Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
Who doesn't love a good block party, especially when there's barbecue involved?
Last weekend, we went out to Madison Square Park with our friends Charlie and Laura to sample some of the many vendors at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. It was really cool to see BBQers from all over the country, especially since I have barely been to any of the really intense barbecue states. With every step we took, we smelled smoky meaty aromas in the air. All around the park was the sight of giant smokers and sizzling open grills. We went early on Sunday and were delighted to find pretty short lines. If I had a few more stomachs and cash to spare, I would have tried something from each vendor, but alas, we only had room for a handful.
Laura and Charlie had a chopped whole hog sandwich from Skylight Inn of North Carolina. This was certainly not a thick, goopy barbecue sauce-covered pork sandwich; there was barely a hint of sauce. Instead, the word we all used to describe it was "light" if you could indeed consider barbecue to be light. A great bonus was that each bite of the chopped pork had lots of little crunchy cracklings.
Meanwhile, we sampled the Jamaican Jerk St. Louis Ribs from Hometown Bar-B-Q of Red Hook, Brooklyn. I've been hearing more about this place as one of the rare BBQ havens of New York, and their jerk ribs were pretty darn good. I have to admit, they weren't my favorite style of rib, and $10 only got you two skinny ribs, but the spice was really good and I'm eager to try more of their barbecue. And, if you're curious, there are 2 people in the world who make my favorite ribs: one is my former co-worker's husband and the other is Alex's best friend's dad. Both make amazing, fall-off-the-bone, very saucy barbecue ribs and I've definitely eaten more than a rack of ribs when they make them.
We rounded out the ribs with a pulled pork shoulder sandwich and another chopped whole hog sandwich with baked beans. I mean, all around fantastic stuff, only I wish next year's concept could be BBQ BUFFET...where you get bottomless buckets of every imaginable barbecue. What's more American than a barbecue buffet? Cynicism aside, we had a great time and had really delicious food, so it was a successful event and whetted my appetite for more barbecues to come this summer!