Big Apple BBQ is an annual barbeque event featuring the best pitmasters from all over the country who descend upon Madison Square Park for one weekend in June as the behest of Danny Meyer (I saw him! He wears mom jeans!). It's pretty much a circus all weekend, with tons of people in the park, around the park and on the grass. This may be the only time Shake Shack doesn't have a line.
This year I opted for a fast pass - $100 worth of food for $125. BUT, it lets you (+ 1 guest) go in the express lane. Sometimes, those faster lanes were still 20 minutes (ahem, Big Bob Gibson's) and sometimes there was no one and you could just walk up while tons of people are waiting in the regular line.
JP and I went on both Saturday and Sunday, and let me tell you - those $100 are HARD to use up. Plates of food were $8, desserts and sides $4, and drinks $2. But one pulled pork sandwich is more than enough - meat overdose. Luckily we had some help the second day but it was still tough.
Our first stop (twice over the weekend) is always Big Bob Gibson's for Chris Lilly's delicious pulled pork shoulder sandwich and mustard slaw. The meat disappointed this year but I slathered it in sauce anyway. I couldn't help but notice that everyone was using Pepperidge Farm hamburger buns this year, rather than Martin's potato rolls. I think that affected quality.
But that wasn't the first thing we are there. While in the 20-minute "fast" lane, we passing another stand and shared some brisket. It was super fatty - I'm not the biggest fan of brisket so we'll leave it at that.
We also got ribs from different places to try, including 17th Street, which were really good. We typically avoid the New York-based BBQ joints because we can go any day, but while in line for dessert from Blue Smoke (ok, fine, it's in NYC but they were the only dessert-option there as Fried Pies were already sold out), I couldn't help but notice the Dinosaur BBQ pitmaster and the pork shoulders fresh out of the smoker...
I was a vegetarian the whole next week, promise.