SBWFF 2011: Thrillist's BBQ and the Blues

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John Zur
Chef Timon Balloo of Sugarcane serves his braised beef short ribs.
At Thrillist's event, BBQ and the Blues, a huge line stretched from the entrance of the Oasis, at the Raleigh Hotel, toward Collins Avenue last Saturday night. The fine smell of barbecue just over the wall inspired impatience.

Once inside, guests didn't know whether to grab a drink from one of the Zacapa-sponsored bars or get in line at the food stations. A visit to the bar was met with a question from the bartender: "Are you in the mood for something sweet, something tart, something strong?"

Something tart was my answer.

The cocktail was an interesting and unique blend of Zacapa Grand Reserva rum, passion fruit purée, a splash of Tabasco sauce, and lime juice with crushed mint on top.



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John Zur
Zappa-sponsored cocktails
Just minutes into the event, the sparse offering of highboy tables had been claimed by one person speaking on behalf of four or more, who were nowhere to be seen. Others took the couches and cabana, where shoes and bags marked the territory.

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John Zur
Chef John Rivers' Texas brisket shooters and bacon wrapped smoked jalapenos
4Rivers Smokehouse, with friendly and hospitable pit master and owner John Rivers manning the station, served Texas brisket shooters, bacon-wrapped smoked jalapeños, and the
only dessert of the evening, banana dream pudding shots.


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John Zur
Tyler Florence
Tyler Florence, host of the evening, was anything but amicable as he ignored guests and the media. His frantic plating resulted in a sloppily presented and less than thrilling Santa Maria tri-tip with buttermilk toast, bread-and-butter pickles, piperade, black-eyed peas, and chickweed.

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John Zur
The lines were reminiscent of Disney World
Sugarcane's Chef
Timon Balloo offered the most balanced, generous, and delicious plate: braised beef short ribs, vegetable kimchee, and cornbread muffins that were buttery and moist. He eagerly took photos and conversed with guests.

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John Zur
The Royal's Chef John Rivers' mesquite short rib with emmentaler grits
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John Zur
The Southern band that came on 45 minutes after the event began
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2 comments
xi101288
xi101288

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RJames
RJames

Agree with you on almost every point. We were disappointed with 'host' Tyler Florence lack of recognition of guests & the lackluster...4 Rivers' John Rivers was a delight and his food was the best and the only one that was actually hot. Worst moment was two of the restaurants running out of food way before the event was over--that was inexcusable. Biggest disappointment was lack of quality wine---no---lack of wine itself at an event that was part of the SOBE WINE festival. Only choice was a Rosenblum Zin. Bad, bad planning from organizers. Long, long lines, cold food (when available) and lack of wine will make us NEVER to attend this event again! Shame on you SOBE Wine Festival!

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