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Jun 18, 2008 05:03 PM

Phantom Gourmet BBQ Festival

Headed over for lunch today. Lot of overlap from last year. Willbraham's, Cowboy's(I think I was the only 1 to like them last year..:)), Johnson's, "Rasta Guy" from IN..few more ..only local was Firefly's.

I didn't take notes but enjoyed a sunny afternooon pigging out...:)

A couple of points. The least expensive item at any vendor is a 3 rib (they always gave 4) sampler for $7. So either go with a group or bring something to take home leftovers..which is what I did. Ms 9 was'n in a rib eating mood...and I wanted to sample a lot.

Bring lots of money. It can add up quickly.

If last year is any indication, go early..lines get crazy long by the PM.

This is sort of a "soft" recommendation for the event. I go because I've always gone to them. and enjoy the ability to try a bunch of different places without travelling very far..but keep your expectations low and know what you're in for.. It can be fun but won't be if you hit long lines on the weekend...a lot of justifiably unhappy CHers last year.; for a good bbq meal, I think I'd rather just go to Blue Ribbon or Uncle Petes

pics from last year..which would look pretty much like pics from this year if I took any..:)

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  1. thanks for the report - last years festival coincided with our move here (we've been here a year - woohoo) and although there were things about it I could have lived without (cheesy budweiser beer garden), I have been dreaming about the pulled pork sandwich I had from Big Daddy's in Tennessee...sadly they are not going to be there this year, but we'll still try!

    1. so what would be the thinking for tomorrow and being there when the gates open?
      will the Celtics Rally spill over swamp the place or will it be manageable until the Rally leaves Govt. Center? would Friday at the open be a better bet?

      we're stay in the Back Bay a few nights and wanted to do this event either Thursday or Friday.

      1. 9lives,
        I've been to a few of the establishments represented at the common and know they use smokers for their bbq, but after checking out some of your pics, it looks like people are grilling. Grilling ain't bbq.
        Does anyone there have smoker setups onsite?

        3 Replies
        1. re: janzy

          from my experiences they all are smoking and have been for a few days (the teams came in last friday/saturday). what they do is just bring everything up to serving temperature on the grills.

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            Yeah, I popped over there this afternoon, and when I got back to work I noticed that my shirt smelled strongly of smoke (and I ain't talkin' about cigarette smoke) so they clearly have smokers going over there :)

          2. re: janzy

            I walk through that area on my way home from work every day and have watched the set up- there are DEFINITELY smokers present.

          3. When you say you've always gone, did they had this before last year? I thought that was the first? Or maybe the 1st on City Hall Plaza. I'm going around 6:30 tonite, will that be a zoo? Damn, I thought that would be a good time to go but can't deal with the lines they had last year. At least the sun won't make me almost faint at that time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Joanie

              They had them on City Hall a number of years ago...and also on Fan Pier 1 year. No entry fee and mostly local restaurants, a fhandful of "national teams" and a few "amateur" teams. $1 / over the course of a few days you could easily try least once..:) With no entry fee, obviously you could go in and out as often as you wanted.

              It was a big $ loser for the city and they discontinued it..till PG brought it back last year.

              They have smokers. I just didn't post any pics. A rack of ribs finished on a grill just makes for a better pic than a black metal box..:)..IMO



              The $5 entry fee midweek is a definite ripoff; but Wed, they let cab drivers and hotel concierges (Ms 9) and guests in free. Thurs..Boston City workers, Fri..Military. Weekends, it goes to $10.

              1. re: 9lives

                Southern Pride Smoker between Wilbrahams and Q..


                No crowds at 4 ish today

            2. correct me if im wrong please, last year wasnt it like 30 bucks to get in this mess and then you have to pay for food once you get inside? If so this could be the biggest rip off of all time.

              6 Replies
              1. re: vegathechosen

                I think it was $10 last year, but if you bought early you could could get 2 for the price of 1. This year Firefly's had tickets for $1. Last year they also sold tickets at the gate and the place was an absolute zoo. I didn't even bother to go in.

                1. re: vegathechosen

                  Tix are $5 during the week and $10 for weekend - advanced tix were avail online for $1 and $5 online but that expired.

                  1. re: gramercyfoodie

                    The $1 online tkt was very misleading. I tried to buy a handful to give away...When I tried to check out, there was a $3 "handling charge" per $ big saving .I was all set to pay the $5 at the door but got lucky.

                    I've been to a few $25-30 events in SC. No charge at the booths AYCE..cept drinks..and the entry fee generally goes to a local charity. You really waddle out of those things..:)

                  2. re: vegathechosen

                    $10 for weekend, $5 for weekday. If you get them in advance, it's $3 weekday at Edible Arrangements (and there were other random places selling them) and as mentioned, even cheaper at Firefly. I wish you'd get one rib or something, but I'm curious about all these different places. Has anyone had the "Awesome Aussie" yet?

                    1. re: Joanie

                      in the old days I would drive all over town for them to save some $, now with gas prices I think I'll be buying them there :)