Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interesting Conversation

Well we're sitting here at the Nashville airport waiting for Sully from the Lunchmeat bbq team. He's hitching a ride with us to Lynchburg, the rest of his team are driving. I'm sitting here minding my own business surfing the web and the conversation turns to Glory Holes. I don't know why ? This group I'm with is a little out there but I didn't know they were that far out there ! But I guess it beats talking about the weather. We're going to go try a local bbq chain called Bar-B-Cutie. Hopefully it's glory hole free. I'll check in later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Arrrrgh the FLU

We're supposed to leave tomorrow at 6:00 am for Lynchburg Tennessee to compete in the Jack Daniels Invitational but instead of getting ready I'm lying in bed fighting the FLU. My throat is killing me but my fever has finally broke so hopefully I'm on the mend.

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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Travel to the Royal

The trip to the Royal was fairly uneventful. Charlie and Carlotta's ride to the airport never showed up so they had to drive themselves and put their jeep in the airport parking garage. They had Pat pick it up so they didn't have to pay the $48 dollars a day. At the curbside check in I dropped one of the coolers, knocked my ice coffee on my shoe and spilled 3 briskets out into the street. The Briskets were in cryovac and I had a change of socks so it wasn't really a big deal. We checked in the coolers with no problem and 5 hours later we arrived in Kansas City where our ride was waiting for is.

Steph from The Slabs took us to dinner at Los Corrals. This place has great Margaritas and Mexican food. I had the carne asada and it was excellent. It seems every time I'm around the Slabs I'm eating or cooking some kind of steak so Kyle has nicknamed me Steve Steaks. From there we went to Sams Club to buy our ribs, chicken, Jack and Tequila then picked up our trailer and dropped it off at the contest site. There were a lot of teams already set up by the time we got there but our space was a pull through so it was easy to get in. We did some visiting and I ended up drinking a little more than I planned. Man was I feeling it. We didn't get to the hotel until after 11:00 and I was wiped out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Royal Results

Invitational Results:

44 Chicken
34 Ribs
2nd Pork (tied first place)
67 Brisket

20 Overall

Open Results:

283 Chicken
51 Ribs
32 Pork
71 Brisket

48 Overall

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

American Royal Time !

This is the weekend of the American Royal Barbecue competition in Kansas City MO, aka the Super Bowl of Barbecue. On Friday night we will start coking for the Invitational event that will be judged on Saturday. To qualify for this event teams had to have won a Grand Championship sometime during the year. It's a battle of Champions. Last year we got 3 top 15 calls and placed 19th overall. Our brisket tanked and took us out of contention.

On Saturday night we will cook for the open contest. Last year there were 475 teams competing in the open and we placed 4th overall ! The odds of doing that well again are against us but we're gonna give it all we have and let the cards fall where they may.

Our trailer and gear are already in Kansas City so we are all flying in for this contest. We're bringing two coolers full of meat on the plane with us (we hope). Back in 1998 we did the same thing but post 9/11 things are a little more complicated. Wish us luck folks.