I love BBQ, I love brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and smoked sausages. I love the smell of a wood fire cooking food low and slow. Since I was a young boy I have loved smoked meats from jerky, to hunter’s sausages, and beyond. Though growing up in Baker City, Oregon I had not been exposed to true BBQ such as found in Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and the other big BBQ areas of the country. My limited version of BBQ was at best a steak on a charcoal grill cooked to perfection.
Once I reached adulthood I had the opportunity to travel to Texas, and when you are in Texas you absolutely must have Texas BBQ. I was introduced for the first time to brisket. I was an instant fan of the rub, the smoke ring, the spicy thin BBQ sauce it was amazing! I could have eaten way more than I did that day, I had to find “real BBQ” when I got home.
Upon returning to Idaho I began my search looking for someplace that could hold a candle to what I had experienced in Texas. Boise Idaho is not exactly the Mecca of BBQ joints however, yet I was determined to find someone who sold “real BBQ.” I stopped at every place that advertised BBQ, and walked away disappointed many, many times.
Then four years ago I walked into a little shop tucked away in an off the beaten path location called Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian. I wasn’t expecting much when I went inside even though the aroma outside did have the hint of a wood smoker nearby. Standing behind the counter was a sweet lady who offered to take my order, and in the kitchen area was a man who still to this day makes me think he should be riding a huge Harley Davidson motorcycle across the country instead of running a BBQ joint.
The menu was basic on one side it read “Big Daddy’s Meats” and on the other “Big Momma’s Sides.” The menu had the meats you would expect brisket, pulled pork, hot links, ribs, and the sides where a nice representation as well Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Garlic Mashed Potatoes as well as a few others.
I am a man who likes to always try any item that has the name of the restaurant in it so I went for the Big Daddy Sandwich – Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Hotlinks on a hoagie bun with a side, I chose the Potato Salad. I found a seat and my food was delivered quickly. I sat stunned at the size of the sandwich that had just been placed before me. Pulled pork was piled so high that it was falling over the sides and pressing the sides of the hoagie as wide as they could possibly go, I could see the ends of hot links, and sliced brisket sticking out each end of the roll, there was also a nice helping of potato salad on the side. Picking up this sandwich and eating it was going to be a test of my abilities but I did not hesitate to jump right in. It was everything I had been looking for. There was the smokey taste, that perfect smoke ring, the hot links were outstanding, and I immediately fell in love with the potato salad.
Since that day I have been pretty regular at Big Daddy’s BBQ. I have come to feel like a friend to the lady behind the counter and the man through the window. The Griggs absolutely do BBQ the right way and make “real BBQ” in Meridian Idaho of all places. Since that day four years ago their restaurant has moved to a new larger location and they have hired more employees, and added more to the menu. I have tried many of the items on the menu but my favorite to this day is the “Big Daddy Sandwich” with a side of potato salad, and just a touch of their spicy BBQ sauce over the top.
I have eaten in many BBQ joints in and around Boise, and Meridian, and I know what good BBQ should taste like. I will continue to stand up and shout to the world that the best BBQ in Southwest Idaho is Big Daddy’s BBQ on Cherry Lane and Linder Road in Meridian.
If you go tell Hoss and Khaseta hello for me and that I sent you!