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Day 2 of Phantom BBQ Festival

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Went over today and pigged out..had something at everything but the local places..and Jack's. I had looked at Jack's website and it appeared to be more of a real restaurant than a bbq joint. Sampled 7 out of 10.

I didn't keep notes but my favorites were probably Cowboys ribs and Q's pulled pork. I hit Cowboys first and got a really nice couple of ribs. A lot of good eats and a fun morning.

I took some pics between 9ish and noon..opened at 10..hard bike ride to work up an appetite 9-10..:)...so you can see pre opening..and what it looked like when I left at noon. Long lines at every place except the locals..Redbones and Firefly's...nothing against the locals, but I can get on the Red line and eat at Redbones; and I think others had a similar feeling.

http://flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00...

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  1. OK, I wasn't hungry.....until I saw those couple of slabs of ribs on the grill - DAMN that looked good!

    And love the Q logo. :-)

    6 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I thought the Q logo was so slick that the bbq wouldn't be any good; was going to skip it..but someone else on a line told me it was good. I see that Michael B didn't like it, so maybe I got lucky and got a good batch?

      1. re: 9lives

        I was very disappointed. I was at the Great American Rib Cook Off at City Hall Plaza back in the "90's" and they had almost 30 plus ribbers there. What was this small area with Budand Bud light ?

        1. re: frenchmojito

          I was there today too. Typical PG self-promotion everywhere. the layout was a big problem. Ridiculously long lines which were opposed to each other in a vague circle, so the lines ran into each other. Unfortuantely I forget the names of the places-- The North Carolina joint had the best ribs I tasted. I was disappointed in the Texas people (who had by far the longest lines)--too much grille and not enough smoke.
          Other negatives--my co-attendee could not enter the beer area with 4 year-old, so our group had to split up. Also, the PG repeatedly said rib sampler prices would be $5. Almost all of the stands had rib samplers starting at $8.
          while I ate some decent food, this was the worst set up I have ever been to for a rib fest, cook-off or the like. I feared with the Andelmans behind this it might be a bit weak, and as it turned out I was right, unfortunately.

          1. re: AHan

            I went there today at around 2:30. We stood in line for almost two hours for the North Carolina place. Eventually, got so hungry that we sent someone over to the Redbones booth to grab some snacks. Redbones had twice as many people working their booth, and was sending out food an order of magnitude faster than the place I stood in line for. I'm not sure why these places had such trouble actually serving the food at a proper rate to keep the lines moving.

            Anyway, I tried all three sandwiches at the N.C. place (brisket, chicken, pork). The sauce was a bit on the sweet side--too sweet for my taste. Pork was vinegary with not enough smoke flavor, and kind of tough. The chicken was really tasty, but I think that the Redbones one I had was better. The beef was the winner -- nice smoky, almost carmelized flavor, and ultra-tender... But it wasn't what I expected when I ordered brisket, as it was pulled.

            The layout of the event was horrible, to say the least. Packed in a small area and with way too many people. Chaos. I thought I would get to try lots of different Q, but after 2 hours waiting for just one place I wasn't about to go do it again. $10 did not seem like a major entry fee, but paying that to stand there in line? No thanks.

            Overall, I am extremely displeased with this experience. This is the last PG event I'll ever attend.

        2. re: 9lives

          Great pics, as always. Is that Q's pulled pork sandwich in the white styrofoam container? It looks like the one I had on friday but a lot *moister*. Mine was probably a bit dried out, yours more freshly pulled and tasty. Smart idea to go in the morning when all the vendors are still bright-eyed and the crowds haven't gotten insane (as all the later reports suggest they did).

          1. re: MichaelB

            the white container is chopped beef from the NC place. 875 is the black container with the pulled pork for Q.

            It was hard to get good closeup shots of the food..so only a few.

      2. Did anyone try the place from Ohio, Fat Daddy's House of Bones?

        4 Replies
        1. re: three of us

          I did..pic 869..(I haven't labelled any pics yet) If I remember correctly, the ribs were overly sweet...not sauce..cooked on.

          Glad I got there early..by noon the lines were building and I guess just got worse through the day.

          I used to go the the BBQ fests in the 90s too. This was fun but not in the same league as those. At those 30+ q events they didn't have an admission charge..and you could come and go as you pleased..in my case, at least once a day..:)

          1. re: 9lives

            And, as I recall I saw Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters in the 90's. That and you could buy single bones and try all 30 places.

          2. re: three of us

            Tried it, waited 3 hours in line for it. It was smokey and flavorful. People were doing victory dance when they get to the front of the line. For $10 entrance fee, it was ridiculous to have to wait that long for food. I did not try anything else after that initial experience and headed home.

            1. re: bl4666

              Wow, I thought it was bad that we waited not quite an hour at Wilbraham's (is that the name?) on Sun. We started at Good Ol Boys where the line was pretty quick and I got to ask the dude with the mullet if he was the Mountain Dew guy. Which I guess 1000 other people had asked him. We got 6 ribs for $11 and they were tasty. Then because of Michael B's rec, we stood in the Wil. line which was probably the same as all the other lines except that Dallas guy's which was so very long. Who knows, as everyone says, it was a mess and you could barely tell where a line started. I then had some freakish sun thing going on and felt like i was going to faint. After sitting at the slush chair a couple times, I barely made it over to the shade and left my poor friend to stand the last 25 min for the food and told him get what he wanted. He brought back sadnwiches w/ pulled chicken, pulled pork and sides of slaw and beans. But he didn't put any bbq sauce on anything and the pulled pork by itself wasn't too exciting. I had a half a sandwich with slaw on top and that was all I could handle. Maybe if I'd gone on Fri. when I had to go to City Hall it would have been better, or maybe later in the day. But I think that was my only BBQ event and will just go to the local places, which even on Sun., the lines for Redbones and Firefly's were pretty long.

          3. Thanks so much for the pix. As you know, I was really on the fence on this one and this gave me a feel for the event. It's also inspired me to get on over to Blue Ribbon. I *love* that bbq ... and I don't have to drink Bud with it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: yumyum

              Yumyum, that is soooo funny. I felt exactly the same way and went to The Blue Ribbon. As I was driving there from Wayland, I was wondering how many Hounds were doing the same thing this weekend!, LOL

              I really wish I could've had some Willingham's Memphis dry-rub ribs. But I ain't standing in line, for damn near an hour, with mad dogs & Englishmen no matter how good their Q is. Theirs, along with Corky's, is the best I've ever had in Memphis home of the best ribs, IMO.

              Harp00n

              Obtw, It just occurred to me, don't go to Memphis looking for Willingham's resto. John Willingham closed it several years ago. They sell their ribs, rubs, sauces & smokers on-line and still go around the country winning Best Ribs consistently. There's one franchisee resto in Indiana, I believe.

            2. I walked by to check it out yesterday around 2:00 and when I saw the crowds I opted for the North End instead. After reading all the reports, I guess I made the right choice. Maybe PG will read the feedback and improve the setup for the next time. Everyone I spoke to yesterday said they waited for hours in line!

              1. Evidently, if I had left Pete's when you did, 9lives, I might have stood a chance at actually getting some BBQ. That extra half hour of beer at the bar led to 3 hour lines.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  Bob..I don't think it would have mattered. Jimbosox left before me and the lines were already unbearable. He made the smart move of saving the day by a trip to Regina's

                  I had gone before Pete's.

                  It's a shame that it seems that in order to enjoy this event you had to go on cold/rainy Friday or Sat by 10-11 AM. For those of us that live in town it's not a big deal but I feel bad for people that traveled some distance..and found those crazy lines.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    We ended up having burgers at the Kinsale.

                2. Awful, Awful, Awful, Awful. Huge waste of time and money. I've been to some mismanaged events in my time, but this took the cake.

                  The entrance fee got me the chance to stand in line for 1-2 hours waiting to overpay for barbecue, or I could go overpay for Budweiser. No seats, sand whipping around everywhere, random inflatable pools of brown water, absolutely no line management and everyone "staffing" the event looked like they were getting a root canal. Oh, or I could get a ride on a "Ferris Wheel" that was right out of a "ride collapses, kills dozens" article.

                  I ended up getting some ribs at Redbones, because they had the shortest lines, and I was starving. Another friend waited over an hour in the Memphis place's line. Prices were outrageous- I don't know where the advertised 2$ plates were- I didn't see anything cheaper than 6$. To get anything substantial you needed to spend at least $10.

                  The only redeemable feature, the music, was turned off so that the Andelman spawn could banter with Ernie Boch Jr. Witty repartee at it's finest.

                  The ice-cream filled cupcakes and good beer at the Kinsale saved the day from being a complete bust. I won't be attending a PG event ever again.