The 2009 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, held in New York City’s Madison Square Park, was a blast as ever. This year Rachel and I only went for a few hours on Saturday, but it was more than enough barbecue to last us for a while! You can still catch the second day on Sunday if these photos are making your mouth water (click for slideshow of full size hi-res photos).
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Blue Smoke is always my first stop at the block party — this year, Pitmaster Kenny Callaghan was smoking up Kansas City Cut ribs.
Who can resist Ubon’s of Yazoo City, Mississippi’s wonderful juicy pulled pork? Gary Roark, Ubon’s champion pitmaster, is also one of the nicest guys in the barbecue biz. This year Ubons’ was featuring its “Jubons” grilling team which won 4th place in Patio Grilling from Memphis in May, which got its name by some of their Hebrew pit crew from NYC that were also staffing their booth this year. Ubon’s is a pulled pork sandwich that I’m willing to go to hell for eating.
I always have to make a place in my stomach for Ed Mitchell’s whole hog Eastern Carolina BBQ. When I was in Raleigh last year on a consulting contract for several weeks, I was OBLIGATED to eat at his The Pit restaurant at least one night of the week, the stuff is so unbelievably good.
I was extremely impressed with BBQ Block Party newcomer Patrick Martin, of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville, TN. Like Ed Michell, Martin is also Whole Hog Specialist. Martin smokes larger hogs than Mitchell, in a larger rig, and serves his sandwich in more of a pulled form than Mitchell’s East Carolina vinegar and pepper sauce chop. Martin’s Slaw and pork sauce is absolutely fantastic as well.
Mike Mills of Memphis Championship BBQ is THE MASTER of Memphis-style Baby Back Ribs. I was utterly transfixed by their fountain of BBQ sauce. Their “Pull Your Panties Down” Punch also hit the spot.
Ed Wilson of Wilson’s BBQ may from Connecticut, but he’s no Yankee. His brisket is all Texas.
Michael Rodriguez runs a well-oiled BBQ producing empire at The Salt Lick down in Driftwood, TX. Those hot links are absolutely outstanding and the brisket is nice and smoky.
At Baker’s Ribs, when there’s smoke, there’s definitely fire. Joe Duncan and his boys from Dallas will show you how its done.
Drew Robinson and his crew from Jim n’ Nicks Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, Alabama did a great smoked sausage with pimento cheese and Jalapenos. It was a coarser, spicier type than Salt Lick’s, with more resemblance to a Chorizo than a traditional Texas Hot Link. I really loved it, especially with the spicy pimento cheese.
New York City’s own hog-driving heroes at Dinosaur BBQ was here in force with a crowd pleasing Pulled Pork sandwich.