Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, October 19

Gapers Block

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Event Tue Apr 29 2014

Too Much Bacon at Baconfest? Never.

dsc_0299.jpgI could smell it before I entered the UIC Forum. The intoxicatingly smoky aroma of cured pork belly, so savory and dense, even the air tasted good. Baconfest is no place for health-conscious vegetarians, nor cholesterol and fat-fearing dieters, nor devout Jews. No, it's where hearty Midwesterners gather to smother their bearded faces with porktacular deliciousness. Baconfest has come a long way since its 2009 inception with only 10 restaurants and 75 attendees -- this year boasted more than 160 restaurants with 4,500 ticketed guests. Like everyone else, I had my categorical favorites.

Best Bacon in Tube Form
Stout Barrel House & Galley's Dirty Bastard Bacon & Shrimp Sausage (with roasted jalapeno and bacon cream, grilled red cabbage and candied bacon slaw)

Best Bacon in Disguise
Laughing Bird's Bacon and Shrimp Dumplings (garlic, bacon, sesame sauce, tobiko, curry oil, green onions)

Best Unexpected Use of Bacon
Tie between Red Butter's Bacon and Paneer Samosa with strawberry-rhubarb-bacon chutney and Jellyfish's BLT Sushi Roll -- bacon, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno sauce, eel sauce and cream cheese

Best Un-bacony Bacon
Authentic carnitas from Carnitas Uruapan

Best Bacon Dessert
Bacardo's Bacon S'more -- smoked graham cracker, bone marrow fudge, chocolate bacon, savory bacon mousse, bacon sea salt

Best This-Shouldn't-Work-But-It-Does Bacon
Bacon-Corn Cookie Sandwich from The Refinery

Best Amuse-Bouche
ZED 451's Sweet Potato Maple Cajun Tarlet

Most Lipitor-Deserving Bacon Dish
The Salsa Truck's Bolsa de Arroz con Tocino -- fried Mexican rice ball, bacon center, tortilla chip crumble, bacon/chipotle crema

Baconfest is a festival of porkish gluttony. It's where arteries clog faster, where beer tastes better, where foodies get their celebrity chef fix. I'd reckon there's no fest more Chicagoan than Baconfest.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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