In other words: THAT WAY to some amazing bar-b-que.
Spending 10 years in the South can wreak havoc on a born-and-bred Midwesterner. Between getting over the paranoia of why the cashier wants to know how ya doin' and if you belong to a church family, to realizing that you won't ever need those hideous snow boots or parka again, it can be a confusing transition. It can also make a person very hungry.
Mike and I stumbled onto bar-b-cue early on. It's hard to miss in Nashville – they are everywhere and they are gooooood. There are a lot of foods and restaurants that we pine for now that we're resettled in Indy, and good bar-b-que is high on that list.
One afternoon on my daily trek to pick up Elena from school in Westfield, I spied a new restaurant in town. Big Hoffa's the sign read. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the true sign of a worthy bar-b-que joint: the giant smoker. And then, the smell. The glorious smell of meat. It wasn't long before I stopped in. It wasn't long before I fell in love with bar-b-que all over again. It wasn't long before popping in and grabbing a dinner order to go became something of a routine in the Six house.
Here's what I love about it:
Big Hoffa's is a local joint. I'm no stranger to chains, but given the choice I will choose local nearly every time. Especially in a market like Central Indiana, which prides itself on being the mecca of chain restaurants.
Everyone in there is so nice. It starts at the top with Adam Hoffman, the owner and super bar-b-quer. He's proud of what he does and he wants his customers to leave full and happy. His staff are just as friendly and helpful. One afternoon I called in an order for pick-up. Eli was just a little peanut then, and I hauled him in the restaurant in his car seat to pick up our order. Adam insisted that from then on, I call when I was in the parking lot and they would bring my order to me. I think I might have swooned.
They have real, honest-t0-God sweet tea. Enough said.
And most importantly, the food is amazing. Not just Good Enough to Tide Us Over Until We Can Get Back South For Real Bar-B-Que, but It Can Kick Your Southern Bar-B-Que's Ass And Send It Home Crying To Its Momma Good.
Mike always gets the beef brisket sandwich with macaroni & cheese and french fries. I switch back and forth between the brisket, pulled chicken and pulled pork. It is a crime not to order Adam's homemade ranch dressing to dip your fries in. I dare you not to lick every last drop out of the little plastic container.
Yesterday I tried a new sandwich Adam threw together: the Buffalo chicken. Oh. My. You know you want to lick the monitor.
How about you just pay Big Hoffa's a visit instead. You can find them in Westfield at 800 East Main Street (otherwise known as State Road 32 for those of you that don't venture into Westfield much). Call your order in ahead of time at 317-867-0077.
And if you're not from around here, do me a different favor instead. Next time you need some grub, find yourself a local restaurant and give it some love.