Monday, June 15, 2009

BBQ in the Big Apple

Or more specifically, the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party!

Welcome, 'cue lovers! (Eric is rubbing his stomach in a "yummy" fashion, in case that doesn't come across.)

We've been looking forward to this one for some time. We are definitely barbecue lovers. Every time we go back to Florida, we make sure to stop for a meal at Sonny's. Mmm, pulled pork. Mmm, corn nuggets. Mmm, baked beans. And for Eric, mmm, sweet tea. When we moved to DC we found a suitable (though lesser) substitute at Red, Hot & Blue, and now in New York we've been enjoying Daisy May's, where Eric can get his sweet tea in a mason jar. But this Big Apple BBQ festival promised to be something amazing - two days, some of the best BBQ vendors from around the country and live music - basically an all-around good time.

The Block Party was held at Madison Square Park, which is the park right by the courthouse where Eric was sworn in to the bar. We headed down there right after church, and got started sampling the barbecue right away! It was really crowded, and the lines for the best 'cue were really long.

Crowds of 'cue lovers fill the streets! (That guy chowing down in the front seems to ESPECIALLY enjoy his BBQ, no?)

People sitting and enjoying the yummy food

Our first stop was Big Bob Gibson BBQ from Decatur, Alabama for some pulled pork shoulder and coleslaw. We waited in that line for about 25 minutes. At least while we were waiting, we were able to pass the pit and see them chopping up and saucing the meat. And oh, the smells that filled the air!

Choppiong up the meat with a very small knife

Sauce and season time! (We ended up buying some of their seasoning for our own home cooking!)

Our wait in line was definitely worth it for this finished product:

Please, try not to drool.

Our plan of attack was just to get one plate of food from each place we went to, then share it. That way we could sample more places. As it turned out, we only made it to two booths because the lines were so long. Next (and last) on our list was Ubon's "Champion's Choice" BBQ from Yazoo City, Mississippi. That line wasn't quite as long, but I would say we still waited a good 20 minutes.

Separating the meat at Ubon's

Time to chow down

Our plan after Ubon's was to get right in line for Salt Lick BBQ from Driftwood, Texas for some sausage and beef brisket. This place was highly recommended by a friend of Eric's. We did get in line, but it was probably the longest line we saw. We waited for a half hour and hardly made a dent in the distance we would have to cover to get our food. Plus, they were coming around telling us that by the time we got up there, they would almost definitely be out of brisket. We could still have the sausage, but Eric and I decided to just call it quits. So, we only sampled two places, and Big Bob Gibson's was the favorite.

But, the fun didn't end there! One thing you all should know about me by now is my love of As Seen On TV stuff. I've spoken about it several times. In particular, I've described my love for OxyClean, and even more so for its spokesperson, Billy Mays. So... you can imagine how excited I was when THIS happened:


Billy Mays was at the Block Party! Hooray! He happily posed for this picture, and I told him I'm a huge fan. He also gave me an autographed head shot. How exciting! I also got to hear him say his indistinguishable "Hi, Billy Mays here!" when he recorded some girl's voicemail message for her! So from now on, when people get this girl's voicemail, they will hear "Hi, Billy Mays here! [Girl's Name] can't answer her phone right now..." and so on. How cool is that?! I'm sure my family is silently thanking the heavens that I did not have him record MY voicemail. I can't say I didn't consider it, though.

On a side note, does anyone else notice that my thumb looks deformed in that picture? My thumb is curvy, and I think I have it at a weird angle. But, noticing that led me to also look at Billy Mays' thumb, which is also curvy. Ha! Have you ever made note of the curviness of your thumbs? Some people have straight thumbs, and some have curvy. My family was a mixture, so we often debated which thumb type is superior (you can probably guess where I stand). My dad is curvy, my mom is stick-straight, and my sister has one of each. What kind of thumbs do you have?

After our Billy Mays encounter we did a little more roaming around, enjoying the sights, smells and live music. Very nice afternoon!

Cooking ribs at the Blue Smoke (from far-off and exotic New York, NY) booth

Live music! This guy is Bill Sims Jr., who was singin' the blues for us.

Then, as we waited for the subway to take us back uptown, we had some fun with the tile mosaic hats on the station walls:

When we got home, Eric had to spend the rest of the evening working. He was able to work from home, which was nice. He's been so busy at work lately. He had some really late nights last week, and went in to the office on Saturday, also. (Doesn't it just figure that right when they cut his salary, he starts have to much work to do that he's working long hours? That doesn't seem like the way it should be!)

In other weekend happenings, on Saturday night (after Eric left work), we went to a wine tasting at the new wine and liquor store that opened up across the street, which was fun. I mean, free wine is always fun, no? And I'm very excited about our new wine shop! Until now, to have a good wine selection, we would have to travel several blocks, and that's just way too far for a wine emergency. But, it was either that or stick with the $6 bottles at the grocery store below our building. It's nice to have more options now! Plus, now we have a grocery store, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, and a liquor store on our block. My friends, I believe I have found the perfect block on which to live.

After our wine we picked up a pizza from our favorite local pizza place, then caught up on some DVR-ed TV and played Rock Band for the first time in MONTHS. Can you believe that? And I am proud to announce that I got my first 100% on a song while playing the guitar! I rock.

Hope you all had a very fun weekend as well!


Molly said...

Heather has one of each!? What!!? Both of mine are straight - I think it's a Hesterman thing.

Dad said...

Curvy thunbs rule.

Mrs. W. said...

Yeah Molly, isn't Heather weird? Ha!

Actually, I have one that is straighter than the other, but both definitely have some curve. My curvier one of the two is featured in my Billy Mays photo, obviously.

And I knew Dad would chime in on this one. :)