Friday, October 24, 2014

Big House Bar BQ - Kingsville

Big House Bar BQ is a spin off of Big House Burgers, a successful pair of burger joints in Kingsville and Alice.  The BBQ Joint has been open for five years and it is apparent that the owners know a little something about succeeding in the competitive world of entrepreneurship.

Big House is a full service, sit-down restaurant.  Our waiter brought us menus and despite the variety of selections, I was convinced to try the BBQ to see if it deserved top billing at this joint.  The barbecue menu was very simple, offering multi-meat plates with choices of brisket, pork ribs, sausage and sliced pork.  Chicken, beef ribs and smoked fajitas were also available as their own plates.  There was no option to order by the pound and I opted for a plate of brisket, pork ribs and sausage.


The waiter returned almost instantly with my order of three meats and thankfully kept the sauce appropriately isolated in its own dish.

A trio of meats from Big House Bar BQ

The rib stood out on the place, so chose to begin my meal there.  This was a straightforward and simple rib, unsauced and lightly seasoned with salt.  There was not much of a crust and the simplicity revealed the bite of mesquite flavor.  The meat was a bit dry but the flavor was good enough.

The crust of the brisket was well formed and even a bit crispy.  The rub revealed itself to be heavy on the salt.  This thick cut of beef was dry, making it a chore to chew through.  There was a sliver of well rendered fat that carried a channel of flavor through the meat.  Otherwise the meat was dry and tasteless.

The sausage was very poorly done.  The skin was tough to bite through and separated from the chewy meat.  This meat needed more time but still would have been a very average peppery link.


The sides Big House offered came with unlimited refills.  However, none that I sampled were worth a second helping.  My sides were standard pinto beans along with sweet corn.  I learned that the potato salad was the popular side but I did not try it.

The sauce was a bit thicker and thankfully strayed from the normal BBQ Sauce recipe.  It was tasty tomato based sauce with hints of onion and other seasonings.  With a few more ingredients, this could have been confused with a bisque.

Though it is not the norm in most barbecue joints, the full service was appreciated.  The wait staff were amazingly attentive and very prompt.

Big House Bar BQ in Kingsville


The mesquite smoked barbecue at Big House could not hit the mark for me.  The pork ribs were clearly the high point while the other meats I tried were below average.  In some barbecue joints, having too much on the menu can spread the operation too thin.  The variety of the menu at Big House, however, seems to be working in its favor.  I do not think, even in South Texas, the ‘cue offered here would consistently draw patrons without the steaks and other offerings.  This is not a bad restaurant, it is just not particularly good barbecue.

Address: 109 S Hwy 77 Bypass Kingsville, TX
Phone: 361-592-0333
Hours: Sunday: 11AM - 9PM; Monday - Saturday: 11AM - 10PM

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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:

A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

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