14th Annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party

14 of the finest pitmaster crews from around the country will set up shop in and around Madison Square Park

With professional-grade smokers in tow, the caravans have come from corners such as Driftwood, Texas and Yazoo City, Mississippi, places that sound like barbecue, to converge in New York City for the 14th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. you will be able to delight in the delicacy of world-class barbecue for $10 per plate, a paltry sum for such a marvelous meal. There will also be live music on a stage inside the park (former Yankees great Bernie Williams will be playing with his band at 4 p.m. Saturday), along with designated areas for a beer and wine garden.

Don’t know where you find the party? Just follow the scent and these simple rules.

Five Steps to a Perfect Block Party

Plan your attack.
Go with a friend or two, or three, so you can divide and conquer. Map out a strategy and have each person go to a different spot. Reconvene and you will be able to enjoy more tastes than if you gorge too soon on one or two items. 11401210_10153096366249811_6041456577377045060_n

Enjoy the wait.
Seriously. Patience is indeed a virtue and often times the anticipation of something is as good as the main event. Let your appetite whet some more and savor the symphony of sights and smells as you see freshly cooked beef set for slicing, and envy those already eating. 11403467_10153096371024811_640597418061189073_n

Salt Lick BBQ.
Ah, the Salt Lick BBQ. There is a reason the lines are always longest for this taste of Texas (Baker’s Ribs from Dallas also draws a large crowd) but do not be deterred, it will be worth the wait. There are stories of people having private jets land so they can stop in to pick up some food for the trip across the country. Actually. Beautifully sliced, succulent brisket and sausage that will make your knees buckle. Do not leave the Block Party without eating this food.


Represent NYC BBQ.
The barbecue scene in the city continues to grow and whether you are a resident or visiting, the spots holding court at the Block Party are those you need to know. Go have a taste of what is being offered at Hill Country, Blue Smoke, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and up and comer Hometown.


Look, Listen and Learn.
Chances are at least some of you fancy yourselves Queen or King of the grill amongst your family and friends. If that is the case, you would be well-served to use your visit as an education. Watch the crew members properly slicing the meat. Observe how cuts look when they are fresh from the smokers. Throw in a jar of the special sauce you bought while in line, and next thing you know it will be you throwing the block party.


All Photos: Eric Vitale Photography via Big Apple BBQ Block Party Facebook