Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pigapalooza Slings Pork Despite Stumblingblocks

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Pulled pork from Spuds BBQ proved succulent.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Pulled pork from Spud's BBQ proved succulent during Pigapalooza on Saturday, May 19.

With the inaugural Pigapalooza event, a day's worth of pork and brews hosted by the Meridian Brewforia store, owner Kirk Johnson couldn't keep up with demand.

"We went through 3,200 pounds of pork, cooking all night, sleeping on the floor in the back of the car," he said. "We were out of food by 6 p.m. and beer by 8 p.m."

Twenty-six kegs were blown that day, too. The benefit food fest puts proceeds toward lymphoma research.

This year, Saturday, May 19, proved a smaller affair. Though Johnson and organizers secured the entirety of Generations Plaza on the corner of Main and Idaho streets in downtown Meridian, including a portion of the street, their hands were tied on marketing prior to the event.

"This is the first time we've done a street event," said Johnson. "We underestimated how long it would take for local businesses to approve."

Idaho brews, 18 in all, made up the libations provided at Pigapalooza.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Idaho brews, 18 in all, made up the libations provided at Pigapalooza.

Johnson also cited a slower-than-expected response time from the Ada County Highway District. ACHD oversees approval of any application to close off a city street.

"We filed the paperwork three months ago. We heard back from them 10 days before the event," he said.

That led to uncertainty that the event would even happen. Early in the morning, a cooking gaff cost the event two whole roast pigs, "burnt to a crisp" inside their cooker after they were left unattended.

Despite the event's foibles, more than 400 participants had been issued wristbands by 4 p.m., putting them on track to catch up with the 500 attendees who turned out in 2011.

Carts by Life's Kitchen and Spud's BBQ made no bones about filling in the pork where the whole pigs left off. Of particular note was succulent jerk pork and rice from Life's Kitchen, and a slaw and pulled pork sandwich from Spud's.

Lifes Kitchen served up jerk pork in spades.

Pork and beer took center stage for Pigapalooza.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Pork and beer took center stage for Pigapalooza.

Jerk pork and rice from Lifes Kitchen.

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