Great American Food & Music Festival Includes Elgin's Southside Market & BBQ
Southside Market & BBQ was recently invited to participate in the Great American Food & Music Festival held in Mountain View, California on June 13, 2009. The show, organized in part by Live Nation and Ed Levine (seriouseats.com) featured legendary eating establishments from across the country. Ed said that for almost 20 years, he'd had the idea "To bring together all these purveyors of real, authentic, honest American food." The point of the festival for Levine was to expose people to America's most iconic foods in their purest form. True to his vision, Mr. Levine brought together the likes of Katz's Deli (NY), Pink's Hot Dogs (CA), Zingerman's Deli (MI) Graeter's Ice Cream (OH), and our own Southside Market & BBQ from Elgin, TX. Set at the Shoreline Amphitheater, thousands of folks from the San Francisco Bay area came out for a full day of feasting beginning at noon and running until 10pm. In addition to the delicious cuisine, the GAFMF also showcased some famous Food Network faces. Celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Anne Burrell and Aida Mollencamp each performed for the excited patrons. With a nose for quality, Mr. Flay sampled Southside's brisket and Original Elgin Hot Sausage and toured the Southside BBQ rig. "Chef Flay really knows his stuff. He wanted to know exactly how we prepared our BBQ and why we considered it authentic. After we showed him the fire boxes on our pit, the dry rub on the briskets, and the oak wood from Texas, and after he tasted the sausage and brisket, he was a believer!" said Bryan Bracewell (Southside CEO)
Leading up to this event, Southside's team spent weeks preparing to represent Texas in the best and truest light. This meant they had to go big. Hitching up their mobile pit, which spans an impressive 36 feet long, they drove the 1,800 miles from Elgin, TX to Mountain View, CA. Along the way, people gave encouraging honks and waves including Ms. Springer (originally from South Austin) who emailed "I just passed a huge trailer from Southside Market!!! Imagine my surprise! What in the world are y'all doing way out here in California?" In addition to Southside's custom pit, word of Southside Market & BBQ also travelled quickly. Bryan did interviews with multiple radio stations about the long history of Southside (est. 1882), the Bracewell BBQ Dynasty (three generations), and the truth behind authentic Texas BBQ (all beef cooked over real oak wood).
The day of the festival, the smell of Southside Market's smoky brisket and sausage wafted through the throngs of people. As thousands of hungry customers lined up, Southside's "pit crew" worked with efficiency and urgency, always focusing on their mission to supply the highest quality meat and service. According to Southside's Director of Operations Tom Abney "We served about 3,500 people - a typical Saturday for us." The day proved to be an excellent experience. It allowed Southside Market & BBQ to introduce its products to California and also afforded the Bracewell family the opportunity to forge new relationships with others in the industry. Now that the California engagement has concluded, Southside moves on to their next event as they gear up for their first annual 4th of July Jubilee. It will be a night of fireworks and family fun, Texas-style!