Monday, October 17, 2016

6th annual Gettin' Sauced, Austin

sampled 10/16/16
Our second trip to Gettin' Sauced and a great time at a dynamite event.  So much good food, so much good beer, and a great venue made this one for the books.

Scott and my Mrs were along for the party.  I think Mrs O. is starting to get into this BBQ festival thing. 

This party is held at the Shady Springs Party Barn in south Austin, just east of the intersection of 71 and 183.  It's a bit off the beaten path, but directions were clear and signage was everywhere.

As usual we went for the VIP tickets and showed up a bit early.  A handful of folks hung around the entry area waiting for the VIP entry at 2:30 pm.   Temperatures were steamy, an unusual 92 in mid-October, but we stayed in the shade most of the day and it wasn't too bad.  We checked in, got our wristbands, and picked up our VIP bags then awaited the meaty opening.
The gate opened right on time at 2:30 (I suggested they needed a checkered flag) and off we went to the BBQ Barn to gather our goodies.
Inside the barn, the BBQ vendors were set up in two rooms with the usual wide variety of products.  As this was also a sauce festival, many of the vendors also set out sauce samples for the people's choice award.  We brought our usual beer case boxes to load up all the samples at one go and you can see the result in the first photo in this post.  As at all of these fests, the food provided varied widely.  There were a couple of pulled pork tacos, lots of brisket, some sausage, chicken, ribs, boudin, and even some desserts.  The food overall was excellent.   Three of the BBQ booths provided pork ribs which was more than we received at Red Dirt and Smoked Dallas combined.  It's also nice to see some catering teams involved instead of just restaurants.  Some of those teams can stand right along with the best known BBQ joints in terms of quality meats. 
In addition to BBQ the fest featured 6 independent breweries and each brought several samples of their products.  Of course, like last time, that led to a whole different meaning of Gettin' Sauced.  Wheee!
We enjoyed the venue as much as we did last time.  It's hard to beat lots of great Texas BBQ and cold Texas beer under the shade of a huge pecan tree.  A couple of bands played on the hillside and added to the ambiance.  I found some new BBQ joints I want to try and some new beers I want to buy.
Attendance seemed a little down from the last time we attended, two years ago.  That's a shame because it's hard to find a better event than this for anyone who loves BBQ and beer.  Congrats to Drew, Brad, and the Man-Up crew for putting on what has become one of our favorite BBQ events.  Oh, and for 1/3 of the price of the Texas Monthly soiree for VIP tickets.  Well done guys!
 The post below has photos of some of the booths.

6th annual Gettin' Sauced booth photos



Sunday, September 25, 2016


sampled 9/25/16 about noon
So what do we do the day after sampling BBQ from 16 different joints at Smoked Dallas?  You guessed it, we headed to Pecan Lodge for The Trough.  I was MEATing up with one of my online gaming buddies and I couldn't think of a better place to do it.  Sadly, they ran out of beef ribs just before we got to the express order desk.   We had to make do with extra brisket and ribs.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Smoked Dallas 2016

Ah, the Fall BBQ festival season has started and we were there for the third annual Smoked Dallas.  We are three for three.  They had added some of the best Dallas BBQ joints to their list including Slow Bone, 18th and Vine, Cattleack, and Lockhart Smokehouse.  The only one missing was Pecan Lodge.
As always we bought the VIP tickets.  We got there about 1 pm for a 1:30 entry and found ourselves about 30 or so back in the VIP check in line.  They came down the line with scanners and checked IDs for alcohol and fitted us with wristbands for each.  Their plastic VIP wristbands had 2 drink coupons already attached which was a very neat feature.  You didn't have to worry about losing them and they were right on your wrist when you got thirsty!  I hope some of the other fests take note.  The only downside was you had to go into the VIP area to get your drinks with the coupons.  It wasn't too bad, but I did see the line get 30 or so deep at times.
They opened the gates to VIPs about 5 minutes early and we followed our regular procedure of skipping past the booths closest to the gate then circling back to those later.  We were second in line at Louie Mueller's booth and watched as Wayne Mueller pulled out two gorgeous beef ribs, shook them off the bone, and started slicing.  My Mrs went on and on about how delicious that beef rib was.
As usual we went to several booths, gathered our samples, then went to a table for pictures and eating.  They had lots of small tables around and a nice VIP seating area behind the music stage.  We never had trouble finding a place to chow down.  It took us about 45 minutes to make our way through the 16 BBQ booths.
There were no real surprises or complaints for this fest.  They seem to have it down and the food overall was very good.  Highlights for my palate were Louie Mueller's beef rib, Black's brisket, Cattleack's brisket, Valentina's brisket and Heim's brisket.  Most of the sausage seemed to be cheese or jalapeno cheese and it was all pretty good.  Nothing of Kreuz quality though.  I did notice that out of 16 joints not a single one served pork ribs.  The decrease in pork ribs seems to be consistent across all the fests we have been going to lately.
Haute Sweets had the dessert table again and doled out a scrumptous chocolate pecan crunch with caramel topping.

Yes, I went back and got a second one.  
This is a great little fest and as long as they keep bringing such a great line-up of BBQ joints we'll be back again and again.  Looking forward to number 4 next year!

We left about 3 pm and there was still a line down St Paul to Elm for the tasting ticket patrons.

Below is a separate post with just food samples and some booth shots.  As with all photos here, you can click on any photo for a larger view.
A few food and booth photos from Smoked Dallas 2016.