This weekend was the 8th Annual Big Apple BBQ here in New York City. I’d heard about it before but never been, but I jumped at the opportunity to check it out this summer, and boy was it delicious and fun!

I headed down to Madison Square Park early Saturday to avoid long lines and beat the crowd. Before heading out I checked out Serious Eat’s Cheat Sheet for the BBQ. I hadn’t bought the VIP pass, and just wanted to try the best pulled pork around. So we headed straight to Big Bob Gibson’s line. At 11 am the line wasn’t too bad, we got our food and found a place to sit in the park. That first bite was DIVINE. Wow, it was good BBQ. The pork was really tender, the BBQ sauce perfectly seasoned and the bun was really good too. On the side was coleslaw, which was also delicious. We seriously just relished in the deliciousness for awhile. Then, dessert from Blue Smoke. I had a yummy delicious Blueberry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream. It was the perfect ending to my meal.

Big Bob Gibson's Pulled Pork Sandwich
Blue Smoke's Blueberry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

What I really thought was great was that everything was one price. Every meal was $8, drinks were $2-$6 and dessert was $4 or $6 if served ala mode. This meant that no matter what the food was affordable and that no one vendor could get more or less customers based on price alone. Each meal served a BBQ entree-ribs, pulled pork, brisket, etc.-and a side-coleslaw, beans, etc. It was great bang for your buck.

There was also live music throughout the day, opportunities to win free stuff from sponsors and cooking demos from some of the pitmasters themselves. It is a great event for the whole family, and something that you can stay at all day. People had lawn chairs with them to camp out in Madison Square Park-it was great! I plan on going next year and splurging on the VIP pass, going with friends and sharing all the food, so we can see which BBQ really reigns supreme. Great job to the planners, pitmasters and staff, I’ll see you next year!