocdogclub/events/101243672/?action=detail&eventId=101243672

This FREE dog event takes place at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley. Open to guests of all ages and all breeds, guests will find lots of dogs and dog activities, with athletic demos, vendors, adoption information, merchandise, and more. As part of Fountain Valley’s 5th Annual Summerfest, guests will also find rides, games, live music, beer/wine gardens, food, and more. Guests can park for free in any of the park’s parking lots. If those fill up, guests can park on the street, or in the neighborhood across the street.

Wanderlust Yoga In The City
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 30
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
http://la.wanderlustfestival.com/

Join in on this FREE yoga meetup this Sunday on the Santa Monica Pier. Simply RSVP by clicking on the picture below, then show up when desired. Attendees should bring their own yoga mat, plus sunscreen if they want to share.

Angelenos sure have a way with seeking out new and unusual things around town. Looking into the realm of local businesses, trends rapidly fluctuate in a short period of time, and sometimes a trend that seems like it just started yesterday will now classify as vintage. Because of these ever-changing tastes, both business owners and consumers must search for new trends, or risk falling behind and getting labeled as not up to date with trends. To succeed to today’s world, people cannot simply thrive on existing ideas or products – they must invent or reinvent. To invent means to create something brand new that works, while to reinvent means to take an existing idea or product and improve it. For example, a grilled cheese sounds simple, but make that grilled cheese with mac & cheese and add some sort of meat in there like bacon or pulled pork, and you have successfully reinvented the grilled cheese. On the other end of the spectrum, you can invent something, though this new invention must have some common ground with constituents such that the invention does not come off as a foreign concept. Luckily for Angelenos, The Lobos Truck has struck the perfect balance between familiarity and originality.

Currently seen roaming the roads of Los Angeles, The Lobos Truck delivers a mobile gourmet spin on classic American comfort foods. Using local sustainable ingredients, they can satisfy most tastebuds and diet plans with their ever-changing seasonal menu of meaty and vegetarian options. The current menu contains burgers, sandwiches, mac & cheese, meat a la carte, and their signature Wachos. By simply substituting waffle fries in for tortilla chips, customers receive a brand new spin on the classic nacho dish. Their Wachos come in a few different variations, but nothing else compares to the original OG Wachos. These waffle fries get topped with Angel sauce (wing sauce), cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, buttermilk dressing, diced tomatoes, fresh guacamole, chopped scallions, fried onions, and crispy bacon. The combination of all these ingredients contributes to an outstanding bowl of fried goodness that you may not want to share, especially after biting into the bacon. I have no idea how they prepared this bacon, but you could technically call it bacon chips, as they come in short pieces that pack a loud crisp. Even after sitting in the sauces in this bowl, the bacon remains crispy and full of piggy flavor. Just like regular nachos, they serve your Wachos with every ingredient in sections. Pro tip: ask them to toss the Wachos – when you receive it, you will now get every flavor in every bite instead of having to search for the ingredients in the bowl. Trust me: the bacon WILL remain crispy.

The Lobos Truck rolls around Los Angeles on a daily basis, taking very few days off each month. Should you happen to stumble upon The Lobos Truck on your daily adventures, pick up an order of OG Wachos for $8.50. For a mega meal, add an order of either ribs or wings for added protein to your meal. See them at or near a brewery? OG Wachos make the perfect pairing with your favorite craft beer. Honestly, the OG Wachos go great on any occasion, so get it when you see the truck.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County hosted the 2013 Big Bite Bacon Fest this past Father’s Day Sunday. Pulling together some of Southern California’s bacon-centric businesses plus craft breweries, this fest brought on all forms of pork to serve to guests that purchased the admission. Admission included unlimited food tastings until the food ran out, while guests could only receive five 2oz pours of beers, contrary to what they originally advertised. The staff mentioned that guests could receive more beer tastings than the original five, but that only applied to VIP guests, as the staff would not allow me five more tasters. This only marks the first of many things gone bad at this bacon fest. In order to receive food, guests had to wait in four staggering long lines: a line to enter the fair, a line to enter the fest, a line to receive a wristband, then a line to receive food. It took an hour and a half from arriving at the fair until I could obtain my first bite.

A handful of other problems contributed towards the overall lackluster performance of the Big Bite Bacon Fest. First off, when you look at the price compared to other food fests, most people clearly did not receive $55 worth of food. When you factor in the long lines and the vendors running out of food, most attendees received only about $20 worth of food. The $55 admission includes access to the rest of the fair, but the fest promoters failed to mention that the fair held Dia De Las Familias that day, a fair day dedicated to families. This resulted in excessive amounts of children and strollers not only in the fair, but at the bacon fest. Children do not appreciate certain foods as much as adults, so bringing children to a bacon fest that has beer in it too wastes the admission’s value. Speaking of food, those who did not attend did not miss anything special that they could find regularly on the restaurant’s menu. A majority of the vendors did not cook the food enough, such as:

  • A potato, egg, cheese, and bacon mix had rubbery bacon in it
  • The bacon waffles tasted like dough and wet batter
  • Slater’s 50/50 did not cook their burgers consistently – they ranged from rare all the way to well done
  • The BBQ chicken came out pink and slimy, a sign of not getting cooked long enough
  • Red in the center of a bacon-wrapped meatball

Other problems include not keeping the food warm, meager sample portions, no seconds allowed, beer volunteers that did not know the beers they poured, inefficient lines, and significantly less booths than the website advertised. How does a vendor serve cold food an hour after the fest starts? With such long lines, why do attendees receive only one small sample? For an event that does not limit the ticket sales, vendors should prepare more than enough food to meet the demands. This could potentially alleviate long lines, and increase marketing exposure to those who did not yet earn a chance to try the food. Keep in mind that general admission cost $55, while non-drinkers paid $40. Even for non-drinkers, nobody can scoff at $40, especially since nobody truly received that much food, albeit some of the bacon treats stood out from the rest.

A few of the bacon treats from the fest stood out, albeit most of the food do not belong in a fest that costs this much. My favorite treats include:

  • Pig Candy (candied bacon)
  • Bourbon maple bacon bar
  • Bacon cotton candy
  • Badunkachunk‘s Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the end, the Big Bite Bacon Fest took a big bite out of many attendees’ piggy banks. The long lines, lackluster food, strict beer rules, and expensive admission made for quite a disappointing event. This makes me fearful for future events of a similar nature. This weekend, the fair hosts the San Diego International Beer Fest. They claim to boast over 400 different beers from around the world, but I have seen the lineup, and it includes generic beers like Heineken, Stella, or Foster’s, plus many clones of those types of fizzy yellow beers. Each session costs $55 to attend just like the Big Bite Bacon Fest, but reviews from previous years reveal that each session tends to run out of beer an hour before a session ends. I would hold off on admission to this, and save it for a better beer fest, such as NKOTB2 occurring next week in San Diego. Also, save a spot on your calendar for Saturday, August 31, as the San Diego Bacon Fest occurs on that day. I have higher hopes for this one, as the organizers allegedly have nothing to do with the organizers behind the Big Bite Bacon Fest. San Diego will see some great food and/or beer fests in the upcoming months, so keep an eye out for events in the area, or check this site every Monday for the week’s upcoming events.