I think the preceding set of photographs from the second annual QBQ BBQ (quality before quantity BBQ) says it all: we came, we ate, we drank overpriced mixed drinks and then free beer, we met Gothamist, and then we left. [A few more photographs here.] What I don't think the photographs fully convey, however, is how spring break-like the whole thing was. Probably Awkward, individually or collectively, was never a part of the Cancun or Daytona Beach-going college crowd; I can't speak for MD, but every March, I spent my collegiate spring break catching up on reading and/or learning how to drink whiskey like a man. I was at least 1,000 miles away from any sort of bikini-clad-ness and the frosted highlights of entitlement.
And then there we were, at the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, surrounded by shirtless, cargo shorts-wearing boys and their scantily-clad female counterparts. And everyone was playing beach volleyball. On a strip of sand adjacent to, but not actually touching, the water. Despite the fact that they were all probably out of college (and, we surmised, all currently junior i-bankers), the non QBQ BBQ beachgoers all looked like they were reliving their happiest moments from Cancun 2004.
The burger event itself got off to a slow start, but despite the kinks everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. The burger line was long but surprisingly orderly, and a laid-back spirit of shared red-meat-love camaraderie got folks to share tables, hold each other's places in line, and oooh and aaah every time a new burger creation was unveiled. Of the three burgers voted into the event: pimento, butter, and onion, I have to admit that I was freakishly surprised by how good the pimento was, how terrible the butter turned out to be, and how inoffensive the onion was (I normally can't stand onions -- I know, I know). Despite the foodie squeals of delight as we watched the guy behind the counter use an ice cream scooper to get dollops of butter from a vat of Plugra, the butter burger was just waaaay too much. [update: We were the first in line for the onion burgers, which again, were tasty but not as spectacular as advertised. After seeing Jason Perlow's pics of the QBQ, it occurs to me that as the line wore on, the grill guys found their rhythm and got the onions properly smushed into the patties (whereas the onions in our burgers were decidedly more separate from their patties). I think I would've swooned over those burgers. Alas! The perils of being first in line!]
Sadly, for an event taking place at the Water Taxi Beach, MD and I were unable to arrive by the Water Taxi itself, no thanks to a un-updated website which failed to inform us that there was no longer weekend service from the Williamsburg dock. But no matter. We got to experience our first Spring Break of sorts, while surviving food coma and witnessing the sunset from an entirely new, slightly surreal location. I slept quite soundly, I have to say. (And yup, that's a plastic, xmas-lighted palm tree in the foreground. Welcome to Queens!)