The Eats and Treats at Rib King NYC 2023

The giant annual BBQ event, Rib King NYC, occurred this past Memorial Day weekend at Industry City. Created by Food Karma Projects, the same producers of Pig Island NYC and Brisket King NYC, event goers were graced with tons of rib options, sandwiches, sweets and chill music from funk and blues band El Dorado Slim.

Rib King NYC Photo by Sophia Calderone
Photo by Sophia Calderone

Tickets came with access to all food and drink tastings, cash bar and live music.

Upon entering and being greeted by the beautiful sequined pillars, to the right were the stations of savory edible pleasure. Stalls lined the faux-grassy section within the Industry City walls, holding pockets of local eateries competing for the best grilled eats.

Chef competitors who were battling it out that heated day included Hometown BBQ, Empire BBQ, Bret Lunsford of Blue Smoke, Smoke Sweats BBQ,  Darlene Lawrence of Sands Jerk Hut, Fefe Anggono of Taste of Surabaya Indonesian Food, and Jose Perez of Bear’s Smokehouse.

Event goers were to go to the Friends of Firefighters table after making their rounds to select the rib who won their favor.

My personal favorite was Bear’s Smokehouse followed by Taste of Surabaya whose sauce contained a lovingly generous usage of lemongrass ( an herbaceous note I adore ).

Topping off your meats were a selection of sauces from Coney Island Saucery, Rocket Fuel Hot Sauce, 718 Heat Factory, and Bayou Gotham. My first stop was Coney Island Saucery, which helped kick off the mood with some spice to liven myself up.

It was an ambitious goal to attempt all stalls and with a vivacious turnout, lines eventually dominated the pathways.

All good though. With two bars and drink samples provided by Fort Hamilton Distillery and UPstate Vodka event goers were covered for something to consume while you waited.

Fort Hamilton shared their collection of recently released gin, rye, bourbon and whiskey, their rye being possibly one of the best ones I’ve ever tried.

Upstate Vodka was refreshing with it’s abundant apple taste. I went back to the Upstate Vodka station before leaving for the day to take a bottle home since they were a little less local than Fort Hamilton.

Non-meat eaters were given a treat as well. The line for the grilled cheese station hosted by Cabot Creamery was massive at all times. And for good reason. Those sandwiches contained mouth-watering caramelized onions that I stared at and may have drooled over.

To the left of the entrance was the sweets stall with Mum’s Kitchen containing carrot cake, cookies and deceivingly moist brownies.

I walked away with some Sea Moss Gel after sampling some, which helped balance out the amount of meat I consumed that day.

My last sample was a whole June hard-kombucha which I sipped while listening to the music of Scott Sharrard’s El Dorado Slim. A perfect way to end to end a perfect day. Can’t wait for next year’s Rib King NYC event.

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Rib King NYC 2023.

Winner of the Slow & Low Award went to Samuel Alleyne of Fire and Smoke New York.

Winner of the Packs-a-Punch Award went to Darlene of Sands Jerk Hut.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award went to Bret Lunsford of Blue Smoke NYC.

Runner up to 1st place was Anthony Scerri of Smoke Sweats BBQ

And finally 1st place and title of Rib King went to Jose Perez of Bears Smokehouse.

All photos and video in this post were taken by Sophia Calderone

Sophia Calderone

Managing Editor

Sophia is a native Brooklynite with a deep love for food, drink and solo-travel. Previously a techie in the agency world, she has now swan-dived into more creative endeavors. She has a strong taste for whiskey with a growing spreadsheet of past affairs and can be seen eating anything from dollar pizza to Michelin star restaurants meals. Sophia is also a cat-lover holding a TNR certification and can be found taking care of community cats or professionally pet-sitting someone’s fur baby.