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We were in Boston for the 2007 Rib War competition at Jake and Earl's Dixie Roadhouse barbecue restaurant in Waltham, MA. The rib war has been an annual event for several years at Jake and Earl's. It started as a competition among barbecue restaurants in the Boston area, but has now been expanded to include some of the local competition barbecue cooks as well. This year, eight teams squared off, including a couple of the best competition teams in the area, I Smell Smoke!!! and Uncle Jed's BBQ Team. There were a lot of good ribs cooked but there can only be one winner.
In the past, the winner has been decided by votes from the diners in the restaurant who vote for the ribs they think are best.. The restaurant is open exclusively for this event and reservations are required. Needless to say, the reservations were snatched up well in advance of the event by Boston area rib fanatics. This year there were two trophies awarded, one based on the votes of the diners and the other based on the votes of a panel of celebrity judges.
After the votes were counted, and before announcing the winner, it was made known that two teams had captured 80% of the votes. In first place was I Smell Smoke!!! and in second was Uncle Jed's BBQ Team. The competition guys smoked the restaurants. I managed to get a taste of most of the ribs and they were all good, but the winners obviously had the edge. What I don't understand is how much happier the second place winners are than the first place winners.