2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 & 2

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billyboy
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2010/07/05 09:05:12 (permalink)

2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 & 2


I made it back to the Block Party this year and I managed to make 7 stops for BBQ and squeezed in a couple of trips to the Shake Shack.


The temps were easily in the 80s, although not as hot as I have seen before, but the crowds were the largest they've had in some time.


I arrived around 2:30pm and had planned to stop at Jack's Old South, a first-year place, but they had already sold out for the day.  So, just down the street I hopped into the huge line for Big Bob Gibson's.  


Pitmaster Chris Lilly prepping some of their pork shoulders.

I waited about 20 minutes for this, but so worth it.


And the finished product after I applied some white and classic red BBQ sauce.  Still my favorite food at the Block Party.  This is the one thing I MUST have if I only make one stop.  Moist, with a nice smoky flavor and buried underneath that soft meat was a huge nugget of crusty bark!  And that mustard slaw was just right.  I found a Golden Ti-cket...umm, cru-sty ba-ark!  


I spied this handsome guy waiting in line too.  I hope he got something good to eat!


Next up was 17th Street Bar & Grill Memphis Championship Barbecue.  Say THAT 3 times fast!  


My baby back ribs and beans.  I had been wanting to try this place for a few years.  I was a bit disappointed with the ribs as while they were meaty, I found them to be a bit dry and the flavor just didn't jump out at me. I was hoping for a more pronounced smoke flavor that just wasn't there.  Glad I tried them though.  The beans were a mixture of a couple of kinds which I don't normally like, but these were good; tomatoey sweet with a bit of a spicy kick.


Third on the hit list was Ubon's Barbeque of Yazoo.    


For some pulled pork shoulder and coleslaw.


This was a good sandwich, but not great.  I couldn't detect any smoke flavor and I thought the pork could have been more tender.  However, the slaw completely blew me away!  Creamy, tangy and the spice kept creeping up on my mouth with each bite.  I asked and found out it was a mayo/vinegar hybrid with some spices mixed in that made it positively addictive and impossible to stop shoveling in my pie-hole!


Nice t-shirt.


What would going to a food event be for me if I didn't get some dessert?  That'd be like cornflakes without the milk!  I really love this creative use of watermelon.

Unfortunately, they were out of the blueberry crisp and the ice cream...


So I opted for the dark chocolate bar with grilled jalapenos and salty peanuts.  I indulged in this later that evening and it was excellent.  The first thing I could taste were the peanuts and then the flavor and heat of the japapenos crept up on my taste buds.  I nice way to finish the night.



I made my way over to the very long line at the Shake Shack.


I spied owner Danny Meyer standing in line for his custard, just like the rest of us.  Another reason for me to like him!


Well, it appears that the choice has already been made for me!

Just in case you were wondering.


This was really good with of a nice ribbon of caramel throughout and big, soft chunks of pecan pie laced in with the rich custard.  As much as I did like this, I definitely prefer a warm slice of pecan pie with a scoop of cold ice cream on top. 


The doggie of the day!  As I walked by the dog run in the park, I spotted this big guy (let's face it, he's pretty hard to miss).  Honestly, every person who saw him stopped what they were doing and were transfixed on him.  He was so gentle and really kind to the other dogs.  Ladies and gentlemen,say hello to Yoda!



Apparently, the BBQ was so good this year that it rose Elvis from the grave!  I was able to snap this blurry shot as he walked by, but I'm absolutely certain that it is him!


Lest you think I was remiss in my BBQ consuming duties by only making three stops on Day 1, fear not fellow Roadfooders, for tomorrow there is always...



Til then, "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride" - Billyboy, 2010



post edited by billyboy - 2010/07/06 07:23:46
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    badbyron722
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/05 09:25:30 (permalink)
    Looks like my kind of party!
    #2
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/05 10:10:50 (permalink)
      Has it been a year ALREADY?!  Lovely pictures   Were all the main items $8.00? or just a co-inky-dink that your 3 things were 8 bucks?  seems like a reasonable price, especially in NYC!   
    #3
    ces1948
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/05 10:15:41 (permalink)
    I have a friend on another forum that was planning on going to this. It looks great. He might have been put off by the long lines but I guess that's part of it.
    #4
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/05 15:27:33 (permalink)
    I do love a good coleslaw Billy, almost as much as the pork, and finding a yummy one is a real treat.  And a Dane to polish it all off!  Looks like a lovely day in the park.
    #5
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/05 20:43:53 (permalink)
    Pecan Pie...Oh My!  I'm with you in spirit...love your thread!
    #6
    billyboy
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 01:46:19 (permalink)

    Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 2
    So I made it back to chow down once again and I really got my grub on today with 4 barbeque stops and 2 desserts.  Let's get to it!  the crowds were just as insane as yesterday and the heat was baking the crowds.  I made sure to take a cold shower before I left the apartment and I packed a couple of very cold water bottles to keep myself hydrated in anticipation of the long lines


    Seeing as I had gotten "brisket-blocked" yesterday, my first stop of the day was to Jack's Old South.  

    I was very happy to see a big pile of wood at their tent, usually a good sign.


    The brisket and beans.  This was good, but a bit more chew than I like.  I wish it had melted in my mouth.  There was a good combination of beef and smoke flavor and a nice crust though.  I was digging the beans with the peach slice in it.  Very inspired way to sweeten the beans.


    My second stop was to Moonlite Bar-B-Q for a mutton sandwich and some burgoo, both firsts for me.  


    This really reminded me of the barbequed beef sandwiches my grandmother used to make at family picnics.  This mutton however had a gaminess to it that I'm not used to.  The chopped onions and Very Hot sauce definitely were a plus. 




    A close-up of the burgoo.  I'm hoping a fellow Roadfooder can enlighten me to the differences between burgoo and Brunswick Stew.  Is it just geography or is it more complex than that?  I wasn't crazy about this burgoo.  It tasted to me like the Campbell's Chunky Vegetable soup I ate as a kid.  


    This next one is a return of sorts, for me.  Ed Mitchell came up this year with his restaurant, The Pit.  I had tried his barbeque a few years ago at the Block Party before he had opened his current restaurant and I found the whole hog to be dry.  I was eager to give it another go this year and see how he is faring.  


    Ahh, a huge pile of pulled pork!

    And the pork puller hard at work.

    I really liked the peppery vinegar sauce and this handy water bottle applicator.  With both flavor and bite, it definitely elevated the pork to another level. 


    I spied someone asking for the cracklings, so naturally I inquired if I might have some too and I was justly rewarded with some most tasty, crunchy pork skin!!

    The sandwich was moist, piggy and nicely complemented by the sauce and cracklings, however, there was a dominant charcoal flavor that was a bit overwhelming.  I was hoping for a rich, wood smoke flavor that just wasn't there. The slaw was okay, but not very memorable. 


    Beautiful doggie shot #2.  I don't know who this big fella is, but he is a very handsome bulldog and I think he knows it too!


    Time for a palate cleanser between barbeque courses.  I spotted this shaved ice cart and since they were already out of cherry, pineapple and tamarind, I went for a coconut ice.


    Most refreshing on a very hot day!


    My last stop on the barbeque trail was at Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q.  


    I came here last year and this was the very first place and I had ever eaten pimento cheese and I loved it so I was definitely eager to return!


    There is some serious smokin' going on here and they take those sausages seriously.




    The assembly line ready top put together some tasty plates of goodness.


    In hindsight, the combination of the habanero hot sauce and sliced serrano peppers on the pimento cheese may have not been my best choice.  I was burning for a while afterwards and it was the kind of painful burn that while it does feel good, makes me question my sanity!


    This was just as great as last year.  The combination of the spicy sausage, cool, creamy pimento cheese and crisp saltine is just perfection to me.  If I could have a platter of this with about 2-3 Big Bob Gibson pulled pork sandwiches, a happy boy I would be!


    After reading about ayersian's (Chris & Amy's) trip here a couple of months ago, I had hoped they would still have this concrete on the menu.  


    Luck was with me today and I was rewarded with one of the most inspired and delicious custards (and ice cream) that I can remember!  The thick vanilla custard was bursting with chunks of sweet, fresh strawberries.  I'm not usually a fan of the strawberry, but when they are this fresh I think, "Oh, this is what a strawberry is supposed to taste like!"  The orange-poppyseed caramel was truly a gift.  A thick ribbon of citrus-tinged greatness dotted with crunchy poppyseeds.  Think of a lemon-poppyseed pastry redefined with custard.  I HIGHLY recommend trying one of these if it is on the menu.

    That's all for now!  Hope you enjoyed the ride.  Good night.  -bb


    #7
    jaylhorner
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 08:06:46 (permalink)
    Super!!!!  How's your diet doing?
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 09:40:34 (permalink)
    Oh that concrete sounds incredible!  And you had a really piggy day on day 2!
    #9
    billyboy
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 09:40:34 (permalink)
    AHI - everything at the BBQ stands was priced at $8.  They didn't sell sides separately.  I knew that going in and was happy with it.

    ces1948 - yeah there have been long lines ever since they started this in 2003.  I always assume there will be long lines and I'm never surprised.  Last year it was overcast with a bit of rain and the lines were much shorter.  It was a pleasant surprise.

    Nancy - I was truly amazed at how much I loved that slaw.  "You know what I'm TOTALLY craving right now?  Coleslaw!"  That phrase has never passed my lips but it might after eating this version.

    CTD - glad I could briing some pie (sort of) into the mix for ya!  Ben & Jerry's used to make a Southern Pecan Pie ice cream back in the late 90s and I remember it very fondly.  This brought me back!

    jay - Thanks!  I don't really diet as the thinking behind it doesn't work for me.  I try to eat what I want in moderation and try to balance it.  It's always a struggle.  I could be doing better but I just take it day by day.  I've been exercising 3-4 days a week and sometimes 5-6 days when I can.  I've got the Boilermaker road race coming up this Sunday in Utica, NY.  I'm a bit nervous, but I think I'll do just fine.
    #10
    jaylhorner
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 10:39:15 (permalink)
    Keep up the good work!
    #11
    ayersian
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 10:54:56 (permalink)
    Billy, awesome as usual. Would you believe that the only non-Decatur store of Big Bob Gibson's is near my sister's house in Monroe, NC?

    You would've loved our 10 stops last week on the Historic NC BBQ Trail. We spent a day with Jim Early, president of the NC BBQ Society, and we got into a long discussion about the sociological differences of Lexington-style (or Western NC) versus Eastern-style 'Q. He said that many Lexington lovers have never tried Eastern 'Q and refuse to, because they know theirs is better (and vice versa). That's because their palates are trained for Lexington only, and they probably wouldn't like the Eastern anyway because of that. Ergo, my question to you is this: since you've trained your palate to love non-indigenous BBQ from around the country, how are you going to truly enjoy the real thing in situ when you do try it?    Chris
    #12
    billyboy
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/06 11:25:46 (permalink)
    Chris, I am seriously jealous man! I would loved to have been in on THAT conversation and all of that good eatin'!  I seriously hope that my palate is not "trained"!  I think that people who aren't open to at least trying something unfamiliar are really missing out on the possibility of something special and that, to me, is what makes Roadfood so wonderful.  The possibility of greatness.
    #13
    ellen4641
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/12 00:45:38 (permalink)
    I hear you about that brisket from Jack's Old South being too CHEWY!
    I like the "melt in your mouth" type, too...
    ...as they say "every picture tells a story", and IMO, the brisket looks a little too stiff & thick..

    However, that Pork Puller from The Pit is looking just fine!
    Something about a guy in overalls , pulling on meat, does it for me every time, lol ....
    #14
    ces1948
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/19 12:44:30 (permalink)
    Billyboy: The friend I mentioned earlier in this thread just gave me a glowing report on this event. He did mention they were able to buy some kind of pass for $125 which included $100 in food credit and special short "pass only" lines to get the food. That sounded like a pretty good deal. Did you hear about that?
    #15
    Ivyhouse
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/19 13:01:33 (permalink)
    billyboy

    And the pork puller hard at work.
     

    Ellen,
     
    You mean this guy?  Yes, he is worth a second look!
     
    ivyhouse
    #16
    MiamiDon
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/19 13:18:13 (permalink)
    Nice report, billyboy.

    I love the sign on Jim 'N Nick's:  Our pitmaster can smoke your honor student
    #17
    irisarbor
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/23 13:05:24 (permalink)
    Great pix and great report!
    I have to say that I share your opinion about 17th Street.
    A couple of years ago, I went to their Marion, IL location, and was completely dissapointed.  After waiting forever (isn't BBQ Already smoked?), what came to our table was tough, very dry, and completely unremarkable. 
    Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but I sure was unimpressed and in not in  a hurry to return.
    #18
    mayor al
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    Re:2010 Big Apple BBQ Block Party - Day 1 2010/07/23 13:30:46 (permalink)
    Billy,
    RE the Burgoo/Brunswick Stew Comparison-


     Much of the comparison is regional geographic semantics. However "Real Burgoo" now uses Mutton as the main meat...changed from the day when it was "Critter of the Day" that went into the pot. Squirrel was one early supplement, as was Posseum. Now a days even the Mutton has been substituted due to lack of availability in some areas...to Pork, or even sausage chunks, making it more of a gumbo that a Burgoo.

    Lots of local variations affect the recipe. A town in Illinois claims to have invented the whole concept, as do many Kentucky towns. The real origins of this stuff is pretty well buried in regional disputes.

    AND, You are correct in your judgement of the Moonlite Burgoo. it does taste like canned soup. Many other places in the Owensboro area do a better BurgooHowever, when put into the context of a full plate of delicious Moonlite BBQ, it makes a great side dish!!
     

    post edited by mayor al - 2010/07/23 13:59:18
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