Saturday, November 23, 2013

Big Ray's BBQ

I happened to be in Allen, Texas for a playoff football game last week and was looking for a place to eat a quick bite before the game.  I was in the mood for barbecue and started doing some research on my iPhone.  After looking at some reviews, I decided to give Big Ray's BBQ a shot.  It seemed to be the the place to go in town to get barbecue and it was close to the new stadium in Allen.
Dining area of Big Ray's
I was warmly greeted when I entered Big Ray's and headed toward the serving line.  I decided on the three meat combo (because few barbecue joints have a six meat combo) and ordered it with brisket, turkey, and sausage.  Ribs were not an option on the combo plates and could only be ordered as a plate by themselves, which was disappointing because I usually order ribs on my combo plates.  For my two sides, I ordered the barbecue baked beans and the loaded mashed potatoes.  I also couldn't resist getting an order of the delicious looking banana pudding for dessert.
Three Meat Combo with Loaded Mashed Potatoes
The brisket was the first item I tried and it was very disappointing. It had great texture, but lacked bark and did not have even a hint of smokiness.  The sausage was above average and had great flavor.  I forgot to ask if they made it themselves or bought it, but it was good either way.  The turkey was very dry and like the brisket, I could not detect any smoky flavor.  The beans were excellent and I regretted that I didn't get a bigger scoop of them.  My final side was the loaded mashed potatoes.  They were decent, but nothing special.  
The BBQ Baked Beans were good.
Although I was disappointed in the barbecue, I still had high hopes for the banana pudding.  It did not disappoint.  The pudding was very light, had great texture, and had just the right amount of crumbled vanilla wafers.  I was tempted to go buy another serving, but it was getting late and I had to get to the game.
Great Banana Pudding
Based on the reviews that I read, Big Ray's was not as good as I was expecting.  Big Ray and his crew were extremely friendly, but the food was lacking on this visit.  I might try it again if I am in the area, but I would not go out of my way to try Big Ray's BBQ again.  If I want good barbecue in Collin County, Hutchins BBQ in McKinney is tops in the area (at least until the second location of Lockhart Smokehouse to open up in downtown Plano) and I would recommend them over Big Ray's.
The Taj Mahal of Texas HS Football Stadiums-Eagle Stadium in Allen
Texas HS Football Game-Even with a crowd in excess of 4,500 people, we did not come close to filling the 18,000 seat facility
Big Ray's BBQ
Livin the Good Life Rating = 4

Big Rays Bar B Que & Catering on Urbanspoon