Last weekend, I went to the ATX Bacon Festival. I was given a media pass by the event to check it out, so I decided to head downtown and see what it was all about. I mean, who doesn’t want to start their weekend with bacon?
While I was given complimentary tickets, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
General admission tickets to the event were $25 and VIP tickets were $30. VIP got you into the event an hour early. Brian and I showed up an hour early and were the second group in line. There weren’t a ton of people there with the early admission, so that was nice. There weren’t any lines or anything. It was at the Palm Door on east 6th street.
I have to be honest… I wasn’t impressed with the festival. When we arrived, my name didn’t seem to be on the media list (which is always awkward), but the main organizer came by and was like, “Oh no, it’s all good, we got you!” and we were given bracelets anyway. There also was no place to line up, so when the event opened, they were just like, “Ok, make a line in the order you arrived” and everyone just looked around awkwardly at each other and tried to make a line. My thing is, if I’m invited to a place, then I expect some guidance on what to do when I arrive. It felt loose and unorganized. These little piggies on the front table were cute, though.
Inside, there were five vendors (two of which were chains). This is why I have trouble calling it a festival. Five vendors were just nowhere near enough. They had a stage for music, but there wasn’t any live music during the VIP hour while I was there. They had a balloon installation (which looked awesome!) but it was inside. It was way too dark inside to get any fun photos! The balloon wall would have been way more successful outside.
Here’s what WAS awesome – the vendors themselves. All the people working at Teal House Coffee & Bakery, Austin Pizza, The Bearded Baking Company, Hideaway Kitchen & Bar, and Schlotzsky’s were WONDERFUL. They were so kind, happy to talk to me, and were eager to share their bacon concoctions. I really appreciated all the vendors! And their food was delicious. I mean, Hideaway was grilling up shrimp right at their booth! I enjoyed bacon cinnamon rolls, bacon hamburger pizza, a coffee bacon semisweet chocolate cookie, shrimp and grits with a bacon red-eye gravy, and a beef bacon smoked cheesy sandwich.
Overall, we voted for the cookie from The Beared Baking Company! We were both extremely impressed with the flavor and uniqueness of their baked goods. They currently sell goodies at the Pedernales Farmer’s Market in Spicewood and deliver products all around Austin. They’re getting into a commissary kitchen soon, so look out for their baked goods being sold in stores around Austin! They’ll also be at the Pecan Street Festival September 21st and 22nd. Check them out if you can!
Another thing that was fun was the Quick Draw Photo Booth. They were also extremely personable. They run a photo booth where a person prompts you into different poses PLUS the guy sketches out a drawing of you! I LOVE my little portrait!
Drinks were not included with the ticket, but I bought a bacon bloody mary for the photo op. It was made by Pink Avocado, the catering company that was working the bar.
This was the first year of the ATX Bacon Festival. I get it. Still, I was glad that my tickets were free. $25 for 5 samples just wasn’t worth it. After sampling the vendors and getting my photo taken in the photo booth, there wasn’t much else to do. My hope for the event is that it sticks around for another year, but expands to like, three or four times the size.
Did you go to the ATX Bacon Festival? What did you think? If you really enjoyed yourself, please let me know! Maybe I missed something. I’d love to hear your thoughts!