It was a blast judging the professional BBQ'd brisket division at Saturday's A Full Plate’s Third Annual Rib Cook-Off. The full results have already been posted by event coordinator e at Foodaphilia and a thorough accounting of the days events is already up at Mac & Cheese. So, I'll keep things brief 'round these parts today with some old-fashioned boldface blogging.
I'm not sure that judge Marc "Burgatory" Sanders knew quite what to make of some of the entries in the "Anything Goes" category.
Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and Taylor "Mac & Cheese" High were among the many volunteer judges for the vegetarian category.
Phoodie.info's Collin Flatt (foreground) and Mr. Foobooz himself, Arthur Etchells (in cap), were pure pros when it came to the serious, sticky work of judging the entries in the professional rib competition.
The crew from Stoudt's Brewing Company may have arrived in style but they had their work cut out for them trying to keep their Scarlet Lady ESB and American Pale Ale flowing for the thirsty crowds.
The Root cocktail included with the price of admission -- I opted for Root and ginger ale on the rocks -- wasn't quite enough to convince me of the merits of Philadelphia's newest specialty herbal liqueur. I'll reserve more complete judgment until I have the chance to try it straight as well as in a more artful concoction. The gals from Art in the Age seemed to be having a good time pouring it, though.
You might think that volunteering to judge a BBQ competition is just a free ticket to pigging out. Fact is, I spent most of the day waiting in the wings in a good-faith effort to keep the tasting blind. By the time I finished judging the brisket competition, which was the last round of the day, the Mermaid BBQ team were the only competitors still serving.
Three or four of the nine entries in the professional brisket category were pretty damn solid. The sample from Q BBQ & Tequila, though, stood head and shoulders above the rest, earning them first place on the day.
Sonata took this year's crown as overall crowd favorite.
After a long afternoon of pork and beef, sauce and salt, a couple of brews were in order. The Pils Picnic around the corner at Johnny Brenda's was just the ticket. A glass of Sly Fox Keller Pils, another of Victory Herzbrucker Pils, and all was good.