Words and iPhone photos by Phelps
Sitting around the BYT office last Friday, eyes glazed over and basking in the lunch coma aftermath of a 13th Meats St half-smoke and Mexican coke, I don’t remember if it was God or our editor who let me know that my work in the pork world was not done. The inaugural Capitol Bacon Fest was nigh.
Whether or not the nap intervention was divine or just demanded, the next day held the promise of sweaty messes of people crushing brews on the hot concrete and devouring a boardwalk’s worth of creative calorie bombs. And we wouldn’t even be at H Street Fest yet.
America Loves Bacon, the producers Capitol Bacon Fest, are smart to take advantage of America’s worst kept secret: someone might jack an apple pie off your windowsill but your ass could get stabbed for some crispy pork belly these days. Why not round up bacon lovers at the Bullpen, a veritable Hamsterdam for the swine addicted masses to stumble around under the influence of light beer and heavy meat sweats? Don’t mind if I do, thank you.
My man Minow and I arrived around 11:30 AM to get a nice breakfast before H St. Armed with ample but empty bellies ready to do battle, we thought we’d be OK even as we took in the list of options that read like a scene from Forrest Gump: bacon burger sliders, bacon cheddar stuffed dogs, bacon on a stick, candied bacon, bacon jerky, chipotle bacon, maple bacon, pepper bacon, bacon slim jim, Carolina bbq bacon, Canadian bacon, shoulder bacon, bacon mac and cheese, bacon fried rice… you get it.
Our strategy of crushing a couple pounds of pork early and fast, while noble, was ill advised. Too prideful or maybe too stupid to practice moderation, we dove right into about two rounds of everything on that list above because we needed to know if we really liked it. Both sloppy and satiated, but Minow broke first. He wanted nothing to do with the crispy pork belly slathered in spicy bacon jam. But me? RESEARCH. JOURNALISM. Whatever, it just looked amazing.
The sign said spreadable bacon had arrived “finally!” Had I wanted this all my life? Probably. It would have been a fitting end to an hour and a half bacon adventure. Buuuuut then I washed it down with some bacon-fried rice. I won.
(The original assignment was to compare and contrast the Capitol Bacon Fest with the DC Veg Fest conveniently located right across the street but we were already well past worthless. With our insides curing themselves and the strawberry lemonade line 100 meters long, check out our Veg Fest t-shirt feature and this cute pic of CONCERNED DOG.)