Eat Random

The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

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Monday, September 12, 2011

BBQ Review: Big Hoffa's

The Random Dude Eats Random Food Summer of BBQ Love Tour was on hiatus for a bit while the band was experiencing some "creative differences" i.e. I actually got a little bit tired of eating so much pulled pork (I never thought I would say that).  However, before that happened The Girlfriend and I were able to make it over to Westfield for some bbq from a place I had heard about from various people, Big Hoffa's. 

Far from being a place where a corrupt labor union leader is buried in cement, Big Hoffa's is a very uniquely styled bbq restaurant.  Actually it would almost be more appropriate to call it a bbq stand.  There are tables and chairs on the inside and it's fairly comfortable place to eat, but you do order at the counter when you go in and it is quite small.  The Girlfriend and I walked up to the counter and we both decided to get the same thing: 1/2 lb of pulled pork, 2 sides and 2 of their soft garlic rolls.  I have to say I quite enjoyed this particular brand of bbq.  My pulled pork was not dry, but it was also not swimming in juice which can be the downfall of bbq at other places like Bender's.  The sauce was a good mix of smoky/sweet/spicy.  This is probably my second favorite sauce among all the restaurants I've been too around here.  The coleslaw was exactly what I expect and what I want.  Nothing outstanding but good.  The fries here I thought were a little bit special.  First of all I was impressed that fries were offered as a side choice instead of out-of-a-bag chips.  Secondly I was impressed with the fact that Hoffa's is not afraid to put a definite spicy kick into their french fries.  I loved them, but The Girlfriend thought they were maybe a bit too much.  Personally, I love places that want to set their fries apart in a manner such as this.  The rolls were really nothing special.  They were nice and soft, but they tasted somewhat like rolls you might buy at the grocery store heated up and covered with a little garlic butter.  They served the purpose of being a vehicle for the pulled pork quite nicely if you decided to split them and make some slyders.

On a non-food related note the decor at Big Hoffa's is well...a little bit bizarre.  It's set in the front part of building that contains other shops and has a very bizarre paint job on the outside.  That's probably the reason I drove past this place so many times without realizing there was a bbq place there.  Also, the inside forgoes the traditional Southern/pork theme that seems to permeate the interior of normal bbq restaurants.  Instead, Big Hoffa's is decorated in what I can only describe as attack of The Pirates of The Caribbean.  Jolly Rodgers hang from the ceiling and one wall is adorned with what looks like a large mural of Captain Jack Sparrow (Sorry no pictures.  It was a little dark, and it was hard enough to get a pic of the food.).  While it's a little on the strange side it certainly is memorable.  Also, there were a couple of other random touches I enjoyed:  a blackboard noting what type of woods they were smoking with today and the availability of house-made pickles.

Taste 8.5/10  I really don't have anything to complain about when it comes to Big Hoffa's.  It has moved to second place in terms of pulled pork enjoyment out of all the places I've tried so far...a close second to Squealer's.
Value 9/10  Know this, if you go to Big Hoffa's you will leave full.  It's the only bbq place I can think of that gives you meat, 2 sides with very healthy portions and rolls and it's delicious.  The kicker is that even with drinks included 2 people can eat here for UNDER 20 dollars.  I can get down with that.

Big Hoffa's BBQ on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hubs fave place in the city hands down for bbq - he loves going there for lunch. He's brought it home but I've never been inside, though I do agree, it is delish.