*Edit* – Big Daddy’s is now located on Meridian Road in Kuna.
If there’s one thing that’s painfully obvious throughout this blog, it’s that I’m obsessed with pork. I just know that Lipitor is in my future. I’m not a big fan of your basic porkchops, but bacon, paper thin shaved ham, sausage, carnitas tacos, bacon, Chinese barbecued pork, shumai and all the other wonderful Asian dumplings, pork fried rice, bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, bacon…I think I may have mentioned bacon more than once. Where was I? Oh yeah…
One of the things that brings me to an intense and immediate feeling of bliss is barbecue, specifically smoked pulled pork topped with a splash of barbecue sauce done really well. When I find out about a new barbecue joint, I simply have to try it. Hell, I even got the burger that’s topped with pulled pork at Famous Dave’s! And that’s why when I first spotted Big Daddy’s Barbecue, a little stand sitting next to the Cabela’s on Franklin Road in Boise, I almost stopped immediately. Even though I was on my way to someplace else for lunch! From that moment forward, I was unable to get it out of my mind, and the few days between then and my being able to return was very annoying to me. Finally though, I made it back. But was it worth all the self-induced hype?
One of the things that really sucks about being a barbecue fan is that I work near the Boise Towne Square. Before Big Daddy’s came along, the nearest place to get a fix was Goodwood off Overland Road near Edwards Cinemas. Now Goodwood is, well, pretty damn good actually, but they’re a bit far for me to make it there and back on a 30 minute lunch break. Now suddenly here was a place right up the street that would also feed my love of street food and probably cost me a bit less when all was said and done. Big Daddy’s is only open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM, and I went on Friday knowing that it’s their “rib day”. I never go anywhere and just order ribs, but that day I was determined to do just that.
Then, two things distracted me. The window on the shack opened, and I found myself face to face with “Big Daddy”. Ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you: that is not just a cute nickname. This guy was BIG. The kind of big that in slightly different clothing in a sketchy part of town after dark could have you running away screaming like a little girl with a skinned knee. Luckily, in one of those perfect twists of fate, he’s as friendly as you could want a guy in a shack surrounded by meat to be. And that brings me to the second distraction. Despite all of the other things on the menu, I knew it…knew it…that the smell smacking me across the face was pulled pork. And I had to have it. In a few seconds, I had gone from a self-assured man with an order on the tip of his tongue to a head-scratching bozo staring at the menu with empty eyes. In the end, I got a two meat plate with pulled pork and ribs for only a buck above normal price. When asked what side I wanted, I said fries because I really didn’t care and they were the first thing on the list of side dishes.
I had time to back up and take a picture or two of the shack, but in what seemed like a ridiculously short period of time the man in the shack was handing out a to-go container that was so heavy that I was taken by surprise. I thanked him, tipped him, assured him I would return if this stuff was anywhere near as good as it smelled and headed to my car to eat. I had gotten off work early and could have gone home, but I simply didn’t want to wait that long.
|Two meat plate with ribs and pulled pork|
Where do I start here? Let’s get the fries out of the way. They were golden, crispy, fluffy on the inside and they tasted great in the barbecue sauce. Moving on…
|Pulled pork, the candy of the gods…|
What you see above is the reason I will be returning to Big Daddy’s, often, and why I was cursing the fact that today was Tuesday all day long. I assume you’re a fellow pork fan if you’re reading this. How do you like it? Crispy? Chewy? Fatty but tender? Lean and juicy? All were represented here, and crowned with a lovely dark barbecue sauce that was neither too sweet nor spicy and could not tame the amazing flavor of the meat itself. And the portion? I’d say it was a mound roughly the size of a baseball. Maybe a softball. Don’t ask me, I was in love and love blinds you. After I was finished digging under the fries to make sure I had gotten every morsel, I turned my attention to the ribs.
|Stop drooling, it’s bad for your keyboard.|
To be honest, I don’t know how many bones I was given. I hadn’t been that hungry when I got there, and I was pretty close to the wall after that mountain of pulled pork. Still, I put a dent in one of the ribs before dropping the rest off at my Mom’s because I had to share my joy with someone. I’ve never understood how someone who knows what they’re doing with ribs can blacken them without them tasting burnt, and how that blackened layer can be so incredibly thin and protecting tender, juicy, pink meat inside. I guess it’s not important for me to understand it so long as there’s someone around who can do it. If you dig ribs, check this place out. And don’t be afraid to say hi. I’ll be the guy in front of you ordering the pulled pork sandwich.
Final Grade: A