The Big Bib BBQ Review (San Antonio, TX)
Day two in San Antonio and Scott suggested this place for lunch. It’s located on Lanark Drive in San Antonio.
(Scott's comment: It's not in a touristy section of North East San Antonio, so you're here because you're 1) A local who's in the know. 2) a BBQ connoisseur who's curious to check out some place they haven't been before. 3) Lost on Austin Highway. )
You order at the counter and pick up a few minutes later. It’s apparently extremely popular in San Antonio, having won “Best of San Antonio” for BBQ the last two years in a row, as well as quite a few other local awards.
(Scott's comments: Today, there was a group of several Navy sailors who are working out of (most likely) Ft. Sam Houston who were in front of us in line. There were a few military recognition plaques on the wall, including one of a flag flown over a Forward Operating Base in Kandahar Afghanistan a few years ago. They also took a moment to recognize a young Air Force officer who had very recently completed his certifications for flying a C5 plane. Round of applause for this fine young man.)
(Scott's comments: I came across this place per a feature by the San Antonio Spurs about Aron Baynes and his journeys to check out various BBQ places in San Antonio and Central Texas (including this one). As Aron Baynes (@AronBaynes on Twitter) has since departed the Spurs in Free Agency for the less BBQ-y Detroit Pistons, The Spurs.com feature was removed. There's a link to a link with a Google Map of the places mentioned in his visit. How serious is Baynes about his BBQ? Spur and fellow Aussie Patty Mills tweeted this to Aron about BBQ. How many links can I insert in a paragraph? More than the number of licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop. But I digress. )
Scott and I order a sampler platter, which officially comes with ¼ pound each of brisket, pulled pork, turkey, chicken, sausage (mild), and rib tips. However, they are out of rib tips so we double-down on brisket (½ moist and ½ lean).
Brisket: The most disappointing of the lot, even the moist is on the dry side. It does have a good smoky flavor and decent bark, which saves it from a score in the poor range. I call it a 5.5/10.
Turkey: The turkey is juicy and tender, but mine doesn’t have a lot of smoke flavor. I call it 6.0/10.
Chicken: Mine has a good smoke flavor, is tender and juicy. Flavor goes to the bone. 8.0/10.
(Scott's comments: I liked the turkey more than Tom, the hint of smoke flavor was fine for me and had a nice moist taste throughout. I also preferred the turkey to the chicken thigh I had. Nothing wrong with the chicken, just a personal preference.)
Pulled Pork: This is tender, has a decent smoke flavor, and isn’t too greasy. 7.5/10.
Sausage: Wow! They use a beef pork blend, and they’ve nailed it with this one. The casing has a good snap, it’s tender and juicy on the inside, and the flavor is excellent. This is one of the best sausages I’ve had. 10/10.
(Scott's comments: We normally don't do a lot with sauces, but I will say we sampled their 4 sauces, and they were all actually pretty good. Used in moderation (a few drops here and there), and it could be a nice augmentation. I tried their Tangy Gold with the pulled pork, and got a little extra flavor enhancement.)
Is it worth a visit? Absolutely. The Big Bib is an excellent place to get a good lunch. They have a lot of things they do well, and are very reasonably priced. While we don’t rate sides, their Baked Potato Casserole is also excellent.
Is it worth a trip? They’re close, but not quite there yet. Only two items made it into that 8 or higher range, and personally I want three or more if I’m traveling 60+ miles. The sausage was great, but the brisket was fair. A hair more flavor in the pulled pork would tip that one over in my opinion.
(Scott's comment: I would also like to say the staff's service was excellent. Very friendly, helpful, and willing to take an extra moment or two to answer questions during the lunch rush. Kudos. I was quite satisfied with my meal.)