The thought of barbecue meat for dinner always gets me excited but almost always ends inevitably in disappointment back home in the North West. Since my visit to the excellent Pitt Cue Co last year nothing I have had since has compared to it, let alone be fit enough to lace its boots. Therefore I was on the fence pre visit to the Covent Garden branch of Big Easy, not knowing what to expect.
The restaurant is spread over two floors and we were led to the basement where huge smokers and grills on display as you descend the stairs, so far so good with huge slabs of slow cooking meat on show. I don't tend to pay attention to surroundings and decor and even less so here as I was just looking forward to some ribs. It was quite dark in the basement with dark wooden fixtures and fittings. The wall behind us was filled with various business cards of customers, I strategically placed mine over a competitors from my profession.
Big Easy is also known as a crabshack and the grilled lobster and lobster bake options seemed enticing but we settled on our primary target and ordered the Bar.B.Q Blow Out at £18 per person. This included pit-smoked BBQ chicken, dry-rubbed St Louis pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork with cornbread, pit smoked beans, coleslaw and fries.
The tables are quite small and a stand was produced to hold the huge meat platter when it arrived in order to allow us space underneath for our plates and sides. As soon as I saw the meaty pork ribs I knew they would not disappoint. This will be my benchmark for 'meaty' in future. I like how the menu states all meat is served warm as it is slow smoked, rather than blast heated and roasted which tends to dry out the meat.
The pork meat was very tender and well smoked with the dry rub adding a great flavour. If anything they were too meaty and we struggled to polish them off! The pit smoked chicken was one of the most succulent pieces of chicken I have had in a while. Half a chicken was served to us and even the breast was extremely moist and not heavy to eat, just as well given the amount of meat on show. By the time we got round to the pulled pork we were suffering to meat fatigue and this had the least impact of all the meats. Whilst not quite on the level of Pitt Cue, it was certainly a very worthy contender and probably a lot easy to get a table given its size.