I can’t imagine why this was my first year attending the Big Apple BBQ festival. I’m disappointed in myself. A weekend with some of the country’s best pit masters should never be missed. I didn’t grow up eating lots of bbq, I’m not from the South, I haven’t spent lots of time in the Midwest so my expectations are pretty much always blown away when I get to taste legit BBQ. My preference is for pulled pork, specifically from the Carolinas where they have a nice vinegary bbq sauce to go along with their melt in your mouth pork. That was my plan of attack for last Sunday. All I wanted was the pig and that’s what I got. I only made it to 2 vendors but it was enough to make me deliriously happy.
Rodney Scott was my first stop. He has a BBQ joint in Hemingway, South Carolina and I had read an interview with him at Serious Eats. It was enough to convince me to check him out. Like I said, I don’t know the first thing about good BBQ. There are crazy fanatics out there who know all the different regions and what makes good pulled pork or brisket etc etc. I just know what tastes good and Scott’s peppery, vinegary pork was delicious. You got a plate of the pulled pork, which I promptly doused with extra sauce, and side of their fried pork skins. It had a little bit of spice but not overwhelming by any means. One thing it was not short on was flavor.
Next we hit Ed Mitchell’s bbq, who’s from Raleigh, NC. The line for his station was exceptionally long but it moved quickly. Once we got our food it was clear why everyone was willing to wait for it. My God. His pulled pork was on a whole other level of delectable. It wasn’t dry, the sauce packed a punch, and it was ridiculously tender. I would have gone back and gotten another sandwich if I didn’t already feel sick from how much I had eaten. Everyone I was with agreed that his bbq (he also had turkey) was insanely good.
I wish I could have tried more places but I was just too full. Next year I’ll try to get a few more places in. I’ll definitely be going back to Ed Mitchell’s though. I’m still dreaming about it.