Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2004
Just got back from the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2004. Great time. Great Bands.
The park was packed. The wait for the food was outrageous. But It was worth it! The admission was free and the food was only $6 a serving.
Thanks to the guys at Blue Smoke (www.bluesmoke.com) for putting it all together.
It was a strange experience walking on 26th Street and smelling real BBQ smoke and food everywhere. The crowds were HUGE. I'd say there must have been about 5,000 people there. The size of the crowd proved to me that NYC needs more real BBQ restaurants.
The highlight of the day was that I got to meet a personal hero - Paul Kirk AKA The Baron of Barbecue. Very nice man. Much younger looking in person. He has the patience of a Saint. He must have told his story about how he got started 10 times in the time I was in ear-shot of him. Paul's books have taught me alot about how to do BBQ right.
Paul has written two of my favorite BBQ cookbooks. I should have brought the books with me for signing. So, if you're looking for a cook book to get you started on the road to great BBQ, go out and buy Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin' Recipes from the Baron of Barbeque. Or if you're already in the Q, pick up his Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces. Both books are great and well worth the money.
Our friends at NBC News Channel 4 (in New York City) just listed the "Six Biggest Barbeque Blunders." Boy, do they it wrong. If you want to see their list... Barebecue Blunders
The Six Biggest Barbeque Blunders....
1. Confusing Barbeque with Grilling. BBQ = slow indirect heat.
2. Using a gas grill. BBQ = WOOD
3. Pre-boiling meats. If you need to boil your ribs or chicken prior to cooking them you need to learn how to cook over live fire. I'll talk about this in another post.
4. Cooking on a dirty grill. Clean you grill. There's nothing worse then the taste of smoked dirt.
5. Putting BBQ sauce on your food prior to cooking. The traditional red BBQ sauce has way to much sugar in it. If you put the sauce on too early, it will burn. Hold off till the very end.
6. Being anal about BBQ. BBQ, besides food, is a state of mind. Enjoy it.
Big Apple Barbeque Block Party
The Big Apple Barbeque Block Party is this weekend! Yippee! See you there!
Find out about it here... Blue Smoke
Restaurant Review - Daisy May's BBQ
Living in NYC, we've got 100's of restaurants for every type of food on earth, except BBQ.
We only have a handful of REAL BBQ restaurants. Whenever I get the chance, I'll write about my latest experience with one of them.
Today for lunch I went to Daisy May's BBQ USA, located at 623 11th Avenue (corner of West 46th Street), New York, NY. Phone: 1-212-977-1500. Website: http://www.daisymaybbq.com
Daisy May's is a take out only restaurant serving a wide range of BBQ food and side dishes. They do deliver on the West Side of Manhattan from 23rd to 72nd Streets. They've recently added some tables on the sidewalk, but it's better to take your food and go. Located next to a lumber yard and around the corner from the Penthouse Club, it's too busy a corner to sit, eat and relax.
Today I had the "Plate Special - Walk In Only - $10". (They really should make this available for delivery.) You can't beat the bang for the buck value of the plate special.
I ordered the Memphis Dry Rub Pork Ribs with Baked Beans with Burnt Ends and Peaches in Bourbon. For my $10, I got four large spare ribs coated in a mildly spicy/sweet dry rub and about 1/4 pound each of beans and peaches.
Two of the ribs were excellent, perfectly cooked and meaty. The other two were not so good. Sure the seasonings were the same but, one rib had almost no meat on it and the other was burnt and dried out. I've ordered ribs here many times and it seems that every time I've ordered them, two or three are great and the others are burnt. It's obvious that they all of the ribs don't come from the same animal as the sub-par ribs are always a different size than the excellent others. Such creative packaging.
The Baked Beans with Burnt Ends are always good. Sometimes they are great. To a New Yorker they are interesting because they aren't really the same "Boston style" baked beans you'd expect. They are spicier and a mixture of at least three different types of beans -- it's hard to tell in the sauce. Today's beans were only good. There is plenty of beans in the mix but rarely any burnt ends. Only once or twice have I encountered burnt ends in the beans.
The Peaches in Bourbon are very good. To me, they remind me of the BBQ places I've visited in Texas and Georgia. Canned peaches in a wonderful sweet sauce. They are served hot and are very satisfying.
I almost forgot. I also ordered their Sweet Tea. This is great! Tastes like I'm in Georgia! I don't know of any restaurant in the tri-state area that serves anything like this. If you're there -- ORDER THIS!
Overall, Daisy May's BBQ has become my favorite NYC BBQ restaurant. The food is good, sometimes great and a great value. They cashiers need to be more attentive to the customers, but they're OK. You can tell that this is a new restaurant as they seem to be working out a lot of bugs. Prices have risen slightly since its opening and the delivery process seems to change daily.
I'll be back and let you know about other meals.
BBQ in New York
Ok. So I told you what I'm going to do. Now let's look at some of the challenges.
BBQ is not a New York food. I'm born and raised in New York. Here Barbeque or Barbecue or BBQ is defined as any type of food covered in BBQ sauce, say Kraft. It can be cooked in the oven, micro waved or cooked on a grill. This ain't BBQ. (Today I'm using BBQ as the abbreviation for barbeque. I just don't feel like typing the whole word.)
Barbeque is slow cooked meat. Slow cooked over a wood fire. It is usually beef or pork. The meat is usually rubbed with a spice mixture before it is cooked and mopped with a liquid while cooking. It could be marinated before it is cooked. It is sauced at the end of cooking or after it is cooked. Maybe. Or maybe not. Every pit master cooks his/her BBQ differently. Every region cooks BBQ differently. Whatever BBQ is, you know it when you taste it.
BBQ is American food. BBQ is a state of mind.
BBQ is not a vowel. You don't BBQ food. You cook food to become BBQ.
BBQ means different things in different parts of the country. In Texas, it's Beef. In South Carolina it's Pork and in Kansas City, it's ribs.
Being a New Yorker, or a Yankee as I've been called in the South, (all-though I think of people from New England as Yankees); I'm not a purist about what I will cook and call BBQ. I've done fish and shell fish. I've done chicken. I may eventually try to do Vegetables or Tofu. But, if I cross that bridge I may be asked to resign from the Kansas City BBQ Society.
So what the hell is a NY boy doing trying to create not only completion quality, but the world's best BBQ? C’mon back. I'm going to try and explain.
This Blog is being created to document my feelings, thoughts and creation process in creating the future World Championship BBQ team. White Trash BBQ. I will be creating the best BBQ in the world which will be available exclusively at my restaurant.
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