Posted June 11, 2007 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Events

Big Apple BBQ Recap

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007

So after missing Defcon @ Peppers in order to watch the Rocket pitch against the Pirates on Saturday, I decided to take some time Sunday and hit the Big Apple BBQ. After going last year and witnessing the masses of people waiting in line, I decided to get what’s called a “Bubba Pass” which gives you easy access to the back of the tents with shorter lines. But at 11:45 on Sunday, I got to the fast pass tent and they told us they were sold out already – in fact they had sold out on Saturday. With those plans foiled, I decided to just jump in whatever line I could find and try a little bit of everything.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Pulled Pork Shoulder & Coleslaw
Blackjack BBQ
Charleston, North Carolina
Pitmaster: Jimmy Hagood
This was the first line I jumped in and they started serving right at 12 – the pulled pork was good, but cold. The sauce on the side was too vinegary, but I liked it. Great mustard vinegar flavor.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Beef Brisket & Smoked Beans
Baker’s Ribs
Dallas, Texas
Pitmaster: Joe Duncan
I must say – it was okay. I think it has great potential but it doesn’t seem that their recipe held up to either the crowds or the small travel cooking set up. But then again, I was also distracted by the sausage & brisket from Southside Market (below).

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Beef Brisket & Sausage w/Pickles & Onions
Southside Market & BBQ
Elgin, Texas
Pitmaster: Bryan Bracewell
Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Enjoying the spicy beef sausage from Southside Market
Tied for our favorite dish of the day – the sausage and brisket from Southside Market was excellent. The sausage (it’s beef) was crispy and mildly spicy – just enough heat to make you stand up and take notice, but not enough to deter you from finishing. The beef brisket was warmer and more tender then the beef brisket from Baker’s Ribs.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Beef Ribs & Black Eyed Pea Salad
Hill Country Barbeque Market
New York, NY
Pitmaster: Robbie Richter
The beef rib from Hill Country was huge and full of flavor. Typically I find beef ribs dry, but Hill Country’s beef rib was anything but dry. It was tender and savory with just the right amount of sauce. We will definitely be visiting their new NYC restaurant soon.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Baby Back Ribs & Beans
Rack & Soul
New York, NY
Pitmaster: John Wheeler
Rack & Soul Baby Back Ribs
Rack & Soul Baby Back Ribs
The baby back ribs from Rack & Soul were incredible. A nice crust with a sweet but not too sweet sauce. Tied as our favorite item of the day and good enough to convince us to try out the Rack & Soul restaurant before we leave NYC.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Brunswick Stew
Proclamation Stew Crew
Lawrenceville, Virginia
Stewmaster: John Clary
I have no idea why I ordered this, but it was one of those things that I just had to try – especially after seeing the guy stir the huge pot of stew. It has chicken, lima beans and corn in it (I think). I only managed one bite and the rest was tossed in the trash. Maybe with some extra hot sauce and salt & pepper – but with all the choices, this stew was not the winner of the day.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Fried Pies (apple)
Stehling Brother’s Fried Pies
Asheville, North Carolina
Piemaster: John & Robert Stehling
These fried pies were terrific. Inside a crispy yet soft pie shell was a warm dollop of apple pie filling – all sprinkled with powdered sugar. Just the thing to hit the spot after all that meat. After the fried pies, I was pretty much down for the count. But then we wandered around the park and decided to split a “Concrete Jungle” from the Shake Shack.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Concrete Jungle: It may not look like much but its custard stuffed with hot fudge, bananas and peanut butter. Delicious.
We sat on a park bench and people watched while we finished off the Concrete Jungle. It’s a sinful treat and something we’re definitely going to miss from New York. Then, after scoring some freebies from the Cinnabon and Snapple booths, we wandered back up Madison Ave. While standing outside the Ubon’s BBQ tent, we ran into Gretchen (from Chile Pepper Magazine) & her husband. Now, talk about a small world – on Thursday, I also ran into Gretchen at the Dream Hotel during a Wall Street Journal party. Even in NYC, you can run into someone you know no matter where you go. Since Gretchen & her husband were armed with Bubba Passes, we followed them behind the scenes and since we had easy access, ate some more…

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Gretchen giving the low down on Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Sauces
The best pulled pork of the day came from Big Bob Gibson’s and I must say, all of their BBQ sauces are quite tasty. (Big Bob’s Pulled Pork not pictured here) The difference in flavors between the White Sauce and the Red Sauce is incredible. These sauces will definitely cross my grill again some day soon. If you are still looking for a Father’s Day gift – I’d suggest you check out Big Bob’s BBQ Gift Baskets, that way dad can try out all of Big Bob’s BBQ Sauces and find the one that’s right for him!

And then…

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Smoked Foie Gras from Blue Smoke
Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
Salt & Pepper Lamb Ribs from Blue Smoke
We sat in the Blue Smoke tent and enjoyed some behind the scenes food courtesy of Kenny Callaghan (executive chef of Blue Smoke). The foie gras was excellent (for foie gras) and the salt & pepper lamb ribs convinced me to try the salt & pepper beef ribs at Blue Smoke – a restaurant where I religiously stick to ordering the pulled pork. After chatting a bit and exchanging stories about Texas, I couldn’t eat another bite and had to call it a day (for sure this time). After all that meat, we called it a day and spent the rest of the day digesting.

Big Apple BBQ - June 10, 2007
All in all – a great afternoon in NYC
With each dish at $8 ($4 for the pie & stew) plus two drinks we spent just over $60 for a full afternoon of eating for 2 people. That may seem like a lot, but for 4 hours of food in New York it was definitely cheap and a fun NY outing. And splitting all of that food with other people definitely helps – plus you get to try more BBQ.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog