I know, I know, what is a pesctarian like me doing going to Ribfest? Well, back when I was a carnivore I had a weakness for BBQ. Anything BBQ. I could not go too long without some falling off the bone, baby back ribs. Pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw on top, yes please! While I still indulge with some BBQ sauce on my Boca burger, it’s just not the same.
That’s why when I heard that Ribfest was going on this past weekend in Kalamazoo, I just had to be there! Ribfest is one of many festivals which take place at Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo. This event raises money to support Community Advocates – advocating for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
From the entrance line, you could smell the ribs cooking! There was a $5 entrance fee which was a bit disappointing, but it did go to a good cause.
When you walk in and see this wall of BBQ awards, you know you are in for some serious food!!!
We decided on OT’s Up In Smoke BBQ because they had a plethora of awards proudly displayed, including the 2010 Ribfest People’s Choice Award.
Knowing I’d be nibbling off of the boyfriend’s selections, I let him decide the tasty bits I’d be sampling. He choose the 3 rib basket with Mac & Cheese (for $7). I’m not gonna lie, the ribs were tasty! I didn’t post a picture, because they weren’t much to look at. Smothered in a not too sweet, not too spicy BBQ sauce, they were gone before we knew it. The Mac & Cheese, a favorite of my boyfriend’s, left a lot to be desired. I’m pretty sure it was Velveeta.
We spent the next fifteen minutes or so wondering around looking at a few craft booths, paying little attention to the live band. Besides the rib stands and beer tent, there wasn’t much else, so we left.
Overall, it was disappointing. The ribs were great, but we could have just gone to the restaurant in Battle Creek. The few bites I had were fabulous (and I didn’t get sick like many told me I would). We probably won’t go back next year, but it is a sight to see.
By the way - I learned something upon moving to Michigan. In Southern California, any time you use the barbecue, you are barbecuing. Regardless of the meat you are cooking and whether or not you were using BBQ sauce. In the Midwest, if you are using the barbecue and cooking hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, etc, you are grilling. If you are using the barbecue for ribs or anything smeared in BBQ sauce, you are barbecuing. Not to be confused.