TB and I went to the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party this afternoon. For the non-Bostonians, the Phantom Gourmet does restaurant reviews and food events and has an enormous cult-like following of purple-clad "Phans." We received purple mardi gras beads at the door, and I noticed there were quite a lot of people wearing dozens of strings of the purple beads, presumably from different Phantom events. Or possibly from other Phantom Phans they killed in order to absorb their strength (and mardi gras beads) a la Highlander. Though probably the former.
And while I've never been a huge fan of the show, the nice thing is that the Phantom visits and reviews restaurants anonymously, so his/her restaurant experience is uncolored by the preferential treatment usually accorded to a known food writer.
And I do love me some smoked pork products, so the fest seemed like a good idea. Because here's what I thought would happen. I would go, stand in line for 5-10 minutes per stand, get a three rib sampler (possibly with macaroni and cheese on the side when available), share said three rib sampler with TB, wash it down with cold beer, and repeat until I felt like I might throw up.
Here's what actually happened.
These are not happy beach party people. These are hot, hungry, angry people waiting in ill-defined lines for well over an hour - at each stand - without beer. Because you could only drink beer in the beer garden area, which was separate from the barbecue-buying area.
I don't know why I thought no one else would want BBQ on a gorgeous summer day, but I never would have gone if I knew it would be like that. The barbecue itself was passable, though I think it would have to actually be orgasmically good to justify an hour+ wait to buy it.
As for the "beach party" aspect, the event was held at our City Hall plaza, which mostly looks like this.
Clearly, the location was lacking both the "natural" and "oceanic" aspects that usually characterize a beach. Also missing from City Hall are "architectural charm" and "aesthetic pleasure," but that's another matter entirely.
I suppose the event organizers did make an effort in the "beach party" direction.
Unless this is actually a giant ashtray. Or a litter box. I'm not sure.
Ok, rant over. Your regularly scheduled programming of too-small socks will return tomorrow.