Summer Starter: Bacon & Barrels

The San Diego eat/sip soiree brings the sizzle.

B-EAUTIFUL BITES + BEVS: When planning a foodie extravaganza, it doesn't always matter if the foods featured begin with the same letter of the alphabet, for the sake of catchiness. In fact, Marmalade & Mayonnaise wouldn't be all that tempting for most people, and Leeks & Lollipops leave much to be desired. But sometimes an easy-to-remember name and an obvious pairing dovetail in a way that suits many a palate and taste. Such is the case with Bacon & Barrels, an annual two-city match-up that marries both the savory star of breakfast and those libations that can thank barrel-aging for some of their memorable flavor. It's an interesting duo, but not all that unlikely, since the egg-supporting strips have leaped off the brunch buffet in recent years and wound up in all sorts of posh dinner dishes. The result? Wine, and bourbon, and beer, and whiskey have all transformed into delightful dance partners to all manner of bacon-y goodness. See for yourself in...

SAN DIEGO AND SLO... when Bacon & Barrels returns for another year of chomp-around tasty times. The San Diego soiree, which is on Saturday, May 21, lands at The Embarcadero Marina Park South, while a full three-day weekend of bacon-a-tude'll head for San Luis Obispo on July 15, 16, and 17. What'll happen? Chefs'll make tidbits -- bacon-wrapped dates, bacon desserts, bacon everything -- and wineries, brewhouses, and distillers'll show off their finest bacon-enhancing beverages. Tickets? They go, which isn't a shocker, as this one is a big deal on the bacon calendar. What? You don't have a bacon calendar? Best line one up quick, as the meatstuff, and the sips that better it, continues to dominate the food festival line-up.

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