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2012 Tour Stop #16 - Smokin' in Mesquite

September 1, 2012

Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ Championship

Mesquite, NV

For the past 4 years, Christine and I have spent Labor Day weekend with the Great American BBQ Tour at the Nugget Best in the West Rib Cookoff in Sparks, Nevada. This year, we were scheduled to be in Mesquite, Nevada for the Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ Championship held at the Casablanca Resort and Casino.

We had a beautiful weekend with great crowds for all of our demonstrations. We found that many people remembered Mesquite for being one of the stops for season 1 of BBQ Pitmasters. This year, the event hosted a "People’s Choice" contest with Ribs on Saturday and Pork on Sunday. People filed out of the casino to taste some of the Championship quality food and since we were placed right outside the building, they also stopped by for some Reser's® Hidden Valley Ranch Potato Salad and Smithfield® Pork Loin seasoned with the Weber’s® Caribbean Jerk Just Add Juice™ marinade. From what we were told, had we entered the contest, we would have won, "hands down," with the fantastic, flavorful samples we handed out!

At every event, we have thousands of 3 oz Reser’s® Potato Salad cups along with Smithfield® Pork Loins and Ribs shipped over to us. At Mesquite, they all came in earlier than expected, but the staff was great to help us out and put everything in their coolers quickly. On Friday afternoon, everything was delivered by one fellow on a pallet jack. I sure felt sorry for him as it was quite warm and everything was stacked high. When I told him that I could have brought the truck over to pick it all up, he just smiled and said, "It's my job.” That was just one example of Casablanca’s great staff!

Chris and I were lucky enough to sit with the "Fork U" team during awards. At first I thought their shirts said "Pork U" as I know there is a Pork U team from the West but in looking closer at the little devil with the fork "shadow" as their logo, I chuckled and realized they were a completely different team.

48 teams competed for the $34,200 in prize money. It was neat to see so many different teams get calls at this event. I was genuinely impressed by the honest good will and praise given to the winners by all the teams in Mesquite. Everyone knew what state the winners were from and gave high fives and congratulations to everyone. It really struck me that this is what BBQ contests all should be like…

At the end of the awards, Kelly Wertz of 4 Legs Up won the Rib category, R & R won Pork while LoneStar Smoke Rangers won Brisket. Bam Bam's had 3 top ten calls and won Reserve Grand while Ridge Route Boys BBQ also had 3 top ten calls including a first place Chicken call and their very first Grand Championship!

As an added bonus, Christine and I left the weekend with an extra $7 in slot machine winnings! So all in all, we had a very good weekend in Mesquite!

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