Big Easy’s Covent Garden location (there’s also one on Kings Road and another in Canary Wharf) is nicely located and always busy, but you can turn up on spec and put your name on a waiting list for a table later.
Spread over two large floors, we were seated downstairs near the stage (did I mention that they have a live band?). Like a lot of central London locations they really cram the tables in so we squeezed our way into our seats and set about looking at the menu.
I’d been a little unwell so I opted for something a bit lighter. I went for the Pitmaster Sandwich, which was brisket, hot link sausage and pickles in a brioche bun served with chips and coleslaw. It was delicious. The brisket was smoky and succulent and the hot link was spicy and juicy. There were just enough pickles to add an extra dimension of texture and sharpness. I also ordered some hush puppies. If you’ve never tried them they’re sweet corn fritters and they’re so light and fluffy it will make you want to die.
One of my friends also ordered the Pitmaster Sandwich but with a portion of rib tips. Rib tips are the bits they cut off the end of the ribs to make the racks even in shape. They smoke them and soak them in bbq sauce. They were outstanding, well worth ordering if you fancy a taste of ribs but not a full set.
The other two in our group went all in. They had one of the bbq platters, Big Easy’s signature offereing; the Bar.B.Q Blow Out. This is a huge platter of food. On it there were pit smoked Bar.B.Q chicken, dry rubbed St Louis pork ribs, Carolina pulled pork, cornbread, fries and coleslaw. They even opted for the add-ons of Texas brisket and Texas Hot Links. You can tell that they enjoyed their meal as pretty much the only thing left on the plate at the end were the bones! It is a monster quantity wise, so if you can’t manage it all you can ask for a doggy bag.
What’s so impressive with the platters, and all Big Easy serves, is that each item is always tender and juicy and packed with a distinctive taste and flavour. Nothing merges into one even when having so many different pork items and the like on the platter. The ribs are particularly good and should be tried at least once. I might even go so far as to say they’re the best ribs I’ve had anywhere. (London Lamppost’s editor says he agrees with me or at least he did till Smokestak came on the scene, but he still thinks they are the best after that).
For the food this came in at about £25 per head. We got there in time for Happy Hour so (it runs from 4-7 on Sunday to Friday) drinks were ordered directly at the bar. The bar is a huge wall length set up on the ground floor and their specials, on tap, are frozen cocktails. If you ordered the right thing you were paying no more than £3 a pint at happy hour.
Big Easy is a fantastic venue. We’ll be going back again at some point. Perhaps for their bottomless brunch offer on a Sunday. Or for unlimited fried shrimp on a Tuesday or Limitless Wings on Wednesdays. Either way, we’ll be there eating some of the best “Bar.B.Q” in London were the meat is more juicy and smoky than others I’ve been to.
London Lamppost Score – 4/5
Perfect for – Dinner / Friends / Celebration
Locations – King’s Road, Covent Garden, Canary Wharf