PUT A STRIP ON THAT SANDWICH: Of all the cities in the nation that cameo on menus, Monterey is seen quite often, if not the most. True, true, there is dear Denver, and the Denver omelet, and Boston Cream Pie, but if you want to describe a foodstuff as being a bit Californian, a bit fresh, a bit spicy, and likely laden with ranch dressing (another California classic), you'll likely call it "Monterey," if you're in charge of naming dishes. There are a number of Monterey-monikered sandwiches in this world, in short, and many of them, over time, have acquired bacon, in the way that things over time generally do acquire bacon, eventually. Because? Bacon. If ever a salty rich edible could stand on its own, as a one-word answer, complete with a period to shut doubters down, it is the breakfast side that went big. So big that it now stars in its own summertime festival in, you guessed it, Monterey. The pairing feels right, given how often the savory strips show up on Jack-cheese-y, ranch-rich sandwiches, but the foods available at the Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 gathering will run the gamut. Did we mention the Bacon Margaritas yet?
THERE SHALL BE BACON MARGARITAS... there, oversight corrected -- and Bacon Bloody Marys, too, a combo that is seen more and more at brunches and bars across this great land. There's a competition, too, called Best in Bacon, live tunes, and more festival-type doings. By the by, if you're looking for a Bacon Margarita, best make for the BaconBar, which will be on the grounds. Oh, and those grounds? You'll want to make for the Monterey County Fair and Event Center, which, coincidentally, will have just hosted the Castroville Artichoke Festival a few weeks before. Aren't artichokes fairly common in foods named after Monterey as well? Well, any city that gets a flavor combination or dessert or sandwich or omelet named in its honor is fortunate, indeed. For many reasons, but consider how often we think of Denver when we order eggs at breakfast or Boston when we ask for baked beans or cream pie. Regional foodstuffs have moxie. Happy bacon-ing to one of our favorite places with loads of moxie to spare.