I want my baby back ribs!!!

28 Jun

Sparks Street is a great place to be June 22nd – 26th, unless you are vegetarian or vegan. I honestly wish I worked at the CBC Broadcast Centre during this time, just so I could enjoy the smell. June 22nd – 26th is the Ottawa RibFest. This festival is a chance for local BBQ lovers to enjoy some BBQ. Barbeque outfits from across North America come to Ottawa to be crowned Ottawa RibFest’s Best Chicken, Best Ribs or Best Sauce Overall. I went this past Friday at lunch time, bad idea, as all of the workers from the area seem to be there! Knowing that there were a lot of different stalls to choose from, I brought along someone with a much Rib FestDSC_0161_043better nose then me. My guest contributor is Brandy, she is a German Sheppard, Lab mix, who enjoys sleeping on the couch, going for long runs on the beach and chasing squirrels. She was visiting for the weekend.

I also love eating food! I usually get dried dog food which is good but what I really like is MEAT!!! I’ll do whatever it takes to get some, I have even stolen a steak off of the counter. I also LOVE peanut butter!

The Ottawa RibFest has a number of different barbeque places set up along Sparks Street. Some of them are Crabby’s BBQ Shack (www.crabbysbbqshack.com), Texas Rib FestDSC_0165_046Outlaws, Gator BBQ Company, Bibb’s BBQ, Billy Bones (www.billybonesbbq.com), Silver Bullet, Uncle Sam’s BBQ and the 2 time defending champs of Best Ribs, Camp 31. With so many places to choose from, you would think that the lines ups wouldn’t be too bad, but Ottawans really love their BBQ because the line ups were all pretty long. So I wanted to make sure to see them all before deciding which one to sample.

The crazy human dragged me past all of the wonderful meat without getting me any! I was trying to behave to make sure that I would get some but the puppy humans, were almost giving me their delicious meat! My human wouldn’t let me get any though!!! It smelled sooooo yummy!!!

Rib FestDSC_0166_047After much debate we chose a place to go to. We got the ribs and pulled pork, at $15, it is by no means cheap but for the amount of meat that you get it is a decent price. The next trick was for us to find somewhere to sit. If you’re going with a group I would suggest trying to get a spot on one of the patios, where you can enjoy your BBQ as long as you buy drinks. Since it was only the two of us we found a space on a bench to enjoy some ribs and pork.

Not only does the human drag me through the amazing smell of meat, once he gets some meat, he drags me around until he can find somewhere to sit. He really needs to learn how to multitask better, I mean who can’t eat and walk at the same time? It would be so much easier for him if he walked on four legs instead of two!

Rib FestDSC_0164_045Ribs and pulled pork are done by cooking tougher meat for a long-time at a low temperature, low and slow. Really good bbq is usually smoked for four hours first and then finished on the grill. Smoking is done with different kinds of wood, a lot of the time with fruitwood, i.e.. Apple wood. The other secrets to good bbq are the spice rub and the sauce. Put it all together and it makes bbq a lot more complicated then throwing something on your home grill.

Who cares about how they are cooked, why you humans cook good meat at all is beyond me! Just eat it…yum MEAT!!!

  While there was lots of meat on the ribs and the amount of pulled pork was plentiful, I was disappointed. I was Rib FestDSC_0162_044expecting some amazing stuff. The pulled pork was really, really sweet! I could hardly taste the pork over the amount of sweet bbq sauce. When I have pulled pork, I want to be able to taste some of the porky goodness and I want there to be a little bit of a kick. If I wanted to only taste bbq sauce, I would have gotten a spoon and ate it out of the container. The other disappointment is that I didn’t get any of my favourite part of the pulled pork, the bark! Maybe I am being picky but at a Ribfest I expect AMAZING bbq!

I don’t know what you are talking about! I love the pork; I just wish you weren’t so greedy! I did everything you wanted, I sat, laid down, shook a paw, all without you asking, and you only gave me a tiny amount of the yummy pig! It took no time to eat after all of the torture of walking through the yummy smells of meat! I want more!!!

The ribs tasted really good, I could taste the pork and the sauce complemented the Rib FestDSC_0160_049meat well and didn’t overpower it. On the negative side the meat needed a good tug to come off the bone, which made it a lot harder to eat then a lot of other ribs I’ve had in the past. Overall I found that the Ottawa RibFest didn’t really live up to my idea of amazing bbq, maybe my expectations are too high, but if you’re going to have a ribfest I want to have the best bbq I have ever had in my life. That being said, it was still yummy and if you’re looking for something different for lunch between June 22-26th I would recommend it, definitely a fun event.

I love ribs!!! It’s the perfect food for me, soft and chewy on the outside with a surprise in the middle. Again I wasn’t given enough, but they were soooo good! The meat was delicious and the bone would have been great to chew on, if the human hadn’t so nervous about me choking on part of it! Next year I am going without the human and am going to pig out!

For those of you who are interested here are the winners of the different categories:

Best Chicken: Bibb’s BBQ

Best Ribs: Billy Bones (www.billybonesbbq.com)

Best Sauce Overall: Billy Bones (www.billybonesbbq.com)

In other barbeque news, a new barbeque restaurant will be hitting the ByWard Market soon. Chef Warren Sutherland, formerly of Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro and Must Kitchen/Wine/Beer, has taken over the old Le Caveau de Szechwan restaurant on York Street. The new restaurant, The SmoQue Shack, will give us Ottawa foodies a taste of authentic bbq. For more info the SmoQue Shack, check out Ron Eade’s article here: http://bit.ly/jyXj8t

 

Rib FestDSC_0172_048

Brandy after a yummy afternoon!

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