Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Royal Invitational Prep Day
We lounged around the hotel until 11:00am and then headed over to the Kemper Arena to get our site set up and our meat inspected. When I woke up I had a craving for chicken fried steak(Steve Steaks) and I put Carlotta in charge of finding someplace that had it. She hit the jackpot ! Papa Lew's Soul Delicious had some great chicken fried steak and fried okra. Carlotta and Carmen hit the Soul food buffet that included fried chicken, greens, chicken necks and other assorted goodies. On the way out we got a big hug from the restaurant owner.
We got a site big enough to park the truck on. I'm glad we did because the truck served as a barrier to one side of the site as well as the porta John. If you've never been to the Royal then you don't know how important it is to have your site blocked in on all sides and your Porta John hidden from the public. If you don't then 30,000 spectators will be using your site as a shortcut and the Porta John will last about 2 hours before the stink gets so bad you want to vacate the area.
I was impressed this year with the availability of Ice and Water, two things that have been an issue at the Royal in the past. There were so many people riding around on carts with ice asking if you needed it that it almost became annoying. The meat inspectors were also easy to contact and we were inspected and ready to go in no time.
Now it was time to trim the meat. This is something I usually drag my feet on, but I was motivated by the fact I wanted to visit with all my friends who were also at the Royal. People from sea to shining sea were in attendance and that's one of the things that makes the Royal so special. While I was busy trimming Jorge from the BBQ Brethren stopped by and gave me some great smoked sausages from his home state of Texas. After trimming the meat I had to cook some chocolate chip cookies and the sausages Jorge gave me for a party we were attending.
At 7:00pm The Slabs hosted a party for members of The BBQ Forum an internet forum where many of the top teams in the KCBS hang out and share their knowledge. It was a potluck and there was lots of great food to munch on, from bbq pizza to tasty dips and deserts. There was also an Ice Luge and a huge Margarita machine set up. The Slabs gave away door prizes that were donated from forum members and advertisers. It was a lot of fun to see old friends from the forum and to meet some new ones.