Every year right around Veteran’s Day – Vinoy Park in St. Pete hosts Ribfest – a 3 night festival full of live music, BBQ, and of course, ribs. Sunday is always country day and this year featured my faves Chase Rice and Kip Moore. And the festival is full of BBQ vendors that come from across the nation to compete for best ribs, best sauce, best everything – but trust me – it’s ALL good!
These are the vendors J. and I tried this year:
J&J Barbecue, Bradenton, FL
Their slogan is “Come tastes what smells so good! ” and truer words could not have been spoken, it smelled and tasted delicious. The sandwich had small chopped pork and was super saucy! Their sauce on both the sandwich and beans is more of a hot sauce, bbq sauce. Definitely tangy and has a kick! J. loved it. Their mac and cheese was creamy and delicious with that kick of pepper and crusted top.
Jonny B’s Barbeque, Minneapolis, MN
I went for Jonny’s B’s this year. Their sandwich had a bigger shredded chop of pork which I really like. So tender it melted in my mouth. The sauce was sweet, but not overly sweet. The coleslaw had a nice sweetness but also a pepper kick to it. The homemade pickles were acidic and crisp and the perfect bite to compliment everything else.
Porky-N-Beans BBQ Company, Parma, OH
Since my main meal didn’t come with two of my favorite sides (not that I don’t love beans and coleslaw!) I had to go in search of my mac and cheese and cornbread. Porky-N-Beans did not disappoint. The mac and cheese was ooey, gooey creamy with big thick noodles that held onto all of the sauce. The cornbread was light, fluffy, and soft with a nice sweetness that I assume came from honey. Butter not even necessary!
I look forward to Ribfest every year and I recommend heading out next year! Every night has different musical performances and definitely plenty to eat!
Until next time!