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Watching his mother cook inspired pit master to open Big B’s Bar-B-Que: Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest

August 7, 2018

Watching his mother cook inspired pit master to open Big B’s Bar-B-Que: Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest

LYNDHURST, Ohio -- Raymond Brownlee says his mother, Bonnie, “didn’t exactly teach” him to cook, but hours spent with her in the kitchen as a child inspired his desire to one day open his own barbecue joint.

Big B’s Bar-B-Que -- named for his mom -- opened in January 2017 in Lyndhurst and since then, Brownlee has quietly cultivated a loyal following for his ribs, pulled pork and oversized wings, as well as his gregarious personality.

Big B’s Bar-B-Que is one of 20 finalists in Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest. Each establishment was nominated, and then voted into the finals, by our readers. You may vote for your favorite BBQ joint once daily here. The poll resets each morning at 9 a.m.

We visited Big B’s on July 30. Scroll down to see our taste test review of its foods.

Big B’s Bar-B-Que

Address: 5361 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst

Phone: 440-459-2035

Website: www.bigbbbq.com

Social media

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigBsBarbeque/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bigbbbque/

How many different kinds of BBQ are on the menu? Ribs, pulled Pork, wings

How many sauce options? Just one -- Ray’s signature sauce and he is not sharing the secret.

Best Sellers: Ribs and wings.

Most unique item on the menu: Chicken Polish Boy.

Specials: Buy one, get one half-off on Polish Boys.

Cleveland’s Best reporters Yadi Rodriguez, Brenda Cain and Kristen Davis, along with celebrity host/comedian Mike Polk, visited Big B’s Bar-B-Que on July 30.

At each of the finalist restaurants, we’re sampling all kinds of barbecue, including ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken -- as well as many sides and a dish the restaurant felt was its best or most unique offering.

Taste Test Review

Pork Ribs: “Very tender, the meat comes right off the bone,” said Cain.

“A true classic -- big, hearty and meaty,” said Polk.

Pulled Pork: “The pork was tender and was complemented well by the cole slaw and sauce piled high on top of it,” said Rodriguez.

“I liked that the meat was not overwhelmed by the sauce,” said Davis.

Chicken Wings: “I had no idea they had chickens that big! These wings are massive,” Cain said.

“The wings are the best thing on the menu -- so huge and meaty and fried in a thick batter,” said Davis.

Polish Boy/Chicken Polish Boy: “The sausage was delicious. The fries and slaw overwhelmed it a bit,” said Rodriguez.

“The Chicken Polish Boy was a good combination of flavors with a generous helping of chicken,” said Davis.

Sides

Baked Beans: “Sweet. I am not a fan of BBQ beans, but I would have more of these,” said Davis.

“A traditional homestyle recipe. This is what baked beans were intended to be,” said Polk.

Mac & Cheese: “This is the kind of mac n’ cheese you used to get at my grandmother’s -- tender macaroni with plenty of melt-y cheese,” Cain said.

“This tasted like a summer picnic to me,” said Rodriguez.

The Sauce: “I could do shots of this stuff. It’s a true triumph,” said Polk.

“Amazing! I want to know what is in it,” said Davis.

Why not join us in our quest to find the Best Barbecue in Greater Cleveland. The schedule for our visits is posted here.

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