30 restaurants to participate from July 19 to 25

While the Jazz & Rib Fest isn’t taking place this year, ribs and other mouthwatering delicacies are still on the menu next week.

the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, which sponsors the Jazz & Ribs Fest, has hosted a barbecue week, which runs Monday through Sunday, with at least 30 participating restaurants and food trucks in central Ohio.

“Our department was trying to find a way to support local restaurants during the pandemic while keeping the spirit of Jazz Fest alive,” said Stephanie Garling, departmental communications and marketing manager. “Columbus loves barbecue. In fact, we rank sixth in the country for delicious barbecue options, which is fantastic. “

The Jazz Fest website (www.hotribscooljazz.org) facilitates the organization of a week full of barbecue tastings. The site includes a map of all locations and a restaurant grid, including information such as neighborhood, type of restaurant, whether gluten-free or nut-free options are available, price range, and ownership. By clicking on a restaurant, you discover the menu offers for the barbecue week.

Regular participants of the Jazz & Rib Fest will find many new options here. Many restaurants and food trucks haven’t been to Fest – which didn’t take place last year due to the pandemic – before, often because they just opened in the past two years.

Beef brisket is part of JD's Kitchen's offerings

JD’s kitchen, for example, has just celebrated its second anniversary.

The quick-service soul food restaurant is owned by Emma Demus and Kanica James, who have been friends for over 20 years.

“Sometimes we have a barbecue as a weekly special, and people love it, and they ask for it all the time. So when we heard about BBQ week we thought, let’s go, ”James said.

They go there in a big way.

“We’ll have whole back ribs, prime rib, St. Louis ribs, lamb ribs, half a chicken, beef brisket and pulled pork. We have the whole family on deck, as well as our employees. My uncle, Milton James of Chicago, has been participating in barbecue contests for over 30 years, and he will be here cooking a barbecue you’ll remember, ”James said.

Akil Steele, owner of the Texas Steele BBQ food truck, which started operating last year, is also new to the scene.

Texas steeleBarbecue week’s offerings range from a white oak smoked brisket sandwich to a family meal for four with smoked meat or ribs, gravy, bread and two sides.

“I’m from Texas, Fort Worth, so what we bring to the table is different. It’s amazing that a single piece of meat can be turned into so many different variations, just because of where you live, ”Steele said.

Good & Tasty Barbecue food truck

The other part of the country is represented by Lugene Simmons, owner of the Good and tasty barbecue food truck and catering service, based in Canal Winchester, which started operating in 2017.

“I’m from Georgia, so I brought a little bit of that here in Columbus,” he said.

Among other things, he will be offering BBQ turkey rib dinners with his own sauce and green beans from his mother’s recipe.

What sets Georgia barbecue apart?

“We cook with different spices. It’s a little tastier, I’ll put it that way, ”he said.

While meat can take center stage, vegetarians and vegans will also find plenty of options. I can’t believe it’s vegan downtown, Columbus will offer vegan ribs with spicy fries and curried coleslaw; and vegan deli meats The kingdom of Seitan in Clintonville will have their notorious “barbecue sandwich” and a pulled “porq” meal on the menu.

“We hope it will be a warm-up for 2022,” Garling said. “We hope to host an entire week’s barbecue in Columbus next year, extending the delicious barbecue experience and culminating with the Jazz & Rib Fest on the weekend.”

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For more information visit www.hotribscooljazz.org.

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