Hava NaGrilla

Summer doesn’t really heat up until the kosher barbecue festival circuit does. On that note, meat-lovers of all faiths should head to the Philadelphia area this Sunday for the Hava NaGrilla Kosher Barbecue Festival. The contest’s name stems from the popular hora dance, a.k.a.  “Hava Nagila.”

Odd that there’s no mention of pork anywhere on their site–there must be some sort of mistake, as my friends at Kosher Ham can attest. OK, fine–the festival’s organizers don’t share our opinion about pork being kosher.

Even chickens dance the hora.

Even chickens dance the hora.

Nevertheless, it sounds like a fun time. Local meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz and the rest of the judges will issue awards for  best beans, brisket, chicken and ribs, in addition to most creative booth, best team name and grand champion.

There’s even kosher pickle eating contest and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, which strikes me as both very Carolina and very incompatible with eating massive amounts of barbecue. Perhaps chicken is easier to digest than barbecue (pork).  Then again, all attendees will have to be on their toes for the many kick ass outbreaks of Hava Nagila sure to arise.

It’s all for a good cause–the Golden Slipper Club and Charities–so head on over if you’re in that part of the country. After all, we don’t get many chances to do a mitzvah by eating smoked meats.

Kosher Browsing

Somehow, the site Kosher Ham has escaped BBQ Jew’s gaze until now. Amazing, given our similarly-themed names. Well, consider it gazed upon.

The t-shirt-slinging site is aimed at “pragmatic, open-minded individuals that question the categorical idea of black and white.” Sounds about right.

image courtesy of Kosher Ham

image courtesy of Kosher Ham

Just as a word of warning, some of Kosher Ham’s shirts almost made us blush. Yet, many are inspired and several are sure to put smiles on the punims of you Jewish readers. For instance, I’m digging the Dr. Seuss/gefilte fish shirt. And this one‘s on my 2009 Hanukkah list.

For you enlightened gentiles, may I suggest this nice play on words.

One shirt is N.C.-specific, but it’s obviously made elsewhere (the site is based in Chicago). There’s no surer way to identify yourself as “not from here” than to pronounce our capital ‘Rally.’ Come on Kosher Ham, you’re better than that. This much better.

While we’re on the topic of t-shirts, be on the lookout for BBQ Jew gear in the near future. Certainly by Hanukkah. We promise they’ll pronounce Raleigh correctly (if at all) and feature plenty of bad BBQ Jew puns. Consider yourselves warned.

BBQ Jew’s View: Carolina Q Dog

409 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC
BBQ Jew’s Grade: C+
Porky Says: “An inside the park heart attack.”

Baseball and Barbecue: Two Beautiful Traditions
I recently headed to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) in downtown Durham, NC to root for the hometown heroes.  But baseball was not the only thing on my mind.  A co-worker had told me about the “Carolina Q Dog” and, in the name of good journalism, I vowed to try it.   

The Carolina Q Dog is sold at the Dillard’s Bar-B-Q concession stand right behind home plate on the DBAP’s main concourse (actually, its only concourse).  Dillard’s is a Durham institution located just a few miles from the DBAP, and I will review the joint separately another time.  The Dillard’s ballpark concession stand offers a limited menu that features their ‘cue in plate and sandwich form, among other dishes.  The Carolina Q Dog is offered only at the ballpark and consists of a footlong hot dog smothered in chopped BBQ with a side of slaw.  It’s better than it sounds.  Or maybe it’s worse than it sounds, depending on your perspective.

I didn’t think it chopped pork on an all-beef dog sounded like a good combination, but it turned out to be pretty tasty.  The fact that Dillard’s barbecue is finely chopped and has mustard-tinged vinegar sauce (in the South Carolina tradition) is very helpful when paired with a hot dog.  Next time you go to a Bulls game and want to give your arteries a work out, try the Carolina Q Dog.  It’s a nice treat by ballpark BBQ standards.

Hot diggity dog!
Hot diggity dog!

Still, even though the Carolina Q Dog was pretty good, I doubt they’ll be changing the Take Me Out to the Ball Game lyrics anytime soon…
Take me out to the DBAP, Take me out with the crowd/Buy me a foot long with bar-b-q, I don’t care ’cause I’m the BBQ Jew/Let me root, root, root for the D-Bulls, If they don’t win it’s a shame/For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old… AAGH!! DOES ANYONE HAVE A DEFIBRILLATOR?!