Sure, we're southerners born and bred but we're no strangers to the Big Apple - and we're pretty dang familiar with the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. A weekend-long event featuring pit masters from across the country and barbecue so good it makes your knees weak, we were stoked for another good weekend in New York City June 11 and 12.
Now, you'd be plum crazy to think we went all the way to New York City for a bar-b-que festival flying American Airlines (how d'ya think we'd get a dozen hogs and a giant smoker up there?) so we made the 13-hour drive and arrived in Manhattan early Friday morning. From that point forward, we set up camp in the Flatiron district, surrounded by good friends from years past and rookies alike, eating, smoking meats, and drinking...all the things.
This was our 8th year in a row smokin' whole hogs at what is undoubtedly the hottest and smokiest food festival in Manhattan, where we saw over 100,000 faces and served more than 4,000 of 'em. Our featured plate - smoked and pulled whole hog, topped with Martin's famous slaw and Jack's Creek Bar-B-Que Sauce, served on a slice of white bread - was a huge hit with both the festival attendees and with the anchors on The Today Show. (We stopped over there on Friday morning before turning up the heat for the big event.)
With our amazing volunteers from Teen Challenge and our traveling Martin's pit crew, we worked round the clock, day and night, smokin' our 12 whole hogs to show the folks of Manhattan what Tennessee Whole Hog Bar-B-Que is all about. And we sure had a blast doing it! Best of all, we were glad all of our fun and hard work benefitted the Madison Square Park Conservancy, which works to protect, nurture, and enhance MSP.