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Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2009


Fat Guy
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The 7th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will be held on June 13th and 14th, 2009, in Madison Square Park. The mailing we got today says this year’s event features two additional hours each day, so it will run 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

There will be 14 pitmasters:

• Kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke , New York, NY

o Kansas City Ribs

• Pete Daversa, Hill Country, New York, NY

o Beef Brisket

• Joe Duncan, Baker’s Ribs, Dallas, TX

o Beef Brisket

• Jimmy Hagood, BlackJack BBQ, Charleston, SC

o Pulled Pork Shoulder

• Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL

o Pulled Pork Shoulder

• Patrick Martin, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Nolensville, TN (NEW)

o Whole Hog

• Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill, Murphysboro, IL, Memphis Championship Barbecue, Las Vegas, NV

o Baby Back Ribs

• Ed Mitchell, The Pit, Raleigh, NC

o Whole Hog

• Garry Roark, Ubon’s “Champion’s Choice”, Yazoo City, MS

o Pulled Pork Shoulder

• Drew Robinson, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Birmingham, AL (NEW)

o Smoked Sausage

• Michael Rodriguez, The Salt Lick BBQ, Driftwood, TX

o Beef Brisket & Sausage

• John Stage, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, New York, NY

o Pulled Pork Shoulder

• John Wheeler, Rack & Soul, New York, NY

o Baby Back Ribs

• Ed Wilson, Wilson’s Barbeque, Fairfield, CT

o Texas-Style Brisket

FastPasses are on sale now for $100 each (plus shipping) at www.bigapplebbq.org. (A FastPass guarantees exclusive access to express lines for FastPass holder and one guest throughout the entire weekend.)

There will also be seminars and cooking demos, live music, book signings and merchandise. Details will be posted as they become available at www.bigapplebbq.org and we will try to stay on top of all that as well.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I see two new southern BBQ'ers will be in the mix. Are there any missing from last year besides the California rib people who were next to Mike Mills? Is this a final list?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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That's the current sum of my knowledge but I'll report anything else I learn. You could compare the 2008 topic to see if anyone else is missing: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=114176

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Stupid question but the FastPass is basically a $100 gift card (for 2 people) that also guarantees you the express/shorter line? Other than the express line, which is obviously important at this kind of event, it is just treated as $100 cash, yes? Thanks.

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Stupid question but the FastPass is basically a $100 gift card (for 2 people) that also guarantees you the express/shorter line?  Other than the express line, which is obviously important at this kind of event, it is just treated as $100 cash, yes?  Thanks.

Yes, but don't expect a refund if you don't spend the whole thing.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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IMO, the one real hole to be filled in the BABBP stylistic lineup is mutton barbecue from Owensboro, Kentucky.

Do they have anyone doing South Carolina-style mustard sauce?

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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Stupid question but the FastPass is basically a $100 gift card (for 2 people) that also guarantees you the express/shorter line?  Other than the express line, which is obviously important at this kind of event, it is just treated as $100 cash, yes?  Thanks.

Yes, but don't expect a refund if you don't spend the whole thing.

Last year I split the fast pass with a friend and we ran out of money much more quickly than I thought we would. Also the lines were pretty long, even with the pass.

Mike

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Don't forget that you can also buy merchandise (except for books), drinks (except for the Eleven Madison Park and Tabla stands), sides, and desserts with the $100 card. If you go both days with another person, you'll run out of money at some point. If you don't, go buy some sauces or rubs!

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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  • 1 month later...
Stupid question but the FastPass is basically a $100 gift card (for 2 people) that also guarantees you the express/shorter line?  Other than the express line, which is obviously important at this kind of event, it is just treated as $100 cash, yes?  Thanks.

Yes, but don't expect a refund if you don't spend the whole thing.

Last year I split the fast pass with a friend and we ran out of money much more quickly than I thought we would. Also the lines were pretty long, even with the pass.

Any guesstimate on the wait time even with the pass? Thanks.

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  • 1 month later...
The 7th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will be held on June 13th and 14th, 2009, in Madison Square Park. The mailing we got today says this year’s event features two additional hours each day, so it will run 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

There will be 14 pitmasters:

...

A 15th was added, Skip Steele of Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, serving ribs & beans.

I finally remembered to get a fast pass! Super excited.

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<a href=" 0613091142c.JPG title="0613091142c.JPG by steven_a_shaw, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3340/3621686415_1281fb4991.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="0613091142c.JPG" /></a>

You thought you loved chocolate fondue? Behold Mike Mills's St. Louis Red sauce.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Not bad at 11am but now they're long if you don't have a FastPass. Moving well though.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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eG Features director of operations, Dave Scantland, with Blue Smoke's carved watermelon.

3622424441_83ac415201.jpg

3623249202_dc021e4701.jpg

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Another view of the glorious (and exceptionally tasteful) Mike Mills sauce fountain:

3623283830_7be4521888.jpg

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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We got there early and sampled several stands, lines were not that long, even at Salt Lick - but as it neared 1pm the lines were very long -

Outside Tabla there was a El Verano Taqueria stand with excellent carnitas tacos and corn with mayo, queso fresco and chile powder - sad to find out, they only oherwise exist at Citifields...

As we were having our tacos for "dessert" we saw a hand truck go by with 4 pig bodies heading to one of the stands, some little kids were squealing!

I was also amused to see the lonely hot dog vendor on a side street towards Park Ave, what, did he think he could compete?! ;)

Did the area clear out with the rain?

Edited by sandra (log)

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Yes, the El Verano Taqueria product was superb. I had the combo (a pork soft taco and a chicken soft taco, with two salsas) and an ear of corn slathered with mayo, cheese and cayenne. I'm not sure I've had better taco fillings and sauces in New York City, though I have had better wrappers.

I wasn't nearly as ambitious an eater this year as I've been in the past. I didn't really even have a game plan today. Does anybody have an opinion, especially with respect to some of the newcomers, on which places are worth fighting for?

I had the 17th Street product, which is always great. The beans deserve special mention. Blue Smoke and Hill Country are the two New York places I visited, and as I've felt in past years I think they compete very effectively against the out-of-town places. Also had Ed Mitchell's chopped whole hog barbecue sandwich, which has always been my favorite thing at the whole event.

(I should note that, between the free punches on the press pass, the hospitality areas behind some of the pits, the free Snapple samples, and various stuff people handed off to me, I paid for nothing today except two MetroCard swipes.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Yesterday was a bit of a disappointing day at the BABBP. That isn't to say I didn't have a good afternoon, but there were some definite bumps.

The highlight of my day was Martin's whole hog. The meat itself was fantastic and nicely seasoned. And the sandwich with rather 'raw' coleslaw and terrific tangy thin sauce was greater than the sum of its parts. I'll usually eat the meat with a fork to save stomach space but the sandwich was such a well rounded affair that I couldn't help myself. This is up there with Ed Mitchell and Bob Gibson's as my favorites of the festival. I'm so pleased Martin's has been added to this years event and I'm hoping they'll become a regular. If you missed them yesterday, I recommend you make it a priority today.

I also got to Jim 'n Nick's for their smoked pork sausage. They kept running out of food and stalling the line, so this was a bit of a chore. I like most any sausage, and this was no exception, but I was underwhelmed. It is nothing special. The pimento cheese with saltines is kind of worthless imo (although I'd like to see more vendors get away from beans or slaw).

Baker's ribs was also very lackluster. The meat was tough and didn't have good smoke flavor. The serving size, three quite modest ribs, would have left something to be desired if the product itself was desirable. Baker's ribs has been a consistent let down at the event. IIRC they started out serving brisket a few years back and now have switched to ribs. Neither has been worthwhile. I hope they'll be asked to step aside next year.

I hit Bob Gibson's which was great as always.

Salt Lick was, from what I heard and gathered, completely out of food by 3:00. Running out of food only half-way through the day is pretty bad. I had spent a few minutes in a very long line and then aborted with the expectation of coming back when things died down a bit.

Fast pass lines were worse than I've experienced the last two years. They ranged from just ten minutes for Bob Gibson's to what was probably an hour for Salt Lick, with something on the order of half an hour for the others I waited on. But I was there at much more peak times than '07 and '08 so it's not right to compare.

I'm disappointed that I still have never had a great pork rib at the BABBP. I've never liked Mike Mills's ribs (I know others love them) although I do like his beans. Baker's I've already vented about. Blue Smoke is not so impressive (I wish they'd bring back the chicken from two years ago that I passed on but heard great reports about -- there is so much pork at the festival I think they could use a vendor doing great chicken and they should definitely have one vendor doing something exotic like mutton as mentioned up thread). I do really like Rack 'n Soul; they make a tasty baby back rib that it great for what it it, but it's not the 'real' bbq rib I am wanting for. I'm hopeful that Pappy's will put my gripe to bed when I get there today.

I'm also let down that the organizers have still not added a representative from Kansas City. That's always been a big hole in the lineup.

Today I will get to Ed Mitchell with one of my first (and maybe last) stops and will make sure to get to Salt Lick before the line builds too much. I'll also be sure sure to try Pappy's in my search for good ribs. I'm excited to eat at some of the NYC places -- Hill Country (which I eat at often anyway and which has better brisket than Salt Lick), Dinosaur (which I overlook each year but never actually get to in Harlem), and Rack 'n Soul. I'm going back to Martin's too!

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Many thanks for the report. Your impressions square mostly with what I was hearing from seemingly reliable people on the street yesterday. The major point of differentiation with what I was hearing is that everybody I spoke to seemed to love Jim 'n Nick's sausage. I'll need to taste to see how I feel. Also I like Blue Smoke ribs a lot more than you do.d

Given that the 11-12 hour seems to be the best opportunity to conquer the popular spots, I think I'll start immediately with Big Bob Gibson's today. Then I think I'll hit Martin's. Then Jim 'n Nick's.

After that I'll do catch as catch can, because lines will become insufferable even in the FastPass area.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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