I was happy to read a while back that Barrie would be getting another BBQ joint. Currently we have one Big Chris BBQ and I already like to eat there so why not another.. Barrie with its ever growing population can always use more BBQ.
Big Bone BBQ & Wicked Wings Barrie opened up just yesterday. Their location at 190 Minet’s Point Road is within a strip plaza facing Young St. It is an interesting location as it is ideally suited for the bedroom community at the South end and central Barrie.
They have awards from various ribfests around the walls and make claim that they have won over 50 BBQ Championships (?!). The decor is casual and warm with taupe colored table cloths and walls with wood accent partitions. Each table has ketchup salt & pepper, wet naps and a roll of paper towels but no (?) BBQ sauce. It is a nice… but not too nice place to go. You would be comfortable here in dress pants as well as shorts. They have achieved a good balance.
When I arrived there was one table of 4 young men all very animated and thoroughly enjoying their meal. It was nice to see people enjoying their food so much. It was 11:30 am so no wonder that the rest of the dining room was empty. However within moments many people started coming through the door. The crowd was a mix of businessmen in suits, young teens, families and local staff from area businesses. They all looked happy to be there. There was the sweet smell of BBQ throughout the restaurant…. and a terrific selection of Jazz, country, and blues on their sound system.
Lots of options on their menu.
Wanting to try just about everything I ordered the Elvis platter. It comes with 3 bones, 1/2 lb wings, 1/2lb pulled pork, fries, coleslaw, beans and cornbread for $18.00 I also ask to have sauce on the side and the waitress went and asked if that was possible. I also asked the super friendly waitress for sweet tea. I should have known that would be confusing. In Canada no one ever refers to it as sweet tea. We usually order iced tea. (I miss my US sweet tea! ). No problem and off she goes to get it.
In the meantime I play with my blackberry but notice a couple of the staff milling about and generally doing everything they can to make people feel comfortable. The owners of the Newmarket location (Lee & Tim Rombos of the Purple Pig & Memphis BBQ Woodbridge ON, fame) were on hand as well. Certainly as this is only day 2 it is to be expected. I really hope they continue with their hospitality.
My platter arrives minus the beans. I do not say anything because truthfully I was paying attention to the meat. It looks good plus instead of 3 bones I get 4. . ….
The ribs and the wings both come without sauce but the pork had already been sauced for the day. The texture of the cornbread is good its not overly sweet or dry. Just a decent slice of cornbread that crumbles properly. The waitress came with the beans and apologized without being asked. The coleslaw is creamy, simple and crunchy. Its a good contrast for the pork which has nice chunks in addition to the pulled. I got a little bit of bark but not much. The flavor was good – mild and unoffensive with a hint of smoke. I like the fact the pork was not mushy and it still had definition. I would always prefer to order it naked and I hope that could someday be an option here. Their sauce is a tangy and sweet tomato based sauce. A typical Canadian BBQ sauce. I am in it for the meat so to me the sauce really doesn’t matter that much.
The ribs had good flavor. Smokey overtones and very mild in seasoning and to me- the lack of sauce let the taste of the meat come through. The ribs were well cooked. They were not fall off the bone. They were tender and moist and quite lovely. They were… however… a little thin on the meat side as you can see from the picture and certainly this may be why I received 4 instead of the 3 as stated on the menu. The owner Mike Miller later told me they are actively looking into obtaining some heavier racks and securing their pork for the upcoming months.
Now moving on to the beans. They are forgettable. Seriously. Just forget them if you are looking for Smokey pit BBQ beans. They taste like a can of Heinz beans right off the counter. To some people that may be terrific and perfectly acceptable but I have higher expectations from a BBQ joint. They need some oomph. They need some smoke and they need more flavor. I hope they give them some of the same love & attention they have bestowed upon their wings……..
Moving on to the wings… They are really fantastic. Lots of smoke flavor in little wing packages. To me I hold all wings to the level of Buster Rhinos in Whitby my all time favorite place for bbq wings. These come really close other than being a little on the small side they are terrific. Good things can come in small packages. I love a really good smoked then grilled wing. The dual cooking technique can elevate a simple chicken wing to heights of absolute culinary excellence. They do them really well here and offer 24 toppings for their wings from the traditional flavors to a little more unique like Rasta Jerk and creamy Parmesan.
The kitchen is open to the dining room for all to see.
They use a Cookshack with hickory to cook all of their BBQ.
I had a bit of conversation with the owner Mike Miller about the restaurant and the menu items. He pointed out that I had missed the brisket sandwich completely when I had ordered the Elvis Platter. I just had to order one and I am very happy that I did. They thinly slice all of their brisket and toss it very lightly with their sauce and a bit of additional salt. While it is not a traditional Texas style brisket it is a really satisfying beefy sandwich that has all the right amounts of spice and sauce. Its piled high on a perfectly proportioned soft bun. To me meat to bun ratio should always be taken into consideration. You should never have more bun than meat. Ever. They do it right here and its delicious.
The only real glitch I observed on my visit (and seriously its only their second day) besides the beans ..is in their layout. They have a podium at the front of the restaurant for the hostess and the cash station is at the back of the room. Its awkward. I think they should have combined the hostess station and the cash at the front and be done with it. Certainly it would free up room to put in at least 1 more 4 person table if not 2. It doesn’t make any sense to have to walk to the back of the restaurant to pay when you are heading out the door. Also for those people waiting on take out they would be standing basically in the dining room right next to the other patrons seated in tables. I really think they need to change that layout.
My bill for the brisket sandwich, the Elvis platter and the iced tea was $33.00 (not including tip). There was plenty to bring home for my better half. He was happy too. Both of us will be back next time. For sure without a doubt we will be back and I am thankful that Barrie has not just one but two great BBQ joints now.
Congratulations to the owners on their successful opening. It was a delicious afternoon.
190 Minet’s Point Road
Barrie, ON, L4N 4C3
Mon – Thurs:11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sat:11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Price Range:$$ (10-30)
Take – Out and Catering available.