Big Mikes BBQ/ View - downtown Raleigh
Somehow my wife was invited to a meet up at View on Glenwood South last night. They are now pairing with Big Mike’s BBQ (who also runs a food truck based out of Apex) who will provide food served at the bar. I was able to tag along. At this point I need to confess that the food and beer were comped.
First of all, his smoked meats (chicken, pork and brisket): The pork was not at the same level as Allen & Sons or any of the best down east places, nor was the brisket better then what my ex-neighbor from Texas smoked at home (his stuff was killer, still regret not getting the recipe before he moved), but it was some of the better BBQ I have had in Raleigh, the pork did have a nice outside brown. He serves them without sauce and provides Eastern vinegar, Sweet & Tangy, and what he calls Stupidly Hot. The Stupidly Hot was kind of between the hotness of Frank’s and Tabasco.
In addition to the smoked meats we tried the following:
Redneck Nachos – Fritos, pork, baked beans, blue cheese cole slaw, drizzled with a mustard sauce. It was kind of an amped up Fritos Pie, really liked the combination. The only drawback was that I found the beans to be too sweet. Mike said that he used to serve less sweet beans, but all the customers complained that it was missing the sweetness. My wife really liked the mustard sauce and wished it were used in other places on the menu, too.
Smoked Wings – Smoked then fried and tossed in dry rub. They had this sweet-salty thing going on that I thought was really good.
Collards – the garlic and onions used in the collards are cooked in drippings from the pork and beef. I usually like collards and my wife doesn't. These flipped that. I found the flavor from the drippings to be overpowering and she liked them. That could be because these were missing the usual collard bitterness that she doesn’t like.
Fatty Fries – Fries fried in beef and pork fat topped with brisket chunks and blue-pimento cheese. The blue-pimento cheese was really good and worked well with the brisket and fries.
Baconana Pudding – Banana pudding topped with bacon chunks. I liked the banana pudding, but found the bacon to be too smoky and distracting for the dessert, the addition of shaved chocolate or chocolate syrup may help balance this.
One of the attendees was a vegetarian and he served her some smoked tofu. The smoked tofu was really tasty and would make a good base for a sandwich.
The bottom line: I see this as a good place to have a causal lunch or dinner downtown and maybe a few beers, too. Will definitely go back and would probably become a regular if I lived nearby. Mike seems to take his smoking seriously and is looking to expand the menu and build a pit in the back to do whole hogs.
As mentioned it was a meet up and served family style and serving size may not represent what is on the menu. However, the prices on the plates run from $10 to $13, sandwiches going from $7 to $10. and starters in the $7 to $13 range. All prices that I feel are fair given the area.