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.
That is my friend Joe in the Black shirt about to get his Cream Soda
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.
We then decided we would visit all of the Rib joints before deciding on which one we would try for lunch, here are pictures of all 5 Rib Joints, (there were 7 in Bomanville and the only one that was at both Rib-fests was Camp 31)
I was impressed that Camp 31 had a table out front with open sauces (with forks) to sample their product I did sample them and found them tasty.
The above team Maple BBQ is a somewhat local team from North of Toronto, One nice thing is that the sauce they used was infused with Maple syrup.
We decided that we would start off by sharing a half rack of ribs ($13.00) from Maple as a starter, Their ribs had a nice taste but perhaps they could have cooked a little longer for our liking, but still very nice, the sauce was nice but could have used more kick.
After that we got in line at Thirsty Cactus and they had by far the longest line-ups in the park while in line I took a few extra shots at their booth.
Having sampled the Chipotle BBQ Sauce I was sold, so I bought 2 of the sauce and 1 of their pork rub (separately $6.00 each or 3 assorted for $15.00) and I bought a Half Rack Dinner for $15.00 which had the Beans and Slaw sides. (Joe bought the same as I for the meal along with a rub)
Here is Joe and I just sat down to eat, we had met a very nice gentleman named Richard at the table that we shared and we talked for about an hour, Richard took this picture of Joe and I and then I took a picture of Richard and Joe, I wrote down my information along with my blog address so I hope that Richard will get to see this.
And here is what my meal looked like (but not for long) I found the sauce really nice, the ribs themselves were very much fall off the bone, which many people like but if it is a competition they would not of scored too high. But heck I am not a judge looking for a perfectly presented ribs, I was after taste and these ribs fit that bill.
After sitting down to eat, and chat with Richard the first of two bands begun to play, for the Sunday they had two Reggae bands
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.