I've had my first bbq experience in Reno, and I have to say it was a good one. Carolina Kitchen and BJ's have been mentioned on chowhounds, but no reviews given. There was a story on TV about Big Pig last week, and having mentioned it may take them 18 hours to smoke a brisket, I decided to give it a shot. I've done a fair amount of bbq on my smoker so I'm pretty particular. They do it right here, and it's the real deal. There's a big smoker next to the restaurant, using only hardwood(not sure which kind).
MsRev and I split a dinner plate, which included most of their meats and 2 sides, including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and a hot link. It also arrived with a couple pieces of white bread-an authentic southern touch. Chicken was the only item we didn't try. We opted for baked beans and cole slaw. The beans were outstanding, with a pronounced smoky, cumin flavor. The cole slaw was average.
My favorite was the pulled pork, with a pronounced smoky flavor. The meat was very tender and could compete with just about anything Memphis has to offer. The brisket had a very nice smoke ring and was pretty lean, but moist. Again, good smoky taste. A difficult task to perfect. Baby back ribs are my preference and they serve spares here, but they did an admirable job. Not as toothsome as I would like but not totally falling off the bone either. They obviously cooked them long and slow as all the fat was cooked out of the rib, but they retained much of their moisture. The hot links were my least favorite, nothing out of the ordinary.
Their bbq sauce, which comes mild or hot(not very) is a little sweet for my taste, but good nonetheless. The meats were so tasty they needed little sauce, so if you stop in, order the sauce on the side, and use as much as you like. Or take it home and use your favorite(they have a drive-up window).
Prices are very reasonable. The dinner plate was $13.95 including 2 sides. A full slab of ribs, no sides, is $17.99. Pulled pork sandwich is $5.50. I believe they've been open less than a year. The people running it are very nice. It's well worth a taste.
Big Pig Smokehouse
1999 Selmi Drive