July 13, 2010 1 Comment
Since I now have my own website hosted,
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aka Oshawa Ogre
by Wilfred Reinke
July 5, 2010 10 Comments
This past week-end was the 11th annual edition of Canada’s Largest Canada day celebration.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke Over 100,000 people go through the gates to enjoy fantastic ribs and entertainment from 13 Professional International Ribbers from both Canada and The US. Joining them are 20 food and 70 specialty Vendors along with a midway for children of all ages.
I attended on Saturday July 3rd along with my friend Joe Simeunovich, both of us having a longing for some good BBQ and this day did not disappoint.
First off it was a fantastic day weather wise, we arrived around noon. ( the location is a huge area called Centennial Park which is just south of Pearson International Airport in Toronto)
Parking was free and generous spots were available, though we parked about a 3 minute walk away we could of found spots a lot closer as well.
Admission to the park was also free, with the option of donating a toonnie ( $2.00 Canadian coin) which is given to that big Pink Pig pictured below, and a couple of the 600 volunteers handed out programs at the door and had change available for those that only had bills in their pockets.
As soon as we entered the grounds there was a young lady having an animal balloon hat made for her by a fun gentleman that was entertaining us right away.
An unsuspecting Joe posed for this picture next to this sign which had me chuckling to myself.
We were drawn to the booth by some wonderful Latin music that had us in the mood in an instant.
What the sign was actually for was for this pig that was being roasted during the day to be given away at the end of the night in a draw. Another first for me seeing a Whole Hog being cooked at a Rib-fest.
Generally a rule of thumb that a lot of people use is that get in line for ribs that have the most people waiting in line, but Joe liked the fact that Bad Wolf BBQ had the nice Music going and at that moment no one was in line there so he bought a 1/2 rack of their ribs for $13.00, we both shared the ribs and they were wonderful the sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and smoke flavour and the meat was nicely cooked., while eating those we got in line at Crabbys BBQ shack out of London Ontario (there are a fair number of teams that come out of that area and do the Ontario circuit)
This time I bought and we had about a 15 minute wait in line with maybe 10 people in front of us but the time went by quickly as we chatted with a father and his two daughters behind us. This is a nice thing about Rib-fests, that people are friendly and everyone just wants to enjoy the day and pig out on summertime food (yes pun intended)
After getting our ribs we stopped by Pappy’s Original Soda Pop Stand where we both ordered a mug of Cherry Soda which comes in a tin Mug that you get to keep for $7.00 and you also get some refreshing ice and then you pull the tap on your favorite flavour, as you can see it is large mug and you get your monies worth as the soda is refreshing and the perfect taste, though we did find that later in the day when we went for a refill (only $3.00) Joe tried the Orange Soda which was to sweet for his liking. For my refill I tried the Mountain Mist (similar to Mountain Due) which was also refreshing but I think I would stick with the Cherry.
Our Next stop was the “Bob’s Bloomin Onions” booth, I have had a Bloomin Onion once before 2 years ago in Bomanville, and today a lot of the visitors were getting this wonderful snack, though snack may not be the right word since the serving is large enough to feed a whole family!
A Bloomin Onion is cut in away and dipped in a batter then deep-fried which opens it up like a flower and served with a wonderful dipping sauce for $8.00, extra sauce for only .50 extra, While in line the lady behind me had this hair style that I told her was perfect since it reminded me of what we were about to get. Just have a look for your self. I spoke with Kat while we waited for our orders and she had a fun personality, here with some family members having a great time.
I also had the pleasure of sitting down for a moment with Bob Steckly the owner operator of this Bloomin Onion that is based out of Fort Erie, he has been running it for the past 6 years or so, Bob told me that the Bloomin Onion started about 15 -20 years ago at an Outback Steakhouse location in Florida and has become a staple food product at Rib-fests ever since. Mr. Steckly was happy to see the superb weather of this season since 2009 was a very rainy summer and was not the best of seasons for his bank account.
Camp 31 is one Ribber that I have seen at every Rib-fest so far this season, and as I read on their sign the were voted to have the best ribs at Woodbine Beach Rib-fest that I reviewed just a couple of weeks ago. which can be read here
Woodbine only had 5 Ribbers compared to 13 here at Centennial Park but the overall rib-fest at the Beach was a complete success.
Camp 31 had out their Sauces for sale and one thing I liked about most of the Ribbers here was that they allowed for samples to be tasted of the various sauces for those that wanted to bring a taste of the Rib-fest home with them to use on their back yard cookouts.
All of a sudden Joe calls me over to try some BBQ Mushrooms that he had bought from Jack on the Bone, and I was blown away
After trying the Mushrooms Joe and I chatted with the son of the owner of Jack on the Bone Jamey Groetz out of Massilon, Ohio.
Jamie was on the front line bringing people towards their boot with free samples of their Pulled Pork and sauce to try, and it was working well for them as their line was getting longer and longer. I was very impressed with Jamey, he was very friendly and knows his business and took the time to answer all questions with interesting answers.
The coolest thing about Jack on the bone is exactly what the name says, just before serving whether it is Ribs or Mushrooms they have a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey with a spray attachment and the food gets a healthy spritz of Jack, the alcohol evaporates away at 100 degrees but it leaves behind a splendid taste sensation!
Having been at the park for close to 4 hours now, and the heat of the day was staring to take its toll, but there were a number of ways to cool down with plenty of water and Ice cream type products to refresh you.
Even though when I snapped this picture the Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ team was also enjoying a few minutes of well deserved break time, they were getting ready for the next rush of customers, I did not even know til now that the Horn Dawgs are based out of Oshawa, I hope to have a chat with them when they are in the Uxbridge Rib-fest coming up July 16th weekend.
The day was a complete success, lots of happy visitors, fantastic food and booths and vendors that had fun with customers that were gladly opening their wallets, and it is worth every penny.
Next up, there are Rib-fests to be held in Mississauga with 14 Ribbers and Uxbridge with 6 Ribbers both Rib-fests to be held July 16th – 18th 2010 so if your anywhere close to either city make plans to attend.
London Ontario and Scarborough will hold their Rib-fests July 29th – Aug 2nd
And I am looking forward to when Rib-fest comes to my home city September 11th -13th 2010
If you’re not local to any of these areas and you want to find a rib-fest to attend try this handy link I created just for you….
June 23, 2010 11 Comments
Having 2 weeks before attending the Rib-fest in Bomanville and having a good time and having gone there all 3 years that is has been held, I was not sure what to expect out of the big city of Toronto which is about 45 minutes to the south-west of here.
Having also being disappointed to hear that the Canadian Open Championships were canceled (without any notice on the website by the way) I wondered if any of the Rib-fest would still be on, how ever after checking the face book page for Ted Reader he posted that he was grilling there all week-end so that was enough for me, I was going!
I called my good friend Joe Simeunovich (we go back in the Printing trade 30 years) and asked him if he would be interested in going. He was excited to say the least, Joe recently bought a Pellet burning grill that he loves so this kind of show would be of great interest to him.
At first the plan was to go on the Saturday but the weather forecast was for 70% rain with Thunder storms so I put it off till the Sunday morning, for which I am glad, it was a glorious day to spend in a park. The doors opened at 11am and we pulled in around noon, Now we thought that parking would be nightmare but there was parking for $10.00 right beside the park and it was a huge lot with lots of open spots to park.
As soon as we got in, Joe went straight over to Pappy’s Soda Pop booth because he had one of their “Collectible” aluminum cups at home but wanted a second to make a matching pair so he bought a $7.00 cup of Cream Soda (refills are only $3.00)
Please note anytime you would like to see more detail in the pictures just click on them with your mouse and you will see them full size.
2-3pm-3:30-4:30pm: The Dream Band
5-6pm-6:30-7:30pm: Lazo & The Radikals
(note we ended up leaving at 4:30 pm so we only hear The Dream band play but they were very good and did a great version of Whiter Shade of Pale which I will link here on YouTube, but do not expect great video, the sound is good but the video was shaky as I was trying to film with one hand)
Here are some random pictures that I took within the park so that you can see the space and how clean it all was, and how relaxing a day it was, It was really nice that there were a lot of people but we all had the space to move about freely and any lineups were fast, even the washrooms on site (portopotties) were quick to access and were clean, Bravo to the organizers for making the weekend pleasant that way.
At this point Joe and I started getting hungry again so over to get a Corn on the Cob and an Iced Tea for $8.00 and I will tell you that Corn was a delight!, dipped in melted butter and i could see that a lot of kids in the park were enjoying the corn as well.
There was also a Beer and Jack Daniels Tent but neither Joe or myself are big drinkers and plus I had to drive back to Oshawa so no grown up drinks this time around.
Now for a great part of the day, One of the reasons I really wanted to make the trip was to meet Ted Reader, he was there with Napoleon Grills and Jack Daniels and his own tent for TedReader.com and he has been in the news a lot of late when he BBQ’d a 590 lb complete burger!, you can read about it here (video too)
I already have Ted as a friend on Facebook but I thought it would be nice to meet him in person.
Ted is a very friendly man he engaged in a nice 10 minute conversation with me before he was to do a demonstration for a Toronto Sun 3 team Grilling competition on Napoleon grills.
And following are some pictures all taken from the Ted Reader area of the park, including a couple of shots of Joe discussing the features of one of the Napoleon BBQ Grills that they were showing to the public, thanks to Courtney (The Blond Girl) for spending some time with us and answering our BBQ questions with skill and knowledge.
As Ted started to do his demonstration There was a person sitting in the front row eating a Harvey’s Hamburger
Ted gave him a hard time on that wondering why he would come here with all of that great food around him and he is eating a fast food burger!, that cracked us all up.
He showed us how he makes burgers using a lot of meat and cheese on Cedar planks (which he sells) along with a lot of Southern Comfort, yup you heard me Southern Comfort he also show us a great way of making Beef burgers wrapped in a butterflied Chicken breast, the idea being that he would show us and then 3 teams would compete making similar burgers and after 45 minutes they would be judged by Ted. by the way you should also check out Ted’s website here
The flames you see are just after he poured booze all over the meat, it was just for a few seconds, he had also used his finger to put a hole in the top of the burgers when he made them and poured Southern Comfort in the hole and later when almost cooked he added a big slab of butter in each hole, may not be the best thing for being heart healthy but great taste once in a while should not kill you.
After the demonstration. ( I did not stick around for the cook off, though maybe I should have found out who won) Joe and I wandered over to the area that was for the amateur cook off, which when we arrived they were in the process of preparing their ribs for judging I did take a bunch of pictures but they were so focused on their work I did not dare ask them for any comments that I could have used for the blog. Maybe next time I will be a little better prepared to do some reporting as well as being a photographer.
Here are the teams, note the various types of BBQ’s used, Eggs, Charcoal, Gas & Wood Pellet Traeger Grills
Again, if I had stayed longer maybe I could have found out who one, but Joe and I were really wanting to get one of Ted Readers monster burgers. even though we were still full from lunch.
on the way over to Ted’s booth I took a couple more pictures of the rib shacks and as you can see the lines were getting longer and longer, this was at about 4pm.
So here we are back at Ted’s Burger booth, and we wanted to try to taste as much as we could, so Joe ordered a Beef Burger and ordered the Pulled Pork burger and we asked to have them cut in half so that we could share the burgers. Ted had a total of 3 choices , Pork Beef and Chicken, they all looked so good although we wondered if we could eat at all we were so full.
Ted was offering a Burger and a Coke for $10.00
And add a really nice BBQ Spatula for $5.00 more (Stainless Steel with Wooden handle)
and his cook book which retail was $30.00 was on sale for $20.00
But the deal of the show was all of the above for $25.00 which both Joe and I took advantage of. He was also selling his Sauces for a great price of 2 for $5.00, other vendors were $6.00 each or 3 for $15.00.
Funniest moment of the day happened when they called Joe’s name to pick up his order, he took one look a this massive burger and said out loud, Holy F***!, He quickly apologized to the girl who handed him the burger and she said, That is ok, it is the best compliment that we had all week-end! and they had plenty let me tell you.
Below is my 2 halves (pork on left beef on right) and the extras that came with it.
The Cookbook is a fantastic read and I will review the book on its own in a future blog posting.
Both Joe and I could only finish part of the burgers, not because of the taste but that we had no empty parts of our bodies to put the food. Overall the day was a complete success, Joe and I had a great time, and some greater food, I will be back again next year.
If you’re in the Southern Ontario area this summer or next look for a Rib-fest to visit, you will have a wonderful day.
June 13, 2010 5 Comments
On Saturday June 12th 2010 The Oshawa Ogre traveled east (about 15 minutes) to Bomanville, Ontario to attend the annual Rib-fest held by the Rotary Club. you can visit their website here http://www.bowmanvilleribfest.com/
I have now attended the last 3 years, and I look forward to it every year.
Competitors from 7 different BBQ Rib Teams bring their grills and sell their succulent Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork and sauces for the community to have a great meal, drink a few beers and get together with local friends and listen to the band.
The teams are mostly from the Ontario area of Canada and are part of a circuit that visits various small cities trying to get the top votes from the locals.
My first stop was to get a Funnel Cake .
I have never had the pleasure of eating one of these before so I bought one with Ice cream and Strawberries to share with my friend Bob and his Wife Susan.
It cost $10.00 Canadian and is basically a deep-fried pastry that is poured into the deep-fried with a funnel, hence the name Funnel Cakes., I enjoyed it as a nice treat and now I could take a walk around the park to visit the Rib teams.
It was a very over cast evening here, and it had rained pretty heavy all day but it did not dampen the atmosphere and there was a great turn out. luckily it did not rain while I was in the park.
as with All of the photos in my Blog you can look at the full size pictures by clicking on them with your mouse.
And now I give to you the team that I decided I would give my money to, Boss Hogs out of London Ontario
They use Apple and Cherry hard woods for their grill and my Friends Bob & Susan along with another friend Herman buy Ribs from them every year, they are very tasty and have a great sauce of which I bought a jar of for.
I paid $22.00 for the full rack of ribs and $6.00 for the extra bottle of sauce
There was also a midway at the park and some various other booths some serving Caribbean food and even a Pizza Pizza booth, who would go to a Rib-fest to buy Pizza? But they did do some business, there was also a beer tent and a live band, a great way to spend an evening.
I will also be attending the Oshawa Rib-fest later in the season and I am not sure at this point but I may try to attend the Father’s Day Rib-fest June 18th-20th at Woodbine Park in Toronto Called Beach Rib-fest which looks like will have more competitions than the local ones do.