It took me nine years to make my first visit to one of the best experiences that NYC has to offer. I’m talking about my four-hour gluttonous and fun-filled day at the 9th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party! Sure, I like using my Weber Grill from time to time to prepare the standard fare for my family – hot dogs, burgers, and steak. This was serious barbecue! Famous pitmasters from around the country set-up shop around Madison Square Park and serve up whole hog, baby-back ribs, St. Louis style ribs, pulled pork shoulder, beef Brisket, and sausage to about 100,000 visitors.
This year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party features 16 different all-star pitmasters from a dozen different states including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and our very own backyard, New York City. Knowing that this type of event is built for dads, American Living (American Living, an extensive new line of clothing available at JC Penney) through Digital Brand Architects was generous enough to reach out to myself & Matt S. to invite us to join in on the action. We are most grateful to them and look forward to collaborating in the future.
Equipped with our Fast*Pass and sporting some modern gear from American Living, we got the VIP access to skip to the head of the line and sample most of the fare (similar concept as the Disney World Fast-Pass system)….There are a lot of ways you could approach this event:
1. Start slow, eat some bbq at a picnic table, listen to live music, and get some more food
2. Start with the first barbecue venue, and as you are eating your food, you wait on-line at the next venue that interests you…and stop when you get full or feel sick from overeating
3. Work your way in a square sampling every venue, but ONLY taking a taste of each so you have room to test out most of the amazing bbq
4. Work your way in a square sampling every venue, but instead of taking a small taste, you finish each dish…which leads to you loosening your belt loop
As you might guess, Matt & I selected option #4
A few important things to note if you are planning to attend the 9th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party:
*the portions cost $8 each & they are not small
*the lines get very long so go early (starts at 11am)
*highly recommend the fast*pass which costs $125, expresses you to a much shorter line, and includes a debit card worth $100 in food…so you only pay $25 for the elite perk of shorter lines
*unfortunately, the fast*pass is already sold-out for this year’s event
*Big Bob Gibson BBQ from Alabama had the longest lines even lengthy for fast*pass holders (the pitmaster has won 10 world championships) so hit that line first
*We sampled 12 of the 16 venues: Our favorites were Blue Smoke’s Texas Salt & Pepper Beef Ribs, Baker’s ribs St. Louis Style ribs, & Ed Mitchell’s Whole Hog…the blondie brownie and blueberry crisps were awesome as well…that was the point where I needed to change my belt loop
*Plan on spending a few hours as they have live music from Austin, Texas on the soundstage, a sweet beer garden, and live cooking seminars & demonstrations
*this event is great for families with children 5 and older, but based on the large crowds and long lines, it may be best to keep the impatient baby or toddler home
This event is happening tomorrow too, Sunday, June 12 from 11am – 6pm so you still have a chance to experience it!
Just in case you miss this awesome NYC event, mark your calendar for this Tuesday, June 14 for the 33rd Annual Museum Mile Festival.
Tuesday, June 14 – 33rd Annual Museum Mile Festival
New York’s biggest block party returns for a mile-long, traffic-free music and art filled celebration that will fill the street and sidewalks of 5th Avenue from 82nd to 105th Street, aka “Museum Mile”. Each of the nine museums located along Museum Mile (including the MET, Guggenheim, National Design Museum) will offer free access from 6pm-9pm, and the fun will continue outside with live performances, art-in-the street activities, and more! Be sure to visit the event’s official website for a complete schedule of events.
Where: Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Street
When: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
For more info: http://www.museummilefestival.org/
Disclosure: My Fast*Pass & meal expenses were generously provided by American Living & Digital Brand Architects. The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.