Finally. After so long I’m making a moment for Mango & Lime. No, I’m not abandoning it for good and no, I haven’t stopped eating. The past two weeks have been a whirlind in every way and unfortunately I had few opportunities to sit and write. That is not to say that I have a shortage of things to write about. I actually accumulated a number of dining experiences last week that I’d like to mention here. But instead of throwing everything into one post I’m going to write about them — albeit in retrospect — individually.
So let me start with last weekend.
Six of us headed down to Homestead Air Reserve Park for ribs, beer and Kansas at Rib Fest 2006. In ten years, this was about my second or third time in Homestead and it was a very un-Miami experience. I actually felt like I was back in Texas, where my culinary school friends took me to crawfish festivals and rodeo cookouts. Everything from the crowd to the $4 16-ounce cans of Becks were nothing Miami, which wasn’t such a bad thing.
The fest [see photos], which ran Friday through Sunday last weekend, is apparently an annual event organized by Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation. This was the first time I had ever heard of it and I think most of us who went were a little weary of how it would be. Fortunately, we were all pleasantly suprised; it was nothing but fun and the ribs were good.
Eleven competing ribbers with quirky names (like Lick My Ribs) showed off the trophies their food had earned them in states across the country. Where to go? What to choose? We decided we’d split into three couples and bring back food from the place of our choosing for everyone to sample. Then, we could select our own Rib Fest 2006 winner.
After sampling the three and much finger licking, it was hard to choose between Fat Fred’s and Lick My Ribs. My favorite was Lick My Ribs — and not because my sidekick and I chose it but because the meat was so tender; it just fell right off the bone and the sauce was delicious. But I think our other four companions leaned more toward Fat Fred’s. Then again, we weren’t comparing the same thing as what we bought at Lick My Ribs were baby back ribs. The Smoke’n Dudes ribs were not bad yet we weren’t all that impressed with them. So perhaps we had somewhat of a tie.
Ribs weren’t all you could eat. Perhaps a sign that we were close to Miami, there were arepa stands and even a Colombian barbecue stand, but why bother with that when the point of Rib Fest is ribs?
Still, for friends of mine who refused to go because they “don’t like ribs,” there was also shredded or chopped pork on a bun, beef and other great foods. And I must say, I would recommend the trip down to Homestead to anyone. For Rib Fest next year, I won’t think twice about it. It’s good to leave Miami sometimes and amazingly in less than an hour, and without technically leaving it, you can feel like you’re so removed from it. It was kinda refreshing.
[tags] miami, food, ribs, barbecue, homestead [/tags]