Saanich with a Side of Baconalooza

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Baconalooza’s inaugural event at Velox Rugby field in Gordon Head will certainly get lovers of swine food arriving in troves. The lunch-time crowd was light, but when the event started at 1pm than noon, perhaps one opportunity was missed in hopes that the dinner time crowd will be busier. This later time is probably when the bacon eating contest will take place, but for one hungry bloke (who skipped breakfast for this show), namely me, I wish I had room to partake in more.

Poor James. He phoned me early in the day to say he’s been struck down with a cold, and I just had enough room to eat for the both of us, but I was taken down by one overloaded bacon cheese burger by the Esquimalt Lions Club (I asked them to keep on piling the bacon on top). However, I did have room for dessert. I could make quibbles in where the beef is sourced and cooked, but hey, I got more than my money’s worth in bacon. I shouldn’t complain.

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And my favourite candy store, Oh Sugar, was present with plenty of bacon flavoured goodness, namely a bacon flavoured BBQ sauce. They offered one freshly made bacon topped over maple cream doughnut that made me think they’ve outdone themselves when compared to other bacon doughnuts I’ve tried in town — mostly Thrifty’s. What Rick offered were three doughnuts for a bacon buck, and he was kind enough to give me a sample to try for rating: it beats Voodoo Donuts‘ version hand’s down! What I ate was moist and luscious.

I might return later, but we’ll see. Maybe after a good workout, I’ll have my second wind for more bacon, and maybe I can watch the shenanigans that’s to occur still (I hope) with bacon eating contestants vying to top dog status. I was tempted to try one of Red Barn Market’s bacon cheddar hot dog when I was scoping out the show earlier in the day, but unfortunately the call of the cow won out: I had the aforementioned beef burger instead.

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Honestly, I’m surprised Koto Sushi Izakaya was here. They were here with some crafty bacon infused fusion sushi sensations. The bacon wrapped quail eggs were certainly tasty. The Panko Crust Bacon Roll (basically an avocado roll) were quite literally da bomb — at first I was hesitant, but I was blown away at the sample. I should’ve gotten a full plate. At least I sampled a bit of everything they had since my weakness, as most readers should know, is with Nippon food.

As I walked around, trying to work off what I ate, the numbers of people coming in to the field certainly grew. Like a bee to honey, I kept on coming back to the Oh Sugar table. I certainly wanted to try everything that was there but even I have my limits. At least the two food truck operations will maintain a presence.

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The Cheeses Crust won me over with their delectable crusty bread. I got a prime piece with an actual strip of bacon on top, and although I’m sad to report they’re not a Victoria-based operation (they’re from Port Coquitlam but they visit the tri-city area), I look forward to keeping track of whenever they come to town with the Victoria Street Food application. Thankfully, they’ll be doing Pemberton and Squamish Valley music festivals next. They’ve been around for a year now and I’m looking forward to their return! What’s good for fans of this food truck is that they have a social media presence.

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And there’s Omalettees who makes up some fairly mean omelettes. They’re barely a year old and I’m won over by the freshness of their eggs and veggies. You can ask for a wrap or bun (nothing to rave about in this department) to put the yoke in, and have the choice of soft bacon or crispy bacon. Of course, I went for the latter, and I kept the condiments light to allow for the turkey, onions and tomato to shine. I had quite the fill, and my brunch was satisfied.

And with music playing in the background, I certainly enjoyed the early afternoon sounds. The two acts I enjoyed were The Sidewalk Blues Band and Cynthia Davis & the Sugar Blues Band singing original numbers. I could have strutted my stuff, but by then, I was ready to roll over Beethoven.

I do like the space that organizer and chef Morgan Onda rented out to host this event. I can do laps around the sports field in order to work up an appetite for more food afterwards. The entertainment is great, and I only wished there were more alternative drink vendors than just the two selling pop, water and alcohol. There were kid-sized juice boxes, but none for thirsty adults like me. Maybe next year, David’s Tea might participate. I’m glad I brought a water bottle with me as the weather did get progressively warmer as the afternoon wore on. When the heat was too much, it was time to head indoors. Perhaps as evening approaches, I may return to see what’s happening. But for now, keeping cool is the way to go, because the bacon was certainly served hot and hearty, served by Hertels for this show.

I look forward to next year, when potentially more vendors should visit to serve swine in new and varied ways. This first year is merely a tease for what’s to come after it gets past a few of its growing pains (a schedule of the day’s entertainment and when eating contests will happen would’ve been much appreciated).

 

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