The smorgasbord of meat known as the Big Apple Barbecue returns to Madison Square Park this summer with enough smoked flesh to put down an NFL lineman. The annual barbecue festival offers two days of excessive meat consumption, musical interludes and meat-centric seminars. If you can handle the meat sweats, step right this way.
A dozen states are represented in this year's celebration, including far-flung spots like Las Vegas to the vinegary goodness from the Carolinas. Noted pitmasters in attendance include barbecue god Ed Mitchell from Durham, NC; Garry Roark from Ubon's Barbeque of Yazoo in Mississippi; Scott Roberts from The Salt Lick in Texas; and Mike Emerson of Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis. Local meat masters John Stage (Dinosaur Bar-B-Que), Charles Grund, Jr. (Hill Country) and Jean-Paul Bourgeois (Blue Smoke) are also set to unleash their goodies as well.
Admission into the park grounds won't cost you anything except maybe some sanity sacrificed in the crowds. The fest has expanded rapidly since its start 12 years ago and the place gets packed. Still, if you're willing to throw a few elbows you'll be rewarded with $9 plates of melt-in-your-mouth barbecue. Folks with cash to burn can opt for the express line "FastPass" option, where $125 gets you access to an expedited line plus $100 to spend on food and drinks. The BABBQ takes over Madison Square Park on June 7th and 8th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.