Adventures in Texas barbecue. Want to stop the swine flu? Barbecue a pig! And remember, lettuce or spinach can kill you.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
8th annual Blues, Bandits, and BBQ, Oak Cliff
This was our third year in a row at this fun little event held in a city park in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. There were about 30 teams competing for trophies and bragging rights. For $25 you got to sample a bit of everything for the People's Choice award. The crowds are always small and you never have to wait in long lines. Several blues bands took turns playing on the small stage during the afternoon.
The main issue this year was the wind. Planning anything outdoors in North Texas this time of year is always iffy. Sustained winds blew through at 20 mph with gusts up to 40. A number of tents, pans, and plates were casualties. Temperatures were in the 60's which made for a pretty nice Fall day, even with the wind.
The food was a mixed bag of mostly average competition BBQ. Sample size also varied widely from a full boat with sides, to just 1 piece of sausage. Few samples had good smoke flavor. Brisket was all over the map from inedible to very tasty. The best brisket I had came from these guys.
Pulled pork was at almost every stand but only one had whole hog this year. None of it stood out to my taste buds.
I think I had ribs at 4 stands but each was either under cooked or over cooked. Sausage showed up at about half the stands but there was one that really stood out. Midway Hollow Meat Company had a home made jalapeno cheese sausage that was just awesome. It was a little wetter than the Kreuz variety that I love, but it also had more heat and a casing with a nice snap. They got my People's Choice token. In fact, I went online and tried to see if they had a local location where I could get more of that sausage. Sadly, I can't seem to find anything online. If I can find them I want to buy more of that sausage! I could never get a good photo of the sausage being sliced because they always had one of the longer lines.
Four of the stands had candied pork belly so that has definitely become a thing. 1 was great, 2 were average, one had no meat, just fat. There were also lots of little pulled pork and brisket tacos, and even a bacon/doughnut sandwich.
I still think this is one of the best bargains on the BBQ festival circuit. There is lots of good food, music, kids throwing footballs, folks bring their dogs, and it's just a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We will be back next year!