This weekend in NYC was the infamous Big Apple BBQ Block Party. Held once a year in New York City’s Madison Square Park, the event hosts a dozen or more BBQ masters from around the country serving up their specialties.
With so many to choose from and lines as long a 90 minutes, especially for the Salt Lick, from Driftwood, TX, the event offers up a “VIP” skip the line option for $100. If you aren’t into the investment you can get their early to beat out some of the crowd. If you aren’t made of money bags and are a late riser, you can go our route; put a few people in line for the Salt Lick and send others to wait in the shorter lines and bring it back to those in the Salt Lick line.
Each BBQ location brings their own cooking method, 1 or 2 of their signature dishes and their pit master. It’s quite and event, even for a city like this. We got there around 1 pm and instantly get in line for some of Michael Rodriguez’s Salt Lick.
While we waited, Chuck and Molly ran out and got us some brisket from Fairfield, CT based Wilson’s Barbeque. The brisket was really good, especially the burnt ends. Some of the cuts were a little fatty and the sauce was a little too heavy on the tomato for me but overall pretty good. It just made me want the Salt Lick Brisket even more.
The Salt Lick line reached from their tent all the way around the park and past the line for Blue Smoke. The restaurant from Robert Callagahn is located exactly 1 block from where the Block Party happens so even though the line was very short and their ribs looked great, we opted not to get any.
While still in the enormous line for the Salt Lick, Chuck and Cara ran off to get us some baby ribs from Rack and Soul. Normally I wouldn’t suggest getting in line for something located in NYC but the line seemed short and baby back ribs sounded like a great idea. Let me tell you and moreover, let me tell pit master Charles Gabriel, they were the best damn ribs I have ever eaten in my life! The sauce was so sweet that it made the perfectly cooked ribs taste like peppered candy. I couldn’t get them in my mouth fast enough!!
Just as we were polishing off 4 orders of Rack and Soul ribs, the bad news came down the line. Even though we were only about 15-20 people away from being served at the Salt Lick, they had run out of brisket. What is a Steak Club 7 member supposed to do? Stand in line and get some of the tasty Salt Lick sausage! I had them hold the coleslaw and added extra of the mustard base Salt Lick sauce. Good, God almighty, they make some damn fine sausage.
That was it. I couldn’t eat anymore. Nona, Cara, Tina and Aaron all said the same. Chuck and Molly on the other hand, went back for some more ribs at Rack and Soul. Can you say MVPs? While we’re dolling out the awards, how about “Mom of the Year,” or “Best Use of a Stroller” for this lady?
We met up with some other friends for a few afternoon beers and baseball. A few hours later and someone made a dangerous suggestion; let’s go get the bacon at Old Homestead. A few drinks in and one quick visit to www.opentable.com and we were on our way to bacon!
The plan was for each of us to get a slice of bacon, a cocktail and that was it. Of course as soon as host Michael D. Florea sat us at our seat in the newly refurbished 1st floor dining room, the plan instantly changed. Molly and Chuck both got a slice of Kobe bacon and a Classic Homestead Burger while Rob, Kris, Cara and I split a burger and a porter house for 2. Now if you know anything about the SC7 (or our sister site Burger Conquest) you know that the Old Homestead is ranked #1 on both sites. If you don’t know us that well, it’s right there at the top of the page. How the hell am I supposed to go in there and not order a burger or a steak, let alone both? Clearly I can’t!
We started off with an appetizer of the Chef’s Special Bread Preparation; garlic bread in a Parmesan sauce. We ripped through 2 of those suckers as the hunger built in our stomachs for more meat. Along with the bread came the prized Kobe Bacon Slab. It is the best and biggest piece of bacon any where in the world. If you haven’t had one, get your behind to the Homestead with out delay! Admittedly, mine was cooked slightly less than I prefer but it was still darn tootin and don’t think I didn’t dip it in the Parmesan cheese!!
The steak came out and it was still sizzling. I couldn’t wait to sink my toofusess into it’s juicy fillet and sirloin sides! The burger sat high on it’s plate with a wooden steak to keep it together. Once the burger was divided into 4 parts, the destruction began. Even though both the steak and the burger (much like the bacon) were just a tad undercooked, they were still amazing. You just aren’t going to find better than this! The meat at Old Homestead is bursting with flavor and with it’s own unique taste.
Add in a side of broccoli sauteed in garlic, creamed spinach and their amazing pot of mac and cheese, and you have one super deluxe food feast. I’d love to tell you that I feel like more of a man after eating BBQ all day and beef all night, but I actually feel like I might need to go on an all grapes diet for a month.
However, I regret nothing!!! At least what I am telling myself in the gym
Tell em Rob!
Big Apple BBQ + Old Homestead:
4.5 out of 5 knives