Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian offers all that a good barbeque place should and more. The atmosphere is comfortable, the smell of smoke when you enter tells you that it’s real barbeque and the beer choices allow you to match up the preferred drink of many with their favorite ‘que. The décor reminds you of a Texas roadhouse. Most importantly, though, the barbeque is good, really good.
One of the things about barbeque is that there are certain dishes that are standards and found on just about all barbeque menus. Pulled pork, brisket, pork ribs and chicken are the standards to be judged, whether it’s a restaurant or a KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) barbeque competition. At Big Daddy’s BBQ, they stick to the basics and do them really well. The exceptions to the basic four are their smoked burgers, their brisket chili and, on Friday and Saturday nights, their smoked Prime Rib.
One of my favorites is pork ribs. Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian sells them in rib plates, either a full rack, ½ or quarter rack with 2 sides. Extra meats can be added to create a combo plate. The half rack was really nice, with a beautiful pink smoke ring telling you that they’ve been smoked just right. So far, the looks to the rack of ribs was spot on. Cutting a rib off the rack, I admired how the rib looked. The ribs are just dry rubbed and then lightly sauced. I bit into the rib and thought, “What Would Myron Mixon Say?”. The answer was easy—he’d heartily approve. The rib had just enough tenderness to have a little bite, pulling away from the bone easily. These are not ‘fall of the bone’ ribs, a negative to any true rib fan. Instead, they are like biting into a piece of filet mignon—- just enough chew that you know it’s great meat. They were very flavorful and needed nothing.
Another visit to Big Daddy’s BBQ called for a combo plate. Ordering one with brisket, pulled pork and hot link sausage gave a nice chance to see tasty their other meats are. The brisket was just wonderful, with the fat having melted away to yield a tender, flavorful piece of beef. Having eaten brisket in several great places in Texas, it seemed like Big Daddy’s was right up there with the best. The pulled pork was very good too, with a nice amount of chewy, flavorful bark on the meat. The pulled pork was also a good chance to try some of their BBQ sauces, with the Carolina sauce over the Original and Spicy my favorite for the tender pork.
There are a good selection of sandwiches at Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian. A Brisket Melt, Spicy Mama (hotlink on a hoagie roll), the Carolina (pulled pork and coleslaw on a toasted bun) and the Notorious P.I.G. (1/4 lb. jalapeño cheddar link with thick cut bacon topped with pulled pork, cheese sauce and a sweet BBQ sauce on a toasted hoagie roll) are just some of the choices. A good choice is the 50/50, simple and delicious. It’s chopped brisket and pulled pork on a bun. Top it off with your choice of sauce and you’ve got a tasty, filling sandwich.
All the meals and sandwiches and burgers come with one or two sides. There is a nice side menu, including baked beans, mac and cheese with bacon, cole slaw and garlic smashed potatoes. Two sides really stood out, the green beans and the Brisket Chili. The Smoked Green Beans with Onion and Bacon really brought the level of tastiness up for the humble green bean. It really makes a nice side dish and is something you should try. The Brisket Chili is superb, a nice chili filled with delicious pieces of the smoked brisket. Get the bowl—-you’ll be wiping it clean.
Burgers at Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian are different, a half pound patty with a blend of pork and beef smoked to well done. There are several choices, including the Plain Jane, the Hoss Burger (Double patties, double cheese, double bacon and lettuce, grilled onion, pickle, tomato and our house sauce on a toasted potato bread bun), a Chili Cheese Burger and a Mushroom-Swiss Burger. While the well-done patty may not appeal to some, the smoking process keeps it juicy and with the unmistakable smoke aroma and flavor. There is also a nice House Salad, available with your choice of meats as a topping.
Pie and a Cast Iron Cookie are available for dessert. A good choice is Big Momma’s Bread Pudding, a dish big enough for two. The warm bread pudding is topped with a Bourbon Caramel Sauce yielding a simple, filling and rich dessert. This is another item that you’ll be tempted to lick the dish clean.
Beer choices are nice and they do sample the beers so you can try a new craft beer to see if you like it first. They have a nice blackboard menu of the beers, many of which are rotated through, giving a choice to try new local beers and see what you like.
The bottom line is this—Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian is the real barbeque deal. Service is good and the wait staff prompt and smiling. They attempt to use many Idaho products in the restaurant such as the French Fries. Most items are made fresh in-house and they use their own rubs and sauces. Big Daddy’s has stuck with a simple menu since 2012 and they do it well, producing some of the best BBQ in the Treasure Valley.
Big Daddy’s BBQ
1551 W Cherry Ln, #102
Meridian, ID 83642
Photo gallery follows. All photos by Ed Simon for The Boise Beat.