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Don't forget, it's Ribfest this weekend!!

In Etobicoke, baby. Centennial park June 27 - July 1st

http://torontoribfest.com/

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  1. Has anyone been to this in the past few years? Worthwhile? I don't want to drive all the way up there for nothing.

    5 Replies
    1. re: paper_bag_princess

      Here's the review from last year:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416818

      I don't think I'll find anything there that would top my recent trip to Kansas but decent ribs is still better than no ribs at all! I'm going to try the beef ribs (if available) this year since I couldn't score them last year. Just a hint if you're thinking of going, bring a few friends and have everyone line up at a different place and pick up a full rack of ribs. Then get together to share. The lineups are long so you may not feel like waiting 20 mins in line to sample each place.

      1. re: paper_bag_princess

        I've been every year for the last little while. it's definitely worth it if you like tender pork and sometimes beef ribs.
        The jack daniel ribs are always good.
        It doesn't top kansas, but it makes for a good group outing. Like fickle said, you can go tapas on the ribs

        1. re: paper_bag_princess

          Does anyone know how to get to Ribfest on the bus or subway from union station?
          I will be visiting this weekend and I don't know my way around at all..

          Thanks so much!!

          1. re: Nathalie

            Take the subway northbound on the University line to St George station, take the westbound subway to Royal York station, take the 48 Rathburn westbound bus to Centennial Park road, walk north on Centennial Park road, you should see a lot of cars and signs for the ribfest, it will be on the left hand side. Enjoy!

            1. re: fickle

              That's 45 min. or more. Plus a 10 minute walk.

        2. Thanks! I actually had forgotten.

          1. I'll be there shortly after opening friday. I found last year that this was the best time to go for 2 reasons, quality, and few people. The quality really makes the decision for me, as I could put up with the lines if I had to.

            1. Ribs at Ribfest are too darn expensive!! and I'm sure this year the prices will be even higher since everything has gone up in price,especially the price of gas.

              Ill admit that the ribs are good,but since this week is the long weekend I will be making my own at home.:)

              1. I hear full racks are almost $25 :(

                Anyone know, how is parking? I'm not familiar with the area

                7 Replies
                1. re: duckdown

                  Are you serious? I haven't been but I thought you would get small portions like half of a half rack....

                  1. re: paper_bag_princess

                    depends on how many different lines you want to wait in :)

                  2. re: duckdown

                    Haven't had any problems with parking at Centennial Park, it's very organized there. They'll direct you to whichever field has spots still available.

                    You can get full racks, half racks, third of a rack, with or without sides. Can't remember the price from last year but 20-25 sounds about right for a full rack.

                    1. re: fickle

                      Don't forget about pork shoulders, the pulled pork is the best. I usually only get a half rack of ribs, and then pulled pork, then extra ribs and more pulled pork to take home. And corn. And beans. And sweet potato...

                        1. re: Bobby Wham

                          Yeah pulled pork sandwiches are usually the best way to sample all of the different vendors offerings without breaking the bank since thye're usually $6 if I remember correctly

                          Maybe I'll see some fellow chow'ers there :)

                      1. re: duckdown

                        Went last year on July 1 and the parking was okay if you were willing to walk. Getting out of there after the fireworks was nuts though, it took a really long time.

                      2. Whoohoo! Camp 31 will be there, personally I have not gone to this particular event but for all the complaints about the retail location here in Ontario, their ribs and pulled pork at the Burlington ribfest were awsome!!!!! I remember them being in the $18-$22 range, $25 just seems gouging...they did have a pulled pork special for $10 for one of those large square styro containers full (6 sandwiches worth!)...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Recyclor

                          RIBFEST is so worth the trip!
                          Its goodtimes......and the ribs are always good if not delicious...
                          The scene is fun, lots of vendors, lots of rides for kids, and the smell alone is heavenly....
                          There is tonnes of parking at centennial, although depending on how busy it is you might have to walk a bit to get to the event.
                          The other vendors always have some tasty treats too - roasted sweet potatoes, hand made kettle popcorn, and truck fries.
                          The deep fried onion bulb is good too!!!!
                          Can't wait to go to Ribfest, i'll definately be there a few times this weekend!

                        2. Can anyone tell me which vendors are the most popular. Im a first timer here and ive already been to heaven in Paris at camp 31. I would also like to know when there are the least amount of line ups. Thanks

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: mlukan

                            line ups are arbitrary. Most people attending are there for the atmosphere and do not nerd out like chowhounders. I find most people either line up at the shortest line possible, or the longest line possible thinking it must be good if that many people are waiting. My rule of thumb is to avoid the lunch & dinner hrs. It looks like it will rain intermittently all weekend, that should affect the crowds. It could also make for a muddy mess since the event area is a field w/ sandy pathways.

                            The general consensus on the board year in year out is camp31. There've also been complaints of ribbers being forced to use one supply of ribs for everybody versus bringing in their own. I can neither confirm or deny this.

                            The last few years it has been $20 for a full rack no sides, $12 for half a rack. I'll be surprised if there isn't a price hike this year due to inflation.

                            Corn on the cob if I recall is a ripoff at $3. I suggest you bring your own drinks.

                            1. re: aser

                              bad wolf, gators, camp 31 and uncle sams are always good, but really its very subjective.....It's always fun to get a few half racks and test them out for yourself...like I said above -you really can't go wrong....they are all GOOD.

                              1. re: aser

                                Another piece of advice -- if you want to avoid the worst crowds, skip the Etobicoke fest and wait 2 weeks for the Markham fest at the Markham Fairgrounds. All the same ribbers will be there (including our favorite, Camp 31 of course) and the Markham fest has ample parking and a LOT more tables set up than any of the other fests in the GTA we've been to.

                                Other advice -- as someone pointed out, best deal at the fest is the pulled pork (in terms of price per pound you're getting); if any vendor offers a "bulk" take-out special on pulled pork, do this; it freezes well, the sauce prevents freezer burn, and you just have to microwave it when you want it. One of the ribbers at Oshawa (the last fest of the year) does this, so we bought a double order and had enough to last the winter :-)

                                Total rip-off at any of the non-rib vendors -- avoid all of the following: corn on the cob, sweet potato, candies, popcorn, ice cream, drinks. Definitely BYO drinks. $3 for an ear of corn? Fuggetaboutit...

                                Final hint: at the Oshawa fest, use the back parking lot behind the kiddie rides rather than the main lot near the main entrance. This way you can avoid having to run the gauntlet of charity beggars, credit card and used car salesmen, and cheap imported flea-market trash on the "access path", just walk through the rides area and you'll be in the food area right away and never once had to be accosted by a salesman. It's too bad the other fests don't give you that option -- Markham makes you walk this really long "midway" past all the salesmen (and some are really pushy) before you can get to the food.

                                We live in Durham Region but we had to miss the new Pickering fest (June 6-8) since we were out of town; anybody here went and can report on it?

                                1. re: TexSquared

                                  Actually, roasted corn and roasted yam were $4 each!!!

                                  I can't believe i paid $16 for two each. it was so, so, SO not worth it.

                            2. Just returned from Ribfest and boy is it ever HOT out.

                              Sweatin' away eating those ribs getting all sticky was fun but now I need a nap.

                              Anyway, shared half a rack from Camp 31 and Gator's. Camp 31 was all sauced up and delicious while Gator's was tougher and lacked the flavour. Also shared a pulled pork platter from Jack Daniels which was terrific... the JD spray is a perfect complement.

                              1. Just got back from Rib Fest.

                                Was there around noon hour and was very surprised to see the place almost empty. Barely any people at all, tons of empty seats, not a single lineup except for one rib vendor.

                                Tried the ribs from "bad wolf barbeque" which were my least favorite of the day, chewy ribs that did not pull away cleanly from the bone

                                Tried the ribs from "Carolina Rib King" which had the absolute longest lineup (haha, 10 people) and these were spectacular.. pink ribs that were very tender and pulled away from the bone effortlessly, and big jugs of serve-yourself sauce outside of the vendor. Loved em.

                                Also got a pulled pork sandwich on my way out from "Uncle Sam BBQ" out of Albequerque. A good sandwich but needed more sauce; didn't see much pink in the meat either but oh well

                                The lemonade was a whopping $5 per cup, was warm, and WAY WAY WAY too sweet. my teeth still feel gritty from it. Avoid like the plague

                                Roasted corn on the cob was a brutal $4 per cob, and to be honest, tasted like plain old regular corn that I've had a million times before

                                Couple different kettle popcorn vendors but I bought mine from the guy with the most trophies -- I can see why -- its delicious. The older gentleman calls it his famous "sweet and salty" popcorn, glad I bought a big bag for home

                                Beer is $5 for a small glass, I didn't bother

                                Ribs are $20 to $23 for a full rack depending on which vendor, $13 for a half rack, and $9 for a third of a rack. Sides are $2 each (ie: cornbread, slaw, beans)

                                I managed to spend a small fortune but I guess it was alright.. I'll probably be back tomorrow to try the other vendors

                                I skipped Camp 31 as I'[ve been less than impressed by driving 2 hours to their Paris Ontario restaurant, nobody was lined up there either, probably just due to the small crowd though

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: duckdown

                                  I had Blazin and Camp31 today. Blazin tasted pre-boiled to me, some people might like the texture, but I'm not a fan. The meat taste gets washed away by the water IMO. The folks at camp31 are mighty friendly, they threw in a few ribs as freebies.

                                  Blazin had a more smokey, salty taste, while Camp31 has a sweeter saucier rib. I didn't get to try Carolina, perhaps I should've. I actually prefer dry rubs over sauce, although the ribfest is dominated by saucers. In general, the ribs across the board were meatier than previous years.

                                  One couple I know bought 1/3 rack from 4 stands (Blazin, Bad Wolf, Bibbs, Kentucky Smoke House), their fav was Bad Wolf.

                                  BBQ is really dependent on personal tastes imo. Best bet is to go with a group and try to share.

                                  Again, bring your own drinks, $4 for corn on the cob, $4/$7 for popcorn, etc........all ridiculous.

                                2. Go every year, as we can just walk over. This time has to the worst ever. Four of us were there on Friday around 5 PM and had ribs and chicken from Camp 31 and Blazin BBQ. Both were under cooked and rather ordinary compared to past visits. ($4)Corn.....so-so as could be expected from being left out in the sun for the previous day and a half. Fries ($5) at the far south end......absolutely horrible, the oil they used was probably so old it resembled old motor oil. Beer ($5)......BYO. I am particularly negative about this visit 'cause in past years things have been quite presentable and have been enjoyable outings. Sometimes, returning a couple of times for more.. About three years ago they had the best corn I had ever tasted.

                                  As usual though there are always laughs at the "T" slogans sold there. If anyone is looking for belts, they have the good ones (not the stitched ones) real black leather for $5 ea. Sport socks too............Look for the "Sabrico collection, red label " Canadian made 80% cotton, 17% nylon, and 3% Spandex and last forever ($10/ Doz Pr.) Remember, you can bargain with all those vendors if that is your thing.

                                  Anyway go, and have a good time........hope all that $$$ ends up in a charitable fund.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: NewtonSquare

                                    Surprisingly enough, I was very tempted to buy a box of fries and when I first arrived I noticed some girl telling her friend how terrible hers were and actually saw her throw out a full box of them.. Good thing I saw that or I would have blown an easy $5 there

                                    Corn was absolutely "average", as you said, no reason it should cost 4 bucks

                                    I'll probably head back tomorrow to try a couple more places, but I'm definitely going back to Carolina Rib King.. Those were the best thing I tasted all day for sure.. Oh, and Tiny Tom cinnamon donuts are always nice

                                    Cheers

                                    1. re: duckdown

                                      Had GATOR ribs tonight, as well as half a chicken, the ribs were perfect - not dry, full of flavour, and not too fatty.
                                      The half chicken was nice as well, a bit dry and burnt at the wing, but a good piece of bird overall.

                                      1. re: pancake

                                        We tried a bunch of places this year, sampling a little of each fresh and bringing the rest home. (We came prepared with tupperware, etc so it was a breeze, unlike some of our messier previous attempts.)

                                        We tried Bad Wolf, Gator, Kentucky Smokehouse, Bibbs and one other - Bone Daddy I think it was called?

                                        The winner for pulled pork was definitely Gator. Although their sauce is sweet, they were the only ones not to drown out the pork flavour with too much sauce. Most of the pulled porks were swimming in sickly sweet sauces, more so than I remember in past. And none of the sauces had any zing to them, just sweetness. Also, Kentucky Smoke House lost points for being stingy. They upsold us from our standard order of a PP sandwich, no bun ($6) to a pound of pork for $10. What they call a pound is less than any other vendor gave us as a sandwich.

                                        No clear winner on the ribs. All tasty, not over sauced. But not one came close to falling off the bone. Maybe Saturday lunch is too early? The ribs all seemed to need more time in the smoker.

                                      2. re: duckdown

                                        Went yesterday night. A friend and I split full racks from Camp 31 (never been) and Carolina Rib King. I really liked the Carolina Rib King ribs - very meaty and soft - yum! Friend liked the Camp 31 ribs but I found them lacking in meat and kind of dry but friend liked the sauce. Friend also tried Carolina's cornbread and liked it. I had the infamous fries and though the top ones were crisp, they became progressively soggier and greasier as I worked my way into the box. But since I never eat fries I ate the whole thing anyway! We brought our own blanket and just spread out on the grass towards the booths selling goods. We also brought our own drinks, napkins and bread. Eating, drinking and listening to the band do covers of Bon Jovi & Foreigner brought me back to my teen years and it was kind of fun/entertaining. It was worth the drive for me.

                                        1. re: always_eating

                                          Hey cool, glad ya liked the Carolina Rib King ribs, I'm heading back to rib fest today to pick up a rack from here as well :)

                                          I didn't try the cornbread last time so I'll make sure I grab one this time

                                          I think I'll go and just get take-out though, too tempting to spend money on things if I'm hanging around here too long ;)

                                          Cheers!

                                          1. re: duckdown

                                            My fave was Carolina King also (great pork ribs, beef ribs and cornbread, okay beans). Bibbs was horrible, sickly sweet. I gave up scraping the sauce off and just tossed the whole thing. Blazing was decent, sauce was good but the beef ribs were extremely fatty.

                                    2. We went yesterday and the threatening weather meant that the lineups weren't too bad to deal with and seating was plentiful. We opted to get 1/3 racks each from Uncle Sam, Gator, Bad Wolf and Carolina Rib King to sample from. Carolina Rib King was the best of the bunch, with meaty and the least gristly offering. Its smoky notes were also the most pronounced.

                                      I tend to look forward to any opportunity to try ribs in a festival setting as I am unable to make them at home and enjoy sampling from the many vendors participating. Next year, I'm going to have to make an effort to bring out several friends to the event so that we can try something from all of the participating vendors.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: eller

                                        Just got back from round two at ribfest :)
                                        I tried Carolina Rib King after reading these posts - and have to reiterate the above acclaim.
                                        I ordered the royal flush which is a rib/pork/chicken/sausage/slaw/bean/bread combo - so tasty - the chicken skin was heavenly, the slaw a perfect match to the smokey meats! The sausage, ribs and pulled pork all held a nice smokey flavour....Plus I have enough to last me another few meals....
                                        I LOVE RIBFEST!

                                      2. How do we find out who the winners are?

                                        And where do you vote?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: duckdown

                                          Here's some info about the judging:

                                          http://www.torontolife.com/features/m...

                                          The awards will be handed out tomorrow afternoon. I wonder how you can get on that judging panel?

                                        2. I went last night and tried the "Jack on the Bone" ribs where they spray Jack Daniels on your ribs and OMG were they delicious! You guys have to try them-outstanding. I went to their booth because the line was small, but I don't understand why because the ribs are AMAZING! They'll also be in Guelph and Burlington this year.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: aditti

                                            Most people I talked to at ribfest said they weren't very good this year at all

                                            People in this thread also said they were fatty and bland

                                            I didn't try them though

                                            1. re: aditti

                                              My friend went yesterday and Jack on the Bone won 1st place Best Sauce. The general complaint on this thread is that the ribs are fatty. I know all the ribbers have to buy the same ribs from the same company when they arrive at the rib fest, hence the same expensive prices at all booths. I know some ribbers like Jack on the Bone are from the states, Ohio to be exact. So, maybe some of these complaints on here could be due to the product? Just a thought.

                                              1. re: aditti

                                                Went yesterday for the first time. I saw Camp 31, which I haven't had before, and since the lineup wasn't too long and it moved fast enough we started there. I had the pulled pork, beans and coleslaw. The pulled pork was very good. It was quite saucy, which I like, warm and a huge portion. The coleslaw was okay and I didn't eat the beans, they were for the girlfriend. She had a half rack of ribs and thought they were okay, nothing to get excited about.

                                                The big mistake of the evening was lining up at Jacks. Sweet Jesus! Those people are definitely on Southern time. It took forever to get the food. The lineup moved so slow. Quit jawing with each other and have dedicated people at each station to churn out the food as quickly as possible. Seems like good business sense to me. Camp 31 had the process down pat. Kudos to them. Boo to Jacks! Anyways, I eventually got a pulled pork sandwich which was served sans sauce though you could add your own if you like. I went with the Smokey Jack. I much prefer pulled pork to be mixed already with the sauce. The portion size was good and to be honest I don't think the "Jack on the Bone" spray of jack Daniels helped at all. If I ever go back, damn was there a lot of people there UGH!, I won't be lining up for Jack's again.

                                                The most disappointing aspect of this was the beer selection: Coors Light and Molson Canadian. Gross. How about some nice micros instead?

                                                The price for the pulled pork sandwich ($6 everywhere) was good. The prices for everything else was insane. And for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would lineup and likely pay stupid prices for pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and all that type stuff when you're at a Southern BBQ festival. Boggles my mind.

                                              2. Just got back....

                                                Very crowded (no surprise being a holiday). A group of 4 of us shared a full rack at Camp31, Bad Wolf and Gator.

                                                Gator was the all round fav of the day, although a little tough, it was still juicy and sauce was perfect. Bad wolf's corn bread was great. Camp31 lacked, even though it was fall off the bone, it somehow managed to taste dry and fatty, big disappointment. You quickly learn to ask for extra sauce on the side.

                                                1. i want to know who won..

                                                  1. For those who missed the Etobicoke fest, the Markham Ribfest is next weekend (July 11-13).

                                                    I just wanted to point out that I will be boycotting the Markham fest this year after being a loyal customer for 5 straight years, since they decided to impose a ridiculous cover charge of ***$20*** for those who want to go on the first day, which is the day I always went since that way the ribbers wouldn't be out of anything, especially pulled pork. (the cover charge is $10, still ridiculous, if you go Saturday night; free Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday)

                                                    The Markham fest was always my favorite because it had all the ribbers from the others but it had the most tables (including covered ones) and the most parking so it was the most convenient to go to. I'm not going to pay an additional $20 just to step onto the grounds, only to spend a bunch of money on their food PLUS have to run the gauntlet of all those sponsors (i.e. pushy snake oil salesmen) they force you to walk by (and it's a LONG walk) before you can even get to the food. I have other commitments on Saturday and Sunday so I will not be able to go when the cover is not imposed.

                                                    I propose that Hounds boycott this fest en masse due to this total ripoff.

                                                    Guess we'll be waiting till Scarborough...

                                                    1. Went twice with different friends. Everyone enjoyed it. Bathing in bbq rib smoke is fantastic. Live music was a good touch. All those I asked told me that the ribs are all sourced from a single supplier, most likely Maple Leaf. The sweet and sometimes spicy sauces are primarily some version of high fructose corn syrup, according to the labels. Took home some sweet and salty popcorn that quickly disappeared and I'm still working on the pulled pork. Yummy!. Meat prices were reasonable, but the markup on all other items such as corn, lemonade, onions, and french fries was prohibitive. Not sure I'd want to pay the food and drink prices if I also had to pay admission or parking. Maybe we'll just have to send one person inside to buy all our food orders and bring them back out for us to take home.

                                                      1. I can't believe "Jack on the Bone" won

                                                        People in this city must have the palatte of a mule if they like a sauce with jack daniels whiskey as the primary flavor

                                                        I guess thats Canada for you

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                          ..the JD spritzing always sounded gimmicky to me...

                                                        2. Went on Monday afternoon with a friend who takes his BBQ very seriously. We had ribs from Uncle Sam's, Bibbs, and Carolina Rib King.
                                                          Uncle Sam's were o.k., but a little too fatty. Bibbs were not good at all, (back ribs with no smoke flavour, and sickly sweet sauce), The clear winner for us was Carolina. Their dry ribs were meaty, with a nice smoke ring, and what tasted like cinnamon in the dry rub.
                                                          We also tried the pulled pork and coleslaw from Carolina,(good) ,and beans and coleslaw from bibbs,(much better than their ribs.)
                                                          Line ups weren't too bad, but as we were leaving around 6pm, they were getting pretty long.
                                                          I'm looking forward to checking out the scarborough fest in August.

                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. Does anybody have a link to the list of winners for this event?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Fat Swine

                                                              Just so everyone is not mislead..the $20.00 charge on Friday night is because Colin James is playing...if you don't want to pay that, go another time.

                                                            2. just got back from ribfest... was scorching hot out there

                                                              we split 3 racks from 3 vendors today... camp 31, crabbys, and kentucky smokehouse

                                                              the best vendor of all, Carolina Rib King, wasn't even there .. bummer. and i've never been on the camp 31 bandwagon but i couldn't decide who else to try

                                                              camp 31 was the other people i was withs favorite. not enough sauce for me and they weren't trimmed that great for me .. lots of fat clumps still... but not bad. better than last year.

                                                              kentucky smokehouse was new for me this year, never seen them before. i generally try to avoid the vendors with kids working there but there seemed to be a couple older fellas too. their gimmick is 'free beans and potatoes with every rack' .. at least when i was there. i guess these were my favorite of the day. bright red sauce & coloring like Carolina Rib King, sweet, and a visible smoke ring. I was happy with them

                                                              Crabby's is from London, Ontario so we gave them a shot. the people were nice and everything looked good until the teenage girl couldn't figure out how to cut the ribs. i mean seriously, she kept giggling and saying "i dont know how to do this right!" like it was a joke and hacked up the ribs because she wasn't cutting against the bones properly... that pissed me off.. most of the ribs weren't even completely cut through. sauce was unique though, had coffee in it i'm pretty sure. other people i was with rated them lowest.

                                                              surprised to hear this is going on until next wednesday (odd) supposedly.... so i'll be back to try some others

                                                              those stupid tiny tom donuts are 4.50 a dozen this year, what a rip.

                                                              a glass of lemonade is $7, and tastes way too sweet. my teeth were gritty after it

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: duckdown

                                                                I got back a couple of hours ago too. Only two places are selling pulled pork by the pound: Camp 31 and Gator. I got a pound from each place. Moist and lots of sauce in both. Much prefer the taste from Gator. Camp 31 was bland in comparison.

                                                                Only one place sells beef ribs...think it is Blazin but not 100% sure.

                                                                Was a little disappointed that Carolina Rib King wasn't there. I thought for sure I saw their name on the event website. Oh well.

                                                                1. re: duckdown

                                                                  lol at "those stupid tiny tom donuts" that's what i thought too when i saw them at woofstock.
                                                                  i wish there were more reviews this year - but i guess it's still early.. i'm going a bit later tonight and so far i think camp 31 and gator are what i'll be trying out.

                                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                                    I was so sad that Carolina Rib King wasn't there, they were my favourite from last year. Surprisingly it wasn't too busy at 1:30 this afternoon, it took 5 mins to get a rack from Gator, 5 mins from Blazin' (and yes they are the ones with the beef ribs) and 10 mins at Kentucky. Fav of the three for me was Blazin' followed by Kentucky. Gator was just inedible, too fatty, undercook, flavourless and cut all wrong (through the bone on a diagonal!).

                                                                    1. re: fickle

                                                                      We went pulled pork this year, so can't comment on the ribs. We did Gator and Kentucky Smokehouse. As a note, although Kentucky doesn't post a 1 pound of pulled pork offer, they were happy to do it for me when I requested. The Gator pork came with beans and roasted potatoes. Kentucky had beans and scalloped potatoes.

                                                                      I definitely preferred the Gator pork but mainly because I like my pulled pork sauced lightly so you can really taste the meat. Both porks were tender, smoky and not fatty,and I did like the Kentucky sauce, too. My friend liked both equally.

                                                                      As for sides, neither of the beans did much for us. Kentucky's had a mixture of beans, including kidneys, along with green and red peppers while Gator's was plainer, but I didn't care for either one. The potatoes from Gator were pretty run of the mill, not worth wasting stomach real estate on with pulled pork to be had. The scalloped potatoes from Kentucky really hit the spot for me though. A bit mushy and definitely not low-cal, I wouldn't call them a foodie delicacy, but I liked them.

                                                                      We skipped all the other food and drink offerings although I did enjoy a nice cold carton of milk courtesy of Natrel.

                                                                      1. re: fickle

                                                                        Major bummer on the lack of Carolina Rib King I know... they were clearly the best last year... who actually "won" the award last year?

                                                                        Kentucky Smokehouse was a nice new addition this year, though.. i would go there again

                                                                        thanks for the tip on Gators, I will avoid them on my return visit... probably gonna go back tomorrow or the next day.. apparently its going on until Wednesday

                                                                        cheers

                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                          Ok, so I know that times are tough right now for the USA but Damn! I was at the ribfest tonight and went to Jack on the Bone. WOW were they begging for tips! Some guy was trying to hustle us while we were in line! I'm just glad the ribs and pulled pork were excellent other wise I would have been very angry. The whole time I was in line it was "he's a five dollar tipper, can you do better?" It was crazy, I think he needs a panhandling license!

                                                                          1. re: bigmouthedbass

                                                                            went there last year, i dont like em... wouldn't return this year

                                                                            1. re: bigmouthedbass

                                                                              Big Mouth,
                                                                              I find your post interesting because my feelings toward Jack on the Bone were very very different!! The guy at the front yelling (We got a Tipper) and yelling (Jack on the bone) was the reason why I choose thier rib stand. When I was in line everyone was laughing and enjoyed him doing that. I actually had my son put a tip in the tip jar and he loved it. He was thanking the people that tipped him and also entertaining the line. I will agree with you on the fact that the ribs were very good.

                                                                      2. I went to centenial park on Saturday. My first time at ribfest. It was hot out but I had a great time. Fun games and fun rides.

                                                                        I tried both Crabbys from London Ontario and Camp 31 from Paris Ontario.

                                                                        A total edge would go to Crabby IMHO. I thought there ribs were outstanding from Crabbys. Camp 31 is a little over blown imho. And the ribs from Camp 31 tasted over cooked and tough. I don't like those types of ribs.

                                                                        I still think Wild Wing in Oshawa makes the best ribs I have had in the past 5 years. Lol