We checked out the Big Apple BBQ Block Party yesterday, and sampled barbecue from four spots: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Tennessee), The Salt Lick BBQ (Texas), Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Alabama) and Pappy’s Smokehouse (Missouri). We avoided NYC barbecue for the obvious reason–we can get it anytime.
None of it was the ultimate barbecue of our lives–that glorious moment happened in Kansas City–but all of it was tasty, and Big Bob Gibson’s pulled pork shoulder was our favorite–charred bits of rub, and fat shards of meat so porky they almost turn the corner into gamey, in a good way.
We got to Madison Square Park at about 11:30, and the festival was already pretty crowded. But the fast pass was key, allowing us to hop from stand to stand without much of a wait.
Pics of the food, the rigs, the people, after the jump.
Here’s Martin’s Bar-B-Que whole hog rib from Tennessee.
Martin’s hog is barbecued whole and then all the lovely bits are chopped together.
Martin’s served that chopped-up whole hog on a potato bun with coleslaw on top. The pork was very soft (a little too soft for our taste), and fatty. The square of crackling turned out to be so crunchy we literally could not bite through it and were reduced to sucking on it.
The Salt Lick Cooker, full of Hill Country-Texas-style brisket and sausage.
The Salt Lick plates, some of the most generous at the party, featured an odd green cabbage-sesame slaw, brisket, half a fatty, peppery sausage, and the traditional slice of white bread. The brisket was good, but a tad dry.
Assembling plates of coleslaw and pulled pork shoulder at Big Bob Gibson’s from Alabama.
This was our favorite plate of the day. Even the slaw was particularly good.
The fast pass lane for Big Bob Gibson’s.
A woman from Pappy’s Smokehouse hacks up the St. Louis style ribs.
The line for Pappy’s ribs.
Mmmm, ribs. We are suckers for wet ribs. The sauce was peppery and delicious. The beans were too sugary.
It pays to come early. Even at 11:30am, the lines were starting to elongate.
By 12:30, the organizers had busted out the flags, so that you could see where the end of the lines were.