Texas Motor Speedway’s love affair with bacon isn’t going away anytime soon, and its latest creation might actually have staying power.
No offense to TMS’ attempt at making bacon cotton candy or a bacon-infused beer milkshake, but those items simply generated buzz because they bordered on ridiculous. No fans, though, were dying to try them.
This time, however, the track might have found a future concession stand staple: Hawg Heaven Bacon Nachos.
The chips are smothered in white nacho bacon cheese sauce and topped with chunks of hickory-smoked bacon, candied bacon and bacon powder.
The $8 snack also comes with black beans, pico de gallo and sour cream. It will be available at the concession stand on the concourse inside the Gate 4 main grandstand entrance.
We caught up with TMS executive chef Lincoln Engstrom on the latest item.
This is more of a traditional item than the past couple years. Why’d you go that route?
“Well, it’s an extension of our ‘Hawg Heaven’ line. The bacon cotton candy and the Hawg Heaven brew were a lot of fun, but we wanted something that was going to sell more. So our No. 1 selling concession-stand item is nachos, so we had a little fun with it and created this.”
Did you consider any other items?
“When we were sitting around after the April race, we thought, ‘What are we going to do next time?’ Someone threw this out here and it was a no-brainer. Like I said, it’s our biggest-selling item, and we’re always trying to make it better. Once we were on this, we showed it to [TMS president] Eddie Gossage and he was on board. After that, we went to work.”
Was it hard to get that much bacon involved?
“Hey, we’ve got to have bacon, bacon, bacon and more bacon to make it kind of a ‘wow’ item. Bacon is meat candy, as Eddie likes to say. We played around with several different things, frying chips in bacon fat, making a bacon roux and putting that in sauce. Those didn’t really give us the flavor we wanted, so we just kept doing different variations so we could get the most bacon flavor possible and this was it.”
People love just bacon as it is. Does that make it harder to incorporate it in items like this?
“As a chef, you’re always trying to add flavors and add levels of flavor. Bacon just has that flavor, a little bit of bacon goes a long way in punching up the flavors in almost anything as we’ve proven here — cotton candy, milkshakes. So we were able to get bacon four ways in these nachos. We’re expecting people to like it and buy it.”
The price, $8, seems reasonable. Was that one of the goals as well?
“Quite frankly, it’s a little underpriced at what it is. But the speedway is all about the fan experience, trying to make it accessible to everyone, trying to take care of the fans. We probably could’ve charged a couple more dollars, but we work for the fans, too.”