West Virginia Barbecue Festival

I just read the other day that Pickin’ in the Panhandle bbq festival was done. I thought the festival was alright, I would go when I visited my son in Berkley County. Truth be told it got real big real quick and I’m sorry to see it go.  It had some financial issues and well, who wouldn’t with a zillion national acts in the middle of a small town. Sure, the area was ‘known for it” but West Virginia is known for a lot of things.

How about the beauty of Harper’s Ferry or the wild and wonderful rivers that flow through it, the beauty of the land or the friendliness of the people. Yeah, it’s not all Maury Povitch trailer parks like you’d want to believe.

I was poking around  the web and see where the Big Fat Daddy’s folks are doing Hogging Up BBQ Festival in West Virginia and well, I think though it may not be compared to anything “PICKIN” it will be small and cute and full of que and I’m okay with that.

Good luck, I can’t wait to go.  I found this blog:  http://hoggingupwv.wordpress.com and I hope to follow it now!

Urban BBQ in Virginia Hell Yeah

I was doing some web development for a client in DC, then off to the middle of southern Virginia.  Much to my surprise I found myself sitting in a very hip booth at the Urban BBQ company in Ashburn, Virginia. It came up on my Zagat iphone app and I had to see for myself. I was in shock just sitting there. One, the place is brand spankin’ new looking. Two, it’s sort of a chain, but not.

For one, I’m a critic when it comes to the chain restaurants that do barbecue like Famous Dave’s. The shit you are getting inside Famous Dave’s is not the same shit that Dave himself would cook you. It just isn’t. It’s commercially produced SLOP.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Urban BBQ has it together.  I got the ribs, sides and I was fat and happy. Ribs don’t taste commercially produced and I think they are wood smoked—deliciously melted in my mouth but I didn’t have to tug too hard.

Sides are smokin’ and they had a few locations when I went.  Look for these guys to open more. A must have!



Goat BBQ and Georgia Peaches

Courtesy: Wikipdia Commons, Get on my pit and in my belly.

In Georgia they grill goats. It’s not all that rare actually. What’s rare is the out of towners who think it’s nuts, but hey, can you blame them. A whole goat is often grilled to perfection on the heat is deliicious and nutritious.

If you don’t want to believe me, take these good cooking tips from the USDA kindly put together here.

For me goats and georgia peaches go hand and hand. Hey, if I can’t find grilled goat, then I’ll settle for some goat cheese on top my burger or sandwich but it’s far by far not the same.I haven’t actually found any good public places in Georgia who sell goat sandwiches. So far it’s been the old country folkds that do private parties. Those are the ones worth crashing.

Massachusetts BBQ and Beans What

This is real barbecue according to New Bedford’s portequese community. This picture is courtesy of http://otrwjam.wordpress.com

In 2010 I traveled for work to Massachusetts. I ended up looking all over carnation for good que. Turns out if you want it, you have to go to a chain restaurant and order whatever seemingly resembles BBQ a’ la’ carte. Most of the area which I visited, (up around New Bedford) was Portuguese community and their version of barbecue, is quite frankly, a shish ka bob grilled to death. I don’t get it. No pulled pork. No pulled beef. What gives?

Oh, I should give credit where credit is due. Boston baked beans are everywhere. It’s a staple. Not just in Boston.

Now what the hell  happened to good que?

Searching Bethel Maine for Good BBQ

bbq in maineMaine. Don’t get me staaaaartttteeeeddd.  If you can brave the Mainers accents and translate what they are saying, you can ask your way around for good barbecue.  The Mainers reply, “What do you want to eat that for? We have red hot dogs up here, deer everything and moose stew.”  Please.

The one BBQ I found on my GPS in Bethel had closed and their website was down. I then went all out of my way only to find (my savior) Smoking Good Barbecue. Problem was I got there on Wednesday, they weren’t open til Thursday. I went back.

What I ate was tastefully pleasing. Original and delicious. Affordable and good portions. They do que well.  When I say they are close to Carolina version, I mean it. However, whose style they imitate, it’s got their own zing. I got the two meat sampler, for $9.99. It comes with 4 sides. Needless to say I was stuffed. I tasted the smoke, the flavor, and have to say it’s great for Maine bbq.

Enter Festival BBQ : Big Fat Daddy’s Style

big fat daddys
Big Fat Daddy’s gives a whole new level to fair food. Courtesy: Big Fat Daddy’s website.

Date: June 2011.

Location: Brandywine, Pennsylvania.

I was up on the East Coast on business and it just so happened there was a Fair in town. If there is one thing I love besides a fair, it is fair food. So, I decided to check it out.

As I got there, the attracting aromas of fair food wafted across my nose and into my olfactory senses. There was real joy in the various smells and sights of basically anything fried, dipped in sugar and served on a stick or a paper plate. This time, however, something was decidedly different.

I saw a huge plume of smoke emanating into the air, and a large cohort of people lined up for something from where said smoke was rising. I had to know.
It was barbeque.

Admittedly, I have never considered barbeque at fairs because of the aforementioned comestibles, but something told me, my doctor, that I need to cut back on some of that or face a life of diabetes. So, I decided to give this place a shot.

What followed, once I got my sandwich, can only be described as euphoria, mixed with nirvana and served in a bun. The pulled pork, so named because it is pulled from the bones, was tender, juicy and covered with just enough sauce to create bliss in the mouth.
Once I recovered from the first bite, I found out the name of the establishment: Big Fat Daddy’s. Ironic, that such a place would exist at a fair of all places, but this proved to be a move well worthwhile.

There are other foods available at fairs, I have learned. Two great things about Big Fat Daddy’s sandwiches: 1. They are inexpensive for fair food; 2. They fill you up. Two great facts that make a huge difference for fair food as far as I am concerned and my doctor as well.

If you really want to get technical, the sandwich I purchased was actually a 6″ sub. So only one to fill you up for your time at the fair, helps reduce additional cravings for that unhealthy funnel cake.

I did some research after getting back to my room, and it’s no wonder there’s so uch mention of them on the web. The owner, Wayne Schafer was the one I saw grilling up my pork. Nice to know some companies are still owner operated.