Monday, July 12, 2010
Meatopia 2010- My Kind of Nirvana
When I was about 7, I asked my mother if I gave her my allowance back, would she buy me more meat. So yesterday’s glorious, first-ever Meatopia: BBQ NYC on Governor’s Island was my idea of carnivore heaven. And not just because there was smoking grill after grill of amazing sights, tastes and smells, but because each of the 26 chefs and BBQ teams used sustainable meats. Many of the chefs paired up with local farms to showcase small-scale agriculture using animals that have been raised humanely and responsibly.
And oh what a feast it was. My friends and I deliberately arrived early to survey the selections. We carefully studied the menu online the night before. So day of, we were ready to compare the written descriptions with the actual dishes - analyzing the plate appeal and portion size. After all we had to narrow down which 6 tastings would make the final cut for our $45 ticket. Because nothing looked unappetizing, portion size almost always won out. These were not stingy portions. Generous hunks of meat, sometimes spilling off the plate.
My personal highlights in descending order were:
1. The grilled perfection of Abe & Arthur’s Country Style Pork Ribs with Tomatillo Salsa (I could have eaten a vat of the salsa alone)
2. The wonderfully messy and juicy Waterfront Ale House/Fuhgeddaboutit BBQ’s House Cured and Smoked Brisket Pastrami, Stout Mustard, Pretzel Roll
3. The Harrison’s Char Grilled English Lamb chop smothered in herbs
For the first few hours, the atmosphere was ideal: manageable, friendly crowds, and live bluegrass music lulling us as we devoured plate after plate. But by mid afternoon, the crowds were so large that the food almost suddenly ran out. I sadly learned that pacing ourselves was a disadvantage. So I had to believe the unanimous rave reviews of The Hurricane Club’s Honey-glazed Baby Back Ribs with Thai Basil & Mint. I didn't queue up in time this time around. Never mind. Next year I'll be a pro at it.