Thursday, July 29, 2010
Big Dipper BBQ
Name: Big Dipper BBQ
Location: Route 434, Apalachin, NY 13732
Phone: (607) 625-5129
Cuisine: Barbecue (Ribs/Chicken/Pulled Pork)
Price: Less than $10 per person
Yesterday I was driving down the Vestal Parkway, heading westbound in search of lunch. I decided that the first place I encountered to my right that looked palatable would be my destination. I kept driving and driving, crossed the border into Tioga County, and wound up stopping at the Big Dipper BBQ in Apalachin. It's always been a place I'd been interested in trying, having passed it while driving on Route 17 between Binghamton and Owego countless times over the years. I am a big fan of barbecue in general, and with the recent demise of Theo's, I have been looking for something to take its place. Big Dipper is more than an adequate substitute.
I arrived at the Big Dipper around 1:30 PM and found it to be a small stand with a gigantic charcoal grill in front where several chickens were being grilled. Adjacent to the stand are a bunch of covered picnic tables for those who choose to eat there, as I did. You can also get your order to-go if you prefer. At any rate, I was greeted by the folks working the grill and placed my order with the cheerful teenage cashier. After a quick scan of the menu consisting of ribs, chicken, and pulled pork options, I opted to go with the Pulled Pork Dinner ($8.50). This consisted of a pulled pork sandwich and two sides; I went with the salt potatoes and baked beans. Other options include cole slaw, potato salad, and macaroni salad.
The first thing I noticed about the pulled pork sandwich was its massive size. This was pretty much a giant Italian sub roll stuffed to the gills with pulled pork. After eating this, I certainly wasn't hungry for the entire rest of the day. I won't say that this was the best pulled pork I've ever had, but it was delicious and very juicy barbecue. I devoured the sandwich very quickly and would eat another one in a heartbeat.
The sides were a little less spectacular, but served as an ample complement to the pulled pork. The baked beans were fairly typical and tasted like they could've been the canned variety, while the salt potatoes were a notch better. Of course, I came to the Big Dipper for the barbecue, and I was not disappointed in what I found in that regard.
The Big Dipper BBQ is certainly worth checking out. I found it to be very good barbecue with enormous portions at extremely reasonable prices. It's directly adjacent to the Big Dipper Ice Cream stand as well, so head on out to Apalachin, experience some local charm, eat some barbecue, get some ice cream for dessert, and make the 15-minute drive back to Binghamton with a smile on your face, knowing that you've just experienced one of the area's best-kept secrets.