Pix from the Bacon Debacle

Pix from the Bacon Debacle

When five o'clock struck, the line was already around the block for the Bacon Takedown at Radegast (click to savor).

Over the last year or so, the defining event in the Brooklyn culinary scene has become the recipe cook-off, whether it involves baby pig, mac-and-cheese, chili, or chowder. Yesterday, it was a Bacon Takedown at Radegast Beer Hall, a large Czech beer garden in Williamsburg, and one of my favorite places to grab a foamy stein.

Pix from the Bacon Debacle

In the provocative poster, a babe with a leather brassiere rides a well-fortified pig.

The problem is, these events are cheap and nutritious and have become so wildly popular that you can't depend on getting in anymore. And the $10 ticket price made this a must-attend event.

The odor of bacon perfumed the air as I arrived at 5:00 to find a line stretching down Berry and around the corner on N. 4th Street. As soon as I got in line, a runner came down the line singing out that the event was sold out and there was no bacon to be had. Instead of rioting, the docile crowd dispersed, and I waited for 10 minutes in a much shorter line that sought only to get inside the space and drink.

Pix from the Bacon Debacle

In a bacon jail!

Once inside, the double warehouse proved to be packed, and it was nearly impossible to even get a beer from the bar. The line of people that had paid to get in circled around both rooms and then doubled back on itself. "Those folks at the end are going to have to wait more than an hour even for their first taste," a friend observed.

Pix from the Bacon Debacle

The line of cooks dishing up their bacon-containing recipes, including bacon brownies, and cylindrical cookies with a bacon-bearing filling.

The place was mad with foodies, and by positioning myself at the end of the serving line, I was able to cop samples as friends and acquiantances came off the line with plates full of food. In this way I tried bacon-ramified yellow sheet cake, bacon and avocado sorbet, and bacon cookies. As far as I could tell, there were no dishes that featured entire strips of bacon, or even traditiional recipes (e.g. -- German potato salad, frisee aux lardons) that showcased bacon. In other words, while you could make a caloric meal of the two dozen or so items, it was hard to feel as if you'd had enough bacon. Because the event was a competition, the entrants strove for creativity ala Top Chef, rather than highlighting bacon goodness. Still, on a gloomy Sunday, it was the place to be in Williamsburg.

Pix from the Bacon Debacle

Nothing left but the crumbs of the bacon cake.


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