Say Bar-B-Q and the salivary glands kick into high gear. The term can be both a noun, as in a social event or gathering; it can be the meat; it can even be the cooking device. As a verb, it means to grill; as an adjective it means foods cooked in a specific way.
All that is meaningless because Bar-B-Q, simply put, is just good eating. Big Daddy's All American BBQ is one of those places where the core of the business is just doing what they do best: Bar-B-Q. This Jenks location is not the first for the owner. Looking at Bid Daddy's career, he has had a humble beginning. Operating out of a trailer at 46th Street North and Cincinnati selling turkey legs, Johnny Ball (Big Daddy as he is affectionately called) found his calling with Bar-B-Q. He did this for three years, but as the story goes code enforcement with the city of Tulsa was working on cleaning up north Tulsa and Big Daddy's trailer was ordered to go. Big Daddy fought the city of Tulsa to stay where he was and won.
A second location at 11th and Garnett opened soon after, followed by this location in Jenks, and now another location in Broken Arrow -- all family owned and operated.
Big Daddy is no stranger to Bar-B-Q. Over the years, he has not only served as a Bar-B-Q judge at various contests, but he has also won a number of Bar-B-Q contests. And the menu has expanded here at the Jenks location to include Cajun dishes -- Jambalaya, Gumbo, Etouffee -- on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
On a week night recently, a friend and I ventured to Jenks for an evening of Bar-B-Q. Big Daddy's is situated in a strip center just off Main Street. It's a no frills kind of place. Booths are along one side of the dining room while basic tables and chairs outfit the remaining areas. Outdoor seating is available facing Main Street. The walls have farm-themed objects on them; it is a clean place, but clearly has a "worn" feel about it. The menu features Big Daddy's specialty meats as pulled pork, brisket, bologna, ribs, Polish sausage, hot links, ham, boudain and turkey.
My friend and I ordered a few sodas to begin, and then studied the menu. Big Daddy's offers Meal Deals which are larger portions to serve a number of people. For example, the Variety Meal Deal ($29.99) has a choice of four meats: brisket, pulled pork, turkey or chopped beef plus family size sides (fried okra, potato salad, Bar-B-Q beans, creamy cole slaw, smoked corn on the cob, mustard greens, cornbread, French fried) and drinks. Other Meal Deals include Bar-B-Q Rib Meal Deal, Couple Meal Deal, Big Daddy Choice Deal and Chicken Meal Deal.
My friend and I were not quite that hungry this evening, so we decided upon something simpler. We both ordered the Big Mama's Plate, which includes a choice of two meats and two sides for $8.49. I ordered the pulled pork and brisket with smoked corn on the cob and fried okra, and my friend had ribs and boudain sausage; his sides were French Fries and potato salad.
We also ordered a Big Daddy Turkey Leg ($5.26) and a Sweet Potato Pie ($3.75).
Meals are served on disposable plates with plastic knives and forks. Our meal was brought to us very quickly. My order of pulled pork and brisket was very good. The pulled pork was well smoked -- it had a delicate, yet deep smoked flavor. Its strong suit was that it was very moist and tender. The two slices of brisket were just as flavorful, but a bit on the dry side. The fried okra was hot and tasty, but seemingly of the frozen variety -- and not homemade. The corn, on the other hand, was excellent. It was a half of a full ear of corn (maybe a third of an ear--it was small), very sweet, fresh and full of smoked flavor. There is just not enough of it! A slice of white bread was served with the meal.
My friend's meal was just as tasty. The ribs had a fine smoked flavor to them, but possibly a little overcooked. The meat readily fell off the bone, and the bone was somewhat dry. Still, the meat was the ultimate in tenderness and nicely smoked. The sausage was flavorful with just the right blend of spices. Toasted bread was served with this meal. The crinkle-cut French Fries were hot and crispy, and the potato salad was a little sweet and fairly straight up, basic.
We nibbled on the turkey leg -- a large serving of meat on a bone. It was tasty and tender, but more of a novelty to eat. The homemade sweet potato pie was soft and sweet, with a taste very much like a pumpkin pie.
We both agreed the bare meat was fabulous all alone but when slathered with some of Big Daddy's Bar-B-Q sauce, the flavor combination of the smoked meat and sauce made us very happy. Three types are on each table: Mild (clear bottle), Sweet (yellow bottle) and Hot (red bottle). All three are great in their own way; it is just what you're in the mood for. I'd recommend blending a few, say the sweet with the hot, for the hot is flaming hot, but for a full throttle, slap in your face hot, use the hot sauce alone.
Big Daddy's is a very comfortable, come-as-you-are place to go for a fine Bar-B-Q meal. Now expanded with Cajun fare, the variety is even better. And, on Thursday nights, it is all-you-can eat catfish night.
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