Quick Bites: Get smoked this weekend at the BBQ fest

Get the fire hose ready because there will be plenty of heat and smoke at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds in Rochester this weekend.

The Rochester Police Athletic League and Rochester Police Benevolent Association are hosting the fifth annual Med City BBQ State Championshipsbarbecue competition starting Friday. And while official rules state that the 40-plus barbecue competitors can't legally give food out to the public on official contest day (Saturday), that doesn't mean the weekend won't be filled with lots of flavor.

"We'll have food vendors on both days of the event, including award-winning Triple T BBQand our own Roscoe's, both of whom are vending and competing," said Jamie Lea Wellik, PAL operations director and Med City BBQ event coordinator. "And the highlight for many locals is the People's Choice Chicken Wing competition on Friday."

For $15, you can taste all the chicken wings you can eat — and you'll have plenty to choose from. Numbers aren't finalized until the last minute, but Wellik said 17 to 20 barbecue teams also are participating in the wings contest. With that many, there's bound to be something for everyone.

"Barbecue flavor profiles are very regional, and this year, most of our competitors are based in the Midwest," Wellik said. "But especially for the chicken wing competition, attendees will taste a lot of variety. Some teams choose a sweet sauce, others choose smoky, and some go for spicy or heat. It's usually someone who can put a unique blend of sweet and heat flavors together that will be the winner."


Cheese curds and Cold Stone Creameryice cream will be on hand for nosh, as well as refreshments in the beer garden hosted by Kathy's Pub. New this year are a $10-per-ticket raffle with some big prizes, including a state-of-the-art smoker and a 55-inch HDTV, as well as a team bean bag tournament on Saturday, which will be run in conjunction with the barbeque competition.

Wellik said they've enjoyed increasing community support since the event started five years ago (thanks in part to stellar entertainment, she said), and it's all for a great cause — benefiting the two hosting organizations.

"Every dollar raised from the raffle, the chicken wing competition tickets, vending fees and everything else is going to benefit at-risk youth right here in our city," she said.

For more info on the event, visit .

Super-quick bites

I've gotten to highlight some pretty great events and new or updated restaurants the last few weeks, but here are some recent newsworthy tidbits from some of your favorite local spots.

Flapdoodleshas introduced a new ice cream flavor that I predict will be a hit: Banana cream pie. It's banana-flavored ice cream with crushed vanilla wafers. Yep, sounds perfect.

— Don't tell me you haven't tried aamuse marketin the First Avenue food court downtown yet. Well, now might be a great time to stop by because they've introduced an amazing prime rib sandwich. They have limited quantities, but make sure to ask about it and then take my advice and be the first in line.


— If you've been waiting, it's back: The greenhouse bloody Mary is being served again at Salute Wine Barin the downtown Marriott. Sounds perfect for sipping on the patio.

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