|(at "Uncle Sam"). This guy was awesome enough to pose for me! :D|
What? Ribfest for ribs!! :D:D
Where? Woodbine Park (Coxwell ave & Lake Shore Blvd E)
Price? $7-$25 (brisket/pulled pork sandwich – “Grand Slam”)
The skinny: Also known as the annual “Beach BBQ & Brews Festival” held annually at Woodbine Park (just north of Woodbine Beach), it’s a celebration of summer along with the food associated with it—all things barbecued! :D This year, it took place from June 17-19 (Father’s Day Weekend, perfect!). Go for some amazing ribs and to simply, relax.
I came here Sunday, on the last day of Ribfest. That day, I had double practice for dragonboat so I was gonna take full advantage of the fact that I’m expending a lot of energy (and I will become HUNGRY) and that I can simply walk across the street to Woodbine Park to satiate that hunger. ;D
Please prepare yourself for orgasmic food photos.
We started our food adventure a little early by “scoping” out the place in between our two practices. It was around 11am and everyone was barbecuing what seemed like their first batches of ribs and chicken.
|"HAWG HEAVEN"? Well...yeah, I guess it is. haha I know I'm not complaining.|
|an attempt at a panoramic shot of the park.|
|More ribs being bbq'ed. They slapped and coated the ribs with very generous amounts of their award-winning sauces.|
In front of each stall was a table with dozens of trophies for their winning sauces/ribs. Impressive!
|These were the 4 main stalls. The display showing the awards they'd won were huge!|
Oh hey, what’s in here? Well, one of the guys was famished so he got…
...a brisket sandwich w coleslaw & baked beans ($7 from Uncle Sam)! It looked so good.
I didn’t take a photo of this but the other guys were all huddled close around the food, just taking in the aroma. It was pretty funny watching my friend struggle with the awkwardness of three guys staring at him while he ate!
His words: “Yo, this stuff’s legit! Yeah..” *continues to stuff face* (invokes jealousy among the rest of us who need to wait until after second practice to indulge)
Little did we know, there wouldn’t be anymore when we returned later.. booo :(
|Here's some more grilling going on. Looks great.|
Back for Round 2! Or really Round 1. The park had filled up considerably. There were lines for each ribs stall. Our plan: divide and conquer. Line up and buy a ½ rack from the 3 biggest/seemingly best ribs stalls and share.
|Here you can really see how the park had filled up in a just a couple of hours!|
The anticipation was definitely palpable and after a long drought of no-ribs, I was surprised I didn’t just claw at mine. :) I did capture my friends’ enjoyment.
|Oh what's the shirt they're wearing? Oh nothing, just our amazing uni dragonboat team shirt!! :D:D:D|
Where did we go? Camp 31. Uncle Sam. Bibb’s BBQ.
Each was amazing in their own way, no joke.
<-- This was a quirky sight. A man weraing a suit (in sun-beating-down-hard 30 degree weather) with a pair of timbs riding a classic bike checking out trophies...cool!
I got the Bibb’s BBQ ribs and just for kicks, I added coleslaw and baked beans. It was a little pricier here ($15 vs. $13 for half rack) and $2 for the sides.
|They're from Florida!|
|My loot: 1/2 rack of ribs with coleslaw and beans. The beans were mediocre. The coleslaw, refreshing.|
|Half-rack of ribs as well.|
|Looks like they slapped on one final coating of sauce before taking it off the grill.|
Verdict? Both Camp 31 and Uncle Sam have great fall off the bone ribs. The former uses a sweeter sauce whereas the latter is smokier and is more akin to your typical bbq ribs, but taken up about 10 notches in flavour.
|They had a lot of tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy your food, and listen to live music :D|
The collective agreement was that the ribs from Bibb’s BBQ were the best, the flavour had the right amount of smokey, savoury, and sweet notes for us. The sweetness almost had a sort of tang to it.
|Check out how the sauce glistens and sparkles in the light! And the meat looking so juicy and tender... *drools*|
The friend that got the brisket sandwich earlierpicked up some chicken (I'm not sure from which stall though, sorry!). The skin had a great crunch and crispiness to it. The meat however was dry and lacked flavour. Unfortunately, the sauces didn't penetrateinto the meat :(
It was a great day to be outside, and even better, we had ribs to accompany it. :D I must say though, the sun was really intense. I normally tan but I tanned hard and burned a little that day. Eek. Copious amounts of sunscreen time? Oh yes please!
|@Bibb's BBQ waiting for my order to be filled. PS, the service is quick everywhere. Good for hungry customers!|
|Ribs all done.|
Of course we couldn’t stop at just ribs! Went back for the brisket sandwich…where shock & sadness ensued (I say this lightly but it was quite saddening since we were anticipating it’s goodness so longingly) when we found it they had sold out. NOO!!!!! How about a substitute pulled pork sandwich instead? Fine.
<-- This is a photo of one happy guy carrying some great manly food. Don't worry, I know him. ;) haha
Two “Grand Slams” ($25) were ordered as well. It consists of chicken, ribs and pulled pork along with a side each of coleslaw and baked beans. Looked positively orgasmic.
|My pulled pork sandwich. One of the Grand Slams. My friend's pulled pork sandwich w coleslaw & beans.|
I only sampled a bit of the pulled pork on my sandwich (the meat was piled on high…which is an AWESOME thing) since I wanted to bring it home to my fams. It was tender, a little chewy but bursting with flavour. The smokeyness wasn’t overwhelming and it seems to me that the bun acts like a roadblock to overindulgence. Having all that pulled pork alone would’ve been too much.
After all that eating, there was one craving that remained. Soft serve ice cream. Oh what’s this? An ice cream truck? Don’t mind if I do (well I didn’t, but some of the guys bought ice cream). Nothing really to comment on here…
|Some of the other stalls in the park catering to your thirst, sweet tooth, and french fry cravings (yep, Smoke's at bottom right)|
Verdict: I can’t believe I’d never been to Ribfest in previous years! And the team trains just across the street! Silly girl. After having experienced it once, I know I’ll be returning next year. With cash so I don’t have to use the mobile atm truck again (I was sketched out haha).
Check ‘em out! http://www.beachbbqandbrews.com/
5 out of 5 NOMs