Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BBQ at Hudson River's Annual Blues and BBQ Fest

This past weekend I went to NYC for Hudson River Park's annual BBQ and Blues event.  Getting there right when it opened a little past 2pm, we were excited (and hungry!) to get our hands on some BBQ.  There were only four vendors there, Dinosaur BBQ, Brother Jimmy's, Daisy Dukes, and Ember Room.  My main goal of going to the event was to finally try the much heralded Dinosaur BBQ, but at the event each of the vendors only had a small variety of BBQ...usually pulled pork sandwiches and ribs.

Dinosaur's line was the longest, and for good reason.  Man their smoked pork ribs are falling off the bone tender, and the flavor is spicy and smoky.  The BBQ sauce they had also had a kick to it as well.  It was easily the best thing we've had all day!

I had been to Brother Jimmy's before last year, and while the BBQ there was just OK, the prices 
were definitely reasonable.  We didn't get their pork ribs, instead opting for the pulled chicken sandwich, was was smoky and delicious. 

Daisy Dukes BBQ had a brisket burger.  Again, this was a good beefy BBQ sandwich, the tangy, mustard based sauce was tasted great!

By far the MOST disappointing thing I've eaten there, and in fact I've eaten in a while, was the sad sad plate of food that was Ember Room's chocolate ribs.  Glancing at the menu it's what immediately caught my eye and since there was barely any line I jumped into to order some and dropped my $10.  When the person in front of me ordered the same and got their order...I thought "Wow, I hope it tastes better than it looks!"

First off, the ribs are not even baby back ribs they're spare ribs!  Second, if you look closely at the picture by clicking on it, you can tell that those ribs WERE NOT SMOKED OR EVEN GRILLED AT ALL!  It seemed like they were boiled in plain water and slathered with a semblance of a bbq chocolate sauce.  The fact that they tasted boiled and sauced afterwards meant that the ribs themselves were SOOOO very bland and the sauce didn't have a chance to mix with the ribs.  Sigh....I cook much better pork ribs at home!  I was actually pissed and thought I could've done better lugging my own food and making some extra money at the event!

Looking back and checking in later at the Ember Room site, I was completely surprised it's actually run by a decent chef, Todd English, and the restaurant itself has some interesting looking food and great reviews.  It's just sad that the food didn't translate well at all to this BBQ event...

This event was ok, but next year I'll have to brave the lines for more variety at the BigApple BBQ event.

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