Saturday, May 2, 2015

Red Dirt BBQ Festival, Tyler 2015

sampled 5/2/15
This was the second annual Red Dirt Fest and we are 2 for 2.  So, we're driving 100 miles east from DFW to sample 18 BBQ joints at this fest.  What do you think we would do?  Stop and buy some BBQ, of course!  As usual we timed things to arrive a bit early and we used part of that time to drop by Stanley's Famous for Scott to pick up a pound of brisket and a half rack of ribs.  We had to test some and it passed.  Scott packed it up in  his cooler for later.  I passed because I still have many pounds of meat in the fridge and freezer from our trip last week.  However on sampling the brisket I sorta wished I had bought some.
We got checked in easily and found a nice shady spot to hang out while we waited for the gates to open.
As usual we sprang for the VIP tickets, which gave us the golden hour to hit all the joints before the general admission folks.  Always worth the price.
While hanging out we met some nice folks from Shreveport who we had visited with last year.  After a couple of failed attempts at a photo with their phone (operator error on my part), I convinced them we should use a real camera.  If y'all read this, e-mail me and I'll send you a big jpg.
If you peered through the fence you could tell from the license plates that we were in the right place.
After what seemed forever, they finally let folks start trickling in about 5 minutes early, which was great.  What followed was the usual feeding frenzy of grabbing 2 or 3 samples, finding a table, sampling and bagging any leftovers, then striking out once more to repeat.  I ate a lot more of the samples here than in Houston.  It was all excellent.  Standouts included brisket from Opie's, Riverport, Black's and Lockhart Smokehouse; ribs from Slowbone, Hutchin's, Riverport, and Stanley's; and sausage from Kreuz, Opie's, and Hays County.  Lots of standouts because there was a lot of good BBQ.
I got to running around so much trying to make the most of the magic hour that I missed a couple of photos.  Oh well.  Rest assured I did not miss the meats.  The single complaint I had this year was the lack of t-shirts in the sizes that real BBQ eaters might need.  I think the general admission folks might have more to crab about.
Cutting things down to a single entry gate had a mighty long line backed up even after general admission had been open for over 30 minutes.  The folks in Houston had solved that problem by sending folks down the line with portable scanners, handing out credentials, and having most folks checked in before they even opened the gate.  Something they might want to do in Tyler next year.  Other than that, we had a great time and look forward to being 3 for 3 next year.

On the way out we passed by the Subway sandwich shop on the square, adjacent to the BBQ fest.
Wisely, they had closed for the day.  I think they had some pretty stiff competition on May 2nd.

A couple of posts of just photos follow.  As usual, clicking on any photo will give you a larger view.

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