Monday, April 9, 2018

Fort Worth Pitmaster's Picnic 4/8/18

sampled 4/8/18

While not strictly a BBQ Festival, this was a really fun event with plenty of good BBQ and maybe too much good beer, wine, and liquor.  At just $75 for VIP tickets it was a real bargain and held in wonderful park-like surroundings of the Heart of the Ranch event center in Fort Worth.
We arrived about 30 minutes early and were third in line waiting for the VIP opening time of 1 pm.  Temperatures were a bit cool for April, upper 40's, but we layered up and the wind was pretty light.  While waiting we were treated to the sights and smells of a beef fore quarter smoking on the Lockhart Smokehouse trailer nearby.  That definitely got the stomach juices going!
A few minutes before the gates opened we watched as they plucked that bad boy from the smoker, dropped it into a big cooler, then towed it around to the event on a small wagon.  We were sampling it just a few minutes later.
Some ladies came down the line and scanned our tickets and provided wristbands.  By the time the gates opened there was a pretty good line of VIP ticket holders stretching back into the parking lot.  The gates opened right on time at 1 pm and we were off for the golden hour of food and drink before the general admission folks were let in.

Inside was the usual set up, with booths stretching around the event area, alternating food and drink tents.  There were a couple of big fire pits set up to help keep folks warm.  Onstage the Lone Star String Band played country, folk, and blues tunes and told some really bad jokes.
As usual, we had our beer box trays, and as usual, everyone was jealous.  We made our way around to the various food booths, gathering up the goodness, and finally settling on a bench in front of the music stage.
There was all kinds of great food, but of course we were there for the BBQ.  The highlights for me were Black's brisket and their jalapeno sausage donut sandwich.
Ten 50 had some nice beef rib samples (their display rack is the photo at the top).
 Cousins also had some good brisket and some very tasty smoked meatloaf. 
Meat U Anywhere had some tasty brisket tacos and later served some very good brisket enchiladas.
In the "other" category, my favorites included Cattleack's Que-T-Pie, a brisket stuffed empanada.
Panther City BBQ had some excellent jalapeno poppers which featured burnt ends wrapped in bacon.  Mighty good!
Woodshed Smokehouse featured burnt ends with campfire bread.
Other items included wings, various side dishes, thin slices off the beef fore quarter, pulled pork sliders, cabrito tacos, and even some delicious ice cream.  I never saw a pork rib and the only sausage in evidence was in Black's donut sandwich.
We managed to make it through the 18 food booths before the general admission folks came in at 2 pm.  My Mrs was our designated driver so I got to go play at the beer, gin, tequila, whiskey, and vodka booths!  I found several new beers I like and several new spirits, too!  Good thing we had my Mrs to drive us.  I didn't get to try the wine since mixing the grape and the grain is never a very good idea.

Scott, Mrs O., and I had a great time at this event and it will definitely be on our list for next year.  The only two changes I would suggest is to have more BBQ items, and maybe standardize the servings to the sample boats most of the other fests use.  There were a lot of little flat plates being handed out with samples and they were more unwieldy than those little cardboard boats.
More photos are in the post below.  As always you can click on the photos to see a larger version.

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