Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010: Big Boy's Bar-B-Que (Sweetwater, TX)
It was lunch time as we hit Sweetwater, and I was planning on stopping, but I didn't know where until I saw a billboard for Big Boy's Bar-B-Que. About 5 minutes later, Amber and I were ordering. The small dining room was packed with what appeared to be regulars. The Southwesternish decor wasn't like any I've seen at any other Texas BBQ joint, but it was comfortable, relaxing.
I didn't have the bacon-wrapped jalapeno with cream cheese, but Amber was a fan. The chopped beef, along with pickles and sauce, made a good sandwich, though I'm not a fan of the sweet-sourdough bun, which is not made in house but rather in a bakery in Houston. Just too thick and heavy for my taste. But I'm obviously in the minority here, b/c I think the buns are quite popular. The owner and his wife each have their preferred ribs: His Ribs and Her Ribs. I favored Her Ribs, which had a sweet-and-tangy glaze, while Amber liked His Ribs, boneless, country-style pork ribs. I read some reviews on another site complaining about the prices, but I have no recollection of the menu's prices, so I can't weigh in.
Even though the food was good, what stood out to me about our visit was the hospitality that the owner, Gaylan Marth, showed. Smack dab in the middle of a Friday lunch rush, he took time out to visit with us at our table and take me out back to the pit area, where we spent a good 10 minutes chatting about his cooking method and the history of the restaurant. The great service stands out even more, when juxtaposed against the service we experienced at another BBQ joint that weekend - service so terrible that we left before we finished ordering.
As we pulled out of the parking lot around 1 p.m., I noticed a chartered bus emptying kids, who were crossing the street and heading for Big Boy's. I don't know whether their stop was planned or whether they were, like I, lured in by a billboard, but Big Boy's is worth the stop, if you're in the Sweetwater area.