Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Big Boy BBQ, Caulfield South by Big Fil

I know that Americans take their BBQ seriously. We Aussies may go on about how nothing can beat a snag on the barbie, cooked one handed by the chief (balanced by a beer in the other hand), slung between two slices of white bread and drowned in tomato sauce. We do sometimes confuse quantity with quality though, with the special treat being the recipient of the largest piece of steak not the most tender.

Americans (as well as Argentinean and other Latin Americans) seem to take a different approach. Instead of a few cuts of meat slapped on the grill and removed when appropriately blackened, the emphasis is on slow cooked, high quality marinated meat. The result is incredibly tender, juicy smoked meats. Or so I am lead to be believe, never having tasted authentic BBQ from these parts of the world.

Unsurprisingly then I was excited when I heard that an American BBQ - Big Boy BBQ - was opening just down the road. Ms Counting her Calories is a fan of most things American and together we headed on down to give it a go.

Unfortunately with just the two of us we weren't able to give the menu a real working out. Despite this I think we both enjoyed our visit here. I can't say that it's the best, most tender meat I've ever eaten but it was pretty good.

The smoked bbq meat platters looked the way to go if in a group but we headed for the sandwiches. The Dorothy is listed as a Kansas style beef brisket with pickles and coleslaw, the Carolina a moderately spicy pulled pork fillet with coleslaw and bbq sauce. My preference was for the Dorothy, possibly reflecting that slow cooked beef brisket is one of my favourite things in the world. Tender and flavoursome but with great texture, I just love it. This version was good and the filling generous. I would have preferred a little more meat and less coleslaw though, after all for me it's the meat I want to consume and the coleslaw is just the accompaniment. This might have also helped the smoky flavour we were expecting of the meat to come through more strongly.

Ms Counting her Calories preferred the pulled pork, largely I suspect because of her preference for spicy dishes. Again nicely tender and flavoursome meat, in a generously filled bun.

These are a variety of side orders you can order, including onion strings and smoked beef chilli with brisket burnt ends and beans. The beef chilli was good, slightly spicy in flavour but it didn't feel quite right just eating it with a spoon or fork. We both felt that a few corn chips or some corn bread to eat with it would have gone down a treat. The Onion Strings with crispy but I thought without much flavour until smothered with the bbq sauce available amongst the table condiments.

Desserts are a little limited, no pecan pies or Louisiana mud cakes but the peanut butter cream pie with chocolate ganache was good, and really did have a peanut butter texture (rather than just the flavour as I was expecting).

Not somewhere that blew me away so that I have to return immediately but certainly good enough to interest me in a return visit with a larger group, it felt like somewhere that had made a good start but still had a few things to work on. The concept is good and I like the booths towards the back more than the seating at the front of the restaurant, I couldn't imagine sitting there for long and I want to savour my meat.

The two things which need the most work to me though are the service and price. Picking on the price may be a little unfair because I know the price of meat has gone up a lot in recent years but it did feel that walking out satiated would be an expensive proposition. It's also not entirely clear whether it's meant to be a cheap, get a great sandwich type place or a sit down meaty-meal venue. The pricing for the sandwiches seems to sit somewhere in between. And while staff were certainly friendly and trying hard, and the food came out quickly after ordering, it didn't feel well organised with the same staff member trying to take counter and phone orders.

But, as I think someone else has pointed out, great concept for a franchise.

Food - 7.5
Service - 6
Ambience - 7
Price - 6

764 Glenhuntly Road
Caulfiedl South VIC 3162
Tel: (03) 9523 7410

Big Boy BBQ on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

did they have deep fried buttermilk chicken?

Anonymous said...

Not that I noticed.


Anonymous said...

Just had our first Burger and it will be our last !!!!!!!! pre cooked meat and very soggy for 12.90 I expected better. Will be going back to local fish and chip shop thanks

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