Did You Hear The One About A Vegetarian Walking Into A Bacon Festival?

I am a vegetarian…well, sort of. I eat any fish or seafood so I guess that makes me a pescetarian, but meat and poultry products haven’t graced my lips since I was 15.

So why would a person who hasn’t touched the stuff in over 30 years want to go to a bacon festival?America Loves Bacon   4.11.15   Tampa FL

Call me crazy but…curiosity mostly…I thought it would be interesting to see who shows up both as attendees and vendors.

And I have to say, I was not disappointed. What can I say, I am easily amused.

Besides, I wanted to pay homage to the Spanish settlers who introduced America to bacon back in the 1500s. I made mention of this particular fact in my blog last week. By the way, did you know there are actually 5 ways to say bacon in Spanish?…


Hmmm…I guess we adopted #5 in English.  And suffice it to say, if you ever travel to a Spanish speaking country you can now feel pretty confident in ordering bacon properly…You’re welcome.

Full disclosure: This is where I have to insert the standard blogger’s thing that this is technically considered a “sponsored post”. I did receive 2 complimentary passes to the America Loves Bacon Festival  this past weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds (thanks to a fellow member of Tampa Bay Bloggers, Carlos Hernandez of Carlos Eats)  in exchange for writing this, but anything to help promote things happening in the Tampa Bay community and satisfy my curiosity  I will happily sell my soul…ok, maybe not my soul…but you know what I mean. Carry on…

I obviously needed a sidekick of sorts to do all the sampling. I figured my 18 year old son or my husband would happily come along for the ride but they didn’t seem to share my curiosity for this particular field trip.

Their loss and my friend Ellen’s gain. I think her response when I asked her whether she wanted to go was “Shut up!”

I took that as a yes.

We actually had been at the Walk For Wishes that morning supporting another friend who has a son with neuroblastoma and had been a Make a Wish Foundation “wish” recipient last year.

Pediatric cancer survivors helping grant the next "wish"

Pediatric cancer survivors helping grant the next “wish”…     Our friend’s son is the second from the left

The actual walk took place along the just completed (but 40 years in the making) Tampa Riverwalk

Awesome photo opp along the Riverwalk

Awesome photo opp along the Riverwalk

…and then walked an extra 3 miles to and from the Tampa Convention Center to watch yet another friend’s daughter for a little while in a volleyball tournament. Ellen decided that she needed a little extra pre bacon festival prep so she ran up and down the steps outside the convention center just for good measure. She’s the one with her arms up in the air in case you can’t tell.

My friend Ellen during her best impression of Rocky before the bacon festival

Ellen doing her best impression of “Rocky”

By the time we got to the bacon festival, we were really hungry so we made a bee line for the first food truck we saw. Lucky for me it was The Maine Thang, a “pescetarian” based truck and we shared a lobster roll that hit the spot, albeit a very expensive one… $11. Yeah, as usual, I found the most expensive thing to eat in the whole place.

Good friends share lobster rolls

Good friends share lobster rolls

Worth $11? Does it really matter when you are hungry???

Worth $11? Does it really matter when you are hungry???

Onward and upward…

Ellen eyed the booth for Datz Dough, a South Tampa foodie mecca, where she claimed their bacon brownie “ridiculous”…as in ridiculously amazing.

Datz Dough Bacon Brownie

Before I could get a decent photo of the bacon brownie it went into Ellen’s mouth so that means I had no choice but to post this photo…sorry Ellen

Their bacon mac ‘n cheese, though…apparently not so amazing. She took one bite and asked for her sample ticket back. Fortunately, they didn’t argue with her and we moved on to The Madison Chocolatiers West and their bacon donut. Ellen claimed she was only going to take one bite so she could pace herself, but it seemed to have disappeared rather quickly.  I assume that means she liked it.

Madison Chocolatiers West Bacon Donut

This time I got a photo before a bite was taken.

As we meandered around to the various booths and food trucks, the lines were getting longer by the minute. Ellen, however, was clearly struggling with what to get with the precious remaining sample tickets. Then she stopped suddenly, looking intensely at the menu on the side of one of the food trucks and screamed…

"Shut the front door...deep fried bacon wrapped twinkies?"


Yes, all caps do emphasize just how excited she got, don’t they? I waited in line for almost 30 minutes for this…


Is there anything they won’t deep fry or wrap in bacon?


while Ellen sampled these…

Bacon and onion perogies

Bacon and onion perogies

For the record, there were lots of people sporting some interesting articles of bacon inspired clothing/costumes including these guys dressed as slices of the stuff…


Can’t imagine it really would have tasted very good Ellen!

and this one…


Hehe…his shirt says boobies

but I kind of liked this one the best for it’s creative extension of the word “exercise”…

This is one giant stretch!

This is one giant stretch

Did I mention it was hot?

Like stupid hot…as in why are we walking around in the middle of the day when it is so freakin’ hot!

This is Florida in April after all and, yes, you literally could have fried the bacon on the pavement.


But that didn’t seem to deter the thousands of people who showed up and, yes, that included a few protesters stationed right at the entrance/exit to the fairgrounds. I have to question if they thought there was any possibility they were going to convert a single bacon loving soul on their way in or out, but I definitely give them major props for trying.

What exactly is their end game at a bacon festival?

What exactly is their end game at a bacon festival?

When all was said and done, Ellen sampled 8 different things, claimed she was officially “over” bacon and was going home to have celery sticks for dinner.

The next morning she set me a text with the message “Look what Dave (aka her husband) is doing” and this photo…

So much for being "over" bacon

So much for being “over” bacon

That’s it for now…#BlackerOut !

Bacon Fact


Filed under Call Me Crazy, Food, Great Causes, Tampa Bay

30 responses to “Did You Hear The One About A Vegetarian Walking Into A Bacon Festival?

  1. It’s funny to read about you, an almost complete vegetarian, going to a bacon festival. Bacon wrapped Twinkies are about as horrible as it can get! I love the t shirts that you snapped. Those people take it pretty seriously as do the ones with bacon costumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was such a fun blog. Made my day. Have to say, Tampa seems to have great festivals. I’m sure you are going to the chocolate one. You mentioned it in a previous blog & I included it as a suggestion for experience week. Really enjoyed this, you can tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow interesting article. Bacon Fest sounded good. My wife always says “everything is better with bacon” lol. Thanks for sharing that great day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG I am sooooo jealous. I want to go to a bacon fest so badly. Thank you so much for your pictures. I felt like I was there. Someday I’ll get to go #baconaddict

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jilleysue

    OMg I am soooo jealous. I have wanted to go to a bacon festival so bad. Thank you for your post and pictures. I felt like I was right here with you. Oh some day #baconaddict lol

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fun foodie blog, Beth. Shows how writing a subject blog can pay, in some ways, for the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. very funny posting on your bacon adventures. I kept thinking of several of my bacon loving friends that were probably there too, right in line with you and Ellen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cool breakdown of the bacon festival. I do prefer bacon in the UK, a little more meat and a lot less fat. Whenever I come to the US, I am kinda stupified by the fattiness of bacon. Not that you care about that being vegetarian 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun blog post, Beth!

    The festival should pay you for the advertising — makes me want to fly down next year for it!

    Yum to all things bacon!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds very interesting article featuring the Bacon Festival. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What fun! Sounds like an interesting–and tasty–afternoon. My kids would love it if I took them to a bacon festival. MIght have to see if there’s one in our neck of the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow I love your post about the Bacon Festival. And I would definitely have joined your friend trying out the different cool bacon dishes. 🙂 I love the t-shirts too…ahahah. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. hollyjeantampa

    LOL this post was a hoot! Looks like a blast, and your son and hubby sound crazy to turn down BACON! Tampa always has amazing events like this going on… what will they think of next?! There is no way I could resist such delicious treats.. although I’m disappointed to hear that Datz’s mac and cheese was a bust. They usually put out a great product! Beautiful photos to capture our beautiful city. Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is very hard at a festival to be able to maintain the quality of the food when you have to serve thousands of people in a relatively short period of time Holly so I don’t know if anyone should necessarily hold Ellen’s opinion about the mac ‘n cheese against Datz. I have eaten there several times and the food has always been really good 🙂


  14. Love it and I especially love that you will venture into a bacon festival with no intention of eating bacon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh please Debra…I went to culinary school and got hit by a side of lamb when I was on a tour of the meatpacking district in NYC so I can handle watching people eating a little bacon 🙂


  15. Those bacon costumes are so funny! Looking a lot like the real thing so they could have tricked me! Love the pics in this post and so many with Ellen being caught in the act eating all those goodies, haha!
    Now I’m hungry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh man…just reading about your adventures gave me heartburn…while I do like the taste of bacon, it does not like me. Thank God; otherwise I’d be the size of a house!

    Liked by 1 person

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