Blog: 2013 Big Apple Barbecue
Smoke it, rub it or slather it. Anyway you barbecue is fine by us. As each year passes one event makes all meat eating New Yorkers crazy for this popular finger licking delicacy. And for one weekend in June all of this love culminates in one location. It’s the “Big Apple Barbecue Block Party” back at home smack in the center of Madison Square Park. Our outlet made our way to this insanely popular event on Sunday afternoon alongside thousands of our likeminded friends.
The “Big Apple Barbecue Block Party” can be extremely overwhelming based solely on the variety and the sheer number of people all crammed into the outdoor space, looking to taste some of the country’s finest cooked meats. The best course of action is to grab up one of the coveted “Fast Pass” tickets which allow guests to hop on lines that move at well, a fast pace. Luckily we were in possession of one of these golden tickets and had cash in hand, ready to eat. Our first stops were all ‘cue joints right here in New York City. First up, the ever expanding Dinosaur Bar-B-Que had an army of expert pitmasters carving up beautiful brisket for an overstuffed sandwich that caused many in attendance to sit down after eating for a breather. Nearby, Blue Smoke served up huge salt and pepper beef ribs, with chunks of tender fall off the bone meat that would be perfect for a lion. Each bite was smoky while at the same time had a fiery kick. We had more fun watching the folks around us trying to navigate their way around each huge bite. Meanwhile, Hill Country went the traditional route with their serving of brisket with a side of fresh cucumbers. We opted for the fattier slices of meat which ran deep with savory juices.
Our barbecue tour then left the comforts of local fare and headed toward the smoke joints south of the Mason Dixon. Jim N’ Nicks of Charleston, South Carolina is known for their incredible pulled pork sandwich, but on this day they broke the mold with a sausage link slathered in a tangy sauce paired with a creamy slaw. Each bite of the sausage literally exploded with flavor, easily putting the push cart hot dog cart to shame. Pappy’s Smokehouse of St. Louis, Missouri blew us away for the third year in a row with their delectable ribs. These slow smoked and glazed ribs fell off the bone with great ease allowing each bite of pink pork to melt in our mouths upon the first taste. Perfectly barbecued baked beans proved a worthy side. The sweet and meaty beans were delicious and hearty and could have easily been a meal on their own.
The fortune of having great weather is a blessing and a curse for the now annual ‘cue fest, as the delight of being outside and tasting some of the country’s finest barbecue can at times feel daunting with the amount of attendees that surround each truck. But with all of the portions priced at just $9 and a completely free event, it’s tough to find much to complain about on one of the best weather days of 2013 to date. And as the sun was shining down on us and we sought out a wetnap to wipe some of the sticky and tangy sauce from our cheeks, we made sure to revel in the moment and in the fun and festive nature of the “Big Apple Barbecue Block Party” or as we now call it in the LocalBozo.com offices, meat filled utopia.
- Jane Van Arsdale & Jay Rubin