Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pittsburgh Places: Ribfest

What is a Ribfest, you ask?  Well, according to wikipedia a Ribfest (short for rib festival) is a rib cook off food festival where professional, traveling food teams compete to make the best ribs...I just like to call a Ribfest - HEAVEN!

Can I first just say that Pittsburgh's Ribfest is awesome for being held at Heinz Field?  This was Tommy's first time setting foot in the stadium.  He did admit it was indeed awesome, but we hadn't eaten anything yet and the air was smelling of savory, sweet BBQ so I think this poor, loyal Brown's fan might have said ANYTHING was awesome at this point.  But I'm going to go with he just thinks it's awesome :)

Our only other Ribfest experience had been multiple times in Columbus, Ohio where we used to live.  Pittsburgh doesn't do anything wrong, but one thing Columbus does EXTRA right is the Ribfest.  They add jazz to the mix which makes for a great day.  Can I just add a sidenote reminiscent story?  My old boss in Columbus was a crazy woman (God love her.  She has forever instilled a psycho work ethic in me and I thank her for that.  Hopefully someday I'll be a big deal because of it.)  So let me rephrase, she was always one step ahead of everyone...including herself sometimes.  Occasionally, she would just speak before processing her words...and I will NEVER forget the time she was telling me about Columbus's famous "Rabs & Jizz Fest." BAHAHAH!! And her trademark move when this would happen would always be to repeat what she just said (but correctly) and pretend like she didn't screw up her words.  Of course I was snickering and she knew I caught it, but still tried to pretend we're both ONLY thinking about Ribs...& Jazz. NOPE!

Long story short, Pittsburgh's Ribfest is great...but will never compare to Columbus's Rabs & Jizz Fest.  YIPES!

SO, seeing that this preggy only has a limited amount of time on her feet each day before her heart starts pounding and she gets short of breath we had to think fast!  Normally our strategy is look for the longest line (crazy, right?).  Longest line means most popular food!  This time we compromised for the mediocre lines and were STILL left more than satisfied.  Ribfests never disappoint.  Tommy wanted to give some love to the line-less "King of BBQ"...no time for bad BBQ. Sorry King.  

First stop, Bad Wolf Barbecue.  Started out with some ribs and coleslaw.  We were totally in the mood for some of the Corn on the Cob we were smelling...but remember the limited time thing?  AND no wasting stomach room on CORN! Sorry vegetables.  Today is MEAT DAY (Jennie, am I making you gag?)!  
Second Stop Old Carolina BBQ, then Carolina Rib King and lastly Big Boned BBQ Co.  The winning BBQers, in my opinion, was Big Boned's Pulled Pork Sandwich.  It was huge AND delicious!!  Slathered in delicious sauce and smoked to perfection.  SO GOOD!  And they were also the winners of Columbus's Rabs & Jizz Fest 2011.  
It was about that time that our bellies were full, my heart was pounding and my feet were swollen (yes...my stomach is swollen too...but for another reason other than BBQ.).  So we waddled (well, I guess I waddled...Tommy walked with me slowly) back to the car and headed home.    

The Big Belly is full of BBQ and totally in the way.  Please excuse.  
A great time was had by all and Ribfest was a success!  Ribfest 2013...BRING IT ON!!  I'll be ready for triple the ribs next year!