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Charles Karel Bouley

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Pigs Flying Off the Grill Aug. 18-21 in Orange County

Posted: 08/19/11 03:28 PM ET

There are three things that don't often appear on my to-do list:

  1. Listen to lots of Country music
  2. Eat in public with my fingers tearing meat off of bones (when you have as many dinner or lunch meetings as I do, you just stop ordering something you've got to pick up and get into)
  3. Hang out in Orange County, CA (I used to live there and now that I don't I know why everyone used to joke that I lived behind the "Orange Curtain.")

So it took something pretty special to get me and a guest to gear up, hop on the Aprilia Mana 850 and ride down PCH to Warner and over to Mile Square Park at Brookhurst and Heil (The Fountain Valley Sports Park is the official name now, but when I lived across the street everyone knew, and knows it, as Mile Square Park).

That something special ended up being the lure of the best BBQ available in the area this weekend as The Orange County BBQ Bonanza takes over the Fountain Valley Sports Park (Mile Square Park, Heil Entrance off Brookhurst, Fountain Valley, CA).

Now living in Long Beach there's no shortage of great BBQ. Not many can beat the wonderful offerings at Porky's on Redondo and 10th or Johnny Reb's at 4663 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach.

But the OC BBQ Bonanza did not disappoint. If pork ribs are your thing then this is the place to be this weekend. Six BBQers from across the country will compete for titles while diners serve as beneficiaries to the competitive spirit.

Aussum Aussies, Porky-N-Beans, Coyote Roadhouse, Cowboys BBQ & Rib, Johnson's Bar-B-Que, and the KC BBQ Team have each brought their "A" game, their pork ribs rubbed and marinated, their wood pits all fired up, thrown in some chicken, links, tri-tip and trimmins making for an old time country festival right in the heart of Orange County.

Coyote Roadhouse served as my favorite, with meat just falling off the bone, a sauce that was smokey and not too sweet, the absolute perfect rib. But that's like saying you like diamonds more than rubies really, since there was no bad BBQ to be had.

No BBQ would be complete without Country music, and the OC BBQ Bonanza has it covered all weekend long. A complete list of entertainment can be found here, but be sure and check out Bennie and the Swamp Gators (Zydeco/Cajun) and AJ Gibbs billed as the Mydeco Dance King..

Admission is $5 and includes a $2 off rib coupon. There's a VIP Rib Village with all the ribs, beer, wine and fixin's for $100/ea. Individual menu items range from $2 to $25 depending on the amount ordered.

For more information call 562.495.5959 or go to OC BBQ Bonanza

Cowboy's Rib Entry
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Cowboy's BBQ puts out rack after rack.
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