Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ottawa Ribfest 2013



The 22nd Annual Ottawa Ribfest was kicked off on Wednesday. Furious Pete was at the event and  attempted to break the world record for eating the most pulled pork in six minutes. He ended up setting a new world record by wolfing down 7.5 pounds of pulled pork in that time.

We had initially planned to go down to the ribfest for dinner on Thursday, but things changed and we went for a late lunch on Friday instead. This was the new plan:

  • Andrew and I would go down to ribfest and have a late lunch
  • We'd get some drinks at McD's and then get BBQ from Camp 31 and Silver Bullet
  • Andrew would bus to the Dragon Boat Festival afterwards to volunteer
  • I would head home with the goods

On our way downtown to Sparks Street, Andrew and I dropped by McD's and bought some drinks. They have their one dollar drink promotion going on throughout the summer.



We went to Camp 31 first. While Andrew waited in one of the two lines, I snapped a few photos around their stand.



They had a tasting table once again this year. I'll talk more about this later. Behind their table, one of the guys was loading on more ribs into their oven. I'm assuming those ribs were meant for their dinner service.

The Alabama's Freshly Squeezed Lemonade stand was back. They were in between the Camp 31 and Silver Bullet competitors.

The past few years, we've been getting ribs from Bibb's and Camp 31. This year, I wanted to get Silver Bullet. I noticed that their line was a long and slow-moving because they only had one cash opened up, whereas Camp 31 had two cashiers.



The grill master added more charcoals and lifted that powerful yellow fan to get the new batch of hot charcoals going. You could hear the charcoals cracking and popping. You couldn't help but breath in the smoke. It was unpleasant but it was a small sacrifice for the ribs -- which were usually served with smiles.

I got a full rib dinner, which is a full rack of ribs with coleslaw and beans, then went to their utensil, BBQ sauce, napkin table.

Andrew had found space on a nearby bench and was already munching on Camp 31's goods. Lucy met up with us too. She was also volunteering that evening as well. While Andrew and I were eating, a volunteer came around and gave us wet naps. There were porta-sinks around Sparks Street but these were great. Purell was still needed. I only ate a small rib from both places and then was done. Breathing in all the smoke somewhat ruined my appetite -- that and the fact that I haven't been feeling the greatest during the past two weeks. The goods were packed up carefully. We parted ways.


Once home, I checked the valuables. The container of Silver Bullet's full rack dinner survived!

The Camp 31 pulled pork sandwich (pictured at the very top) and the full rack of ribs did too!

Two years ago, I bought a bottle of Camp 31's Ragin' Cajun BBQ sauce and loved it. Then last year I tried buying Bibb's BBQ sauce but we found it too sweet for our taste. I couldn't wait to get another bottle of this Ragin' Cajun this year. One of Camp 31's BBQ sauce was $6. It's $15 if youbuy three. I picked up two bottles of the Ragin' Cajun and one bottle of their Jerk BBQ sauce.

Earlier this week, I thought it would be a great idea to make wraps/tacos using the pulled pork and rib meat from ribfest. I sliced some onions and pickled them in vinegar and sugar. Old cheddar was sliced, lettuce were washed, and the salsa and guacamole were brought out. The only thing we had to do was put it all together with the store-bought tortillas.

The pulled pork tasted the best in these wraps! Mom had a two wraps and some ribs as well. She preferred Camp 31's thinner, yet smokier, ribs. When Andrew got home from volunteering, he made himself a wrap and enjoyed the combination of flavours.

Though we only got BBQ'd goods from two of the competitors this year, we still like Camp 31. I wish I had ordered from Bibb's BBQ again because I remember it has been a family favourite in the past. Maybe we'll try more places next year.

The event runs until tomorrow (Sunday, June 23rd) at 6pm. Go out and get some if you haven't already. If you do miss it, most of the ribfest competitors will be heading down the 401 to compete at the Toronto Ribfest at Centennial Park from June 28th - July 1st.


Read about our experiences:

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