Give up a chunk of a holiday Monday to help raise money for wounded soldiers? Yes, I can absolutely do that. I was one of four judges who stopped by the Patriot Festival at SouthPark's Symphony Park to lend eating expertise to the first Rib Burn-Off competition. My compatriots: Taylor Mathis of the food blog www.taylortakesataste.com, Richard Gruica of Meetup's Good Eats & Meets and Charles Jenkins of South Charlotte Weekly and WBT-AM.
Yes, kids, it was very hot out there. Luckily, I carry a folding fan wherever I go. I believe the boys were envious of my ability to accessorize. Also, my ability to eat pork ribs in the heat.
Since this was the first time for the competition, we ended up with only six competitors. But they were worthy adversaries. Always amazing how many different types of ribs can come off grills. Dry ribs, wet ribs, smoky ribs, chewy ribs.
After we chewed them over and our scores were tallied, the rib winner was the team Brothers In Barbecue, led by Joe Pelone of Spicy Sunshine Catering & Deli, 5304 Sunset Road. For sauce, the winner was Bobby Rayfield of Indianland with the team Bobby's Joe's. The People's Choice award went to Jim & Nick's.
And I headed off immediately for a stop at YoFro. Frozen yogurt -- stat.