Colicchio’s Bubble Q Draws Vegetarians

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We were at the Perrier-Jout Bubble Q on Friday, chowing down on a rib from Chris Lilly when we heard a woman politely decline an offer of a rib from a Craftsteak plate. I dont really eat meat, she said, adding Im not a big fan of beans either. Shes just the person to be attending a barbecue party at $350 a ticket.

And that rib she snubbed was good. It was the best of the multiple offerings from Tom Colicchio, who was there handing out plates of pulled-pork sandwiches, ribs, baked beans and macaroni and cheese. Colicchio organized quite a party: at one moment, youre standing in front of Myron Mixons whole smoked hog, receiving helpings of baked beans and pulled pork just like at a backyard cookout. But turn around and theres a bar overflowing with Champagne served by beautifully chiseled models.

While most chefs went with the grilling definition of barbecue, there was plenty of smoking and slow cooking going on. Adam Perry Lang of Daisy Mays BBQ won points with the locals for cooking his mojo-marinated pork in Miami favorite La Caja China, a large box built specifically to roast whole hogs. Marcus Samuelsson nailed the portion size with his tiny, no-plate-needed grilled salmon tacos.

Three large portions we made sure to finish: Hill Countrys brisket, as moist and delicious as ever; Chris Lillys ribs, which came off the bone with almost no effort; and the grilled rib eye from local Pacific Times Jonathan Eismann. The last wasnt cue in the traditional sense, but the rib eye encrusted with shiitakes and bathed in an Indonesian-spiced sauce was one of the best pieces of food we tasted that night.

See more photos from the event.