Monday 21 Apr

Permanent parking, mobile food

A plan to create a permanent food truck park in Midtown passed the Downtown Design Review Committee (DDRC) on April 17. The creator, Hunter Wheat, based it on other permanent food parks around the country, including places like New York, the Dallas/Ft. Worth-area and Austin, Texas.
04/18/2014 | Comments 0

Smooth pop

Ah, springtime in Oklahoma and the joy of eating food from a street vendor. Just in time for the warm weather, two new mobile concepts want you to chill out.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0


No single holiday has done more to ruin the reputation of eggs than Easter.
04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.

— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0

OGK7 eat: Dollars to doughnuts

While the idea of fried dough may or may not be American in origin, the traditional ring-shaped confection that we know and love does originate here. According to The Smithsonian, doughnuts were created by an enterprising New England sailor’s mother who wanted a way to store and transport pastry. Regardless of its origin, the doughnut is a modern favorite.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman 

04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Father knows fire
Restaurant Reviews

Father knows fire

Big Daddy offers down-home hickory-smoked barbecue in a real roadhouse.

Doug Hill November 30th, 2011

Big Daddy’s Smoke House Bar-B-Que has ricks of split hickory stacked outside, front and back. Inside the restaurant, a robust and permanent aroma of smoke leaves lingers. No doubt this place lives up to its name.

“We smoke all our meats low and slow,” owner Steve Bryan said. “Brisket stays in for 14 hours.”

He starts with a dry spice rub on the beef before roasting at a low, wood-fired temperature for a long time. The result: remarkably good barbecue.

It’s a simple, but time-consuming formula that he’s perfected over many years. Big Daddy’s is a family-run operation, and all four employees are relatives. A handwritten sign by the menu board advised, “Place order at counter, have a seat. We’ll bring it out to ya.”

The dining-room decor is a mini-museum of manly Americana. One wall is all automobile hubcaps and old license plates. There’s a large group of snapshots with burly bikers and their babes on Harleys. A framed, color glossy photo of Elvis impersonator Travis Ledoyt is autographed with the message “Big Daddy’s — best pulled pork I ever ate!” The “Beat Texas” banner on the wall has a real steer skull with horns hanging upside down over it.

right, Owner Steve Bryan and his mother, Debby Morris

Big Daddy’s ambience is quaint and friendly; Hank Williams Sr. was singing plaintively in the background.

“We’re old-fashioned, old-school and try to keep everything just like family around here,” Bryan said. “Treat everybody nice and do a good job is what we’re all about.”

Big Daddy’s has plenty of local regular customers, along with folks who avoid the interstate by traveling the two-lane highway that runs alongside it.

Besides brisket and ribs, Big Daddy’s smokes turkey, chicken, pork loin, bologna, Polish sausage and hot links. A three-meat combo dinner ($13.50) includes two side orders and white bread. Sides are made in-house and its potato salad with skin-on spuds and lots of celery seed is scrumptious. Baked beans have plenty of brown-sugar goodness and there’s pintos and green beans, too.

Cole slaw, fried okra, corn on the cob and curly fries are traditional barbecue sides, but deviled eggs were a pleasant surprise.

Sandwiches range from $4.99 to $7.50 and include one side. The Smokehouse burger ($5.99) is topped with a hot link. Steve’s Favorite ($6.25) is a brisket sandwich garnished with slaw. The Willy ($6.75) pairs sliced pork and slaw topped with a hot link.

Big Daddy’s might give vegans the willies, but there is a chef salad ($6.25) — hold the turkey or chicken — not to mention a loaded baked potato ($5.99), Smokehouse nachos ($5.25) or loaded fries ($4.99).

Big Daddy’s brisket has an exceptional mahogany-colored crust that comes from the just right amount of charring and smoke. The result is hearty, hickory-flavored magic roasted right into a big, lean beef brisket.

Ribs are done perfectly, too, but boast more fatty succulence that makes them simply irresistible.

“Brisket and ribs are our biggest sellers,” Bryan said. “We’re big beef eaters around here.”

Big Daddy’s house barbecue sauce is deep crimson, flecked with an abundance of black pepper. Tomato-based with a winning blend of vinegar tang and sweetness, it complements the lean brisket well. These juicy ribs don’t need any sauce, although mild and hot versions are offered.

Ledoyt’s scrawled testimony probably wasn’t exaggeration, because the pulled pork is among the menu’s superstars. It’s moist, flavorful and fork-tender. As with everything we tried, it had been carefully prepared and was served in generous portions.

“That’s a good choice,” said Bryan’s mom, Debby Morris.

All the meats, including pulled pork ($9.99), are sold by the pound. A slab of ribs is $22.50. Big Daddy’s is available for catering. There’s no bar, but you can get tall-boy cans of beer ($3.25) and sweet tea ($1.49), along with soft drinks ($2.09).

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

Photo by Mark Hancock

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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