BIG APPLE BBQ
This is probably one of my favorite foodie events in the city!!!!! It brings different styles of BBQ from all over the country to New York City's Madison Square Park. I like that you don't have to buy a ticket in advance, you just walk around and pick and choose what you want to sample. This year, each item was $10, a couple of bucks more than previous years. They do offer a fast pass ($125) which gets you 2 passes, ability to skip the lines, and $100 towards food. This is actually worth every penny because the lines do get pretty loooooooooong.
The festivities last for two days, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm. I've been the last three years so I was a little lazy this year and decided to go Sunday afternoon. I immediately regretted this once I got there because my favorite spots had run out of food :(. But any BBQ is better than no BBQ so here is what I sampled :)
Hill Country, New York
With so many amazing restaurants, my rule is always to start with out-of-towners since I can easily access New York BBQ spots. However, I was borderline hangry and Hill Country had a fairly short line so I bent the rules a little (good thing I'm the one that makes them). They served a shredded tender brisket with a subtle smokey flavor. It came with a side of spicy pickles that added some heat and a nice crunch!
Ed Mitchell, North Carolina
Ed Mitchell, 'Pope of BBQ,' is a whole hog specialist so had to stop by! I had BIG expectations for this one but it wasn't my favorite bite. Although the overall flavor was nice and vinegary with a lil kick, it was all from the sauce. The meat was a little on the dry side and lacked that distinct smoky taste.
Hutchins BBQ, Texas
Now THIS is what I think of when I think of brisket. Thick slices of tender smoked meat, a decent amount of marble (the fatty part that makes it melt in your mouth), crispy edges, and a seasoned crust (mmmmmmmmm). Ok, enough day dreaming. It was served with baked beans with CHUNKS of bacon and brisket. Hands down best BBQ bite of 2016!
17th Street BBQ, Illinois
These baby back ribs were lightly glazed with a tangy sauce and had a nice crust on them. They were cooked well but didn't have that fall of the bone effect when you ripped them apart. The star of this dish were the tangy backed beans. The tri-colored beans were smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce and finished with black pepper. They almost tasted Asian inspired, like the naughty cousin of traditional baked beans ;).
Sugaree's Bakery, Mississippi
Surprised to see dessert??!! If you know me you know I have a sweet tooth so it doesn't matter what kind of event/gathering/outing/party/whatever I'm attending, I will always find my way to something sweet. That said, this was the most satisfying and delicious cake I've had in a while. The cake was very moist with thick layers of caramel and a hint of sat that melted in your mouth. And somehow they managed to accomplish all of this without the cake being too sweet. I don't know what kind of voodoo this is but I LIKE IT!
Until next year.........