Our oldest is quickly becoming a pulled pork aficionado. I am one proud mama. So when he heard Community Advocates Ribfest was nearby, he had our day planned. As much as our kids would love the festival evening with live music and people watching, we knew that the free entry until 4:00 was better for mama and papa’s pocketbook.
The smoke and smells pulled us through the gate and lifted us down rib lane. The lunch crowd was just beginning to gather at a few booths. It was easy to see why the masses traversed to a few lines, enticing aromas, friendly faces, and billowing, inviting smoke.
We quickly settled on Porky N Beans for all of the above reasons. Again, see that guy? He sold us on Porky N Beans and I am so happy that we let our nose do the picking. Hee hee. For the family of 5, we picked a Porky Platter consisting of a MOUND of chopped pork with sauce, 1/2 a rack of ribs, beans, slaw, and cornbread. Just to make sure we over did it, we also ordered a 1/2 smoked chicken.
Let’s start with the pork. If you’ve read my blog, my husband and a few others, you know that I am a pulled pork gal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, it doesn’t really matter, I’d eat it anytime, anywhere. Did you get the pulled pork part? My experience with chopped pork is usually dry or tough, same with sliced. Pulled pork produces succulent, moist pork. Debate away, but pulled pork and I are a match made in heaven. Porky N Beans pork was okay, the sauce good, but not something to go on about. Now the ribs are worth a trip to Ribfest. Quick, go now!! I can see why they proudly display recent trophies and banners boast their award-winning ribs. No sauce, all rub flavor. ‘Nuf said. Seriously the best ribs I have EVER had. About the sides, the slaw was marginal, beans good, and the cornbread was sweet, moist, and mopped up the porky juices perfectly.
The smoked chicken was A M A Z I N G! A good smoke ring, strong, but not over powering smoke flavor, and moist. The hubby and I enjoyed the chicken so much we skipped the pork and savored the finger lickin’ chicken. The guy smoking the chicken needs a raise, he is a master. He can come and cook chicken for me any day.
As M and E scarfed down the last of the chopped pork, M asked if we could go back. If only money grew on trees or someone would sponsor us…but that is another blog. So if you are looking for something a little piece of pork heaven this weekend, head to the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo! Quick, go now!