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There’s something about charcoal and fire. Add a pile of wood chips to that concoction and you have magic on your hands. Now envision that smell magnified times thirty. Welcome to my sensory overload as I walked onto Pennsylvania Avenue for Safeway’s National Capital Barbecue Battle. From brats to turkey legs, from ribs to burgers, every protein imaginable sizzled on a grill.

Speaking of burgers, our gracious host McCormick Grill Mates had one of the largest turnouts during the two-day festival. The line wrapped around the tent where mini burgers seasoned with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning were handed out to a hungry crowd along with packets of the Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade and recipe cards.

Consisting of a set of grilling tools, seasonings, wood chips and more, McCormick Grill Mates knew exactly what was needed for a ‘Grill Master.’ All one had to do was snap their picture with adorable barbecue props ranging from crowns and aprons, to a huge bottle of McCormick Grill Mates seasoning affectionately called “The Toddler,” (yes, it was that big.) Participants became creative in their poses, use of props, and faces. Their ages ranged from a real toddler to let’s just say those young at heart.

After watching picture after picture of hilariousness occurring, I decided to check out the other action going on around the festival. There were many great samples, long lines, and of course pit masters. Trying as much as I could, I left with a sense of satisfaction and amazement. Safeway’s BBQ Battle is definitely the real deal. Now where is that recipe card so I can make some of those delicious burgers this weekend

Win a McCormick Grill Mates Gift Basket!

And we’ve got great news for all you BBQ fans! McCormick Grill Mates has given us a Gift Basket to give away,consisting of the new 2014 Grill Mates Steakhouse Burger mix-ins, seasonings and marinades, and Lawry’s marinades! Head on over to twitter and tweet to @girlmeetsfood with hashtag #grillmatesgift to enter to win. We will pull a winner at random next week!

Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning is the secret ingredient for grillers looking to get great-tasting food on the grates. The versatile blend of coarsely ground peppers, garlic and spices adds unique flavor to steaks, burgers and more for an unbeatable grilling experience.

Grill Mates It's What's For Dinner

*Sponsored by McCormick Grill Mates