Alice Eats: Big Fatty's BBQ | Bite Club
Pin It

Monday, May 9, 2011

Alice Eats: Big Fatty's BBQ

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

click to enlarge 6a00d83451b91969e2014e885011bf970d-pi.jpg

55 Main Street, Burlington, 864-5513

When Big Fatty's BBQ first opened on Main Street in Burlington, I was excited. Good barbecue in Vermont is extraordinarily hard to come by. I can rely on the Belted Cow on Tuesday barbecue nights or make the trek to one of Curtis' locations in southern Vermont, but the rib landscape in the Burlington area is barren at best.

After my first trip to Big Fatty's in 2007, I didn't even consider it among my options. I found the selections overpriced and underflavored. However, after four years, the craving grew overwhelming. It was time to give Big Fatty another chance...

On first glance, one of my original complaints had not been improved upon -— prices were still extraordinarily high for barbecue. Three ribs with four ounces of slaw has a going rate of $11.25.

"Is the meat local?" my boyfriend asked, looking for an explanation.

In fact, according to the sign with the restaurant's "rules," the grub is proudly nonlocal.

click to enlarge 6a00d83451b91969e2015432309d69970c-pi.jpg

Looking for the best deal, I ordered the $15 1/4 chicken and 1/4 rack combo. I am partly to blame for the problems with the pleasantly herb-rubbed chicken. I did order the breast and wing portion, but, boy, it was dry.

Worse yet, so were the spareribs. The ribs were large, but only the parts adhering to the bone were comfortably edible.  The extra flap of meat was so arid that I could barely tear pieces apart to eat. Once I did, my jaw started aching from the effort of chewing.

The saving grace was the Carolina-style barbecue sauce. A heavy slathering of the liquidy concoction eased up the dryness and lent an addictive bite of vinegar. I liked the whiskey-maple sauce, too, though I found it a bit boozy.

click to enlarge 6a00d83451b91969e201543230a10c970c-pi.jpg

If I were to return, I'd go for the Carolina dog instead. The juicy beef hot dog, covered in pulled pork, sauce and slaw, may sound like a recipe for disaster but the taste was great. Be warned, it's definitely a knife-and-fork sandwich.

I found the coleslaw at Big Fatty's bland overall, but it added a lovely crispness to the dog. The only problem, once again, was the barbecue itself.

The pulled pork made my TMJ act up, and with such small shreds of meat, that's saying something.

Still, for the overall experience, it was worth some soreness.

click to enlarge 6a00d83451b91969e201538e5dd4dd970b-pi.jpg

The macaroni and cheese tells me a lot about a barbecue joint. I found the stringy cheese promising, but was disappointed by the creamy but nearly tasteless pasta dish.

I preferred the baked beans. Composed of several varieties, the textural mix was fun. I often find bean dishes overly sweet. This one had just a hint of sugary maple flavor.

I liked the flavor of the cornbread, too. However, it also was pretty dry. I prefer my cornbread with the texture of a corn-filled, dense pound cake. This crumbled so easily that it was difficult to grab enough for a mouthful.

Maybe in another four years, I'll give Big Fatty's a third try.


Tags: ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Related Locations


About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

More by Alice Levitt


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation