Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bring on the BBQ!

BBQ waiting to happen!
Summer in the South is full of lots of traditions.  Every year, there are the mandatory picnics and parades to go to, the grills fire up and the pools soak up the sun.  Since we've hit the one-year mark in New York (and mainly survived winter) we've established a few traditions of our own.

Last year we hit the Troy Pig Out BBQ Festival as novice NY'ers.  We weren't really sure what how things worked and managed to miss the main part of the festival: the rib tasting contest.  This year, we were on our A-game!

The Belardo's
We recruited our friends Renee & Joe Belardo and headed down early to the Hudson River waterfront so we could snag some of the rib tickets for test tasting.

Tickets to BBQ paradise
Joe had nearly entered the BBQ competition this year, so he wanted to check out what would have been his competition.  Renee, on the other hand, is not a meat eater at all and was just along for the lemonade.  Thankfully, she was willing to take pictures after the rest of us managed to get covered in BBQ sauce in the name of judging.

First rib of the day
Tickets were just $1 (raising money for the National Kidney Foundation) and we traded them for ribs from the dozens of vendors.  Professional BBQ teams from across the U.S. competed in the two day competition.  The rib show-down was a Kansas City BBQ sanctioned People's Choice St. Louis rib competition.  Ironic, right?

Fortunately, the temperatures were only in the mid 90's, so it wasn't like we were sweating to death or anything being around a parking lot full of BBQ cookers.  Our Northern counterparts, however, were melting though!

With our tickets in hand....we were off!  

Our refined palates were so overwhelmed by the amazing BBQ rib samples that we forgot to cast our vote for our top choice!  Of course, our hands and faces were also covered in sauce, so our ballot might have been a little messy too.  In our opinions, they were all winners!