Thursday, September 1, 2011


Where are yuh gonna find the best darned-tootin' BBQ ribs in America?

Why, at the 23rd Annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada! How do we know that? We were there!

Daughter Kathie had back surgery Wednesday, and we visited her both Wednesday and this afternoon, at the Northwestern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks. On the way home today, we stopped off at In-N-Out Burger for a quick lunch. As we were eating, we were watching folks going into a street fair just opposite, and decided we'd take a look. We found a perfect free parking spot within a half block of the fair, and headed in.

At the first booth we asked what was going on and learned it was the BBQ Rib Cook-Off we had read about. And there were rib samples to be had (Tickets were available, $7 for four samples), and 24 of the best high-volume BBQ cookers in the country were there offering sandwiches, plates, full- or half- racks! And we had just eaten a double-double at In-N-Out!

Not to worry, we had a fine time walking around, taking pictures, and drinking a strawberry margarita. While I was ordering the margaritas, a lady walked up to Suzy and asked if she was having a good time. When I got back, Suzy introduced me to Irene, part owner of Paddy and Irene's Irish Pub, whence I had just come carrying a brace of margaritas. Just then we were joined by the other owner, Irene's husband Paddy, so I had to take a picture!
Irene and Paddy giving Suzy a big welcome!
On the other side of the street (about four blocks of the street were closed off for this affair, sponsored by John Ascuaga's Nugget, but the saloons and restaurants and many other stores were open for business) I asked a lady handing out advertising fans about the ribs she was promoting. Turns out this lady was Donna Rice, owner of Desperado's.
Donna Rice, owner of Desperado's, the Pride of Ohio!

When I asked Donna if she were the boss, she said, "Yes, it's mine. I'm the Pit Mistress." At my reaction, she commented, "If the guys can be Pit Masters, I can be the Pit Mistress!"

Here are some of the other competitors at the Cook-Off:

Some of Famous Dave's trophies

In addition to the major BBQ competitors, there were the usual street fair vendors:

This fellow was air brushing original tee-shirts to order!

What else did we do? Why, we bought a full rack of ribs to bring home for dinner!
One full rack from Famous Dave's
Were they good? You'll have to come and taste them for yourselves. The Cook-Off will be in effect from now through Monday!

Will we visit again? Golly, we are thinking about going back Sunday, this time BEFORE lunch!

Oh, daughter Kathie's surgery? It went off like clock work. I can't begin to tell you what all they did for and to her, but she is up and walking around the place like she owns it, and will come home Friday! Fortunately, her son Sam will have a football game in Pocatello, Idaho. so he's out of the picture for a few days while Kathie recovers at home. Our daughter Deb will be up to spend several days as major caregiver, so husband Shawn can get back to work, and we'll be on the sidelines for a while to assist where we may.

So here we are, celebrating another day in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Glad your daughter is doing well! Those ribs look good enough to eat!

  2. Here it is 10:00 at night and I'm craving ribs. No fair.

  3. I'll have to settle for ribs from Costco!

  4. Glad to hear Kathie did well with her surgery. I've never been to the rib cook off but I have enjoyed lunch at the Sparks In 'N Out Burger more than once!! Looks like a fun festival and hope you get to go back before it's over. Have fun.

  5. OMG!! You are killin' me here with a RibFest..I have always wanted to go to one..I've been to OysterFest in Texas..but ribs..oh, yea. Walkin' around drinking kind of life!

  6. Really cool. I have put on many IBCA BBQ cookoffs and love this. Thanks!

  7. Oh, this brought back memories! We've visited the Rib Cookoff twice, making a meal of the samples. The best we've had were cooked by a team from Australia! It's a fun event when the weather cooperates (meaning, not too HOT). Suzy looked like she enjoyed herself. :)

  8. I was almost afraid to open your blog and read it after seeing the headline - Lick My Ribs!

    All those BBQ's going at one time would sure make a guy hungry.

    Glad to hear Kathie's back surgery was a success!

  9. I like my ribs naked (no sauce), so I guess I wouldn't have any trouble passing up the cook-off.

    I'm surprised you didn't try one of the other brands. I see Famous Dave's all over the place.

  10. Glad to hear your daughter is doing well after her surgery. Not much into ribs, but we do have a Famous Dave's not far from where we live ... now I have a hankering for some of their BBQ.

  11. Thanks for the comment on bunion surgery..screw in my foot...I need the ones in my head tightened, I know I've got one loose...Hey, at least you could walk without pain...that DID make me feel better.

  12. Glad all is well with Kathys surgery... Sounds like she is recovering fast. What fun the ribfest sounded. We would have loved it!!!
    Have fun

  13. So glad to hear that Katie is doing so well. They just can work miracles these days.
    As many times as we have been out west, we have not visited an In-N-Out Burger. Our friends love the place. We will hit that one this winter.
    We love these types of gatherings. So many nice people and the food is usually excellent. You took some great pictures. I love the picture at the top of the blog. Great work!

  14. Been so many years since I had a rib with sauce on it I haven't a clue anymore what something like that would even taste like. That back surgery can be a tricky bit of business. Glad things worked out........

  15. Oh yum, yum...TOTALLY my kind of place!!
    Happy to hear the surgery went well for Kathy.


Here's your chance to tell us what you think!