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Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach party today - did anyone go?

It was free on Friday. Did anyone go? Any good?

It's $5 on Saturday and Sunday. Supposedly you could get 2 for 1 tickets in advance but they aren't available.

Wouldn't mind seeing a horse race but website doesn't give too much info about that.

Thinking this could be lots of hype for nothing but long lines for subpar food.

Review from last year don't look promising but my daughter scouted out this event. She loves different types of food (hey, she's a product of a chowmom) and horses. I don't want to discourage her from seeking out fun/different things to do but my gut feeling this isn't a good thing.

Any thoughts?

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  1. We went on City Hall Plaza two years ago, and were frustrated by long, slow lines, and not-cheap offerings.

    You could get Firefly's with no waiting, but the others were all 20-30 people long lines, 15 minutes minimum. And no way to tell who was *really* good, and who was just there, as they all have signs claiming to have won tons of awards (even Fireflys, which I like, but I recognize it to be just good BBQ, nothing that I would give an award to).

    If you can get the names of the purveyors and do some research then it might be worth the investment of time and $$. Otherwise, it's just a crapshoot for decent BBQ out there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: L2k

      i stopped by friday afternoon for a quick lunch. was a decent sized crowd early on...more people than last year around that time. guess the free admission helped a bit with that. a noticeably smaller bbq party this year with the amount of bbq stands they had set up. think they had 2 or 3 more last year....this year is 6.

      tried 3 places that have not been there in the past....the place from chicago, the fat guys place, and jacks down home. like jacks the best. nice big ribs, great rub, and a nice sauce to compliment. the chicago place i didnt care for their ribs. not very big and the meat fell off the bone way too easily. couldnt taste much in the way of a spice rub and the sauce did not compliment at all. the fat guys place was actually pretty decent imo. their 3 rib sampler was a dollar cheaper than everyone elses. nice meaty ribs....decent spice and a little on the sweet side for me but good sauce.

      overall not that bad. might head back this weekend with some friends and try out some other stuff.

      as a side note....have to "commend" whoever the dj was for playing the un-edited version of sublime - "what i got". for those not familiar with the song the f bomb is dropped twice during it. real nice around 1pm with all the kids that were there.

      1. re: L2k

        When I last went (also 2 years ago) the line for fireflys was *massive* and the line for everything else was non-existent. That always struck me as odd.

      2. Hidden Boston went yesterday and put some pictures on his website: http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...

        I intend to try it someday, but not this time around.


        1. Couldn't be bothered for sub par Q, ever heard of their vendors? You could probably do better at American BBQ or one of the local places. Oh , yah, free on Friday what do you think the PG boys want to give you free admission? Doubt it, they couldn't sell the tickets.

          2 Replies
          1. re: treb

            seems like a bargain compared to the other festival that was in town today www.greatamericanfoodandmusicfest.com

            1. re: hargau

              Actually went to the Great American Food and Music Fest. Waste of time and money. Good thing my tickets were free.

              Out of the 18 stands they were suppose to have only 11 were there. All the ones I wanted to try wasn't there except Jim's Philly cheesesteak and Goldies Churros. The phillycheesesteak was dry and definitely wasn't worth the $8+ for a sandwich and the churros got smaller as the day went on. Our batch was under cooked in the middle and salty.

              Very unorganized and the Neeley's were a no show and they didn't know why. It was a wasted day.

          2. I went once, years ago, maybe the first one. It was an all-day line ride with subpar BBQ at the end. Vowed NEVER AGAIN.

            1. I went on Friday evening since it was free. I wasn't too impressed. We went to the Austrailian place...it was okay..not any better than food I could get at a local place. The lines weren't too bad on Friday but we were suprised at the lack of seating...maybe they added more for Saturday and Sunday.

              If we had paid to get in we would've been upset at wasting our money. :)

              1. Ugghh, anything associated with the Phantom Gourmet can't be good.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jjbourgeois

                  Not even Blue Ribbon BBQ that PG was advertising...errr, I mean profiling this weekend? ;-)

                  Blue Ribbon BBQ
                  910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                  1. re: LStaff

                    Very sad. I went to a b-day party on Saturday night that was catered by Blue Ribbon, but I had to leave before they started serving.

                    Will be heading to West Newton shortly to satisfy that need.

                    1. re: L2k

                      I was at the Blue Ribbon Sunday, and it was GREAT!! I tried 2 sides I've not had before, cheese grits and a broccoli tomato salad. Both were great. They now have mint limeade, which was made with "fresh mint from the garden" I was told. It was sublime. And, of course the ribs were as awesome always.

                  2. re: jjbourgeois

                    I hear some events are better organized and feature better vendors than others. I think the BBQ event is one of the better-regarded ones.


                  3. Channel 38, which is owned by WBZ, ran nothing but PG programs from at least 10a.m. on Saturday (could have been even earlier) through 4pm. The horror!!! The only way to watch is to hit the mute button. The ability to see what restaurants look like, both exterior and interior, is the only reason not to continue surfing past their show, IMO.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: greygarious

                      Imagine if you had to listen to those two bozo's all day, I'd opt for waterborting!

                      1. re: treb

                        I'd rather push my meat thermometer through my ear drums.

                        1. re: jjbourgeois

                          Makes me sympathize with Noriega. The show's music is extremely irritating all by itself, never mind the inane deejay banter and hyena laughter.

                    2. Maybe some people in this thread hear the word Andelman and ran in the other direction. If you did, you missed a good time. How can you beat BBQ from all different parts of the country all congregated in one spot? Some of it was very good, I really liked the Aussies and JAcks meats; others were mediocre (Fat Guys, Chicago). I have had Q from across the country and while this food is prepared for the masses and may lose a bit of luster because of it, it is still quality.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: joe777cool

                        An overwhelming percentage of the BBQ purveyours at this event don' t own restaurants. They're professional BBQ'ers. (ok, correct grammar out the window on this post). They don't actually own restaurants, but do the BBQ circuit in the summer. Yeah, the Andelman name attached doesn't help. Maybe if they spit roasted one of the Andelmans it would improve the turnout. Mind you, not the quality, but definitely the turnout.

                        1. re: jjbourgeois

                          Haven't gone since they moved it for City Hall 2 years ago - it's not convenient for me to get to Suffolk Downs - but I see that Johnson's was there this year. I tried them at City Hall & found them to be the best of the bunch - & I believe they're one of the few that do own a "restaurant" - but I think it may be a takeout place with a couple of tables (like M & M or Pit Stop). I also noticed that Willinghams didn't show up, & they've done every PG ribfest - this is the first one they missed.
                          I did go to the Rotary Rib Fest in Merrimack June 11th & got some great ribs from Gators, who started out in Florida but are now based out of Canada (Ontario maybe?). Broke my rule of "never buy local sine you can get it anytime" but I saw Steve Ulyss (sp?) at the Firefly's booth & since his old team won the Jack Daniel's last year I thought I'd give them a try. They weren't that good - I actually prefered the Shiner Bock ribs from Chili's over Fireflys ribs but the hubby enjoyed them. Skin & Bones from Florida (Tarpon Springs) also had good ribs, which were a dry rub but still VERY moist - the juice was coming out of them still when you bit into them. I'd have to give a VERY slight edge to the Gators ribs 'cause I prefer a wet rib versus a dry rib.

                          City Hall Cafe
                          695 Main St, Fitchburg, MA 01420

                        2. re: joe777cool

                          All the Phantom hating hounds should know that phantom initiated (suggested? ) the new bill which allows restaurants in MA to begin serving alcohol on Sunday at 10 a.m. instead of noon.
                          Great for restaurants and the Commonwealth (taxes). Don't know why people get so nasty about them- if you don't like them then don't listen or watch.

                          1. re: emilief

                            The reason some posters bust on the Andelmans here is that they promote many middling-to-bad restaurants in return for sponsorship consideration. It's unethical, and disgusting to the many Chowhounds; this forum is about finding great food and shunning the mediocre. You don't have to watch the show to find them objectionable.

                            But I think Dave Andleman's promotion of that brunch booze-at-10am legislation was a great idea: good for restaurants, brunch bartenders, customers, and taxpayers. He actually did something to help the dining public, for once: kudos to him.