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This is a belated post about a barbecue event that took place in Madison Square Park last weekend. We walked over for lunch before driving out to the country house, and basically it was the entire park plus parts of a closed-off Madison Avenue that was overrun by bbq mania. The 8th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party was upon us.

There were 6 of us, so we split up and each of us stood in line for a different vendor, all of whom were rarin’ to go in their portable bbq trucks. Many states and their styles were represented. We ended up getting mutton and burgoo from a Kentucky cart, Texas ribs with jalapeno slaw, North Carolina pulled pork, ribs and pulled pork from MIssouri, and chicken mole tacos with cheese-covered corn from a New York restaurant’s booth, that is actually Indian. We sat on the grass and each had 1 or 2 bites from each dish, tasting the many flavors.

Texans are known for their dry rub bbq preference: it’s not barbecue for real if it has a sauce. So the ribs had a nice tang to them but weren’t too messy to eat. Unfortunately I’m not a huge ribs fan, but the flavor was very good. The Kentucky mutton was pretty killer; moist and flavorful, it definitely hit the spot. My two favorite dishes, though, were the North Carolina pulled pork sandwich and the corn from the NYC restaurant. The pulled pork had just the right balance of sweet and salty. The corn was grilled, rolled in mayo and then rolled in either asiago or queso blanco, and finally dusted with a bit of cayenne pepper. YUM!

If you go to this event in the future, I recommend that system: go with a group and split up the tasting. It’ll get pricey, too, if you’re not careful. $8/dish without drinks, and that’s for a side and a small sandwich or the ribs (or whatever main dish it is that they’re serving). If you’re a big bbq aficionado, you can pay extra and get a Fast Pass to skip the lines. Overall, a tasty lunch before our drive upstate.

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