We'd be a bit suspicious about all the BBQ-centric events taking over the end of August, but then again, it's barbecue, so what's there to complain about? The Freddy Smalls Backyard BBQ and Adam Perry Lang Serious BBQ are awesome come-one-come-all events that may put your average dad in the backyard with a pair of tongs to shame. If you're more of the tree-hugging than rib-roasting type, you can support canal clean-up efforts in Brooklyn while dining extremely well at Dive In Gowanus. There's plenty to look forward to before summer's end. Here's where to go this weekend, plus a preview of the weeks to come.
Dive In Gowanus
This festival celebrates the culinary prowess of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. Participating restaurants (including Applewood, Dinosaur BBQ and Terroir Park Slope) donate a portion of their proceeds to the Gowanus Canal Conservancy to raise money for neighborhood improvement projects and environmental initiatives. Dining on delicious grub and supporting Gowanus Canal clean-up efforts means you can follow your stomach and conscience at the same time. Score!
Freddy Smalls Backyard BBQ
The New American gastro-pub is hosting a Sunday barbecue starting at 2 p.m. and lasting through the evening. Put down $45 and you’ll get access to an all-you-can-eat extensive menu featuring beer-steamed Maryland blue crab, grilled tri-tip with Texas toast and chimichurri, and for dessert, an olive oil cake with roasted Seascape strawberries and lavender cream.
Adam Perry Lang Serious BBQ
Every Tues., Wed., Thurs. until September 5
It's quite the summer for fans of LA barbecue because Adam Perry Lang is hosting a tri-weekly outdoor barbecue party through September 5. Located on the Jimmy Kimmel Live back lot in a space that Lang describes as a "grilling paradise," the event celebrates the relsease of Lang's Serious Barbecue Book and serves its best recipes to the public and LA-area homeless shelters. The festival also features a "pre-order only" take-out menu and special VIP dinners complete with demos and tastings.
Pittston Tomato Festival
It turns out there's a festival to endorse your backyard-garden private tomato-worship and a whole community of people to join you in the celebration. The Pittston Tomato Festival features food stands, tomato-judging contests, live entertainment, a parade, a 5k run and yes of course a giant tomato fight. Bring a healthy appetite and a change of clothes.
San Francisco Street Food Festival
La Cocina, a non-profit incubator kitchen, is once again hosting its annual festival in San Francisco's Mission District to celebrate the "talent, taste and entrepreneurial spirit" of the Bay Area. The festival features over 80 of the city's vendors, half of whom are low-income or immigrant entrepreneurs participating in La Cocina's incubator programs. Show these hard-working street food artists some support and get a Penang peanut taco in exchange.
New York City Brewer’s Guild
New York City
This event marks the first fundraiser for NYC Beer Week 2014. The party will feature over 25 of the area's finest craft breweries offering rare and exotic blends, plus a DJ set from Brooklyn indie rockers Small Black (whose eponymous brew is DELICIOUS!) If a Espresso Amber and Fresh-Cut Pilsner from Peak Organic is too fancy for your taste, you might enjoy a beer slushie from Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Labor Day kicks off with an amped-up food fest hosted by Bed-Stuy restaurant Do Or Dine. A ticket gets you three rounds of food and drink, each paired with a different DJ set from Brooklyn-bred producer, remixer, and artist DJ Spinna. Make sure not to bail early—round three will feauture a cocktail and whole-roast pig from superstar chef and FR favorite Justin Warner.