I love festivals. It's a good reason to go out and spend a crap load of money just so you can go to a huge event with lots of sponsors, wait in long lines only to pay again to get the food, check out what the other girls are wearing, and eat all day.
I decided to go to the LA Barbeque festival because 1) it was on the pier and anything near the beach is a huge draw for me 2) I was able to get cheaper tickets on goldstar.com, my go-to discounter for tickets for things going around town and 3) I was in the mood for some meat - especially for some out of town meat.
Once in, we realized that the participants came mostly from Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and California. After tasting the ribs, chickens, sausages, corns, beans, etc., we found our favorite...
Gus's in Pasadena. Yup! Surprisingly,we all thought the best BBQ was the one right in our backyard! Don't get me wrong. The other places were really good, too, but you just get sick of eating really heavy and fatty stuff, especially in the heat. We started with some mediocre sausage and moved on to some greasy baby back ribs that were delicious (but their baked beans tasted like the ones from cans). By the time we got to eating the chicken, we realized it was the best bang for your buck (a 1/2 chicken pounded for easy eating, accompanied by baked beans and corn salsa for $10, when other places were charging $10 for a lot less food). It also tasted much healthier with a lot more ingredients and flavor, and the bacon and veggies in the baked beans stole the show and our hearts. Perhaps our Californian taste buds favored a lighter version of the southern BBQ. Whatever the case may be, we're hitting Gus's in the future when we have a craving for some flavorful Cali style BBQ.