Sunday, June 16, 2013

BBQ Block Party

Last week there was a BBQ Block Party in downtown, so of course being foodies, and BBQ fans we couldn't miss the chance.

It wasn't the nicest weather so we thought we'd have a better chance of getting food, despite being warned that it was very possible they'd sell out before the end of the day.

It was being held in Madison Square Park, so we headed down for an early dinner.We knew we were in good company when we were greeted by,

A giant Weber!

Unfortunately there were no appropriately sized giant steaks to go with it. Anyway, the park was taken over largely by a picnic and boozing area, but the streets at the side were all filled with BBQ stalls at least two blocks each way. We brought moderate appetites in case we would be disappointed with the stalls being out of stock, but we needn't have worried.

We eventually made it to the food area after a confusing wander through the park, we consider the Australian BBQ a cultural tradition, Americans on the other hand seem to take it much more seriously.

Today's special, BBQ hatchback.

Full trailer sized BBQs for city sized servings I assumed. They came well prepared, because in spite of the dodgy weather, there was a pretty large turnout.

Lost in the crowd...

The crowds were generally this large no matter which direction you went. And as further evidence that the stalls were well prepared, see the photo below.

Now that's a production line. 
Enough about the scenery, what about the food? First up we had some beef ribs,

They're as tasty as they are ugly.

Some beef ribs, done in the American dry rub style that I'm still warming up to, they were wonderfully cooked though, but the sad thing about the size of the party means that there's dozens and dozens of trays that are ready cooked up and sitting waiting for customers. Granted this means you get them quicker, but you never get the sense that they're really fresh, and they're always a little cold. Unfortunately this is a trend that hung around all day.

 The A B C's of B B Q

Next up was a pulled pork sandwich, this one having sat so long that the coleslaw dressing had soaked through the plate, once again, tasty, but lacking. A nice all natural, really sour lemonade that was ultimately necessary to cut through the oiliness that inevitably follows a BBQ.

Add 1 + 2 and you get, pork ribs!

This was one of your more conventional BBQ parties, so of course we ended the day with pork ribs, once again, very nicely cooked in that melty, fall off the bone sort of way, but probably should have gotten more sauce, because there wasn't much flavour to the meat. I can't believe I'm saying this but at least this coleslaw was tasty...

Content to just walk around and chew the scenery for a bit before we went home to call our parents for the weekly report, we saw a few more things you definitely wouldn't see back at home,

 
More giant BBQs than you could poke a pig at.

 The Hobo Smoker™, not really, but that's what I'd call it.

Looking down on the little people.

Overall the experience was a little mixed, we decided that next time it would be more worthwhile taking a note of the restauranteurs that set up shop here and try to visit in store, as we felt for stuff like this, it was more important that it's hot and fresh instead of just being ready.

To cool down all this hot air (say it in Cantonese), we picked up gelato! Salted caramel and chocolate chip in a wafer cone at Eataly on the way home, always a fun item to juggle on a crowded subway on our way home.

Bonus Cat Pic!

Alright, you're adorable. Can I have my box back now?