Meaty Goodness at Big Boy BBQ

Let’s set the scene – it was a drizzly, wintry, Monday night in Melbourne, and it just happened to be our anniversary. Rather than resort to the Monday opening bible I put together earlier this year, her indoors says she has it all sorted. Brilliant. Probably somewhere nice where I might have to don a shirt and try to posh myself up. So when I was told to wear loose, comfy clothing and grab a bottle of wine on my way out the door I wasn’t sure what was in store.

On the scooter we hopped and to Caulfield he headed, that is until I got a whack on the helmet to tell me to stop outside Big Boy BBQ. I had heard of the US diner-style, ‘slow food done fast’ joint a few times before, but I was never in a place to jot the name down for later. That’s why my other half comes in handy sometimes.

We have noticed over the last few weeks that a couple of stateside eateries have been vying to give the Mexican places a run for their money as the eateries of choice in Melbourne. Already Chapel Street has a new burger joint – Jus Burgers (from Perth) – and then there is Burger Joint on Toorak Road, plus a couple around Fitzroy about to roll out (in addition to Huxtaburger). And then there are the hot dog shops – Massive Weiners on Gertrude Street and Phat Brats on Brunswick Street. But hear this – BBQ might just trounce them all.

NOTE – At the moment, Burger Mary and Red River BBQ are holding their pop-up dinners at The Workers Club in Fitzroy every Wednesday, and they are proving so popular you have to get in quick before they sell out. I will be heading down soon to see what they’re doing.

It’s hard to talk about Big Boy BBQ without playing it down unfairly. Yes, you order at the counter and food comes out on trays. Yes there are huge rolls of paper towel on the table for sticky paws and faces, yes you get bottomless soft drinks and can sit in banquettes under a surf board or cartoony posters. But this is better than fast food and canteen-style eating.

Speaking to the team, they understand that there is a common misconception that people equate barbecuing with grilling. The distinction between them is the heat level and intensity of the heat, and while some blog posts have pointed fingers at the lack of overpowering hickory smokiness, the ribs and marinades are too finger lickin’ good to worry about details.

Take a look at the menu. I believe this place trumps Misty’s Diner as it is focused on one specific style of food and portion size isn’t just big for the sake of it. Asking what was their signature dish – we were told not to go past the Kansas City-style spice-rubbed pork ribs. So we didn’t.

The ribs were smoked at a low temperature for 16 hours. The wood for smoking has been specially selected and you can taste it inbetween the spices that jump from the meat. Pictured is only the ½ rack of ribs so if you want space to try the rest of the menu understand that this may be all the ribs you need.

Asking what sandwhich we should opt for – we were pointed in the direction of the Famous Oklahoma Joes “Z-man” Our Way, which consisted of juicy beef brisket, smoked scamorza cheese, fried onion strings and BBQ sauce. Served in a light and fluffy sesame seed bun. We also ordered a side of smoked chilli beef with brisket burnt ends and beans – rich, spicy and smoky. It ended up defeating us.

And now the wine form home comes into the picture. How does $1 corkage sound to you? Yeah, I know. And they give you decent glasses to slurp from.

I am keen to take my Texan friends back to see how they feel about the whole place – but it was explained that this isn’t Texas BBQ, so don’t go expecting exactly the same thing. And if you are on the fence consider the wise words of that mad bastard Anthony Bourdain – “Barbecue is the antithesis of fast food”. You might be tempted to don your stretchy sweat plans, but actually this place is worth getting a bit ‘poshed up’ for.

Oh, and they close at 8-8:30pm – get there early.

Big Boy BBQ
764 Glenhuntly Road
Caufield South 3162
Ph. (03) 9523 7410
www.bigboybbq.com.au

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Big Boy BBQ on Urbanspoon

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8 thoughts on “Meaty Goodness at Big Boy BBQ

  1. mmmmmmmm….J has been muttering about a place in Caulfield that does ribs, but he can never remember the name of it. I will be sending him this post!

  2. This sounds interesting – if you want some more authentic/less fast food chain looking American food check out the new menu at The Collection in Richmond – Louisiana soul food – doesn’t dissapoint, and with a side of Mac’n’cheese how could it..

  3. I live just up the road from it, have been limiting my visits as I would go too often. Managed to get to nights worth of dinner out of it by ordering one of the meat platters and taking home the extra (I thought I would be hungry enough after the Community Cup.)

    Also had a “stop telling people about this place, there will be none left for us” from someone I told about it.

    • Love it. I live just up from it as well and also need to limit my visits as I know I will over order – but didn’t realise there was an option to take it away with me if I can’t finish it… than may prove my downfall.

      Is there anywhere else that you rate that does good BBQ?

  4. There are also a number of additions that can go into a grilled cheese sandwich, like ham, tomato, herbs and spices, or sauces like ketchup or mustard. Some of these will go between the slices of bread before the grilling takes place, and some are sprinkled on the top or used as a dip. Many Canadians enjoy dipping their sandwiches in ketchup or applesauce, while people in the United States tend to prefer their sandwiches with tomato soup or French fries on the side.`

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