Barbequed meat and more on a Saturday afternoon. What more could a girl ask for? That’s right, Saturday was the West Coast BBQ Classic at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Set with the ship and the Long Beach shoreline and the bay in the background this event was an afternoon of relaxation, good music, family fun, and of course good food. It was a foodie’s dream!
There was a wide array of food, from BBQ ribs to pulled pork to nachos to bacon-wrapped everything. At times the lines were long but they moved quickly. And there were some definite crowd favorites. In fact, some of the food vendors ran out of items—like ribs—early!
So what were some of the BarrisTourista faves? Here’s the top pick list:
Outta Gas BBQ
I had the opportunity to interview Outta Gas before the event, and as it turns out, they were my favorite of all of the tastings. When we walked around the corner down one of the aisles of vendors, we saw two Men-In-Black-style guards protecting a huge trophy. It was a great touch! Next to them was Outta Gas’ outfit.
Outta Gas is known for its short rib tacos, and that is for good reason. We sampled the tacos and man oh man were they good. There was a squeeze of fresh lime and the tacos were served on corn tortillas. Both my friend and I were impressed with the tacos and they were one of the highlights of our day. It was a great fusion of BBQ and Cali taco culture. Perfection.
This place was a crowd favorite, and the lines were super long to grab samples. But it was worth it. Here we tried the twisted chicken, which was bacon wrapped chicken and the candied bacon. Yes, candied bacon. It was peppery and absolutely divine. I see why the lines were long at this outfit.
BuBBa’s Smoke Yard BBQ
We actually ran across this non-descript outlet when we kept seeing people walking by with delicious looking nachos. Turns out, everyone we asked had gotten the loaded pulled pork nachos from this one location.
And they were fantastic! Cheesy nacho sauce, paired with sour cream, pulled pork, barbeque sauce, jalapeños and green onions (which added a nice touch). The nachos were absolutely loaded with heaping pulled pork on top. So much so that my friend and I shared one order. The flavors were distinct but paired perfectly together, and this was another of our favorites of the day.
At the West Coast BBQ Classic, the aim is to give the crowds finger-licking good food, but there is also another motivation of the vendors. Restaurants and competition teams come out every year to try to win the Classic (and the cash prize), and the bragging rights. The crowd had the ability to cast votes throughout the afternoon by placing cards in ballot boxes after sampling each vendor’s food selection. And this year’s winner was Big Poppa Smokers.
There was dancing in the grassy areas and lots of family fun. The Scotty Mac Band played the first part of the afternoon, with other bands coming later. People even got dressed in theme for the occasion, like this lady in the super cute barbeque dress. We sipped on lemonade slushies and took in the whole event. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves.
The West Coast BBQ Classic
The West Coast BBQ Classic was a great event and something I would highly recommend for a great roundup of barbeque from great competitors. At first, we thought that the small portions of meat wouldn’t be satisfying, but it was quite the opposite. We were definitely full upon leaving and even ended up giving some of our tickets away! Great way to spend the afternoon in Long Beach. But get there early, so you can sample all of the best food, not to mention Queen Mary parking filled up super quick within minutes of the event starting.
BarrisTourista received press passes for this event, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.