Bone Daddy’s BBQ

14 03 2009
  • 3216 Bay City Road
  • Midland, MI 48642
  • (989) 496-2266
  • Website (disabled)
  • Menu
Bone Daddy BBQ on Bay City Road in Midland

Bone Daddy BBQ on Bay City Road in Midland

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Pit Rib House – Hickory Hills, IL

25 11 2008
  • 9430 S. Roberts Rd.
  • Hickory Hills, IL 60457
  • (708) 599-7576
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pit Rib House on Roberts in Hickory Hills, IL

The Pit Rib House on Roberts in Hickory Hills, IL

How fitting is it that there’s a BBQ place in a town called Hickory Hills?  J and I were discussing dinner when her step dad starting throwing out restaurant names that they like in the area.  After ten minutes or so, he suggested The Pit Rib House and after a quick scan of the menu, I was sold.

The Pit is located on near the corner of Roberts Road and 95th St.  The outside of the building is lit up with neon which is supposed to resemble a 1960’s road house on Route 66.  There are parking lots on either side of the building and even on a Tuesday night, they were pretty full.  We found a spot to park (not near a light pole) and headed inside.  When you walk in, you’re again met with the feel of a stop along The Mother Road.  There are antique vending machines (for display only) and the walls are covered with pictures, newspaper articles, and old signs.  The first stop inside is the waiting room for carry out.  Just past that, a waitress met us and showed us to a table inside the dining room.  The theme continued with exposed wood walls and ceilings although the walls were covered with artifacts and pictures.  We were seated next to a table overlooking a patio area that was filled with fire wood for the upcoming winter. Read the rest of this entry »





Poor Boy Restaurant – Kankakee, IL

5 10 2008
  • 1514 E. Court St.
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 939-1880
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
Poor Boy Restaurant on Court Street in Kankakee, IL

Poor Boy Restaurant on Court Street in Kankakee, IL

After twelve hours, I finally got to welcome my niece into this world.  Needless to say, after twelve hours, my sister-in-law was exhausted and hungry.  Her first meal post delivery was Wendy’s, but the next day, she wanted something deep fried.  I went back to the hospital hoping I could hold her again, but she was put under the blue lights due to the jaundice, so instead, I just got to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law. 

About 3:00, the new mom decided she was hungry, but the hospital kitchen stopped serving.  No bid deal.  LIke I said, she was really in the mood for deep fried anyway.  When she worked at a flower shop on Kankakee’s southside, Poor Boy Restaurant was a frequent stop for lunch. Read the rest of this entry »





Michigan Pit Master Wins Best in West..

2 09 2008

I keep giving Michigan a hard time for having sub-par BBQ joints, but a shop in Midland proved me wrong over the weekend by winning the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nev.

Bone Daddy’s BBQ of Midland, Mich., won the top prize Monday as the 20th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off wrapped up in Sparks, Nev.

Bone Daddy’s was among 25 cookers from around the country that competed in the event sponsored by John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

The title came with a trophy and check for $7,500.

Midland’s not all that far.  Wish I would have known that this past weekend when we were in Frankenmuth…..





Curtis Famous Barbecue

28 06 2008
  • Corner of Saginaw & CawoodCurtis Famous BBQ
  • Lansing, MI
  • (517) 333-9287
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

“You had the rest, now taste the best” and “taste tells the story” are two phrases you see a lot around the van that doubles as a BBQ shop that sits in the parking lot of American Print and Copy on Saginaw Highway.  Curtis is proud of his barbecue and with good reason.  I had seen a couple reviews for Curtis Famous Barbecue on the web, but I really wasn’t sure where it was.  I was driving on Saginaw Highway one day last week and started smelling it long before I saw it.

My girlfriend and I were being lazy and laying around watching TV one Saturday afternoon.  About one o’clock, she said something about being hungry and after seeing Curtis out cooking one day, I really wanted to try it.  I was able to find the intersection he usually sits at and put that in the GPS.  The thing about Curtis Famous Barbecue is it’s not a restaurant.  It’s an old delivery van that Curtis drives there each day and because it’s mobile, he can bring his smoker to fairs and festivals in the area.  Read the rest of this entry »





The Great BBQ Sauce Debate

26 05 2008

Well, it is Memorial Day and pretty much everyone, including me, fired up the grills for lunch.  I stayed away from anything that needed sauce, but the Lansing State-Journal stirred up the debate in this morning’s paper.

The core of the barbecue sauce debate is simple: vinegar-based vs. tomato-based.

It’s strictly a Southern squabble, the battle line starting with the vinegar crowd in eastern North Carolina. As you move west, tomatoes take over. And the closer you get to Texas, the sweeter and darker red the sauces get.

But for non-Southerners, it’s hard to understand the fuss over a sticky substance spread over a chunk of meat.

It’s not strictly for Southerners.  I hate when I see people drowning ribs in a Kansas City style sauce.  My preference is actually somewhere between vinegar and tomato based.  I use a sauce similar to what Neely’s BBQ in Memphis uses.  It is a tomato based sauce heavy on ketchup (which is vinegar based itself), but I add a lot more cider vinegar.  I probably double or triple their recipe.  I like the sweetness of the ketchup, but I really like the tanginess of the vinegar. 

Memphis BBQ joints really showcase the differences in sauce.  There’s Neely’s which uses a thin tomato based sauce.  Rendezvous uses a traditional southern vinegar mop sauce made up of pretty much just vinegar and pepper.  Then Corky’s uses a thicker tomato based sauce.  Once you reach the Memphis region and beyond, your starting to get more variety.  Sweetness starts to take over from tangy and brown sugar, molasses, and honey start getting added.

Keep going west to Kansas City and you’ll run into a totally different animal.  KC Masterpiece is the standard as far as Kansas City sauces go.  Really think tomato based sauces that are really messy.  Head south to Texas and your somewhere in between Memphis and KC.  I would suggest reading the LSJ article for a detailed explanation of the different regions.

And just think, we’re JUST talking about sauce here.  We haven’t scratched the surface as far as BBQ. There’s the ribs vs. chopped pork vs. pulled pork vs brisket debate.  There’s baby backs vs. spare ribs or St. Louis ribs.  There’s secret rubs….and everyone has a strong opinion either way.  For me, heaven is a rack of baby backs with a chili pepper based rub with a thin, vinegary, tomato based rub.  No matter what, I’ll take  great BBQ, whether it’s mine or someone elses, over a salad anyday.