San Mateo sizzles with bacon, beer 

click to enlarge The Counter will host a bacon burger bar at the Bacon & Brew Festival in San Mateo on Saturday. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • The Counter will host a bacon burger bar at the Bacon & Brew Festival in San Mateo on Saturday.

Among the strong trends on the Bay Area food scene are micro and home brewing — and bacon, bacon, bacon.

How timely, then, for the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce to host its first Bacon & Brew Festival on Saturday in San Mateo's Central Park.

"I love to eat and cook," said Cheryl Angeles, president and CEO of the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce. Brainstorming for a fundraiser for the chamber, Angeles, along with a consultant, decided against the ubiquitous art and wine fair and in favor of craft brewing, a rising trend.

She went home, and when "Bacon Mania" came on TV, she thought, "'Bacon and Brew' — it's good, cute and catchy."

More than 20 food and drink vendors are participating, including Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Devil's Canyon Brewing Company; Warfighter Brewing Company from San Carlos; Widmer Brothers from Portland, Ore.; Uncommon Brewers from Santa Cruz; Lost Coast from Humboldt; North Coast Brewery from Fort Bragg; and Abita, all the way from Louisiana.

Mouthwatering bacon-infused treats on the menu include bacon-and-bourbon bread pudding from the San Mateo firefighters and maple-bacon peanut brittle from Sweet Dragon Bakery.

Savory fixings include multiple bacon burger options from The Counter, Fletch's and Sneaker's Curbside Grill. Other pork-related options range from belly to barbecue from a variety of gourmet and hearty eateries.

In addition to innovative comestibles, there will be family entertainment, including Dr. Solar's Magical Medicine Show, a magic, puppetry, ventriloquism and comedy act performed on a solar-powered tricycle.

Also on Saturday's Peninsula calendar is Redwood City's sixth annual Salsa Festival.

Starting at noon in downtown Redwood City, the free, family-friendly festival puts professional chefs up against amateurs in salsa taste-offs. The public may vote for best salsas between noon and 5 p.m.

Additional entertainment includes two stages of live music, tequila and microbrew tastings, food vendors, and a children's play area with bounce houses and art activities.


Bacon & Brew Festival

Where: Central Park baseball field, South El Camino Real and East Fifth Avenue, San Mateo

When: Noon to 6 p.m.

Admission: $10; free for children under 12 and for those under 17 with ticketed adult

Contact: (650) 401-2440,

Note: The free Redwood City Salsa Festival runs from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at 2200 Broadway.

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Lauren Gallagher

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