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Jun 5, 2007 06:58 AM

2007 Big Apple BBQ Block Party

Is it worth attending? Any tips or strategies to get the best out of it.

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  1. I found the hassle (major waits) to outweigh the food (rushed BBQ). But I'm a curmudgeon when it comes to big NYC events (and even Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery) which I find too crowded for their value.

    6 Replies
    1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

      An absolute mob scene. Unless you get there at 11AM and are in the mood to eat BBQ that early the lines ruin the experience.

      1. re: princeofpork

        Absolutely agreed. You have to wait at least half an hour for the least popular lines, and for the popular ones like Salt Lick and Big Bob, it's like an hour wait if not more. I remember it was really hot last two years and the long waits really killed all the appetites.

        I could never figure out why people would line up for Blue Smoke when the restaurant was just a few blocks away.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          The Big Apple BBQ Block Party may have made sense the first year because of the lack of bbq in the city but these days with at least 4 credible bbq restaurants in the city I would not put up with the hassle. The bbq in the city maybe not as good some of the vendors that come up from down south but unless you are bbq starved you can't justify the hassle.

          1. re: kobetobiko

            If I was with people who were really hungry, I'd pop over to the Blue Smoke line, get one plate of food, and then go back to my friends, who'd snack on the ribs while waiting for something else.

            1. re: kobetobiko

              the only ones with chicken or any non pork option!! :(

              1. re: Zion

                If you don't eat pork...I would say don't go! The best pitmasters at the Big Apple BBQ are known for pork products: Ed Mitchell's Whole Hog, Big Bob Gibson's Pulled Pork, 17th Street Baby Back Ribs.

                There's some good brisket and sausage (Southside's sausage is beef), too, and I have heard good things about the beef ribs at Hill Country. But the real star of Big Apple BBQ is PORK.

        2. Possibly the worst place to try and eat BBQ unless you have a real love of long lines. If you are a Q-groupie, go Friday night when they are cooking. Sort of like the Wednesday night before the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RICKO

            went last year and got those cards that allow you to skip lines (for free via a friend). with that in mind, the bbq served was in a whole other league to the stuff they serve here in the city. it made me realize that no matter how much i may like rub or dinosaur or daisy maes, nothing beats the real deal.

            watching them strip and chop up the whole hog for sandwiches brings tears to my eyes.

            the portions are on the small side though.

          2. Get the Bubba pass, it lets you bypass the amusement park length lines, it's a $100 prepaid card. If you like pulled pork, you should definitely go - it's the only good pulled pork you'll find in NYC.

            1. Get there early. They will run out of food by the end of the day.

              Get a map of the vendors ASAP when you get there.

              If they set up the beer garden around the fountain again, it will be a huge bottleneck to walk through.

              Avoid NYC vendors if you can help it but sometimes you gotta have something to nosh on while in the longer line.

              The Bubba FastPass line is better than the regular line, but both are pretty long. Last year the cashiers had to swipe your Bubba FastPass card to pay; this year they have switched to a punch card system so theoretically it will be faster.

              You can't buy the Bubba Pass online any more since it's so close to the event. You'll have to buy it on site. It's $100 for $84 worth of food/goods/seminars/etc. plus a free t-shirt. They appear to have changed the pricing structure as last year it was something like $150 for $150 worth of food.

              Last year they limited the Bubba Pass to entry for two people at a time. This may pose a problem if you're with a group.

              The 2nd day will be better than the first because it's staffed entirely by volunteers. Logistical kinks tend to get worked out on the first day.

              Weather, of course, will greatly influence the crowds. The 2nd day last year was cool and windy which meant fewer people, but the food got cold faster.

              1. not being a fan of crowds, I haven't attended it since the first year. And it got pretty crowded even then!