It won’t be a super Sunday for Geoff Renne, a bacon addict known around town as “Mr. Bacon.”
While the rest of the country is pigging out, Renne, 41, will be on the sidelines, his voracious bacon habit temporarily on hold. He’s busy moving his family into a new home.
His reputation as Mr. Bacon has been spreading quickly throughout the local restaurant community.
The 6-foot-7-inch, 255-pound information technology management expert recently showed up at SHe by Morton’s inside Crystals and sent word to the chef to “surprise me with bacon.”
Executive chef Erick Stecher embraced the challenge and went whole hog.
“He sent out tempura bacon and beef fillets wrapped in bacon,” said Renne, who had found a kindred spirit.
Stecher was wearing his bacon shoes and also has a bacon wallet.
Renne’s love affair with bacon heated up about eight years ago during a chef-for-hire party at his home in Surprise, Ariz.
“This lady baked bacon on stoneware and it came out so amazing I bought four of them, and I wore them out,” he said. “When I moved to Las Vegas, a friend recommended I start deep-frying my bacon. It got to the point where I was cooking 10 pounds of bacon every Sunday. My wife and two kids would each have a piece, and I ended up eating the rest.”
He estimates he used 17 pounds of bacon for Thanksgiving, “and there are just four of us. I bacon-weaved pretty much everything we cooked.”
If you’re wondering how his bacon-besieged arteries are holding up, Renne admits he’s had to change his ways.
Five years ago, after taking a mandatory physical for work, his doctor called, saying she wanted Renne at his office immediately.
Upon arriving at the doctor’s parking lot, Renne saw his wife’s car and worried that something had happened to her.
The doctor had bad news, but it was about Renne’s cholesterol.
“It was 700. That’s when I started only eating bacon at restaurants,” he said.
He’s cut his cholesterol to 250, he said, by using fish oil — “no drugs” — and dramatically slicing his consumption of bacon.
“At the highest, I was probably doing 10-12 pounds a week,” Renne said.
He still “loves to go to restaurants and say, ‘What can you do with bacon?’ ”
More often than not, he’s disappointed.
He ordered chili fries at a new restaurant and requested that the chef get creative with bacon.
“The chili fries came out with a side plate of bacon,” Renne said. “I actually said to the waitress, ‘Is that all you got?’ ”
At another restaurant, a general manager told Renne the chefs were not allowed to go off the menu.
At Mastro’s Ocean Club, the high-end seafood and steak restaurant at Crystals, a server greeted him with a glass of beer with strips of bacon in it.
He’s befriended the owners of the new Bacon Bar, featured in October on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” after host Jon Taffer and his crew helped transform it from Kerry’s Sports Pub.
“They’re going through 150 pounds of bacon a week but it should be a lot more than that,” Renne said. “They need more than four bacon items and three bacon-flavored drinks.”
Renne would be in hog heaven if he could turn the Bacon Bar into a mecca of bacon.
“I said, ‘Now you have to take it to the next level,’ ” Renne said. “I’m working with them on the menu to add more bacon. I suggested they make a bacon-weaved pizza crust, and they should have a bus pick up people on the Strip and shuttle them. People are taking taxis there and paying $100 in fare.”
Renne’s car, which has “BACONMN” on its license plate, is a rolling advertisement for bacon. On the back are stickers such as “Either you like bacon or you’re wrong,” “Got Bacon?” and “Keep Calm and Eat Bacon.”
And in a spinoff of the “Support the Troops” ribbon, Renne’s version is a bacon ribbon with “Support Bacon.”
During the interview, he pulled down the neck of his T-shirt to reveal a colored tattoo over his heart shaped like a zipper with fried bacon pouring out.
“My goal is to get my car bacon-wrapped,” he said. “My kids think I’m crazy.”
Country star Toby Keith, chatting with Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry at the SW Steakhouse (Wynn) on Thursday. Keith was sipping from, yup, a red solo cup. Henry tweeted, “Did you know @tobykeithmusic has done 200 free shows for US troops? Great man. #thankyou”
THE PUNCH LINE
“The Super Bowl this year will be played in Gov. Chris Christie’s home state of New Jersey. It’s a state that lately has gotten used to 300-pound guys blocking things.” — Conan O’Brien
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at email@example.com. Find more online at normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.