The weekend before this past weekend, Poppy and I kissed the kitties goodbye and headed down south for the small intimate gathering known as #NoVaCon2012. On the way down we made a quick stop for a roast beef fix, and proceeded to the Westin Dulles unimpeded.
Just as TequilaCon spawned the pre-event known as BeerHer, NoVaCon has now spawned the pre-event known as CarneCon. In spanish Carne means meat, so it was definitely geared towards carnivores. We left the vegetarians in Norway.
This year’s pre-event was held at the Red Hot & Blue BBQ restaurant. The outside features three little pigs grilling it up while the inside decor celebrated the southern blues with a number of different guitars and posters adorning the walls.
I’ve become a huge fan of real BBQ since my days in Texas. I was eager to try their take on it so I went with what is called the Five Meat Treat. It featured ribs, pulled pork, chicken, sausage, and brisket. I chose to go with the traditional potato salad and mac’n’cheese as my sides. Overall, the meal was extremely tasty. I enjoyed the variety, finding the pulled pork to be one of the better versions I’ve had. The sides were okay… but really… their just sides, so who cares?
The true test of any southern BBQ restaurant, in my humble yankee opinion, is in their dessert options. Red Hot & Blue immediately won my praise for having Banana Pudding on the menu. Now perhaps I’m a bit spoiled or snobbish when it comes to my pudding, but I like it to be nice and firm encrusted by Nilla wafers. While the taste was right, it was a bit too jiggly and they used the “vanilla wafers” as a garnish rather than a crust. These little inconsistencies definitely put a damper on what I would have considered a great meal otherwise, so now it’s just down to good.
Getting together with Personal Bloggers is very different than gathering with the EMS and Social Media types. I often find it hard to explain to the other groups what exactly it is that’s different, but there are definite differences. For one, the “business” at hand isn’t about clinical studies or blog analytics. Sure, sometimes stuff like that will come up, but rarely does it dominate as it does in other circles. The “business”, as narcissistic as it may sound, is about us… or perhaps more importantly sharing with others what’s going on in our lives. Another big difference is that Personal Bloggers really just want to have fun and gathering together allows us to have it with those whom we share everything else.