The 2009 PIGSTY Awards

Last year is quickly fading in my memory–the only vivid reminders are a laundry basket full of grease-stained t-shirts and the ongoing global economic crisis–so before it is too late let’s turn our attention to the end of year awards.  Here are our 2009 Performance In Getting Swine Talked-about, Yes (PIGSTY) awards:

Most Voluminous Poster (MVP) – This award is given to the person who submits the most non-spam comments on the BBQ Jew website.  (Employees of are not eligible for consideration, in part because there are none.)  And the winner is… burgeoningfoodie.  Congratulations burgeoningfoodie.  However, we’ve noticed a decline in your posts in recent months so don’t think you can coast to another MVP in 2010…  John Shelton Reed and BBQ Dave were runners-up and will be gunning for MVP in 2010.

Biggest Frickin’ Flame (BFF)  – This award goes to the most mean-spirited comment of the year.  Congratulations “Mike,” if that’s even your real name, because you win.  The winning comment was: “No one compares in vehemence to the self-hating anti-semetic Jew. But, here’s hoping you all don’t contract trichinosis!”  How can I love myself with comments like that directed at me?  I can at least take solace in your use of the phrase “you all,” which indicates you must be a self-hating yankee.

Best Barbecue-Related Rant Witnessed In Person (BBRRWIP) – This award goes to Bob Kantor of Memphis Minnie’s BBQ for an eloquent and impassioned tirade against margarine, people who refer to margarine as butter, and a bunch of related things.  The rant, which I can’t recall verbatim, used the margarine/butter issue as a jumping off point for a monologue about faux ‘cue, Americans’ too frequent lack of interest in quality ingredients and much more.  It was rather awesome and right on target.

Biggest BBQ Jew Benefactor (BBJB) – In 2009, this award goes to the person who buys the most BBQ Jew merchandise, as merch sales are the only way this website generates income (our business model is brilliant).  Congratulations, Random Dude From Australia Who Bought A T-Shirt And Mug, thank you for all you have done for us.  The $4 we generated from the transaction have been plowed back into our newsroom.  And, uh, if anyone wants to, like, write us a check for $5 or more we’ll re-award the BBJB to you.

Opportunity of the Year (OY) – This award is given out primarily because we wanted an award with the abbreviation “oy.”  Let’s give the OY to everyone’s favorite, The Swine Flu, for giving us the opportunity to write several space-filling posts, including this one.

Piglet of the Year (POY) – This award is given to a youngster who exhibits impressive barbecue eating talent.  This year we have a tie: The Rib Rabbi’s baby son and my toddler daughter were dragged, sometimes literally kicking and screaming, to several barbecue joints in 2009.  Some day you two will thank us for starting you out on such a healthy diet.

20.10% Off BBQ Jew T-Shirts & Mugs

I am guessing that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to buy some BBQ Jew merchandise before the end of 2010, right?  Good news, that’s a resolution you can cross off your list today at 20.10% off regular prices for t-shirts and mugs.  Lucky you. 

Just visit our online store at and enter the coupon code “NEWYOUZAZZLE” at checkout.  Hurry though, this offer expires at midnight on Tuesday!

Allen’s Update Part II

Happy ‘Cue Year! And what better way to start 2010 than by talking about one of our favorites–the original Allen & Son.

You may recall Porky’s post from the previous decade lamenting two changes at Allen and Son–cost and cole slaw. The price increase was indisputable, but the cole question was downright subjective.

Given the special place Keith Allen, slaw and Keith Allen’s slaw hold in this BBQ Jew’s gullet, the only question was when I’d head to Orange County to see for myself. My partner in pork wanted to get a second taste, so Porky and I lunched at Casa Allen.

The infamous cole slaw

I got a side order of slaw to go with my barbecue sandwich to get an unadulterated taste and my first reaction was that it was a tiny bit different. But not due to more mayo, as Porky had suspected. It just tasted a bit different than I remembered. But after a few bites, those concerns washed away and I chalked up my take to the placebo effect.

Still, like true ‘cue hounds, we had to research it a bit further. I asked our waitress if they’d changed anything about the slaw and she said they hadn’t. Later, Porky asked a long-serving waitress the same question, but in this way: “Excuse me, I know you’ve worked here awhile. Is the coleslaw creamier than it used to be or am I losing my mind?”

The waitress, in a sense, called him crazy: “It’s the same. It’s still made by the same man.”  We both got a chuckle out of that.

As for the price change, I’ll echo Porky’s sentiment in saying: While it doesn’t exactly put a smile on my punim, I understand. I’m sure the cost of ingredients’ cost has gone up, even if it’s a very short list. After all, I’m sure swine is more expensive after the Aporkalypse.

One thing you can’t blame the price increase on is a drop in business. It was packed the day we visited! That’s probably because Allen’s aficionados, like myself, are OK with paying a bit more for a barbecue plate if it means Allen and Son keep cooking ‘cue the right way.

May your 2010 be filled with good health, good cheer (and Cheerwine) and good barbecue.