Saturday, October 29, 2011

A fine time with Swine at Bacon

There was a time when Breakfast In Austin didn't eat bacon. In fact I made it a personal mission to convert those I knew from bacon to the leaner turkey bacon. Yep, I was one of those passionate turkey bacon lovers. I should say that I had a lot of success. My friends would go as far to suggest that Oscar Meyer/Louis Rich pay me a conversion fee. Seriously, I would've made bank! Suffice it to say, turkey bacon took a passenger seat and though I still enjoy it, bacon is a part of my life again. We all know that bacon comes from the back and sides of the hog, salted and dried or smoked, usually sliced and fried for food. Bacon is greasy, fatty and full of sodium. It's a tasty mess! Certainly makes one wonder why anyone would give up the swine.

This leads me to introduce one of Austin's newest finds. Any guesses on the name? Yep, Bacon. Makin' Bacon, Spankin' Bacon, Awaken with Bacon. Aside from the logical rhyming, Bacon is located on the corner of 10th & Lamar in a cute yellow house with signs of the pig. If you were a fan of the now closed, Screaming Goat, this is the same location.

Bacon is a venture by Jed Taylor, Zac Bryant, Ryan Reynolds & Reid Reynolds. Bacon offers an infusion of bacon into their meals including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Specialty Items, Sides and Brunch. The only thing they don't seem to have is Bacon Coffee. Bacon has a very clear vision, a bacon selection, with a consistent theme. You'll see a pink pig on the back roof, a bacon door handle, bacon memorabilia, bacon t-shirts for sale, bacon & pig signage and bacon artwork.

Ordering from the Bacon Breakfast Plates was challenging because everything sounded good. The Broken Yolk BLT had been recommended and always a sucker for runny eggs, I signed up. This is Bacon's version of a BLT for $8.95. Excited to have a choice between 2 types of bacon, I opted for the spiced up Cajun cured with 2 barely fried eggs, bibb lettuce, a tomato, house mayo and Texas toast. The photo doesn't do this sammie justice! It was a tasty, oozing mess and worth every penny. Apart from the BLT falling apart, I definitely recommend for a 1st time Bacon experience.

My friend Micah who has been a supporter of Breakfast In Austin was kind enough to join me for a bit of Nikon snapping. Micah's the one who keeps me in line and calls me out for not posting reviews. Not Micah's 1st time to Bacon, he opted for their Breakfast Special, a Pork Jowl Barbacoa and Bacon Hash with 2 eggs, yellow pepper sauce and tortilla strips for $8.95. When I asked Micah for an insightful breakdown, he offered that there was a lot going on with the dish, which always makes me think there's TOO MUCH going on with the dish. Micah assured me this was a good thing, that his pork/bacon/hash mixture was full of flavor and very filling. The presentation was gorgeous!

Breakfast IS available all day with a handful of other options including Chicken & Waffles - with 2 brined and buttermilk battered all natural chicken breast cutlets served on top of a malted vanilla waffle for $9.95. For something $2 lighter, try their Bacon Waffle with 2 thick cut strips of bacon cooked into a waffle and topped with sliced nanas' for $7.95. If you or your child have a sweet tooth, why not order Bacon's French Toast with 2 extra thick cut slices of locally baked Texas bread dipped in a vanilla batter and griddled for $6.95. If you're a fan of Biscuits and Gravy, try Bacon's spin for only $4.95 with 2 buttermilk drop biscuits topped with house bacon gravy.

No Mistaken' Bacon.

It's all about the feast, not the famine!

To learn more about Bacon, visit them at:
For Tweets: @BaconRestaurant

Pros: Bacon, great service, breakfast all day, location, theme, atmosphere
Cons: Parking is slight in the back lot, minimal on the street
Suggestions: If you have a Sunday Brunch, please add the information to your website

Bacon ~ 900 W. 10th Street, Austin, Texas 78703 ~ 512.322.9777

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gypsy Picnic Results Show

The 2nd Annual Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival has come to a close. It's pretty clear that last Saturday was a HUGE success with men, women, children, babies and dogs all in attendance, plus 34 vendors selling a ton of their best dishes. More space and more food! Happy faces and stuffed bellies could be seen all over Auditorium Shores. The only complaints that came out of No. 2 was a little dust and a DQ for a trailer because of their wood-fired oven. (Austin's burn ban still in effect?!) Austin-ites came out in a big way, solidifying the event as a must attend and confirming what we all know - trailer food is one of our favorite ways to eat!

Wearing my cowboy boot best, Breakfast In Austin happily took a departure from the typical weekend indulgence of breakfast fare. My stomach & I were ready to over-consume some serious trailer food! No Bennies and no Bloody Mary's. After attending Gypsy's Inaugural Fest last year I vowed not to touch a single beer this year. Cause' let's face it. The lines were so long in 2010 that I took up space somewhere in between the music and beer line. So you can only imagine how lucky this girl felt to be 1 of 10 judges hanging trail side in a privately catered tent. Not too shabby!

Not every trailer submitted, so my group of 5 judges were limited to 12 tastings. I don't think my eyes or stomach could've handled much more. Our categories? Best in Bun, Best Veggie and Best Dessert. The other group of 5 had Best Taco, Best Drink and Best Ethnic. No, they didn't share. That said, each trailer gave each judge a massive portion of food and in most cases that portion could've easily fed a 325 pount linebacker. 3-4 bites seemed to be my max on each submittal. Though a few choice dishes offered such stunning flavor, 3-4 bites didn't seem like enough. Sigh. Take a peek at my photos in the order of tasting, a few comments and WINNER notes. (This was a blind tasting, so we didn't know the vendor or dish name until judging was complete)

Best in Bun:

Short Bus Subs - The Principal (You can't go wrong with the Principal! Nearly perfect sandwich with fresh ingredients and lingering flavors)

Tenderland - Battered Pork Tenderloin

The Jalopy - The Original

East Side Kings - Poor Qui's Buns - WINNER! (One of my favorites with roasted pork belly, hoison, cucumber kimchee and a steamed rice bun)

Best Veggie:
East Side Kings - Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad (I swear I don't remember brussels in this dish! Really?!)

Bananarchy - Halfsie Vegan Chocolate Banana

Blenders and Bowls - O.G. Acai Bowl (Can you imagine fresh fruit, granola with rice crispy's and a chilled smoothie? Didn't win but was refreshing)

Kebabalicious - Falafel Kebab - WINNER! (Another one of my favorites - would satisfy any meat lover because of the bursts of flavor, delish! Take me back to the Mediterranean)

Best Dessert:
Hey Cupcake! - Pumpkinator - WINNER!

Bananarchy - Halfsie Chocolate with Toffee Banana (I was a fan of this frozen banana on a stick - loved the balance of sweet & salty, YUM!)

Chi'Lantro - Macaroons

The remaining categories we weren't able to judge and winners:
Best Taco: Torchy's Tacos - Baja Shrimp
Best Ethnic: Mmmpanadas - Traditional Argentinian Empanada
Best Drink: MamboBerry - Strawberry Basil Smoothie

A huge nod to Tiffany Harelik, C3 Presents (Bettina, you rock!) and The Sustainable Food Center for pulling off a very impressive Gypsy Picnic this year! I was so appreciative to be a part of judging (thank you CultureMap Austin!) and had a terrific time. Until next year!

The Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival is definitely worthy of Breakfast In Austin's catchphrase. It's all about the feast, not the famine!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Judging at the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival - Saturday, October 22nd

Today is the day for the 2nd Annual Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival at Auditorium Shores! In a nutshell, this is a gathering of Austin's best trailer food "nomads" who deliver their finest $3 tastings all day long. Admission is FREE, kids & dogs are encouraged to attend and live music, BEER and vendors will accompany the more than 30 trailers. WOW! Check out the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival website for details:

I attended the 1st Annual Gypsy Picnic last year and had THE best time! Typical with any 1st event, there were some definite issues; long lines, trailers running out of food and not enough space. That all said - the event was incredibly impressive! The food was creative and varied, the vibe unparalleled, attendance was stunning, and the BEER, music and weather kept everyone on the grounds.

This year? C3 Presents has secured more space at Auditorium Shores, re-organized the trailers to create more space and I've heard the trailers have been asked to supply more food prior to start time. Lots of cooking going on! There are a lot of activities for the kids, the dogs, continued live music, beer and a sunny day in the forecast...

Something cool for Breakfast In Austin? I was selected by CultureMap Austin to be the Guest Judge at the Festival today and I cannot wait! Last year I drank more beer than ate food, so it goes without saying that I'm ready to eat and excited to judge. There will be 6 categories at the Cook-Off; Best Taco, Best on a Bun, Best Vegetarian, Best Ethnic, Best Drink and Best Dessert.

List of this year's Judge's:


  • Stephanie Keller, Huffington Post
  • Bryan Beck, KGSR
  • Paula Forbes,
  • Mick Vann, Austin Chronicle
  • Todd Boatwright, YNN
  • Courtney Bond, Texas Monthly
  • Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Austin Food & Wine Alliance
  • Chef Ethan Holmes, Second Bar & Kitchen
  • Chef Philip Speer, Uchiko
  • CultureMap Austin Guest Judge, Jennifer Clarke
For more information on the Cook-Off:

I highly recommend participating in the Gypsy Picnic today - it's a great time and definitely one of the more memorable events in downtown Austin this time of year! I look forward to sharing this judging experience with you. There better be a couple breakfast-type submittals!

It's all about the feast, not the famine!