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Big Daddy’s BBQ

Customer service and quality food top the menu at this traditional, family-owned barbecue restaurant.

Big Daddy’s BBQ began as a food truck, selling barbecue, burgers and tacos. It now encompasses two popular full-service restaurants, one in Boise and one in Meridian, Idaho, plus a flourishing catering business. We caught up with Hoss Grigg, owner, pitmaster and self-described chief bottle washer, to find out the secret behind his success.

If you had to describe Big Daddy’s BBQ in just a few words, what would they be?

Traditional barbecue. Family-friendly. It’s a family-run business. My wife, my daughter and I are the backbone of the company. We treat every guest as though they are family, whether they’ve been here one time or 15 times. Customer service and quality of food are paramount to what we do. I would sacrifice income to make sure a customer leaves happy. That’s been our philosophy from the very beginning.

How did Big Daddy’s get started?

The business started in 2006 with our food truck, Big Daddy’s Meat Wagon. For six years, I drove that truck to wherever more than five people were gathered—auctions, rodeos, fairs—anywhere someone would let me park. We were slowly building a name for ourselves.

Finally, in 2012, we opened our first full-service location, which we later doubled in size. In 2018 we opened a second restaurant, which is 3,000 square feet.

Why barbecue in Boise?

I’ve always loved to mess around in my backyard and cook barbecue for friends and family. Before opening Big Daddy’s, I owned a bar and grill. During the recession, I started selling my barbecue out of the tiny kitchen, and it really took off. That’s one of the things that helped the bar and grill stay open during that period.

What are some of the signature dishes every guest should order?

Hands down, it’s our brisket. We start with a Sysco brisket and season it with a salt and pepper-based rub. It’s smoked low and slow for 15 or 16 hours to get that authentic flavor. Another very popular item is The Big Daddy Sandwich, which is like a “pit in a bun”: brisket, pulled pork and a hot link all together on a hoagie roll. And then there is the Swine and Cheese—that’s mac and cheese with lots of American cheese combined with pulled pork on grilled sourdough. It’s like a stuffed grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s your personal favorite?

I love our wings. We start with a dry rub and let them sit for about 24 hours. Then we smoke them and deep-fry them. You put them with some blue cheese or ranch, and out they go. They are better than any wings in Idaho, I can tell you that.

What items do you typically source from Sysco?

We probably buy 95 percent of what we use from Sysco. We work closely with our sales rep and the whole Sysco sales team. They source everything for us, from our meat and chicken to the vegetables and spices we use in our mise en place. It all comes from their shelves.

How has Sysco been an important partner in your success?

When we were first getting started, very early on, they took a vested interest in what we were trying to do, in who we are and the brand we are trying to build. Sysco has been helping us every step of the way.

Sysco is the only purveyor in town that offers the services of a certified executive chef, in the form of the business review. They help us plan our restaurant menus, our food truck menu—it’s a treasure chest of knowledge.

They have even given us the chance to be on television. They do something here called The Sysco Kitchen on a local TV station once or twice a month, where clients come in and cook a dish in front of the cameras. We’ve done a half-dozen of them over the past few years, and I know whatever sandwich I make on there, I’m going to sell a whole lot of them in the weeks to come.