Bay Area Barbeque Cook Off

On Saturday, August 18, 2007, after a long day of shopping, I drove to Pleasanton for the Bay Area Barbeque Cook-Off. I arrived at 7:00pm, later than I'd hoped. As soon as I entered the grounds, my nose caught the aromas that told me I made the right decision in coming here.

There wasn't much to the festival besides the eight or so huge barbeque stands. There were about a dozen booths: some selling clothing, others selling jewelry, a few offering services like psychics/palm readers/tarot readers (I wonder why there's a much higher proportion of these here than at most festivals), a booth selling shiny wooden lawn chairs (surprising, as one doesn't often see furniture for sale at these events), and one artist selling paintings. These pictures and one movie capture the sights (but not the scents ;>) of the bbq stands and the feel of the fairground as well.

Held in the nicely green Alameda County Fairgrounds, although there was a musical stage, not many people were sitting in the grass to listen to the band. When I was there, I think it was too windy and a little chilly. Indeed, by the time I got my food, the sun had set and I decided I'd be much happier eating it somewhere without a chill breeze. So, I ate in my car.

My dinner was fairly good stuff. The meats (pork ribs and beef brisket) were not exceptional, though the sauce, dark with chilies, added quite a bit. I enjoyed the sides more: smoky beans (perhaps cooked with bacon fat), and potato salad (with potatoes of a variety of sizes, thus giving it more texture than most potato salads).

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