I guess I'll refer to my husband as RA (or ramen aficionado). It's not that RA doesn't have good taste or the ability to cook. He even manages to watch shows like Chopped and Top Chef with at least a little of the vim and vigor usually reserved for Steeler games. RA just isn't a foodie. Yet.
I think my foodie obsession probably correlates directly to our financial inability to take a vacation (even a honeymoon) over our first year of marriage. I'm a big fan of Anthony Bourdain's show "No Reservations" and a common theme of the show is that the best way to learn about a new culture is through their food. While I may not be able to afford to go to the same places as Bourdain, I can afford to expand my food horizons.
Case in point: RA had a friend visiting from Boston a couple of weeks ago who, like me, had never been to Heinz Field. After a brief google investigation, we found out that the friends trip coincided with the Heinz Field Rib Fest which... drum roll please... had FREE admission!
Parking at Heinz Field was decidedly less free. Any lot within a mile of the field was charging upwards of $40 dollars because it was game day. Ever the resourceful bunch, we got quarters from a convenience store and found street parking by CCAC's campus. $3 for 3 hours. And exercise! Who needs a gym membership?
Once on the grounds, we were inundated by the smells of different smoked meats from vendors hailing from Texas to Ohio. It was hard to set a budget on how much meat we would eat because it all looked so good. We devised a strategy of buying tasters- $7 baskets with three to four ribs- from as many vendors as we could so we got the best focus group. Here's our leader board:
Best ribs (smokey and fall off the bone):
Best sauce (tangy with a little bite to it):
Best sides (collard greens and cornbread, yum!):
Horizons and stomachs sufficiently expanded having sampled so much good food, we headed back to our discount parking spot, which had seemed much closer before.