Southern Brooklyn

Grillin’ On The Bay Is Today!

Bayback Ribs - GOTB 2011 - Source: James Boo/

It’s back! On Saturday, March 24, NYC’s only BBQ contest, Grillin’ On The Bay returns to Sheepshead Bay. Twenty barbecue teams will fight for the title of NYC’s best barbecuer. Chili cooks will battle it out in the Brooklyn Chili Smack Down, a people’s choice event.

We heard your cry – THERE WILL BE BARBECUE FOR SALE!!! I’m being told that the award winning team of Three Men and a Babyback, (Babyback? Get it? Babybacks are a type of pork ribs), will be selling pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and returning with the pulled pork parfaits that were so popular last year. The three men will start serving at 11:00 am.

BBQ too heavy for you? The school will be grilling up hamburgers, hot dogs and maybe a few surprises.

The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down kicks off at 1:00 pm. Last year we had 25 different chili’s for you to try.  For only $10, you, yes you, the people of Brooklyn, get to try it all and choose the winner of the The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down.  This is democracy at its finest.

The barbecue teams will begin to arrive around 6:00 am. Many will have their fires lit before the sun comes up. This year’s food categories are vegetable, chicken wings, pork ribs and chef’s choice, where the pit masters come up with some outrageous grilled concoctions. All of this will be judged by a team of highly trained professionals.

Nancee and Greg - Purple Turtle Caterers

In honor of Nancee Gell, winner of the first Grillin’ On The Bay as the lead cook of Purple Turtle Catering, we have established the  Nancee Gell Memorial category. In this category, each cook must create a tantalizing dish using crab meat on the  wood-burning grill.

If that’s not enough for you, inside the school, St. Mark will be holding a Spring Boutique, filled with crafts, foods and all sorts of stuff that gets sold at that sort of thing.

Sully and Terry will be back this year selling those outrageous homemade burritos.  Damn, they were good and they sold out fast. I got a taste of one, only a taste mind you, but my family assures me that they were mighty fine eating.

Be sure to check out BBQ Billy on Saturday. When Bill’s not kicking butt at barbecue contests, he’s above the Die Hipster Line working on bringing his ‘que to Brooklyn. I’m really looking forward to his new joint, but I hope we can convince him to bring it to the true heart of Brooklyn, Sheepshead Bay. Those damn hipsters don’t deserve real barbecue!

Grillin’ on the Bay and The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down is once again sponsored by RUB BBQ, (Manhattan’s finest barbecue restaurant), YELP! and of course us; Sheepshead Bites! This event is sanctioned by the New England Barbecue Society, who is always looking for new judges. Ask any contest official on how you can get in on the free food at next year’s event.

The gates will be open from 6:00 am, but the real action starts around 11:00 am. The award ceremony begins at 5:00 pm, but get there long before that. Barbecue is a sport from a much simpler time; creating barbecue takes many, many hours. Once the food’s gone, it’s gone. Get there early!

Grillin’ On The Bay and The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 am until 5:00 pm — Rain or Shine.
Corner of East 18th Street and Avenue Z
For information: (917) 763-5062

Comment policy


  1. Holy Smokehouse, Brat(wurst)man!  Are you pulling my pork?  With all that free-flowing cholesterol, they should rename Sheepshead Bay Statin Island!

  2. What do you mean “there will be BBQ for sale”? Can we not taste it as part of the contest? or is that privilege only for the judges?

  3. I was thinking of bringing a pot of Chili….mine never comes out the same two times in a row. LOL…It’s usually very good but I have had times that it became taco filler with lot’s of cheese and stuff. 
    What was it 2 gallons? I usually make about 3 quarts.

  4. plates or bowls will be plastic. You just need to provide some serving utensils. Most people bring cheap plastic – the stuff you get at the 99 cent store.

  5. Excellent! Bravo!   You should be writing for Laugh-In….. Oops, somebody whispered in my ear that it’s been off the air a little while, see what happens when one misses the newspaper a couple of days…

  6. What?  Laugh-In is off the air?  OMG!
    Actually, I do have a collection of “Best Of” DVDs featuring such guests as John Wayne, Truman Capote, William F. Buckley, Canny Kaye, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and a slew of others, but, re-visiting this iconic show decades later, I find the writing more sophomoric and dated than it seemed at the time.  Of course, I’m beginning to feel that way about SNL, so maybe I’m just becoming a curmudgeon.

  7. I want
    some grill just like the grill

    buried dear old Dad

    He died
    of plaques from all those babybacks

    And all
    those steaks he had

    Salt and
    fat, tons of cholesterol

    washed down with lots of alcohol

    Now, when
    I want some grill, I gotta take a pill

    Or end up
    like old Dad.

  8. There’s no info on the BBQ. How will the general public pay for the BBQ? Will there be a pass? Pay each vendor? Tickets? The lack of information is dispiriting.

  9. Last year you bought money vouchers inside the church and gave them to the vendors when you wanted to purchase food, instead of paying the vendors cash, since the BBQ teams aren’t legally allowed to sell the food without a license.

  10. Three Men and a Baby Back, (3MBB) will be on hand selling BBQ, with a percentage going to the School. BBQ Parfaits, pulled pork sammy’s, slow-smoked st Louis ribs, 3 rib teasers, half-rack, and full racks. Corn-bread Souffle’, and BBQ slaw   

  11. Thanks to all who came out. We had a very intense push for food from about Noon until 3:00 pm which saw Three Men and A Baby Back almost completely sell out. 

    Out of over 40 gallons of chili, only two gallons or so remained, which was scattered across all 20 or so entries. 

    Hopefully we’ll be back next year. 


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