A perfect Sunday for a barbeque showdown
By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Staff writer, Content Editor
It was perfect weather for a barbecue showdown, and Rembert Farm in Alachua was the perfect place. It's a beautiful picture book farm with white fences and wide pastures with horses
and miniature donkeys. The only thing that was off this Sunday afternoon was that the GLOB Master and I were beyond fashionably late. Yet, even that turned out to be perfect: We arrived just as the winners of the various showdown competitions were being announced, so there were no lines at the BBQ tables. Well, maybe not perfect timing, because there were some tables that had some empty trays, but we found plenty of food to get stuffed with, and as we ate, we discovered, for example, we were munching on some of the winning dishes. The sad part was that we did not get to try all the barbecue that had been available – but maybe that was a good thing, because otherwise we would have had to roll away instead of walking away from this perfect Sunday afternoon. Some winning BBQ showdown entrees can be viewed in the photo gallery below this feature.
I started out with just some beans and potato salad from Steve Swanson Bar-B-Que. The beans had cubes of smoked pork that turned those beans into a meal by themselves. I also had their potato salad – OMG. Fantastic!!! I wish I could describe it in more detail – it had some green veggies in it! -- but we didn't get a picture. You just have to take my word for it. Cowboyz BBQ and Catering coleslaw was really special with the addition of pineapple (picture above).
We also got two good portions of food from Bacon's BBQ, Cowboyz, and Mike Hill's BBQ. All were great, all had winning food in our opinion and the judges agreed because all three got awards. The judging was interesting – there were People's Choice, Judge's Choice and one Grand Champion award, which must have been a combined vote. It just so happened that one of the competitors, Mike Hill (to right in photo at right), was an acquaintance and occasional client of the GLOB Master, who had recruited Hill's Barbecue for a couple of his JJ Finley Tailgates. Turns out the GLOB Master, as a Professional Eater with educated taste, knows how to pick them – Hill's Barbecue won the Grand Champion award for the second year in a row in this annual barbecue showdown.
After the eating and the awarding, there was a line dancing shindig in the stage area. The GLOB Master and I, however, headed over to a beautifully renovated barn that the Rembrent Farm uses for indoor activities. There we found a lot of auction items: Very neat Gator memorabilia and gift certificates for various businesses, some I was very sorry I did not get to bid on: Blue Highway Pizza, Hippodrome State Theater, Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden. There was even an adult Spiderman costume up for bid.
This was the 3rd Annual Title Town Hoedown BBQ Showdown for the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County. What a great reason to eat barbecue – as if eating barbecue weren't a good reason in and of itself. Local celebrity, Ilene Silverman, was the emcee with the mostest and did a great job of announcing winners and, after that, joining in the line dancing.
Next year, we'll get there a little earlier and do a little "line dancing" of our own -- in the food lines that is, to be sure we get to try BBQ from ALL the competitors so we can add our vote to the People's Choice Awards. This event gets a big thumbs up – great location, great BBQ, and a really great cause.