Saturday, November 12, 2016

7th annual Blues, Bandits, and BBQ, Oak Cliff, Texas

sampled 11/12/16
This was our second year at this great little festival at Kidd Springs park in Oak Cliff.  I first heard about this party through the Texas BBQ Posse blog and from my little brother, who helps with the OCTX booth.  This is another very laid back, family and dog friendly event held in a small city park.  For just $20 advance/$25 at the gate, you get to sample from 30 different BBQ teams and help pick the People's Choice award winner.  I have had the offer to be an "official" judge before, but I found it was a lot more fun to wander around and do the people's choice sampling.  Plus there was the advantage that I know whose food I am eating and will know where to find more should I want some!  That's something you don't get as a blind taste test judge.
This fest has a real mixed bag of cooks and food samples.  They use everything from small back yard smokers to huge custom trailer jobs.
There are restaurants, back yard cooks, and well seasoned BBQ cook-off teams competing.  As you might expect, the food quality is all over the place.  There was a lot of pulled pork.  Two of the booths had cooked whole hogs.   One of them had some of the juiciest most succulent pork I have had in a long time.
 There was also a lot of brisket.  Most was pretty average but a few were excellent.
Ribs showed up at 4 or 5 different booths but unlike last year I only had one rib that was really good.  Most were tough and under cooked or depended on a heavy slathering of sauce for flavor.  None had much smoke flavor.
There were some of the usual "different" entries including sausage pizza, brisket jalapeno poppers, and brisket nachos.  There were several pulled pork sliders and tacos.
Each participant in the People's Choice tasting was given one wooden nickel to award to their favorite.  I wish I had one for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and etc., but we got just the one.  I gave mine to the team shown below for some excellent fatty brisket we had early on in the tasting.  I got a second sample an hour later and it was just as good.  I asked the name of their team, as they had no sign or other "advertising" and it was something market.  I never could quite make out the name.  However here is their booth, below.
My Mrs gave her token to a different booth for their excellent pulled pork and I really could not disagree with her.  It was tough to pick one "winner" from so many good samples.  It sure was fun trying though!
This was a fine way to spend a November afternoon with beautiful weather, good music, and some fine smoked meats.  For just $20 it's one of the best bargains I have found on the whole BBQ circuit.  You might not find any famous pit masters hanging around but there's no long lines and it is a whole lot of fun.

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