Serious 'Cue: The Only Guide to the BABBP You Will Need
First of all congratulations to our Serious Eats Big Apple Barbecue Block Party Bubba Pass Plus Winners. See you both this weekend. There are so many pitmasters and other food and drink booths I thought the Serious Eats community could use some 'cue guidance so that you maximize your eating pleasure when you do go. Now I must admit that I have not tried every pitmaster's cue as of this moment. But I can give you my list of Five Fave "'Cue" Booths so that you can be certain that even if you didn't purchase a Bubba Pass, the time you'll spend on these particular lines will be well worth it:
Big Bob Gibson's Championship Pork Shoulder, Pitmasters Chris Lilly and Don McLemore: Let's face it, most of us might not ever make it to Decatur, Alabama to visit the Big Bob Gibson mothership, so a wait on this line is a must. Flat out, the best pork shoulder sandwich you will ever taste.
17th Street Bar & Grill and Championship Bar-B-Q Baby Back Ribs, Murphysboro, Illinois, Marion, IL, and Las Vegas, Nevada: Mike Mills, pitmaster. Mike Mills may be as good a yarn spinner as he is a pitmaster, and that's saying something, because his dry rub baby back ribs will make you cry they are so good.
Southside Market & BBQ Beef Brisket & Sausage & Pickles & Onions, Elgin, Texas: Bryan Bracewell, Pitmaster: Bryan Bracewell's smoked beef sausage is so delicious and so juicy I'm convinced the man is secretly a dry cleaning and laundromat magnate. Wear an already stained t-shirt to save yourself the worry.
Mitchell's Whole Hog and Cole Slaw, Wilson, NC, Ed Mitchell, Pitmaster: Until you've had one of Ed Mitchell's incomparably delicious Eastern Carolina whole hog barbecue sandwiches, with its little crispy shards of skin and bits of meat from all over the pig, you haven't really lived. Really.
Stehling Brothers Fried Pies, John Stehling, Early Girl Eatery, Asheville, NC and Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston, SC. I've never really embraced the idea of eating dessert at the BABBP, but these guys are serious food people, so I have to believe that their fried pies are going to be killer.
This is not to say that everything else at the Block Party is not up to snuff. I'm just trying to make sure you maximize your barbecue and fried pie pleasure this weekend.
Happy "Cue Hunting. http://www.bigapplebarbecue.com
[photographs taken by Lia]