My Mom and I ventured out to the 6th Annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park. I've heard a lot about this festive event but was never able to attend until now. It was a lot of fun and we met up with good friends Katie and Grant as well as my cousin Vicky. It was a nice group and we used our fivesome to our advantage when tackling the huge crowds at the food tents.
The event represented sixteen top BBQ joints around the country--NY to South Carolina, Virginia to Alabama and let's not forget Texas. The crowd favorite, which boasted the most obscenely long line was The Salt Lick BBQ from Driftwood, Texas. They served up a beef brisket with a side of sausage and coleslaw and even though I didn't get to try it, I managed to buy a bottle of their famous BBQ sauce. I'll be cooking with it soon and will probably start using it in place of ketchup--that's what happened the last time I got my hands on Texan sauce.
We hit up two places and got ourselves a plate of food, which was generally $8/portion at each food tent. Here's what we tried:
Beef Rib and Beans from Hill Country in NYC: I've eaten at Hill Country before and am a big fan. The beef ribs were gargantuan and had a lot of meat on the bone. Some of it was fatty but it was after all a BBQ pig-out, so we went for it all. The rib meat was salty and satisfying and it also came with a side of baked beans and sausage. The sausage was my favorite and it had a definite kick to it--spicy in a good way, it was fun to sandwich between bread or to dip it into the sweet baked beans. My mom and I shared this and I ended up finishing it by licking all the leftover meat off the bone--insanely good.
Pulled Pork Shoulder & Coleslaw from Ubon's in Mississippi: This was even better than the rib I just described. There was no visible fat on the meat and the sauce it was cooked in was tangy and sweet. The combination of pork and crunchy coleslaw was most delicious and I mixed the two together and put in a potato bun--heaven in between bread.
In addition to the food, there were pitmasters and other experts on-hand sharing tricks of the trade with curious New Yorkers. These seminars went down at the Everyday with Rachael Ray tent and this was also the place where we got free food samples.
Live music was also featured but because the weather was such a scorcher, we called it a day after about two hours. It was a fun event that's worth checking out--but be prepared to wait in lines. The BBQ party will continue through the weekend and you can enjoy its festivities tomorrow from 12-6p at Madison Square Park on 23rd - 26th Streets between 5th Avenue and Madison.