We’ve braved the long lines (that actually go very quickly) and major crowds many times now to enjoy the outdoor Big Apple BBQ, which features pitmasters from around the country. We went in with a plan this year. We came when the festivities began to help ease some of the crowding and made for two specific places. First, 17th Street Bar and Grill, the Mike Mills Illinois based stand that featured baby back ribs and baked beans. I’d heard so many raves about the cue, that constantly, throughout the festival boasts incredibly long lines. There’s a reason – these are incredible! Slightly sweet, but mild, but flavorful and moist, I was thoroughly impressed. The baked beans that featured a variety of beans beyond the basic haricot beans.
Second, we made our way to the sandwich that we look forward to eating once every year – the whole hog from Ed Mitchell’s Pit. Perfectly, subtly vinegary and incredibly moist, like always it didn’t disappoint. I am psyched Van got to develop such good taste for BBQ so early in his life – I was hoping there’d be a baby onesie among the merchandise but no such luck.
There were less sweets than other years, only Blue Smoke offered them (we got the rootbeer float) and I was bummed to see there was no Brunswick Stew, but all in all, despite all the grumbling I heard and the crowds, I always love the Big Apple BBQ and look forward to it annually.