I’m pretty sure I was the pig in mud as I entered Madison Square Park and got my first whiff of all that slow roasting BBQ! Looking around and seeing my fellow brothers and sisters in meat made me feel right at home! Sorry in advance to all my veggie and vegan friends but we all know I’m not about that life! Cook it up and cover it in BBQ sauce and chances are I’ll eat it. Well this actually ended up being so much more than that!
Now, to all my meat lovers! Welcome to block party paradise in the heart of NYC! The Big Apple BBQ has 16 of the best pit masters from across the country come show off their skills to earn bragging rights as the best in the biz; all while raising money for charity! They basically turn Madison Square Park into a giant playground for music loving, beer drinking meatheads like me!
So entering the park is free, but the not so small samples are priced at $12 a pop. Ergo it pays to do your homework and go in with a plan, which I didn’t do. I sold my sights on the ribs from 17TH Street BBQ in Murphysboro, Illinois and the award winning pulled pork sandwich from Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, Alabama. Both were delicious, but didn’t really stand out compared to some I’ve had in the past. The pulled pork was pretty up there though. I decided I didn’t have the stomach space for more, especially being my first stop of the day. So I called it and got a beer to sip while listening to the featured band which was pretty good.
Overall I would say I’m definitely a fan of this festival as I’m a true carnivore at heart; but next time I may do a little more research on the lineup then go with a plan of action. The best part for me was talking to the pit masters and watching their different techniques. I’ll also say that if you’re not big on meat, there were still a ton of options for vegetarians and those with a sweet tooth. It’s even great to just go for a drink, enjoy a free concert and play some games. I vote YES to The Big Apple BBQ block party!