The 5 Best Things at This Year's Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Pork pulled from the whole hog from Ed Mitchell's, Wilson and Raleigh, NC. Put the slaw on the sandwich!

We have many things to thank the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party for, now in its 10th year. A decade ago, it got the ball rolling for barbecue in NYC, and is partly responsible for our fair city becoming one of the true barbecue capitals of the country. And the festival has introduced us to many farflung establishments that we might not have otherwise visited. Even though the relation of the barbecue produced at, say, a country crossroads shack somewhere in the Carolinas will always be of uncertain relation to that produced in the middle of Madison Square from a gleaming truck using volunteer labor and the work of unfamiliar butchers.

Nevertheless, a good time was had by all this year, even if the Fast Pass lines sometimes ran longer than the plebian ones, and you ended up waiting 30 minutes for what turned out to be some inferior 'cue. Another heartbreaking feature was the emphasis on sauce at many places, and the consequent indifferent smokiness of the meat. And there's too much pulled pork! And not enough brisket, sausage, lamb, and chicken. And no barbecues from places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas City, or Ownesboro, KY. That said, here are the things I liked most this year.

Chopping the meat in a cloud of smoke at Ed Mitchell's

5. Pulled Pork at Ed Mitchell's, Raleigh, NC - This is the irreducible product of the antique whole-pig approach originated in North Carolina: glove-soft pig flesh with a delicate flavor and only mildly smoky. The slaw on the side is its co-equal as partner in the pulled pork sandwich. This is barbecue of unswerving honesty.

Ed is set up to travel.

Location Info

Hill Country Barbecue Market

30 W. 26th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Madison Square Park

5th Ave. At 23rd St., New York, NY

Category: General

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Ummm, thats not a homemade smoker. Thats a burn box to turn logs into embers for the smokers. Meathead


I was here!  Food was delicious and savory, music was upbeat, yet the lines were a little long for my liking.  Double fisting beers as to not have to stand in line twice? Yes.  For those of you who like BBQ on a more regular basis, check out Veronica's Kitchen, which can be found on, New York City's new online ordering site that allows users to place orders for pick up from food trucks, skipping food truck lines (absolutely awesome and worth it, try it out).  Veronica's offers a caribbean twist on BBQ but is absolutely delicious.  I recommend the Jerk Chicken!  Enjoy, ladies and gentlemen!


Love him! Knew him slightly when he was in Rank and File.


You are way off. Best thing hands down was Alejandro Escovedo!!!

Mitch Weinstein
Mitch Weinstein

Nice piece, RS.  I think Scott's was the find of the year. And Jim 'n Nick's smoked sausage was just the right amount juicy and just the right amount spicy...I particularly enjoyed the pimento cheese and crackers that came along with it.