“Bacon” and “beer” — on their own, two beautiful words. Combine them, as in “Bacon-n-Beer” tasting, and what you’ve got is one memorable food experience.
The site of this experience was 918 F Street, LivingSocial’s live events venue. I had gotten LivingSocial’s email a while ago, and my friend Amanda and I signed up for what I think was one of the last bacon and beer tastings of the summer.
The tasting went like this: four bacon dishes, each paired with a different Flying Dog craft beer. Our extremely knowledgeable instructor from Founding Farmers expertly guided us step by step, pointing out notes that we should be smelling and tasting (Did you know that when you smell beer you should do it with your mouth open?), and explaining how flavors are enhanced or altered based on a pairing.
As you’ll see, this became quite a night, so my memory of the details is a bit hazy. But here’s how we started:
The first two beers — I know the second was a double IPA.
On the bottom, local turkey bacon with Vermont cheddar and an apple compote. Up top, a smoky slice of hickory bacon.
It had never occurred to me until this tasting how bacon and beer can complement one another, and how a cheese like cheddar could alter the flavors of a beer.
A fantastic Pearl Necklace Oyster stout. Rich and full bodied with a chocolate/coffee aroma.
My favorite bacon of the night on the bottom — black pepper maple glaze applewood- smoked bacon topped with blue cheese. Up top, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with a sprinkling of blue cheese.
We were each given tickets for extra pours of beer down in the basement speakeasy bar, which we gladly partaked of. Got to try a few more varieties of Flying Dog.
Apparently four bacon dishes and several pours of beer had only whetted the appetite. Amanda suggested hitting up Graffiato for a snack, and away we went. I’ve intentionally steered clear of Graffiato because let’s just say I wasn’t the biggest Mike Isabella fan from his “Top Chef” days. This was a moment of weakness. I blame the beer.
We ordered a few small items, like flatbread with pepperoni sauce.
Hand cut spaghetti.
Spiced pork ribs.
And a warm chocolate cake, artfully composed by Amanda to feature both of our wine glasses.
Okay, maybe that was a little more than a snack. I can say now that I’ve been to Graffiato. And liked it.
End of the evening, right? But oh no, there’s more! The P.O.V. Roof Terrace and Lounge at the the top of the W Hotel, to be exact.
What an amazing view — in the distance, the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.
A few hundred yards away — the White House. How cool is that?
Somehow we ordered more food, like this calamari.
And a mozzarella, tomato, and basil pizza.
I don’t know what happened here — Amanda held out the plate of calamari so I could get the Washington Monument in the background. Instead, I shot the back of her head. Did I mention we’d had a lot to drink?
And that concluded our eating adventure — an adventure that looking back is almost laughable. How did we eat so much food? What was wrong with us? And can I go back in time and do that again?