Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Buckin' BBQ Cookoff

April 24-25, 2009

Athens, AL

This marked DoRagQ's first experience cooking in Alabama. We had great weather, actually it was very warm on Saturday. The contest layout was good & the contest was well organized. Richard & I arrived early Friday morning and were greeted by Barry & Mike of Swiggin Pig & Voncile & Joe of Smokey Mountain Smokers. It's always great to see our BBQ Family. We found our spot, unloaded, & started meat prep. Fairly routine except we were missing "Nickelback"! Seems that Gary had a previous commitment & DoRagQ was going to have to forge on without him. During prep Buck, of High on the Hawg arrived and pulled in next to us. We gave him a hand unloading and got back to work.

We all worked up an appetite so Joe suggested we head down to the town square in Athens to a Pizza place called Village Pizza. We arrived & Joe asked to inspect the Pizza ovens & kitchen. Ok this was either going to be a good thing or trouble. I think he is doing some research for a secret project! Joe gave them a "thumbs up" on his inspection & we were cleared to check out the menu. We ordered some Cheese Stix & two kinds of wings, The Village Honey (Carolina's honey BBQ) & The Village Jerk ( Jamaican jerk style wings with a little heat and a hint of cinnamon). That gave us more time to check out the Pizza selection. We finally decided to "Build our Own" with Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, & Feta Cheese. After a round or two of beer the Cheese Stix arrived accompanied by a marinara sauce & garlic butter. Very tastee! Then the Wings arrived. The Carolina Honey wings were my favorite. Very moist and juicy with lots of flavor. I could have eaten the whole basket myself. Joe liked the Jerk the best. Both were top notch. After another brew out came the Pizza. WOW! A work of art! I forgot my phone & camera so there are no pics but it gets 9's on appearance. Now for the real test, let's see if the flavor has as much punch as the appearance. We were not disappointed. I want to go on record as saying "This was the best frickin pizza I have ever had in my entire life". I ain't playing! It ROCKED! We all gave it 9's on taste & the crust was cooked to perfection. I also noticed a 99 on their health rating. Very clean & fresh atmosphere. I hope they open one in Nashville! Pay them a visit if you are in their area. Check out their website @ You won't be disappointed! We also visited an old hardware store across the street that was very cool. It was like going back in time. Athens is a cool place. Check it out.

OK, back the the BBQ Thang. After our fun trip downtown we got back to the cook site & did some socializing. We saw Kathy & John of Wild Bunch But Burners, Bobbie, & Lee of Music City Pig Pals, Marty of Big River BBQ, Randy & Elien of Team Allegro, Wayne of Bubba's Tennessee Smokers, & the Governor himself Gary Roberts! We also met some new peeps like Justin, Carrie, & TJ of Killers Dirty Pit BBQ. Very nice young people who like to Q. Its great to see new faces getting involved. Later in the afternoon Ron Montgomery & Trent of Team Top Chick arrived with out the Chicks. BTW this contest has a large Backyard Division. I am not sure but I think around 60 Backyard Teams were there to compete. Very cool contest if you are a Back-Yarder!

The Cook's Meeting was standard stuff. Six pieces, no red lettuce, number on top, & DoRag behave! After the meeting we were treated to a catfish & hush puppy supper with all the trimmings. I think I gained 10 lbs on Friday! Friday night was pretty calm by DoRag standards. Brenda's son Jeremy & his "squeeze" (I can take you by surprise & make you realize) Amanda joined us and we settled in for the night. Later Dan of Long Dawgs drove down to visit. He just can't stand it when we are having a good time without him. The rest of the night went off without a hitch. Before we knew it morning had brought us another beautiful day of sunshine & BBQ.
Richard & I struggled through without Gary (we missed you G) and got everything sliced & diced & turned in on time. After a brief rest, we started packing & loading up Casa DoRag. The awards were being held in the Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo Arena so we all filed in like cattle & took our place among the BS. The Backyard Awards were first. Congrats to Three Little Pigs for taking the GC. Please excuse me if I got the name wrong. The team was a father & his 3 daughters! What a great way to spend time with the kids. Congrats! It was then time for the Pro Awards! Of the 35 Teams DoRagQ finished 12th overall with a 8th in ribs & a 7th in brisket. We can't seem to get all 4 workin for us on the same day but hey we're gonna keep on trying. Congrats to Kevin of The EggseQuetive Council on his first GC & Jiggy Piggy on their strong RGC. There was ony .0002 of a point difference in their overall scores. Other notables were Swiggin Pig in 3rd & High on the Hawg 10th overall. High on the Hawg had their second consecutive 2nd place finish in Chicken. They have go it goin on! A shout out to Barry of Swiggin Pig for 1st place chicken (177.7144) a perfect score is 180! House of Q was 1st in ribs, TNT Southern BBQ placed 1st in pork & The EggseQuetive Council took the brisket category with a 177.1430. Hey and our new friends from Killer's Dirty Pit got a 10th place call is brisket! Great Job all!

Well that about covers it. We had a great time cooking BBQ & hangin with our BBQ Peeps. We plan to do it again this week in Huntsville, AL at the Rocket City BBQ Cookoff. Stop by and say "What Up Dude" if you in the area. Who knows we may have a adult beverage or two to share. Can you say "Apple Pie"! Thanks to Lou & Buck for their friendship, guidance, & help. Richard as always you are one of the DOs in DoRagQ. We will keep praying (yes I remember how) for your Father. Until next week, keep the fat side down or you'll burn your butt!

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