Perhaps I’m just going blind in my old age, but I probably drove past Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que Express dozens of times without seeing it — and at least twice when I was specifically looking for it.
That’s because Big Boy’s, 7018 W. Britton Road, is behind a 7-Eleven and around the corner from a perpetually under-construction intersection.
I’m happy to tell you that Big Boy’s has the kind of cuisine that can help anybody put on some weight.
That’s right! If the thought of returning the clothes your grandma bought for you for Christmas is too much, consider plumping yourself up by eating mountains of barbecue.
Big Boy’s serves up all your favorites.
RIBS! ($18.50 a slab) These come loaded with meat and a nice smoke ring that extends the flavor down to the bone. Like most good ribs, these do not require sauce to eat. They are pretty fatty, but that’s what makes ribs good. You will need several napkins.
PULLED PORK! ($12.75 per pound/$6.50 per half pound) In my experience, most restaurants fail at pulled pork because they forget that it needs a) to taste like something and b) to be pulled. Big Boy’s pulled pork was tender, without any overly large, chewy chunks. Pork is one of the more subtle flavors of cooked meat, so be careful with the sauce.
BRISKET! ($12.75 per pound/
$6.50 per half pound) I wasn’t quite as excited by this, so I wouldn’t count on the brisket to pack on the pounds. It’s really a showcase for sauce, in my opinion.
SMOKED TURKEY! ($12.75 per pound/$6.50 per half pound) Can you expand your waistline by eating smoked turkey? My entire childhood proves you can. I was quite impressed with Big Boy’s version. Finding the right balance between moist and wet is not always easy, and most restaurants err on the side of bone-dry. This was well-seasoned and tender.
HOT LINK! ($1.75) It’s hot! It’s a link! It’s delicious because it’s full of fat! This is sliced up to help some of that drain away (and to get that sweet browned-fat flavor deeper into each bite), so enjoy.
If you’re the type who likes to try all of these things at once — as I am — then get the three-meat combo plate ($11.75 with two sides) and mix-and-match. There are also two-meat combos ($10.75) and one-meat combos ($9.75).
There’s also a sandwich option ($4.50 with your choice of meat), which is a buttery grilled bun with some hot barbecue wedged in between.
On the side ($1.99 regular/$3.99 large/$25 for a 9×11-inch pan), the baked beans were fine, but the potato salad was a real treat. Tender potatoes, a little crunch from the pickles and not too much mayonnaise.
Just because something is hard to find doesn’t mean it’s great. But Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que Express is worth seeking out.
Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que Express
7018 W. Britton Road
What works: Pulled pork and smoked turkey are delicate and flavorful.
What needs work: It quickly sells out of some favorites.
Tip: Call ahead to cut down on a lengthy wait.
Print headline: Heavy; Big Boy’s offers tasty meats and the best potato salad around. Indulge yourself.