There are as many styles of barbecue as there are states in the United States (yes, even Florida has its own), and Big Apple Barbecue Block Party weekend is your chance to take a culinary tour of our great nation's grilling scene.
This year's edition of Manhattan's biggest outdoor grilling party takes place June 10 & 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Madison Square Park, where it started as a one-block event 15 years ago. Since then, the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party has grown to take over the entire park with 15 pitmasters from all over the country rubbing, smoking and grilling meat all weekend, alongside live music and two pop-up beer gardens by Brooklyn Brewery (they serve wine, too).
And yeah, some of our own New York City restaurants are representing, too, because El Paso can choke on its "This stuff's made in New York City?" tagline — we do destination barbecue as well as anyone else.
Entry is free, with each plate of barbecue costing $12. Lines can run long, but when will you get the chance again to taste Alabama-style pulled pork or Georgia brisket?
There's a FastPass option ($150) that'll get you and a guest into a special line, with $125 of the ticket redeemable for food, drinks and merch. Or go Big Rig VIP ($275) and get access to priority access to the food, a hospitality tent and an open bar. FYI, a portion of proceeds benefit the park.
For the first time, the fest will include a Sides Stand by the Lower East Side's own Root & Bone, serving two things this cookout has definitely been missing: corn and watermelon, both done three ways ($6 per plate). On the sweet side, the Original Fried Pie Shop (the sister eatery to Baker's Ribs in Texas) continues the proud Southern trend of dipping everything in batter and hot oil, plus triple-layer cakes from Sugaree’s Bakery in Mississippi and milkshakes from F’real.
Here's the full lineup of pitmasters and what they'll be serving.
17th St. BBQ (Murphysboro, Illinois)
Baby Back Ribs with Tangy Pit Beans
Baker’s Ribs (Dallas, Texas)
St. Louis Ribs with Jalapeno Cole Slaw
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Decatur, Alabama)
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Mustard Coleslaw
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Atlanta, Georgia)
Brisket, Jalapeno-Cheddar Sausage & Potato Salad
Jim ’N Nicks Bar-B-Q (Birmingham, Alabama)
Smoked Pork Hot Links with Pimento Cheese
Memphis Barbecue Co. (South Haven, Mississippi)
Baby Back Ribs with Beans
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Nashville, Tennessee)
West Tennessee Whole Hog with Coleslaw
Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Charleston, South Carolina)
St. Louis Ribs with Coleslaw
Skylight Inn / Sam Jones BBQ (Ayden, North Carolina)
Eastern NC Whole Hog Sandwich with Sweet Slaw
The Salt Lick BBQ (Driftwood, Texas)
Brisket with Sausage and Sesame Coleslaw
Ubon’s Barbeque (Yazoo City, Mississippi)
Mississippi Chicken Wings & Sausage with Bloody Mary Cucumber Salad
Hometown Bar-B-Que (Brooklyn)
Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Pickles and Onions
St. Louis Ribs with Beans
Hill Country Barbecue
Brisket with House Pickle
Brisket Burnt Ends with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce & Summer Corn Salad