Big Boy BBQ

27-31 Hardware Lane, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 3rd January 2014

Having the blues.  Annual leave coming to an end so in need of comfort food.  Did a quick search this morning and decided on Big Boy BBQ for pork ribs.

Big Boy BBQ sits in a pretty strategic location on Hardware Lane.  It was 1pm and crawling with people already.  The interior was pretty much red and blue, very fast food joint-ish.  Order at the counter, grab a number and your food order will be brought out.  

Each table was stocked with large paper towels and an array of sauces in squeezey bottles that were a bit sticky and the labels worn. 

Our food didn't take too long to arrive.  We got the 1/2 rack of Kansas City style dry rubbed pork and a side of Regular Fries.

1/2 rack Kansas City style dry rubbed pork $29
Chips $3.95
One thing I hate about order at the counter places with the menu overhead is you have to decide what you want quickly whilst in line and you tend to miss things.  Worse if you're sharing like MerlinFan and I and can't quite agree on what to get.  I actually forgot to order a drink and had to get one later.  

Root beer $4.50
I also realised even later that you could actually upgrade your ribs to a combo with 1 side and a bottomless self-serve soft drink for only $6.  It would have been nice if the girl taking our order had offered that option when we requested for the ribs and chips.  Hey, they do that all the time at McDonald's and KFC, why not here?

Anyway, back to the ribs.  They were rubbed with spices and smoked at low temperatures for up to 16 hours, so they were served at the same temperatures that they were cooked.  To be honest, I wasn't too crazy about these ribs.  The Kansas style BBQ sauce was tangy and really, barely spicy.  The meat did not fall off the bone and was on the dry side.  The chips were great though.  Ridiculously crisp and deliciously seasoned.  Bread was superfluous.

It was a good thing I suppose MerlinFan had a small appetite and insisted we share a 1/2 rack.  Why?  Because she wanted the Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache with her meal.  @_@

Peanut butter cream pie with chocolate ganache $6.50
It looked pretty visually unstimulating.  Taste wise, it was not bad at all.  The peanut butter cream was more like a mousse than actually cream, and the chocolate ganache thick and rich.

Overall, Big Boy BBQ didn't rock my boat, in fact I was pretty disappointed.  It certainly didn't deliver the most tender, juiciest barbeque in Melbourne that it promised on its website and I had high expectations seeing that it was a specialised BBQ restaurant and had so many good reviews.  So far, I still hold a fond place in my heart for T.G.I. Friday's ribs, as incredulous as it may seem, seeing as they rate so poorly on Urbanspoon.  Oh well.    Depends on personal tastes, I suppose.  Perhaps I visited Big Boy BBQ on an off day, but anyway, shows you can only take what you read online with a grain of salt.  

My journey for the best ribs in Melbourne goes on.

Big Boy BBQ on Urbanspoon

<a href=""><img alt="Big Boy BBQ on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>


  1. there is another TGI in Freshwater place. Have you been? The one in Melbourne Central didn't rock my boat.

  2. Ribs, done properly, are not supposed to fall off the bone. You are accustomed to your "fast food" style rib that is steamed to produce tenderness. BBQed ribs should have a pull off the bone.

    1. Pull off the bone, fall off the bone (or as I like to call my favourite TGIF "fast food" ribs, "peel off the bone") is frankly all the same to me - either way, you shouldn't have to have to cut it off the rib with your knife. And as I mentioned, the ones we had were dry rather than tender or juicy. I really don't think ribs done properly are supposed to be like that.