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Old 06-16-2006, 09:50 AM   #1
BrooklynQ's Avatar
Join Date: 07-18-04
Default Brethren at the Big APple BBQ Block Party

Rockaway - Bob - what was it like behind the scenes working the block party?
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
Rockaway BeachBQ
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Join Date: 11-01-05
Location: Rockaway Beach, NY

Where should I start?

First off it is quite amazing that they pull this off at all. They set up a centralized Point of Sale system that takes cash, credit cards and the "Bubba" pass. And the system had minimal glitches.

What was an initial dissapoint me to me was that I got shuffled to one of the Blue Smoke dessert tents. But I think it worked out better in the end. I got to work directly with Jennifer Garmin the pastry chef at Blue Smoke, and in both days I never even saw Kenny Callaghan. I think his Kitchen manager ran the show at the BBQ tent. The dessert tent was a full tent, the cooks at Blue Smoke were out in the sun all day.

The huge advantage to being in the dessert tent was that in a sea of BBQ I had Blueberry Pie, Key Lime Pie and Double Chocalate Brownies. The first day I barely got to eat one pulled pork sandwich from Udon. But day two I got smarter and more organized and managed to trade slices of pie for whole hog from Mitchells, apple smoked ribs from Blue smoke (better than what I have had at the restaraunt), sausage from Salt Lick, sausage from an unknown vendor and another sandwich from Udon.

Overall, yes the lines were long. Yes, everyone except Blue Smoke ran out of food Saturday. I think they are really getting it together now though. They had 10 BBQ vendors selling different dishes at reasonable prices and even with long lines the overall atmosphere was great.

I ran into Bobberquer on Saturday morning while everyone was still trying to figure out what to do about the wind (I forgot to mention it was very windy all weekend). I still thought I was with the Q crew at that point and never made it back to his end of the party.

The crowd favorite was definitely Salt Lick who were serving a very generous plate of brisket and sausage. Mitchell's crew expressed to me that they thought the apple smoked ribs from Blue Smoke were very good. The Blueberry Pie I was plating as fast I could was also phenomenal, and sold out on Sunday. My bonus pay was three key lime pies, a full sheet of Brownies, and the brisket I am cooking as I write.

In conclusion I would recommend getting the fast pass and splitting it with a friend. Beer drinking was confined to a beer garden, but you could get a spiked lemonade and bring that wherever you pleased. Bringing some chairs for yourself might not be such a bad idea either.

That is all I can think of at the moment, but I can answer any specific questions.

I do regret not bringing a camera, because I would have loved some photos with the pitmasters.
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Klose 20x30 Smoker (sold)
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: 03-07-05
Location: the best day ever

I was there - Those that elected to stay away based on previous experience were smart. Similar cluster-fark as in previous years. Did get to cook and spend quality time with the Big Island BBQ boys, and Paul Kirk at the RUB booth. They were using two pits; the first was a Lang 84, and the second was the Lang 84 double, that was absofarkinglutely brand new. Both pits cooked great, with a lot less fuel consumption than I expected. Temperature across the pits was spot-on and very easy to control. I was always a little skeptical of the warming boxes, but they worked great when having to deal with the staging of 1200#'s of brisket-a-day. The double 84 also had a hot grill which was spectacular. We did bacon and eggs on the grill for breakfast and hanger steaks on the grill for dinner and they were great. There were some really minor quality-control issues, like a firebox door that wouldn't close when hot, but over-all great pits. If I was in the market for something larger than my Bandera, a Lang would be high on the list. Trying to get some pictures, which I will post.
if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him

Live every week like it's shark week
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:27 AM   #4
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Join Date: 03-07-05
Location: the best day ever

Here's a couple of pictures from the Block Party -

THe first is of me firing-up the hot grill on the Lang twin 84 to make some breakfast. THe Lang was one sweet rig that cooked perfectly from day-one. If I was in the market for a comp or catering smoker the Lang would be high on my list. Much lower fuel consumption than I expexcted and rock-solid temp control. The second picture is of me and Paul Kirk discussing the evils of foiling/par-boiling your Q. Cooked and served just over 2400#'s of brisket in two days.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg firing-up the Lang.JPG (188.7 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg Paul and me.JPG (236.2 KB, 78 views)
if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him

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Last edited by RichardF; 06-21-2006 at 11:06 AM..
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