Last year, I saw a story in the LSJ about a BBQ place in Midland that won a rib cook off in Las Vegas. I told J then that we needed to find an excuse to go to Midland. I always thought the excuse would be a baseball game. Turns out, the excuse was butterflies.
J’s parents were in town and both J and her mom wanted to see the butterfly exhibit at Dow Gardens. They had been to similar exhibits in Chicago and thought this would be a neat way to spend a Saturday afternoon together. I didn’t object because it means we had our excuse to go to Midland.
Bone Daddy BBQ is on the corner of Bay City Road and Waldo Road in Midland. We took a wrong turn off the highway because my GPS showed an address both in the city of Midland and the adjoining township (that, for postal reasons, has a Midland address) and I chose the wrong one. It was only a mile out of the way. I turned around and headed two miles in the opposite direction and we found our destination on the left.
There’s not much of a parking lot in front of the building and what few spaces there are are taken up by Bone Daddy’s trucks. I drove around the building and weaved in between the two giant smokers to find another parking lot behind the catering business.
Once inside, you order at the counter then they bring you your food. There are menus in bins on the wall as well as paper menus and a menu board above the counter. The place was pretty packed. There are two dining areas in the small building. Each has maybe a half a dozen tables or so. There was a kids birthday party in one room, so I grabbed a table in the other room while J and her mom put in our orders.
The decor is very unique. It’s a cross between World War 2 memorabilia and rib cook off trophies and ribbons. The wall behind us was plastered with newspaper clippings from all over the country. All featured Bone Daddy at one competition or another including the Naperville (IL) Rib Fest which is a big deal in Chicagoland.
All four of us ordered the pulled pork sandwich which comes with one side. We all chose different sides. I went with the seasoned fries. J got the baked beans. J’s mom got bleu cheese cole slaw, and J’s step-dad got mustard potato salad. We all pretty much agreed that the pulled pork was good. The sandwich came with smoked pork that had been soaked in BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun. I was a little disappointed by the bun and the pulled pork was just alright. I would put right outside my top five.
The BBQ sauce was a different story. There was a bottle of their award winning sauce on each table and that was freakin delicious. Definitely in my top two and if it comes in number two, it wouldn’t be by a whole lot. I really could have picked the bottle up and drank from it. It was so good I was even dipping my fries it. I was actually hoping that some meat would fall off my bun so I could drench it in the sauce and eat it with a fork. I’m not sure what kind of sauce they soaked the meat in before serving it, but it was the sweet, thick sauce that was on the tables. As another option, they also had a bottle of their house made hot sauce. It was really hot and good, but I was too busy with the BBQ sauce to give the hot sauce much of a chance.
As for the sides, I think we were all in agreement that what we had was really good. My fries weren’t much more than out of the bag fries, but they had a really good, spicy seasoning on them. J’s baked beans had a distinct smokey taste and she called them the best baked beans she had at a BBQ joint ever. Both of J’s parents liked their respective sides. J’s mom said the bleu cheese cole slaw was unique and a great idea.
After lunch, J’s mom went back to the counter for dessert where they had mini sweet potato and pecan pies. She got a sweet potato and shared it with J. It was the perfect portion and they both said it was good.
Bone Daddy was delicious. Sometimes I wish I would just order ribs at a restaurant, but it’s really not my favorite thing to do. I’m not a sides person and that’s the only way to get a full meal when eating ribs. I love pulled pork, but Bone Daddy is known nationwide for their ribs. The pulled pork was good, but didn’t stand out. The sauce was amazing.
I’m glad we made the trip. Our bill for the four sandwiches was just under $40. Bone Daddy is an oasis in a state that isn’t really known for it’s BBQ. I would highly recommend checking out a ball game and hitting up Bone Daddy for a pregame meal. It will be worth your time.