Sunday, May 13, 2018

Smoked Dallas tickets on sale

Tickets are already on sale for the 5th annual Smoked Dallas BBQ Fest.   Scheduled for September 22 at Main Street Garden Park.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Birthright BBQ Fest coming to Dallas June 17th

New BBQ fest in Dallas featuring open pits and an old smokehouse.  June 17th in Dallas.  Thanks to Daniel's Texas Monthly blog for the tip!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

5th annual Red Dirt BBQ Fest, Tyler 5/5/18

Another amazing BBQ festival in Tyler is in the books.  We have managed to attend 4 of the 5 annual fests, missing last year because the VIP tickets sold out in 3 minutes.  This year Scott camped out online and managed to get us 4 VIP tickets before they were gone in less than 3 minutes.  They had an outstanding line-up of 25 BBQ joints this year and I don't think I had a single bad bite.
We arrived about 10:30 and found ourselves 12th in line waiting for the VIP check-in.  They started checking in VIPs a little early, about 10:50, coming down the line with scanners and wristbands.  Beer ID's were checked next, with separate wristbands for those of drinking age.  They handed out an envelope with a t-shirt coupon and 2 drink coupons for everyone in the VIP line.  It is a very efficient system.  The one thing they could improve is adding a service entrance for the many vendors who had to work their way through the rapidly forming line carrying all kinds of stuff that had to be checked by security.  One small manned gate off to the side would have saved the vendors a lot of trouble.

As opening time approached, Chase and a helper made their way down the line to sell extra beer coupons, saving us another wait in line once inside.  Another thoughtful touch.  By noon there was a long line of VIPs and the general admission line was stretching out quite a ways, too.
Finally, the gate was opened and we headed inside to load up on meats.
As at previous Red Dirt Fests, the BBQ joints were lined up around the square, but more than half were set up facing each other on Broadway.  We went the other way, then worked around to the back side while most of the crowd headed to the closest tents.  It worked out well.
We brought our usual beer box trays, but it seemed most of the VIP folks were now onto this idea.  After chowing down on the first round at tables near a small music stage, we headed back out and gathered up the rest of the samples in what seemed record time. 
 I think I had the last of my BBQ samples acquired a full 15 minutes before they let in the general admission hordes.
We sampled our way through the rest of the offerings, then I headed out to take a few more photos of booths and food, like I do at most of these festivals.  Those will follow in posts below.
After my photo safari, Scott's buddy Steve and I headed over to the craft beer tent to see what they had on offer.  My tastes run to porters and stouts, but predictably, most of the breweries brought IPA's, fruity beers, and other lighter suds.  I guess I will have to keep making BBQ trays from Murphys Stout cases.  I did enjoy sampling from the 7 breweries present, especially since Scott was our designated driver this year!  Thanks Scott!
This remains one of my favorite BBQ fests on the circuit, but I hope next year they will have some BBQ-Only VIP tickets so we don't have to fight with all the music fans who buy VIP for close stage access.  Either way we'll be online fighting to get tickets for the 2019 fest so we can go 5 for 6.
Congrats to Chase and his team for another fantastic day of BBQ in Tyler.

5th annual Red Dirt BBQ Fest, food photos #1


5th annual Red Dirt BBQ Fest, food photos #2


5th annual Red Dirt BBQ Fest, booth and food photos #1