I spent Labor Day weekend with my family in Lake Tahoe, and I decided to hit up the Nugget BBQ Rib Cook-off on Saturday. It was a bit of a drive getting out to Reno, and the traffic leading up to Nugget Casino/Resort (the host of this event) was insane. If you guys go next year, I recommend going there at least 1-2 hours before the booths open at 11am. We got there at 11:15 and ended up having to park more than a mile away. This was AFTER we drove around the casino resort for 45 min. looking for parking closer to the event. The BBQ aromas drifting in from outside during our whole parking ordeal didn’t make things any better.
I’ve never been to an event like this, so it was a pretty cool first-time experience for me. The crowds can get a little overwhelming, but just know that there is a delicious serving of BBQ meat waiting for you at the end of each line. The individual booths here cook everything on the spot, and it’s pretty cool watching how they make everything. Here are some of the booths we went to:
The booths are massive! And flashy, with multiple banners displaying their accomplishments over the years. With so many choices, I recommend walking around all the booths first before you decide where to spend your money. Most of these places are also cash only, so make sure to bring enough as the food here is kind of overpriced. The only thing I didn’t like out of everything that I tried was the alligator on a stick (from the booth in the first picture)–which was ironically what I was most excited to try. It was such a small amount of meat and it was ridiculously salty. Not impressed, at all. Everything else I tried here was delicious! The pulled-pork sandwich was my absolute favorite.
I still have dreams about that pulled-pork sandwich. The ice cream was surprisingly good too. The machine they used swirled in a second flavor of your choice into regular vanilla ice cream. It made it less sweet (a good thing, I think), and more balanced in flavor as well. I really enjoyed it.
SO. Will I be back? Can’t say for sure, but I’m glad I experienced it at least once. The only thing I regretted was not coming here early enough. If you can, I recommend coming here on the weekdays leading up to Labor Day weekend. I’m pretty sure it’s less crowded, and you might even be able to catch the rib eating competition (took place on Wednesday this year). But it’s a great place to go with friends and family, regardless of what day you visit.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂