So I had only one day to go to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off and kind of struck out with an old reliable and trying something new. I thought, "Darn, too bad there isn't a place on the Internet where people can say which ribs and meats they liked and which they didn't."
And of course, there is, Chowhound.
So I'll start a topic and hopefully Janet and a few others who asked about things to eat on the way to the Rib Cook-off will join in.
I skipped breakfast and arrived about 1 p.m., so I brought my A game, appetite wise, to the cook off. I was really in the mood for some good beef, but you have to try at least some ribs. I found an old reliable, one that's won several times, but for the life of me I can't remember the name now. I think it's the Sweet Meats Cooking Team from Texas. It was out in front of the Silver Club. I got three bones and a brisket sandwich.
The ribs were excellent, top notch, like you expect at the Cook Off. They were tender and had lots of good smoke flaor -- not hickory or mesquite. Apple, maybe. And the mild sauce was excellent. So I was off to a good start.
The beef brisket sandwich, well that was another matter. There was lots of it, but the beef had no flavor. I don't think they really slowed cooked it. I get the feeling since it was the last day they just kind of threw it in there. And no amount of sauce would save it, sweet or hot.
So I was kind of bummed out.
I walked around a little bit and got a lemonade. Not very lemony. Supposedly they had squeeze a whole lemon to make it, but I didn't taste it. So that was disappointing as well.
I should have tried another rib sampler, but something esle I wanted to try was a good hot link. The Nugget supplies the beef and pork for the cook off, but I thought maybe cooks would bring their own hot links and someone who specializes in smokehouse food would have good links. So I walked around and decided on Smokehouse Specialties of Dos Palos, CA. I bought it, found a nice place to sit and bit into the hot link. Yuk. Looked and tasted like a poorly made hot dog with barbecue sauce on it. Good barbecue sauce, but still probably the worst hot link I've ever had.
I've had plenty of good ribs at the cook off in the past and had good ribs today. Just got let down by the non-ribs food.
Anyone else want to share their stories?