Big Apple BBQ Block PartyYesterday¬†we went into Manhattan for the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party. We’ve wanted to go for years, but the lines for this event are famously heartbreaking. That’s always kept us away.

We were watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay a few weeks ago, and Ed Mitchell of The Pit (Raleigh, NC) was on for a ribs challenge. Mr. Mitchell specializes in whole hog barbeque, and the food looked so good I started hunting around to see if he had a cookbook. He did not, but I discovered he’d be at this year’s Block Party. THEN I discovered that it was coming up fast and you could buy a Fast Pass that lets you skip the crazy lines. I found out about this the last day you could buy passes, and we jumped on it. It’s $100 for 2 passes, and this lets you into a separate, faster line under the cover of trees in the park. One pass has punchable dollar amounts adding up to $100. So it works like a gift certificate for $100 worth of goods at the Block Party. Plates of food are $8 each, drinks are $2, desserts $4. And you can use it on any merchandise except books. It was a win all around.

So we got to try Ed Mitchell’s pulled pork, which was hands-down the best pulled pork either of us have ever had. Neither of us like coldslaw, but we absolutely loved his. So fresh and crunchy. And the pork wasn’t covered in sauce, but it was marinated in a heavenly vinegar mixture. There was lots of nodding and ecstatic eye-rolling while we ate.

Ed Mitchell's BBQ

Me and Ed Mitchell.

Me and Ed Mitchell

We¬†made the rounds and had brisket from Wilson’s Barbeque (super tender, but brisket is always really fatty and not a favorite), St. Louis style ribs from Pappy’s (fantastic), and spare ribs from Baker’s.

Pappy's

Despite the Fast Pass, there was still a huge crowd and all the lines were long. But not as long as the pour souls standing in the middle of the street in the rain.

not Fast Pass holders

Oh yes, it poured. Just as we were finishing up and thinking about maybe 1 more plate of pulled pork from The Pit, it came down like crazy. And I forgot my raincoat. I was soggy, but I was happy. We managed to grab a t-shirt for Adam and a bunch of sauces and rubs from various pits before making a mad dash for the car.

raining on my bbq

It was a great time despite the rain, but I wouldn’t go without the Fast Pass. Even with it there were long lines, but nothing compared to those of the folks waiting in the street without one.