You would think that a restaurant “concept” with neon-drenched wood paneling, pictures of barns and beer lining the walls and waitresses with cowboy hats and cut-off jeans shorts wouldn’t have food that would give some of the most prestigious restaurants a run for their money, but you’d be wrong. For Big Daddy’s Brew & Que, located in Bayshore Town Center, is the ultimate indulgence in barbeque.
Plenty of dishes of every size and description line the menu, but you should just skip all of that and go for the smoked meat dishes. In addition to the meat, you get two sides and a piece of cornbread. One plate is enough for two people (or one very hungry person), so it’s well worth the price. For my dish, I had a half portion of baby back ribs ($15.95) with cornbread, Brussels sprouts and blue cheese potato salad.
The honey-dipped cornbread is a real delight. Unlike your usual crumbly brand to corn bread, this one is much moister. And it has just the right amount of sweetness. While it’s more of a corn “cake” than a corn bread, it’s still legit.
Of course, the main attraction is the baby back ribs, and they’re wonderful as well. The meat is nice and tender while still retaining a bit of strength as they don’t readily fall off the bone. And a thin brush of BBQ sauce accentuates the flavor of the pork without masking it. You don’t even need any of the separate sauces. Though if you do go for one, I suggest the KC Spicy sauce as the sweet, spicy and tomato-ey flavor works well with the dish.
While you may have knocked them as a kid, you should still give the Brussels sprouts a chance. They’re chewy on the inside while crispy on the outside without a hint of bitterness. And like most of the vegetable options on the menu, there’s a fine layer of crispy bacon bits and cheese.
Another option for sides is the blue cheese potato salad. How can one go wrong with huge chunks of red potatoes smothered in blue cheese dressing? While some of the potatoes were a bit grainy, it’s still a solid choice.
And to top it all off, I got Aunt Barb’s Banana Pudding ($3.95). If a cup of banana pudding and Nilla® wafers topped with a heap of blended meringue isn’t the very definition of indulgence, then I don’t know what is. The meringue takes on the appearance, consistency and taste of toasted marshmallow, which pairs nicely with the fresh banana taste of the pudding. It can get a bit heavy, though, so consider pairing it with coffee as a sort of palate cleanser.
The only thing I could criticize about the banana pudding, at least for this particular serving, is that I didn’t detect the hint of tang that I found when I first had the dish. When I was at a media event for the restaurant during my internship at Urban Milwaukee, executive chef Thomas Sorrells explained that he added the extract of yuzu, a fruit native to East Asia, into the dish to create the tang. If he omitted the ingredient, then that would be a darn shame as the tang if created contrasted nicely with the sweet meringue and bananas and kept the dish from getting too heavy.
Regardless, I still highly recommend Big Daddy’s Brew and Que. It’s tacky and it may not necessarily be good for you as evidenced by the heaviness one feels after the meal, but it’s definitely good for your soul.
Rating: four and a half stars out of five.