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There’s plenty of smokin’ good ’cue at annual BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

There’s plenty of smokin’ good ’cue at annual BBQ block party in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Madison Square Park
23rd to 26th Sts. between Fifth & Madison Aves.
Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, pay per plate, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fast Pass: $150; Big Rig VIP Pass: $275

The immensely popular and ridiculously crowded Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is upon us, as pitmasters from around the country gather in Madison Square Park and serve up some damn fine BBQ. The fifteenth annual event, being held June 10-11, features some old favorites as well as some up-and-comers: Ash Fulk of Hill Country BBQ in California (Brisket with House Pickle), Bill Durney of Hometown Bar-b-que in Brooklyn (Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Pickles & Onions), Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Alabama (Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Mustard Coleslaw), Garry Roark and Leslie Roark Scott of Ubon’s Barbeque in Mississippi (Mississippi Chicken Wings & Sausage with Bloody Mary Cucumber Salad), Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Blue Smoke in Manhattan (Brisket Burnt Ends with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce & Summer Corn Salad), Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth of Root & Bone in Manhattan (Corn3, Watermelon3), Joe Duncan of Baker’s Ribs in Dallas (St. Louis Ribs with Jalapeño Coleslaw), John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Manhattan (St. Louis Ribs with Beans), John Wheeler of Memphis Barbecue Co. in Mississippi (Baby Back Ribs with Beans), Jonathan Fox and Justin Fox of Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q in Atlanta (Brisket, Jalapeño-Cheddar Sausage & Potato Salad), Mike Mills and Amy Mills of 17th St. BBQ in Murphysboro (Baby Back Ribs with Tangy Pit Beans), Nick Pihakis of Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Birmingham (Smoked Pork Hot Links with Pimento Cheese), Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville (West Tennessee Whole Hog with Coleslaw), Scott Roberts of Salt Lick Bar-B-Que in Texas (Brisket with Sausage and Sesame Coleslaw), Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Charleston (St. Louis Ribs with Coleslaw), and Sam Jones of Skylight Inn/Sam Jones BBQ in North Carolina (Eastern North Carolina Whole Hog Sandwich with Sweet Slaw), with desserts ($6) from the Original Fried Pie Shop and Sugaree’s Bakery.

The lines can get extremely long, so the best way to enjoy the event is to go with a bunch of friends, get on different lines, and then gather somewhere in the park to devour your meal. (Last year, each plate of ’cue was ten bucks.) The FastPass is back, where for $150 you get access for you and one guest to the express lanes and $125 worth of food, drink, and merchandise; the Big Rig VIP Package grants you that in addition to access to the VIP tent and private VIP area with open bar and snacks, for $275. Saturday’s music lineup consists of National Reserve at 12 noon, Dead Horses at 1:30, Adam Ezra Group at 3:00, Antibalas at 4:30, and DJ Amira Nader all day, while Sunday’s roster boasts Walker Lukens at 12 noon, Emily Wolfe at 1:30, Cris Jacobs at 3:00, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes at 4:30, and DJ Vinyl Ranch all day.

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