Celebrating at Big Daddy Jay's All-American BBQ

Sometimes, eating out can be quite a challenge. Some would disagree and say it’s actually the easy way, but that’s only applicable to fast food. When seeking out really good restaurants, it takes a considerable amount of researching skills, patience (especially when there’s a queue outside -- think of J.Co, Wee Nam Kee or Hokkaido Ramen Santouka when they first opened), and enough experience to discern what’s worthy of being checked out and prioritized.

We all work hard for our money and we all deserve to buy awesome food with it. Unless you’re a filthy rich businessman who can afford to let a thousand-peso meal go to waste or a corporate slave who prefers buying gadgets over eating well, then you can probably relate with me. When I pay a thousand bucks for a meal, I want my experience to be worth a thousand bucks. Or more.

Locating Big Daddy Jay’s All-American BBQ wasn’t easy. After swimming through what seemed like a million people who just came out of the SMART-Araneta Coliseum after a six-hour graduation ceremony, my family and I—and our famished tummies—walked around Cubao trying to find the blasted restaurant. I could’ve sworn I’ve seen the place before, I just couldn’t remember where exactly. Well, apparently I haven’t. We had been walking for almost thirty minutes and we kept seeing … Shopwise!

Finally, it dawned on me to do what should’ve been the most obvious thing to do: call the restaurant. A quick glance at Munchpunch gave us the phone number and shortly after, I was talking to someone from Big Daddy Jay’s, getting directions on how to get there. I am poor with directions, but I have a vivid memory. I’m ready to bet on all of my possessions that the guy I was talking to said “take a right once out of Ali Mall”. We did, and as we approached EDSA, I realized this wasn’t correct at all!

Fuming, hungry, and accompanied with two sisters whose feet were all blistered and shit, I approached every security guard within sight and none of them knew where Big Daddy Jay’s was. Was it nonexistent? I was beginning to panic! I called the person again and now he said LEFT towards 20th Avenue. Are you kidding me? Ooooh, I was so ready to murder someone!

Finally, we saw the small sign board. A small red building, in front of which was a grill. OK, so that’s why they say follow the smoke. I could’ve sworn that smoke wasn’t visible from Ali Mall.

We entered, filled with so much expectation, and noted that the place resembled a college canteen. Not like the “restaurant” we were hoping for. OK, this wasn’t exactly MY observation but my elitist siblings’ (hahaha) but I reassured them that my friend Car said their ribs was the best (and also because I really wanted to try it).

Upon hearing “ribs”, they instantly perked up and we ordered. They have no printed menu—instead, you have to stand up and read the items from the chalkboard. I didn’t mind that at all. It was easy to decide because their offerings were simple: ribs, a few sides, chicken wings, and beverages.

We ordered a full rack of ribs together with some baby potatoes, corn, and 2 flavors of chicken wings. Rice for everyone, of course, as well as some SOLA iced teas and sodas. We were so hungry from my sister Janine’s graduation that we were so ready to eat everything.

Whatever hardships and toil we underwent just to get to this place, it was all worth it. Especially once we knifed into the incredibly tender ribs. The ribs were so smoky and flavorful—every strand of it. Which is not surprising as they smoke it for 7 hours and even close on Mondays just to smoke their meat!

Even without sauce, it was already delicious—unlike others’ versions (read: RACKS) which you have to douse over with their “signature” shit just to taste anything.

Honestly I was torn between Big Daddy Jay’s and Rub Ribs, but for the extra smokiness, I would have to hand it to Daddy! My friend Car was right—they have the best ribs indeed!

Full Rack, P880 plus sides (P35 each)
The chicken wings were just as good! The Buffalo Style was a slightly crispy, spicy variant, whereas the Honey Garlic had a touch of sweetness in it. These wings were some of the best I had tried—they instantly became my favorites! Forget about Bon Chon and drive over to Cubao right now!
Buffalo Style Wings, P150
Honey Garlic Wings, P150
We never expected this dinner would be so good, considering the struggle of finding the place and the initial impression it exuded. It was worth getting lost in Cubao—and my sister’s blisters! This is proof that good food is worth all the trouble—remember our trip to Lantaw?—and that exerting a little extra effort comes with a reward!

The surprise didn’t end there! While we gulped down some beer, the guy who gave us directions sent a text telling us we would have a 5% discount off the total bill because of the “confusion” earlier. Wow! I never expected that! To this unknown guy (must be the owner or something) THANK YOU!

Big Daddy Jay's sells local beers and imported ones like Stella Artois, Guinness, and Corona.
So that was how we celebrated Janine’s graduation. Nothing too fancy, a little bit haggard, but fantastic. Great food is something incomparable—yes, we could’ve eaten somewhere near and accessible (what, Jollibee) but that’s so common. Once in a while, you must be willing to explore and discover something amazing.

Big Daddy Jay’s All-American BBQ
61B 17th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City (along P.Tuazon, near the CALTEX gas station in 17th Ave)
Operating Hours: Tue-Sun: 11:00am - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10:30pm (closed on Mondays)
Budget: PhP200-PhP400/head
(The Ribs Solo Plate comes with a side dish already and is priced at PhP180.)

The only morsel left after dinner.
Where do you get your ribs fix?

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