Saturday and Sunday were the Troy, NY Pig Out competition. The FIRST ANNUAL Pig Out, to be exact.
It was kind of hard to figure out the details of the event other than that it was happening on Saturday and Sunday. Then thankfully those wonderful bloggers at the Times Union posted frequently about the detailed schedule.
Albany John’s parents came over from Mass, and my poppa and his chica came up from downstate, to add a little drama. They’d not met before, and I figured it would be nice to do so before we got married, just so everyone was acquainted with each other.
And phew – they got along SO well.
And, surprise! My brother showed up too. Weird. My bro just moved up from Tennessee last week, and then showed up. Everyone was meetin’ everyone!!
After playing Wii Fit for a few hours on Saturday, we eventually headed off and found parking in the garage (GASP! And YAY!). Man, I love free parking.
Once we got out, we realized how FULL everything was. There were people EVERYWHERE. And it was only 6:15.
Once we got our bearings I set off looking for tickets for $1.00 samples. Except once I finally found the ticket booth, they were all sold out. Oof. But then some lady was walking by and offered to trade tickets since she was heading out and had some left over. So we gave her the $7 for her 7 tickets, and were off to find samples.
This proved to be quite the adventure for everyone. We split up into teams to get samples, and jeeze, it was nearly impossible. Okay, when I say ‘teams’ I mean everyone got a ticket and started hunting for a vendor with meaty goodness.
I had no luck. The parents stuck together. Evidently they went to Tosca Grille’s booth, which was only a vendor, not a competitor. It was kind of confusing. Mainly cause there were tons of peoples everywhere. We all thought ticket = sample. After a while it dawned on us that the samples were all sold out, and we’d basically made a donation to charity.
I decided to wait in the line for Hickory Smoked – it was the longest line in the Pig Out, but looked like a solid bet. I got a brisket sandwich for $7, and a half rack of pork ribs for $12. For the prices, they were great – no huge ‘festival’ inflation prices, and the servings were very generous. I can see why this booth was very popular. The pork ribs themselves were kind of dry, but still, pretty good for ‘festival’ food.
Albany John came over with 2 samples from “The Big Guy with the ribeye, over there,”. And oh, Big Guy, your ribeye samples with fresh mozzarella were good – smoky and still moist. But quite tiny. We’re talking small sample size, here. My brother walked over and we urged him to try them out – and 30 seconds later, my brother said he was all sold out. Ah well.
Then we kind of lost the group for a while, but ultimately found them. My dad ended up getting 2 platters of meat samplings from Hickory Smoked (I think that’s the name, but I’m not 100% sure) at $20 each. The chicken on them was great. Albany John’s parents got some bbq pork, but I have no idea where they got it from, just that it was also pretty good.
Funny story – after I got the pork ribs, my dad came over. He said something about getting food for his girlfriend, and I told him we could all eat ribs. I turn around, he is gone. Oh crap. That dude ran off with my ribs! Turns out he went over to where his girlfriend was sitting, and offered her a rib. Another woman sitting nearby sees him offering her a rib and says “Oh, I’ll take one!”. My dad is about as generous with his food as I am, which means he probably towered over the food and growled before saying “What? Sorry, no. There isn’t enough” and the woman kept insisting she just wanted one rib.
I think what happened is she saw some guy come over; offer someone a rib, and thought ‘Oh, free samples’. I don’t know why you’d think this, especially of full sized ribs at a place where it was almost impossible to find a tiny sized sample, but who knows? That heat was pretty intense, and one can always dream of free ribs. At least I do. Evidently he left the plate of ribs with his girlfriend, and after he left, the lady finally put two and two together and asked if they were together.
We went home shortly after eating. It was just so hot.
Oh, wait. I forgot to tell you the other funny story.
So once we started packing up food to throw out and leave, these two guys walk over, one leans in and goes “Hey, are you done with that sauce? Can I have it?”
This is of the small sauce containers. We all thought it was pretty funny. Just someone walking up and asking for the leftover cuppy of sauce on your plate. We said sure, and he was so, so, SO happy. Made me think – maybe I am too much of a germaphobe. This guy was just happy as a clam being at the Pig Out, and getting a sauce right then and there made him beam. And, it’s got to be kind of a compliment. Despite being drenched in sweat, the entire group must have looked fairly clean enough to trust to want to eat their leftover sauce cup.
Right, so we packed up and left, got ice cream (mmm, rum raisin) and sat on our awesome porch drinking Brotherhood May Wine (ohgodiloveyou) and a really nice Riesling that I got at All Star Wine & Liquor in Latham, NY. It was something like $9 or $11, and very crisp and fruity – quite refreshing. I also bought a Spanish red wine (Tempranillo, or something like that) that we drank the next day – it’s a good sangria wine. Sweet, but not Riunitie sweet. It dawned on me that maybe I should buy some wine glasses since the closest thing I have are cordial glasses and 2 champagne flutes.
Overall, though, not too shabby, Troy! For a 2nd Pig Out, I think a bigger space is necessary. It felt very tight since it was so full of fellow pork lovers.
And more samples. Reading the local Albany/Cap District blogosphere it seems like the meat was donated to vendors, which may be why samples were so small and ran out so quickly – not enough. Or there were larger sizes and they sold out before I could find them (nooooo!). It seems like there should have been enough samples for tickets, but I just couldn’t find any samples. Some of the vendors were selling samples for $1, since they were sold out of tickets, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t find any samples.
Good music – I have to give Troy crazy props for the acoustics of the music area. They are amazing. It’s something I’ve always loved about Troy, and Troy and I tend to have a less than stellar relationship, but I think we’re starting to work things out. You know, I think we really are, since I am finding some lovely gems in Troy lately (I’ve got some more posts up my sleeve, don’t worry!).
I wish they’d had more information available earlier. It made planning the day a bit harder since for a few weeks, I had no idea when it started.
Albany John also wishes that Brown’s had had their beer cart at the event instead of Brew Crew/Got Beer? Albany John likes Brown’s beer. He said the selection was ok, but not great. I can’t really remember what they had. At the river park festivals on Wednesdays, they had Brown’s beer cart out and it had one or two of Brown’s beers, Blue Moon, and maybe Heineken? I don’t know. I think Troy is handling beer sales at events very well. I’ve heard some complaints, but the lines were much better than at Alive @ 5 in Albany. I still get shudders over those lines. They were SCARY.
But seriously – the problems were pretty minimal for a first time event, and the crowd turn out looked phenomenal. The Troy Pig Out was much less hectic than any Albany Alive @ 5 events.
Oh, one last “Yay Troy” shout out – turning on the sprinkler/fire hydrant. Sitting near that was heaven.