Ribfest has somewhat of a special significance for D and me. Our first Ribfest in 2006 was a first date of sorts and it was a blast. Unfortunately we hadn’t been able to make it back until this past weekend.
Things at Ribfest have changed a bit since 2006. The entrance fee has tripled to $15. Parking is $5. The $4 tall boys are gone (now it’s $5 Miller Lite or Fosters in plastic cups). But the ribs, the ribs are still good and well worth the trip.
I met D, Jackie of Kitchen Interviews and Steve of Blind Tastes at the Homestead Air Reserve Park. Because the air show was also going on, traffic was pretty bad but watching fighter jets do their thing while we ate our ribs helped make up for the nuisance.
Twelve ‘ribbers’ competed this year. We split up and each of us bought ribs from a place of our choice. We then reconvened at our picnic table to sample them and pick our favorites. Of course we didn’t settle for one round. In all, we tasted ribs from seven of the 12 ribbers. We also had some sweet corn lathered in butter and salt. Luckily no one was tempted by the deep-fried Oreos or one-pound cookies. Here’s the rib run-down.
Porky-n-Beans, Aussome Aussie, Skin & Bones and Huckleberry Hillbilly. Porky-n-Beans seemed to come out as the favorite, closely followed by Skin & Bones, whose rub imparted such good flavor on the ribs that the sauce was not even necessary. It was so windy that we had to hold down our food lest it fly away. Apparently it did at one point, thankfully while I was getting beer for I would’ve been in its path and I didn’t need more sauce on my clothes.
Round 2 was staggered perhaps because we were trying to mentally prepare to eat more. First up: Pig In Pig Out. I didn’t try these but they weren’t too popular at the table. After a few beers and some pause, we got the final two from Blazin’ Broncos and Willingham’s. Blazin’ Broncos won me over in this round though others didn’t seem to love them as much as I did. The Willingham’s ribs had good flavor but unfortunately the meat was dry.
Blazin’ Broncos took the best rib title and Porky-n-Beans came in second. Third place went to Aussome Aussie. Guess I wasn’t that far off with my preferences.