The Orange County BBQ Festival happened yesterday at the OC Fairgrounds.
It’s best to buy tickets online, so to avoid an extra line. There’s a service charge, but it might be worth it — I personally have low tolerance for long lines. Inside the event was better.
There were lines for some BBQ, but none were horrible and they moved fairly quickly.
I tried to keep track of what we were eating and drinking and its origin, but forget it.
There were too many BBQ’s and Breweries to remember and I needed an extra hand.
There was a lot of Brisket, Pulled Pork, Tri Tip, Chicken, Sausage, Ribs and Meatballs.
One serious BBQ team.
Though much looked good, it took a while to find the best BBQ, as some meats were tough, fatty and surprisingly bland. And others were dry, but okay sauced. Tender is imperative.
A neighbor, The Meat House was there serving the Beef (below) and Chicken.
I liked the name and look of Big Rick and the BBQ Chicks, but didn’t try their Brisket.
Never had trouble sharing a table with anyone and the sun came out.
Grilling. Btw, I’ll never go on the background chair lift again — Did it last year and it’s scary.
We used tickets to receive generous servings of BBQ and Brew — It worked well.
And here’s Mr. BBQ, who won the Mr. BBQ Pageant.
He was sooooo funny and kept saying… It’s hard being this sexy.
An old-fashioned, new fangled Ice Cream Truck — There was a Car Show happening too.
Farmer John was there offering free Pork Sausage.
Bands were playing.
Pass the Sauce
Towards the end, Famous Dave’s was giving away free Pulled Pork, because they wanted everyone to know how good it is — We were full and out of tickets and thought their Pulled Pork was better than many others. There’s a debate happening regarding their Pickles.
The Famous Dave’s Pickle debate will soon be reported and linked here.
It’s agreed, Famous Dave’s Pulled Pork is good and they served it to the end. We appreciate that, since too many BBQ teams ran out of food way too early — Not cool! We had plenty of food, though expected the option of more. I planned to name the super early closers, but stopped caring when full, and didn’t separate the good business cards from the bad ones.
And then came The Rib Eating Contest…
The Ribs were weighed, documented and distributed to the contestants, who ate as much as they could within the allotted amount of time. Each batch of Ribs was then re-weighed to determine who ate the most in pounds and ounces. I had never seen it done in person.
We had a great spot — Thankfully it wasn’t too gross to watch.
The cost was $50 to enter the contest, but you take home the balance of the Ribs.
If you still want them?!
Time is up.
And the winner is… this guy, on the left, and last year’s winner is on the right.
IMPORTANT INFO: The OC BBQ Festival is a fundraiser benefitting Kristie’s Foundation for critically ill children, and all proceeds go to them. That’s a great thing. Mark your calendar for next year’s event or make a donation at the link above. The winner of The Rib Eating Contest donated his $250 prize to Kristie’s Foundation — Wow, that was a cool thing to do!