Big B’s Texas BBQ
Powerade Zero Cherry
Meat Plate – Beef Ribs, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Tri-Tip, Lean Brisket, Fatty Brisket
Loaded BBQ Sandwich – Smoked Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork, Spicy Sausage, Texas Slaw, Carolina Sauce, Texas BBQ Sauce
Sides Plate – Creamed Corn, BBQ Baked Beans, Macaroni and Cheese, Coleslaw, Cornbread, White Bread, Butter
Fresh-cut French Fries
Warm Pecan Pie
Rapidly approaching its second anniversary after a hectic 2017 that included damages sustained while catering The Route 91 Harvest Festival it was once again on Saturday that the twenty-five minute drive was made to Big B’s Texas BBQ down in Henderson, Natalia Badzjo and Brian Buechner’s ode to the Lone Star State’s greatest culinary tradition showing even better than ever over the course of nearly three hours while watching the Eagles and Falcons.
Still a hidden gem on St. Rose Parkway just South of Eastern Avenue, the Medical Center’s shadow cast in the opposite direction with sunlight flooding the hand-built wood and brick décor just prior to 1:30pm, it is from about twenty feet that those approaching Big B’s start to get a whiff of the magic taking place inside, the smell of smoldering Oak brought in quarterly from Texas growing stronger by the footstep and the smell of Paprika, Pepper and Garlic overwhelming the senses just past the cusp of the door.
Decorated in all-things Beer, Barbeque and Texas, the cords of wood driven north by Brian and Natalia piled high amidst license plates and flags representing several of the State’s Division-I colleges, it was with country music silenced and game volume turned up that a party of five perused the overhead menu, a pair of three-Meat plates plus an equal number of sides ordered in addition to a Sandwich, two Beers, Iced Tea and Sodas.
Embracing the Southern tradition of simple Dry-Rubs and no fillers, injections or preservatives, the Meats all sourced from good purveyors and smokers running nearly 24/7 to yield enough product for the Restaurant as well as off-site gigs and delivery, it was perhaps ten minutes after taking a seat that four plastic trays arrived, everyone’s eyes wide and mouths watering.
Difficult to miss Big B himself tending to the smoker, Natalia and a team of at least four others helping take orders, prepare sides and bus tables, it was after quickly snapping photos that each guest prepared his or her own divided plate, the decision to start with the Secret Menu’s Loaded BBQ Sandwich eschewing any thought of not getting messy as bites of Tri-Tip, Pork and Hot Links topped in Slaw plus two Sauces saw several pieces fall to a tray below while hand, arm and chin were all equally subject to the cascade of juiciness.
Slowly enjoying the spread throughout the first half of an entertaining game, the youngster in the group once again taken by Pork Ribs that pull straight from the Bone plus Big B’s Fatty Brisket that is now on-par with all but Texas’ very best even with the Bark trimmed away, it was instead the pulled Pork and sizable Beef Ribs that caught the attention of two first-timers, the char on the latter even more robust than in the past while Meat remains moist and full of deep, smoky flavor.
Sampling sides between bites, the Coleslaw not too sour and well-suited in its role as a palate cleaner while Baked Beans in beefy Barbeque Sauce are perhaps the best ever experienced from Texas to Memphis and the Carolinas, it was as a late arrival that Natalia brought out an off-menu special of smoked Salmon to join the feast, each bite flaky and moist but not “fishy” while adding another option in addition to Tri-Tip, Lean Brisket and Turkey for those who wish to indulge in Barbeque while still adhering New Years’ resolutions or a healthier lifestyle.
Liberally applying Big B’s housemsade Barbeque sauce to Meats as well as the hand-cut and fried-to-order French Fries plus warm Cornbread Muffins, the Creamed Corn and Macaroni both going quickly amongst the others and thus sampled sparingly, it was after letting Food digest while sipping Unsweetened Iced Tea and watching Philadelphia pull away that two Desserts were requested, the gooey Pecan Pie and generous slice of Triple Chocolate Cake made for Big B’s by Great Buns Bakery filling in any remaining stomach space guaranteeing a struggle to stay awake through the following Patriots and Titans matchup.
FIVE STARS: Now with even more time on the smoker and finally seeing a good volume of patrons, both as essential to good, fresh Barbecue as the quality of sourcing and spices, Big B’s offers as comprehensive a list of Meats and Sides as any of Texas’ best while also nailing the execution of each in an environment that feels just as authentic and welcoming in Henderson as it would in Austin, San Antonio or Dallas.
RECOMMENDED: Jumbo Beef Rib, Fatty Brisket, Smoked Salmon, BBQ Baked Beans, French Fries, Creamed Corn, Chocolate Cake.
AVOID: Not Applicable. Macaroni and Cheese was far better on this visit and warming the Pecan Pie works wonders.
TIP: Offering both catering and delivery it is also worthwhile to note that Big B’s offers Football Specials in a family-friendly setting with the game volume turned up loud, including The Super Bowl on February 4th.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.