Safeway BBQ Battle, 2012, Washington DC

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on June 24, 2012

I’m a huge fan of BBQ, and since finding out about the Safeway BBQ Battle last year from my friend Donna, I enjoyed it so much that hope to make it a summer event to enjoy every year. Yesterday, we attended the first of a 2-day BBQ Battle that brings competitors from around the country to this event where they can win over $40,000 in prize money along with the coveted trophy and title.

The month of June can be a tricky month weather wise, so make sure to dress appropriately. When I attended last year’s event, it was so hot and humid but that did not stop the huge crowds from attending. This year the weather was absolutely beautiful, breezy and in the 80’s which definitely made you want to linger longer…

The show is very well organized and there are mist tents set up throughout the event where you can just pop into and get a quick cool off if you need to. Most of the seating area for the food court is not tented, which I think is the biggest drawback, but there were some food stands like Famous Dave’s BBQ, who set up tented areas alongside their spots in the food court.

The weather for Sunday is expected to be exceptional also, so if you don’t have anything to do, this is a truly fun event to attend…and there are so many things for the kids to enjoy too.

Tickets can be purchased on their website or at the door. This year they were $12 for adults ($13.29 total) and $5.00 for kids ($6.11 total) which included tax, fees and a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of America. There is also a VIP weekend pass for $95 which includes admission for both days, access to VIP Hospitality Area with unlimited food & beverages, 20th Anniversary BBQ Apron and a Special 20th Anniversay BBQ Goodie Bag.

When we go, we always take the Metro into town, and I would recommend you do the same. You can get off at the Federal Triangle or Metro Center stops from either the Orange or Red lines. The show itself is located between between 9thand 14th Streets and Pennsylvania…but you can smell the BBQ blocks away!

When you get in, make your way to the Safeway sample tent where many vendors are providing free food for everyone to sample. The only drawback to the sample tent is waiting for up to an hour and a half to get through the line, but I will say that the food was plentiful and delicious. There are also samples of just about anything you can imagine given out throughout the event, so make sure to check out all the different stands…samples of sausages, ice cream, iced coffee from both Starbucks and  Seattle’s Best, fruit and yogurt drink called Früsh which was delicious and many different iced teas to sample.

Some of the more traditional food available for purchase was ribs of all kinds, chicken, jumbo turkey legs, brisket, gyros, kielbasa, brats, fried spiral chips, bloomin’ onions, and for dessert there was chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick, ice cream of all kinds, funnel cakes, candied nuts and kettle corn. One of the more non traditional items I saw this year was a noodle stand selling wok fried soba noodles but not as popular as the rest. Liquor is also available for purchase…

Here are some pix from the event…

There are also several activities to keep the kids entertained.

There are lots of tables set up throughout but a large dining area is available on 14th street where you can sit and enjoy your food.

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