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Oink! The Ultimate Summer Bacon Festival

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Just how popular is bacon? Google the word and you’ll get 144 million results (and how many of those are really about Francis Bacon?). There’s practically a tweet every minute under #bacon. There’s bacon ice cream, bacon cocktails, and, of course, burgers piled high with bacon in cities across the U.S. What gives?

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Who cares! This salty meat treat has become a dietary staple—it’s practically an honorary member of the food pyramid (or plate, or whatever it is now). So go join a grease feast: the Des Moines-based Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is taking its show on the road, to Keystone, Colorado for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour from June 24-26. It’ll be an all-bacon, all-the-time weekend, with bacon tastings, bacon lectures (?!), and bands made up, one would assume, of non-vegetarians.

We’d go if we were closer—it’s only $30 for stuff-yourself-silly (i.e. unlimited) bacon tastings—but we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with New York–style bacon: with an egg, on a roll. And, hey, that’s not so bad.

Photos courtesy of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour

Tweeting My Way Through San Francisco


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Whenever I head out of town, I turn to my small but trusty band of Twitter followers for recommendations in my destination, but I really discovered the power of social media during my visit to San Francisco last month. As has become the norm for me now before any of my trips, in the days leading up to my departure I hashtagged away to glory and beseeched strangers and friends alike for tips.

Soon an itinerary was taking shape (many thanks, @PaperDaydream, @JasleenK, @streetno8, @BeautyNDFeast, @LettuceVeg, and @chiratsu!), incorporating classic landmarks like Lombard Street with restaurants and neighborhoods I never would have found in my guidebook.

 One place that kept making its way onto my Twitter timeline was a sandwich shop called Ike’s Place (3489 16th St.) on the fringes of the colorful, mural-bedecked Mission District. It generated so much buzz in response to my queries that the first thing I did was plug the address into my GPS to make it my starting point.

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Open Wide: The Big New York Sandwich Book

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“Too few people understand a really good sandwich,” lamented the consummate foodie, James Beard, in a quote that appears on The Big New York Sandwich Book, by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press).

The new cookbook attempts to remedy this quandary with 99 creations from some of the best chefs in the Big Apple—a city that understands a thing or two about sandwiches.

While the recipes make it a worthwhile edition to your cookbook collection, the tone and selections make it fun—no matter what you’re in the mood for.

Here are a five of our favorites. Which one are you?

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Atlanta’s Top Food & Wine Festival Restaurants

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With the debut of the very first Atlanta Food & Wine Festival last month, T+L takes a tour of the city’s Westside—a meatpacking district turned culinary and cultural hot spot.

The fried chicken is so popular at JCT. Kitchen & Bar—named for the railroad junction that once transported livestock to the area—that it regularly sells out. The daily catch, served with local cauliflower, is just as delicious. 1198 Howell Mill Rd., Ste. 18; 404/355-2252; dinner for two $72.

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Singapore Takeout: Look for the Pop-Up Window Near You

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Ten chefs, nine cities, and one pop-up kitchen. No, it’s not the set-up of some new reality TV show on Bravo, but an inventive initiative by the Singaporean government to showcase the city’s vibrant fine dining scene. Dubbed Singapore Takeout, the project starts its yearlong world tour in London on June 9.

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New Hamptons Hot Spot Opens

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Memorial Day Weekend always kicks off the summer season in the Hamptons, and after weeks of endless rain, east coasters have never been more keen on escaping to the glamorous sliver of earth that juts into the Atlantic on New York’s Long Island. The race to define the newest in vogue summer spot is an annual ritual on the Gold Coast. This year the buzz is behind South Pointe, the newest and most robust addition to the Hamptons night scene.

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New Drink May Cure Hangovers (and Jetlag)

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That zany four-pack Phil, Stu, Alan, Doug and their fifth wheel Mr. Chow are back with another mind-blowing bender—this time in Thailand—as The Hangover Part II hits silver screens today across the U.S. While no one may ever match the debauchery of their first go-around in Las Vegas, on a smaller level (I’ve never commandeered a cop car or abducted Mike Tyson’s tiger) I can relate to this buffoonish bunch.


Once on a 14-hour, cross-continental schlep from Salt Lake City to Brisbane, Australia, things got a bit foggy. When I peeled my eyelids open in the morning, I was met by a nausea only achievable when quaffing strong cocktails 3,000-feet above ground. On another trip, I found myself leaning against a pillar at the Acropolis in the sweltering European heat after indulging in copious amounts of Ouzo on the last leg of a connecting flight to Athens the previous night. Not even a Greek deity could have curbed that queasiness.


The plight of the red-eye flier is common. Who can resist settling in for a pre-trip potation? Luckily for travelers everywhere, the choice between in-flight inebriation and next-day functionality may be over.

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Celebrate Memorial Day with Nationwide Burger Deals

201105-b-brgr-4jpgWe’re already deep into National Burger Month, with specials like $1 burgers on Wednesdays at New York’s Goodburger, free premium toppings on Mondays across the country at The Counter chain, and a new burger daily at the Four Seasons in Boston or Iron Hill Brewery restaurants in Pennsylvania and Delaware, where the Jalapeño Popper burger caps things off on May 31.

But don’t feel you’ve missed out if May’s burger mania is news to you. The most widespread offers are still to come. On Burger Day itself, May 27, Groupon will roll out deals in all its 175 North American markets, bookable through Sunday at midnight. Here are a few to get your mouth watering and kick off your summer.

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San Francisco: 5 Things We're Craving Now

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Here's my personal and subjective list of five things I want to seek out to taste this month in San Francisco:

1. Creative cupcakes from punky pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez, whose Les Elements stand at the biweekly Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market includes an intriguing Darjeeling tea cupcake with black pepper frosting.

2. The Margharita pizza from Una Pizza Napoletana, where the dough is made from wild yeast spores and topped with buffalo mozzarella.

3. Local Hodo Soy Beanery's yuba tofu strips, marinated in spicy teriyaki sauce and pan-fried.

4. A whisky cocktail at the newly renovated House of Shields, one of the city's most historic and beautiful bars.

5. The red velvet fried chicken (yes, really) at American Cupcake (pictured above).

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Jaime Gross is Travel + Leisure's San Francisco correspondent.

Photo courtesy of digitalShe™

Eat Your Pudding: Chef Marcus Wareing Opens New Restaurant in London

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It’s one of the most buzzed-about and eagerly anticipated hotel openings across the pond: London’s iconic St. Pancras railway station has reinvented itself as a sumptuous new Renaissance hotel, and last week unveiled The Gilbert Scott restaurant. Celebrated chef Marcus Wareing (of the Michelin two-starred Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley) derived inspiration for his second restaurant from both the historic building itself, as well as from dishes that are nearly 200 years old, but cooked with modern techniques.

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