Early Saturday afternoon, August 03, 2019, I had the pleasure to attend the Rods-N- Ribs car show, rib cook-off and vendor street fair, held in downtown Roseville, at the Vernon Street Square, near City Hall. The event is sponsored by "Water for a Warrior," and all proceeds to toward aid and help for wounded veterans and service members. This was a win-win event, as a good time was enjoyed by everyone, and all proceeds went to the nonprofit that supports combat, military and service wounded veterans.
Events included a city block lined with vintage cars, hot rods, motorcycles, and a few WW2-era military vehicles. If you wanted to show off your cornhole skills, the event featured a cornhole tournament, along with craft vendors, music, a water park for kids of all ages, and lots more. There was definitely something for everyone, every interest and every age group.
For your culinary needs, a booth was set up dispensing beer and wine, and naturally, the "main event" was a rib cook-off, in which nearly 20 different rib cooking barbecue teams competed to cook the best-tasting ribs of the event. Such a great family-friendly event!
Photo: This flier was distributed around Roseville, advertising the event, and it pretty much says it all. Spectator admission is free, and that includes the live and recorded music, the vintage vehicle show, and getting to hike on Vernon Street, in downtown Roseville, CA, to check out the rib cooking teams in action, free of traffic.
Despite the fact that I'm a "stone-cold foodie," I only found out about this event the Monday before it happened, as I was dining at Bounty Hunters Cafe, located on Vernon Street, and got to chatting about ribs with chef Verley, and he showed me this flier, and told me about this fun and family-friendly event. I was hooked and penciled in Rods-N-Ribs for the coming Saturday, August 03, 2019 on my calendar.
Photo: After enjoying lunch at Bounty Hunters Cafe, I went home, and "googled" information about Rods-N-Ribs, and arrived on their web site. The web site talked about the price of ribs, $3.00 each, 2 for $5.00, or $24.00 for a full rack. Since I'm a "sampler" kind of rib fanatic, and like to sample as many variations of ribs as I can, I chose to order 10 tickets for $25.00 - plus change for handling fees - online, so I could sample two ribs from four vendors, and have a couple of tickets for sides, in order to get maximum exposure, and to satisfy my craving for ribs.
I walked up to the "Pre Orders" section, told them my name, and I was rewarded with a package, with my name on it, containing 10 tokens, one for each rib, and one for each side. You don't have to pre-order, but you'll save time, and you won't have to stand in line.
Photo: South Grant Street, in downtown Roseville across from the Vernon Street Town Square is lined with smokers, barbecues, and twenty teams, cooking ribs, for the event, and the rib competition. You're free to mingle with the cooking teams, and the street has been blocked off to vehicles, to allow unlimited access to pedestrians, "foodies," and anybody who is interested in watching competition-grade ribs cooking on the street.
Photo: Hot rods, vintage cars and motorcycles line Vernon Street, as the car show is a major part of the Rods-N-Ribs event. There was a whole city block lined with classic vehicles, which made for lots of "eye candy."
Photo: A retired Army "Deuce-and-a-Half," along with a WW2 vintage Willys Jeep are parked on Vernon Street, in front of the Post Office, as part of the event. The tires the "deuce" sports are definitely not WW2 vintage!
Photo: Taking a look at the Holy Smokes BBQ team in action. When the ribs were served, their ribs were my first plate, which left a lasting taste in my mouth, as their ribs were simply fantastic!
Photo: The guy on the right seems to be giving great advice to the It's OK to Rub It team, as they open the pit and turn their ribs.
Photo: These fine people from the Guts and Glory Spare Parts BBQ team seemed to enjoy me taking a photo, as they cut their rack of ribs into individual servings.
Photo: I approached the Savage Smokin' BBQ team, and asked the pitmaster to open the "pit" for me, and he happily obliged. Boy, do I ever love to watch barbecue chefs in action!
Photo: Savage Smokin' BBQ ribs, on the smoker, before the barbecue sauce is applied. Since barbecue sauce contains a lot of sugar, it is always applied near the end of the cooking process, so it won't catch fire, burn, and leave a nasty, burnt taste on the ribs. Note the attractive grill marks. Thanks, Mr. Pitmaster, for opening your pit so I could take these photos.
Photo: The Grocery Outlet team set up quite a large operation, and attracted many onlooker, watching the chef salt, rub, baste, and cook their racks of ribs.
Photo: Many onlookers, along with your author, watched the chef pour barbecue sauce on the ribs, and baste them, before returning them to the pit. These guys are serious about barbecue, as they use a half gallon of sauce at a time!
Photo: After the ribs are mopped in barbecue sauce, they're salted. Salt is a very necessary ingredient to good barbecue, but it's tricky, as too little leaves a "flat" taste, and too much salt will ruin the barbecue entirely. When I barbecue, I always go easy on the salt, as more salt can always be added after the fact...
Photo: After barbecue sauce and salt has been applied, it's time to mop the ribs, using a regular paint brush. Naturally the brush is not used for painting! Note the Grocery Outlet team uses Blues Hog brand barbecue sauce on their ribs.
Photo: I asked Mr. Pitmaster to open the smoker for me, and he did, as he bastes the smoking ribs with a little more barbecue sauce. The aroma was amazing!
Photo: The event had a piano set up, where those who have the talent to play could showcase their skills for all to enjoy. This young gentleman delighted the crowd, and myself, for belting out ragtime.
Photo: Kids of ages enjoy the fountain, which is the central attraction at the Vernon Street Town Square, in downtown Roseville. This is truly a fun attraction for all ages, and it's also very "green," as whatever water that isn't evaporated gets recycled. Since today's temperature was in the upper 90's, the water felt good!
Photo: Meet Ronnie, of Ronnie Johnson's BBQ team, as he opens his pit for my camera, and presents a rack of perfectly cooked ribs.
Photo: Ronnie and his crew cut and assembled cooked ribs, before delivering them to the rib tent.
Photo: Ronnie shows what it's all about to cut ribs into individual servings. Note the trophies he and his team have won in previous rib cooking competitions.
Photo: Ronnie displays his cooked ribs, which are cut into individual servings, and are ready to be delivered to the rib serving tent. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to enjoy any of his ribs, as by the time I got around to his station in the rib tent - mostly due to my compulsive photo-taking - team Ronnie Johnson's BBQ's ribs were gone.
The only disadvantage that I can think of about the Rods-N-Ribs event is that is very small-scale, compared to a major competitive event, such as the Nugget Rib Cookoff, and the rib cooking teams cook a limited number of ribs, and when their ribs are sold out, they're gone.
Photo: Besides the amazing collection of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, and the 20+ rib cooking teams, there was a truly special place where beer and wine was sold, which always lens a festive spirit to the event.
In contrast to a major sporting event, or the California State Fair - where you pay $12+ for a beer - this event charges only $3.00 for a regular or light Coors beer, or $5.00 for a premium beer. When it comes to events, this is the beer bargain of the century! At Rods-N-Ribs, you can afford to enjoy multiple beers, if you plan to hike, or take Uber home. I chose to hike home...
Photo: The friendly gals at the beer booth smile, as I take their photo as they're handing an icy-cold Coors beer to me. At $3.00 a beer, this is a bargain...
Photo: I'm happy, as I raise my beer, and toast the festivities at the 2019 edition of Rods-N-Ribs, held in downtown Roseville.
Photo: Father Verley, and son Alex, pose besides the pit, at the rib cook-off station of Bounty Hunters Cafe. Don't you love this pit that's shaped like a gun? Bounty Hunters Cafe has a full-time restaurant in downtown Roseville, located on Vernon Street, less than a half block from the South Grant Street of their rib cooking location.
Photo: Chef Alex opens the pit for me, so I can get a look at the delicious meat he's cooking.
Photo: Bounty Hunters Cafe barbecue team was the only rib cooking team where I was served my ribs directly from the pit, so I didn't have to brave the line - more on how that works later in the article - at the rib serving tent. Alex presents two perfectly cooked ribs, directly from the pit, with a smile.
Photo: Verley delivers a batch of cooked, and cut ribs, to be distributed at the rib serving station. The team at Bounty Hunters Cafe really know how to cook delicious barbecue!
Photo: Meal time happed in two waves, the first one at 12:30, and the second one at 1:00 in the afternoon. Ribs are served very differently than at other events, and I was a little confused at first, but after I figured out the way things worked, it made perfect sense to me.
The rib tent is a long tent, with each individual cooking team's spot labeled, and you form a line at the cooking team of your choice. The cooking team brings the ribs to the tent in a big container, and the ribs are dished out by a member of the serving team, not the rib cooker. You give the rib server a token for each rib, and you're rewarded with delicious ribs.
Side dishes are dispensed from the end of the rib tent, and has a separate line.
Like most of my readers, I DETEST lines, but at Rods-N-Ribs, lines move fast, are well organized, and the end result is delicious ribs served by friendly staff.
Photo: The "sides" station is located at the end of the tent, and you have your choice between beans, or potato salad. Such a hard choice, so the only way to go is to choose both, as they're both delicious! Somehow, I never go around to enjoying the potato salad, but I went "hog wild" over the beans.
Photo: Each rib server, at the rib serving tent, is serving ribs from a specific vendor, as noted by a sign above them, and each rib vendor has a separate line. You grab a plate from a stack near the "sides" station, choose the vendor of your choice, and wait in line until it's your turn. You deposit tokens in the slot - one token per rib - hand them your plate, and you're rewarded with the ribs of your choice, with a smile.
Photo: This couple seem to be enjoying the ribs, the atmosphere, and the beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Photo: This really friendly rib server guy is serving ribs to a hungry customer, as she presents her plate, and she's rewarded with some of the most delicious ribs that you could ever imagine! Note the line-up of ribs, each large container of ribs is ribs from one cooking team, so you can see there were many rib cookers today, making some of the best ribs you'll ever have the chance to enjoy.
Photo: Say "hello," I get a plate of ribs at 2 in the afternoon, at the "last rib call" of the afternoon. Leftover racks of ribs are sold for the bargain price of $10.00, which ensures there are never any wasted ribs. In my case, my last plate of ribs was cooked by the Prison Break/Grocery Outlet rib cooking team.
Photo: I'm a happy guy, as I hold my first plate of ribs, along with a side of beans, from Holy Smoke Barbecue.
Photo: Two amazing ribs, thanks to Holy Smoke Barbecue, along with a side of beans, and a couple of "samples" of beans that I managed to add to my plate.
The ribs were simply amazing, as they were tender cooked, cut into individual portions, finger lickin' good, and had just the right mixture of meat, versus fat. The amazing, tangy barbecue sauce added to the "tang" and the overall experience!
When you talk about ribs, the word "fat" may seem gross, but it's part of the grilled rib experience, and the fat is part of the adventure. The Holy Smoke Barbecue team makes good ribs... delicious ribs.... at Rods-N-Ribs cook-off, in downtown Roseville.
Photo: My second plate of ribs came from the Cynical BBQ team. Such a delicious plate of ribs!
Photo: The Prison Break/Grocery Outlet team supplied my third plate of ribs, which I enjoyed!
Photo: I smile, as a friendly "foodie" takes my photo, as I'm ready to enjoy a Coors beer, and a couple of ribs cooked by the Bounty Hunters Cafe cooking team.
Photo: Two perfectly cooked ribs, from the Bounty Hunters Cafe rib cooking team, along with a can of Coors beer, make for a delicious lunch.
Like all the ribs I enjoyed today, all were delicious, cooked perfectly, and all are perfectly seasoned, and grilled or smoked to perfection. I don't know how the judges separate the ribs, and how they judge them, as all of the ribs I enjoyed today were absolutely PERFECT!
Thank you, "Water for a Warrior" for sponsoring the 2019 edition of Rods-N-Ribs, and thanks to the event organizer, Jennifer Bishop, for all of your hard work, and for making this enjoyable event happen. After enjoying a total of eight ribs from four different vendors, drinking a few beers, checking out the vintage cars, I left with a full stomach, and a smile on my face. Who says you have to travel all the way to Nevada over Labor Day weekend to enjoy a rib cook-off and "pig out" on amazing ribs?
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