“Burgers, BBQ and Beer.” It’s all right there in the name. And boy, does it deliver!
Mirroring San Antonio’s exploding food scene, BB&B gets bigger and better every year. From beef to chorizo, pork belly to brisket, lamb to crawfish, BB&B will satiate the most ravenous of carnivores. (Earth Burger by Green even offered up a tasty vegetarian option!)
The Boiler House had one of the longest lines for one of the tallest burgers – stacked high with a generous piece of pork belly and an amazing house-made pickle. These burgers went fast! They were also serving up generous helpings of a delicious raspberry sangria.
Another crowd favorite is always The Las Canarias/Ostra tent. They have an incredible toppings bar with lots of mouth-watering options, including bacon Bourbon jam, and has become something of a BB&B fixture.
Attendees voted for their favorite burger and taking home the crown this year was a tasty green chile chorizo burger from Arcade Midtown Kitchen.
The BBQ scene was widely varied, from the deep south to the sea to Asian/Tex-Mex fusion. Dixieland’s BBQ was “Doin’ it Southern Style” with a hickory-smoked spare rib and pulled pork while Lüke’s tent was busy all afternoon dishing out impressive-looking crawfish.
My favorite dish of the entire festival came courtesy of the Texas Cooks Co-op: a lamb breast taco topped with a carrot and cabbage slaw, sriracha, cilantro, lime, peanuts and toasted sesame. I went back for seconds! (Ok, maybe even thirds!)
And of course with all this amazing food you’ve got to wash it down with something cold, right? There were multiple tents passing out beer and wine samples. And HEB was there in full force, of course. They were serving a Prima Mazzo Moscato I found to be a particularly nice pairing with the spiciness of many of the dishes.
And while the alcohol was plentiful, I did notice a lack of craft beer and spirits enjoyed at past BB&B events. This puzzled me until I remembered that Culinaria introduced a pricier VIP ticket this year. Held in the Pearl Stable, it was advertised as a way to stay out of the heat and gain access to mixologists’ specialty drinks. Apparently they were also serving vodka-infused gelato! When samples were brought out to us regular-admission folks, they were snatched up fast!
I was sad to have missed such glorious-looking gelato, but the VIP tickets are just a little out of my budget! However, even at regular admission the three-hour meat-and-beer extravaganza is well worth it. It’s become a tradition my friends and I enjoy every year!
All photos in this post were by local photographer Justin Brownell, be sure to check out his site.