6/10/2013 02:12:00 PM

Party Report: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Smokes Up Mad Sq. Park

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
Leading into the weekend, New Yorkers found themselves battling crazy tropical rainstorm Andrea which involved getting soaked to the core, breaking umbrellas, and for those brave enough to attempt the Governor's Ball in such a state, being caked in mud. Luckily for those gearing up to attend the Big Apple Barbecue, founded by Union Square Hospitality Group, it was not the same experience.

Weather held Saturday and Sunday for the 11th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block party, as 17 pitmasters from around the US (including three from NYC) gathered, prepped and braced themselves for the throngs of hungry BBQ-loving New Yorkers and tourists, ready and roaring to give New York City folk a taste of southern culture, ribs, sausage, pulled pork shoulder and of course, whole hog.

It was packed when we arrived Saturday. We spotted Mario Batali moving through the lines, and went straight for Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q. To our surprise, the fastpass/press line was almost as long as the outside line for the general public. And the line was long. Once in the fast pass line, however, the wait was only around 15 minutes. 

For some other lines, such as for The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que from Texas, you were better off standing in the regular line than you were if you had a fastpass. In general, we found that even the long lines did move pretty quickly. During the two days, multiple music acts performed on stage to the crowds in the beer garden, while chefs gave demos and tips in the Seminar Tent.

On Saturday, with many of the vendors running out of meat well before the 6 PM close time (Bob Gibson's and 17th Street Bar and Grill, included), we ventured back to the beer tent, grabbed a Shiner Bock from Texas and joined the rest of the crowd perched in front of the stage watching The Dirty Guv'nahs. With bellies full of barbecue and beer and the sunshine out and shining, the only thing worth being upset about was that this event only takes place one a year.


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