Review: Big Hoffa’s BBQAuthor: Indy Food Geek | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Westfield, IN
Big Hoffa’s BBQ
800 E Main St
Westfield, IN 46074
I love barbecue. As a red-blooded American, I have a special relationship with smoked meats. That being said, I’m shocked at how long it has taken me to get to Big Hoffa’s in Westfield. I live down the street from this little locally-owned gem, so I desperately wanted to like it.
What I Got: Half-rack of Baby Back Ribs ($9.49), Half Pound “Meat on a Plate” (Pulled Pork with Fries and Baked Beans) with two Garlic Butter Rolls ($7.39) and a Mexican Coke ($1.79).
First off, take a look at the picture. I was more than a little disappointed when I saw the ribs. The sauce (I chose spicy for all meats and found it to be better than the mild/sweet) appears to have been an afterthought on the ribs. I guess I expected total sauce coverage with a modicum of carmelization. Unfortunately, this presentation suggests that the ribs were held at temperature in a steam table after smoking, then sauced upon order. Further inspection revealed a sliver of hope. They were stupid tender. I poked it with my fork, tugged on a rib, and the bone came out clean. Even further inspection revealed perfect texture – held together but easily separated, not too fatty – and a smoke ring that make my eyes light up. These ribs were darn tasty and perfectly smoky.
The pulled pork, however, lacked smoke. It was tender, not greasy, and paired well with the sauce, but I could’ve stood to see a bit more of that smokiness I found in the ribs. The sides were delicious. The fries (obviously not homemade) reminded me of Rally’s battered and seasoned fries. Do yourself a favor and get a side of ranch for these babies – it is garlicky and made in-house. Everybody remembers a kid from elementary school that put ranch on everything, including pizza on Fridays… so just put on your sweatpants and join the ranks. There’s a reason they sell this crap by the pint even though they don’t offer a salad! The beans were pretty good, but I’m no expert. There was a little bit of pulled pork in there and they weren’t nearly as sweet as I make at home. The rolls were clearly store-bought, but the flourish of butter and garlic powder made them tasty and great for constructing mini pulled pork sandwiches. I was sharing this meal so I had to get creative.
Would I Buy it Again? More than likely, yes. The atmosphere was a lot of fun and I loved to see the whole family involved with the business. Our “server” was an adorable little guy with a wicked case of bedhead and every other employee was cheery and welcoming. Was it the absolute best barbecue I’ve ever consumed? No, probably not. Was it at least good enough that I feel confident recommending that you give it a shot? Yes, definitely.
-Indy Food Geek