Somehow, attending the annual Big Apple BBQ has become a tradition for me, even though I didn’t eat meat until this year, and I only eat it in small quantities now. I think I always enjoyed going because it’s one of those New York outdoor events that brings together big groups of people — and BBQ from around the country — at the beginning of summer.
…plus, it always gave me an excuse to inhale a deep fried, Shake Shack shroom burger and black and white shake while everyone around me gorged on meat.
This year, Ryan and I went with a group of friends. As usual, Madison Square Park was packed by noon, and long lines stretched from the various BBQ tents. Each of our friends was dispatched to a different stand with strict orders to bring back two plates of each specialty. I, of course, headed to Shake Shack to get my shroom burger and black and white shake.
Also as usual, the Shake Shack line took nearly twice as long as the longest BBQ line. By the time I had my order in hand, everyone else had been to their stands and was seated at a picnic table. An array of ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, smoked sausages, and beef brisket sat before us, and we cut everything into small pieces for easy sharing.
Despite getting Shake Shack, I decided to try everything.
Maybe it’s because I’m finally at the point where eating meat no longer makes me feel nauseous afterwards, but I thought everything tasted great. The brisket and pulled pork were smoky and tender, and the sausage had a bit of a kick. I thought the ribs were a tad dry, but they had a nice flavor. I’ll defer to the meat eaters for the final verdict on everything, though, since six meatless years don’t make me the best BBQ judge. They said: The flavor was pretty good, but everything could use more of it via a bit more sauce.
Oh well. It’s not like anything really went to waste.