It’s getting hot in here. Seriously. A solid week over 90F with 75% humidity was more than enough so this week of 75F temps has been heaven. Let’s get to the BBQ.
Flame out at West Penn BBQ
After 5 years serving smoked goodness to the Harmony area (Pittsburgh North) Greg Schrett announced via Facebook that West Penn BBQ has closed. I was surprised to hear of their closing since they’ve been a great example of serving more than traditional BBQ dishes and their creativity and dedication to the smoked goodness will be missed.
Thanks to Bill from Three Dogs BBQ (and 2018 “Grill Your Steak Off” SCA Golden Ticket winner) for sharing this picture in our Facebook Group of his last meal. Shortly after Bill shared this pic West Penn announced they were closing early. We’re not saying it’s Bill’s fault but we all know he bought as much BBQ as possible and is keeping it for himself.
Forged on the Yough Brew Festival
I try to keep Should I Drink That and Yinz Love BBQ separated but when the worlds collide you can expect it’s for an awesome reason and since friends of both groups are involved I really think you need to check this out.
This Sunday from 1-4PM you can celebrate with 12 alcohol vendors, 5 outdoor recreation vendors, 4 food vendors (Comin In Hot BBQ is one of them!), 2 Watershed associations, a bluegrass band and a live demonstration from Takach Forge Custom Knives. They will have a family-friendly area with children’s activities, raffles and so much more. If you’re going to partake in the alcohol tickets are only $25 and are available at Dwn.ticketleap.com
Temps are expected to be in the high 70s/low 80s and sunny so the BBQ and craft beer gods are giving you the perfect day to support local businesses.
Picklesburgh is a Big Dill
OK so Picklesburgh is not a BBQ fest but it is a huge event in Pittsburgh and while slim you still have a chance to dine on local BBQ. Choppin Block BBQ will be on the Bridge North (PNC Park side of Clemente Bridge) and will feature “chef-driven BBQ including brisket and pulled pork with house-pickled vegetables, scotch pickled eggs baked in a sausage crust, and a pickled berry Moscow Mule cocktail“.
BBQ VENDORS NEEDED!
This year Williams Ace Hardware is changing things up with Grill Your Ace Off and combining it with the Steak Off and by doing so they are in need of BBQ vendors. This amazing event donates all proceeds, has raised over $19K for Children’s Hospital and need your help to make this the biggest donation year ever!
“We need a BBQ Vendor to sell Saturday from around 11am-4pm. It will be $300 to come. The public comes and is able to buy food and we have a ton of raffles. Comin’ In Hot BBQ is currently the only vendor. Remember, this is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. Over the past 4 years, we have raised $19,000 for the hospital”
If you’re interested please email Keith Todd.
Wholey’s Rib Festival
Simmer down now, it’s not what you think. I admit I was pretty excited when I saw the Facebook event pop up in my feed but it’s not what you and I are thinking of for a rib fest. This is Wholey’s serving their ribs and sauces plus deals on ribs to go. I am down with buying ribs for home and hope they have butchers out to talk to people about how there’s more to ribs than an Applebee’s menu. They could make this a really informative event.
Ribs, ribs, ribs! Stop by Wholey’s for our first, annual Rib Festival. We’ll be cooking up delicious, baby back and spare ribs using our favorite sauces and rubs. Enjoy ½ racks to full slabs of ribs with tasty, southern-style sides. Enjoy live entertainment from accordionist Kevin Solecki as you load up on all your favorites.
Or barbecue your own ribs at home – we’ll have our best prices of the year on your favorite Baby Backs and Spare Ribs. Plus, special pricing on our Wholey-brand BBQ Sauces and Rubs.
Get your grill and your stomach ready – it’s Rib Festival time!
Saturday, July 27th 11AM-5PM
Sunday, July 28th 10AM-4PM
Yeah, I’ll probably end up there. If you go make sure you jump over to our Facebook Group and leave your thoughts on the event!
Erie BBQ going nationwide
Last month we talked about the grand opening of surprising newcomers Underdog BBQ in Erie, PA. They made news recently for taking 1st place overall in the ribs for juniors category and tied for 1st place for best ribs overall at the Erie Rib Fest.
After their opening, the reviews showed signs of inconsistent quality but that isn’t uncommon for a new restaurant while they get dialed in. Even members of our Facebook Group left unimpressed and didn’t hold back on what was done right/wrong. I’m still looking forward to trying it out but after all of the hype, incredibly smooth marketing push and opening something didn’t seem right.
Then it happened.
Business Insider broke the story on July 2nd that Underdog BBQ was actually part of a reality TV show being filmed in Erie names “Undercover Billionaire.” Yes, feel free to groan.
“Discovery would drop Stearns off in an average US city, with $100 in his pocket and without the contacts he’d built over 30 years in business, and see if he could create a million-dollar enterprise from scratch in 90 days.”
A million-dollar enterprise in 3 months with BBQ in Erie? My head hurts trying to rationalize any of this. I’m not saying you can’t make a lucrative business in Erie but in BBQ and in 3 months. I don’t have to tell you how this will end and I have so many thoughts on this that I’ll save it for another post. The Erie Times wrote a piece about the project you can check out and who knows, maybe you’ll hear from people involved with the show on this site in the very near future. As the cool kids say “#Spoilers”.
The show premieres on August 6th. Watch the episode and then drop a note in our Facebook Group what you think.
- 7/26 – Smoke in the Grove – Kennie’s Steak & Sausage Challenge (SCA National Qualifier – Spring Grove, PA)
- 7/26 to 27 – Smoke in the Grove BBQ Festival (Spring Grove, PA)
- 7/26 to 28 – 5th National RibFest at Paradise Park (Cowansville, PA)
- 8/2 to 4 – Seven Springs Mountain Resort Rib & Wing Festival
- 8/17 – Pig Out in the Park (Frostburg, MD)
- 8/23 – SCA Judge Class at Grill Your Steak Off (Williams Ace Hardware, West Newton, PA)
- 8/24 – Grill Your Steak Off (SCA National Qualifier – West Newton, PA)
All of these events can be found on the Events Page plus you can subscribe to our Google Calendar and 2019 Yinz Love BBQ Festival, Competition and Steak Cook-off Schedule to plan out your next BBQ road trip!
Expanding BBQ Map to Western PA
Due to high demand, I’m working on expanding the Greater Pittsburgh BBQ Map to cover Western PA. We’re currently sitting at 66 BBQ joints and food trucks in our area and based off early submissions the WPA map will grow to over 80. Crazy right? I need your help to grow this to be the most comprehensive listing for BBQ fans in and visiting our state. Send your suggestions via the contact form on our site or even better JOIN OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP which has been hopping with breaking BBQ news!
That’s all I have for this week as I need to get practicing on my steak cooking so I don’t finish dead last again at Grill Your Steak Off. Oh, and I need to restock my first aid kit.