Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 8 & 9, 2013: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Date: June 8-9, 2013
Event: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
Cost: FREE (unless you want to actually EAT the barbecue, at which time it will run you about $9 each)
Summary:  Open flame, smoke, sizzling, sun, barbecue sauce, meat.

This weekend's adventure? The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party ( -- a huge BBQ festival in Madison Square Park. Pit Masters (I'm learning the lingo) from around the nation come to share their wares with the fine citizens of New York City.

So, yes, since this is a BBQ Festival, you are about to be treated to more PICTURES OF FOOD. More specifically, meat. Lots and lots of meat. And there was lots of it. What I loved the most, though, was that it really was a giant cookout. Open flames everywhere, smoke filling the air, feeling the heat of the smokers if you got close, the smell of grilling ribs infiltrating ones nose, and everyone seeming to be having just a very relaxing and nice time -- truely like a giant back yard barbecue, but surrounded by the sky scrappers and cabs that are NYC.

My only complaint is that dishes cost $9 and they were generally meal (or half a meal) sized -- I wish they'd have a sample for $2-3 that was really just a few bites. Then one could sample a bunch without spending a small fortune and without throwing a ton of food away. Of course, I guess this just means I need to make more friends so 4 or 5 of us can go and each get something different and then share. (As an aside, I'm auditioning friends...anyone want to apply? ;) )

The festival was both Saturday and Sunday. I went on both Saturday and Sunday and loved it. Loved taking pictures, loved the sights and sounds, loved watching the unabashed love affair with cooking meat over flame, slathering it with messy red sauces, consuming it, going "OMG this is soooo good!", then getting back in line for more. Sadly, I didn't come away with pictures I really like. Oh well, it was still fun. And next year, I might actually partake in the tasting! :)

I am going to *try* to credit the correct Pit Master / BBQ place for each of these photos, but I may not always get it right.

First of all, welcome! I'm a Cue Fan today, I guess! And you know when there's a giant Weber grill, good things will happen.


Giant Weber Gril

Not to mention this BEST TRAFFIC SIGN EVER on the streets of NY.
More BBQ This Way

Here are some pictures of the overall scene -- you can see what I'm saying about the open grill and open flame and smoke. You can't feel the heat or hear the sizzling or smell the ribs, but trust me, they're there. :)




And the picnickers...this is on Madison Avenue, people. Flash picnic on Madison! :)

Clearly, at least on Saturday, the place to be was the 17th Street Bar and Grill with BBQ Champ Mike Mills (love the guy below getting his picture taken with the sign). I was super lucky to go by there just as they were interviewing Mr. Mills himself. They wanted him to pull out a rack of ribs, which he did, and then put it back in the oven quickly going, "It's hot!!" LOL And the final picture below was...the line. The line had to be 100 people long! All waiting to get a taste. I hope it was as good as advertised!



Line for Mike

And beyond that, though, EVERYTHING looked good to me! So, without further ado, I give you meat and the preparation therein. By far, my favorite thing was the open flames. Because sizzling and yummy smeels. I mean look at it! Get in my belly!



And if it's not your thing to grill it...use a blow torch. No seriously, a blow torch.

And those that smoke rather than grill, then chop chop chop...

Chop chop meat flying everywhere!

Then slather on the sauce...

Or pour it on...

You can never have too much barbecue sauce...

Then, you add garnishment...

And more sauce (of course)...

Then after you buy it you (again of course) take a picture of it...


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