Barbecue, Shortcake, and Egg Rolls: What to Do This Weekend


Outdoor concert? Graduation party? Whatever your friends are up to, you can probably bet they’re not going to eat as well as you. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the city this weekend, all good reasons why you should keep the charcoal in storage for another week and just go out (especially because a couple of these events are free).

11th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Madison Square Park, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating eleven years of grilling and smothering meats in sauce, The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party returns to Madison Square Park with two days of live music and smoked dead animals. Top pitmasters from across the country–including bosses from Texas’s The Salt Lick BBQ and Mississippi’s Ubon’s–join New York City’s own Dinosaur Bar-Be-Que, Hill Country, and Blue Smoke to help make the park’s food offerings something other than Shake Shack for a couple of days. Admission is free; you can purchase platters of ‘cue directly from the pitmasters stationed around the park.

34th Annual Mississippi Picnic in the Park, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street entrance, Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

Celebrate Mississippi’s culinary history by stuffing your face with crab claws, shrimp cocktail, and fried oyster tacos. The Mississippi Picnic in the Park returns to Central Park this weekend with chef demos and live music. Admission is free, and there will be plenty of samples.

Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, Grand Army Plaza, Saturday, 11 a.m.

Are you a competitive eater training for the 4th of July hot dog eating contest? Looking for another opportunity to break out that Miss Strawberry Shortcake Halloween costume? You might want to head down to Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park for Greenmarket’s Annual Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest. Sign up via the event’s website for your chance at endless amount of strawberries, whipped cream, and pound cake (it’s free!); prizes will be awarded for messiest, cleanest, and fastest eater.

Third Annual Summer Spit BBQ, Studio Square, 35-33 36th Street, Long Island City, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Don’t feel like making the trek into Manhattan for great barbecue? Head to Studio Square, where David Burke will host the Third Annual Summer Spit BBQ featuring whole hogs, barbecue chicken dumplings, maple mustard bacon, and much, much more. The Boston Beer Company and Jim Beam will be on hand to help you wash down your gout-inducing pile of meat. Tickets are $85 and net you all-you-can-eat access.

Egg Rolls & Egg Creams, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, Sunday, noon

The Lower East Side pays tribute to its longstanding Jewish and Chinese historical roots with this one-of-a-kind block party. Snack on egg rolls while you watch a Challah braiding demonstration or participate in afternoon tea. Entertainment includes a performance by the Peking opera troupe Qi Shu Fang in addition to Michael Winograd and the Klezmer Orchestra. Admission is free, but you’ll want to RSVP.