Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hamilton Park BBQ 2015

This Saturday is the 6th Annual Hamilton Park BBQ and it's sure to be a good time filled with lots of delicious eats. If you're new to the barbecue, check out my round-up from two years ago - although I have to say it's grown a lot since then.
Sponsored in part by Silverman, the HPNA, Sawyer Smith Residential Brokerage and others, this annual event is a major fundraiser for the Hamilton Park Conservancy and always draws a big crowd. It runs from 12pm-8pm at 232 Pavonia outside of GP's and boasts vendors like Milk Sugar Love, Taproot Organics, Just Jenny's Love, Outer Limits Hot Sauce, and Republic of Pigtails - and that doesn't even cover the barbecue vendors. There's also live music throughout the event and fun for kids with face-painting and a bouncy house.

As for the food, there's always a number of vendors from all over NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania including GP's, Ben's BBQ and Catering (Newark), Dinosaur BBQ, Delaney BBQ (Brooklyn), Jimmy's BBQ (Pennsylvania) amongst others. While I really can't say there's a bad choice, my favorite from last year was Ben's BBQ and Catering. Served out of a food truck, this place just had some incredibly delicious and tender pulled pork along with a series of incredibly flavorful sauces - some sweet, some spicy and a lot of in between that made it really hard to decide what to actually put on my sandwich.

There will be some vegetarian and vegan options available, but don't count on there being a huge variety. New for this year, we can expect local vendors JC Wingery and Arhi's Kitchen, both excellent. I'd highly recommend checking them out.

Drinks will be served by the Hamilton Inn and a beer truck is brought in from NJ Beer Co. Milk Sugar Love is presenting a special new ice cream sandwich for the occasion: brown sugar cookies filled with corn ice cream and blackberry jam which sounds like the best possible way to say goodbye to summer.
                                                      (photo from Hamilton Park BBQ FB page)

Some hints:
Go early. Seriously. It gets crowded fast and while the lines are are never really bad, they do build up and it gets crowded.
There's not a lot of seating considering how many people go. Don't be afraid to ask to share a table - most people are very kind about it.
If you want Dinosaur, go there first. They usually boast the longest lines for the majority of the day and sometimes run out of the most popular items.
Go to Ben's for the sweet potato fries. Their BBQ is also tremendous, but their fries knock all the other side dishes out of the park and is one of the few places serving them. Even if you don't like sweet potato fries, give these a try. Am I overselling them yet?
Try to find the couple of places that sell single ribs - you get to try them but still have room to eat a lot more.
Bring water and wet wipes. Can't have enough.

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