Today was a good day for my stomach: the 11th Annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party at Madison Square Park took place over the week end, featuring some of the best pitmasters in the country, from Texas, Missouri, North Carolina, Alabama...This event takes place every year, one week end of June, in support of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
The festival was all about food, but there was also a beer garden, some BBQ demonstrations and some music.
It was for sure packed and more and more people showed as the day went by, trying to benefit from the food that cost $9 a plate. Surely, walking around, you could not miss the delicious smell originating from the different BBQ pits, each pitmaster having his own design, some of them looking industrially made:
and others looking more...homemade!
As I mentioned few times on this blog, what we call BBQ in France is grilling and I can assure you that each time I have visitors, I bring them to a BBQ joint and they really love it! So, imagine me in this festival: I was like a kid in a candy shop! Especially looking all these stands prepare their food!
Like Whole Hog at Skylight Inn:
Sausages at Jim'N Nick's:
With all this food all around and that smell that kept tempting us, it was time to try some food! We started with Blue Smoke.
I always wanted to try their restaurant and it was the perfect occasion to taste their salt & pepper beef ribs!
They were fantastic! Juicy, with a nice char on top and some delicious fat, the meat was falling of the bone. There was also a nice quantity of it: in fact I found it to be one of the best deals there!
Then, we went to Salt Lick BBQ from Texas:
They were serving sausage and brisket:
They served it Southern style, with a slice of white bread in the bottom and we put some of their BBQ sauce. The sausage was pretty good, with a nice kick, but the brisket was a bit tough and dry. So sad, because we got a sample earlier and it was very good and juicy.
The last one we tried was Scott's BBQ from South Carolina.
I am not a big fan of shredded pork shoulder because it tends to be dry, but I was curious to try this as they mentioned pork skin and I could see them shredding the pork that had this beautiful reddish crisp skin.
Here again, they served the meat on a piece of white bread and put some vinegar all over it.
Well, they called it vinegar, but I did not really taste vinegar! I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting some of the skin of the pig we saw before. Instead, they throw some fried skin from a bag...It was good and crispy, but still not what I was expecting. This was good, but a bit bland and dry. I did not finish it.
This was a great opportunity to try different BBQ joints and was for sure for meat lovers as there was nothing for the vegetarian: no Mac & Cheese and no fried green tomatoes! Chapeau to the pitmasters and staff for cooking in these high temperatures on a hot day! The Big Apple Block Party was fun and well organized and I will probably go back every year! One thing is certain: the beef ribs from Blue Smoke were the best from what I tried and I am looking forward to try their restaurant!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!