There are a few places in Valparaiso I like to hit with frequency. There aren’t many places in this town that I won’t like. And there are a few places that y’all need to check out.

Like Big Daddy’s Barbeque in Valparaiso, IN.

Located in the little strip mall on the east side of Calumet St. in the same building as the Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins and Springleaf Financial Services building. For those with knowledge of the fair town, it’s in the same location that Pestos & El Salto were in before they moved on to bigger venues. We hope Big Daddys gets the same love.

I went there today for a quick NWiSM lunch meeting with Coach Lee & Dave Woodson and it’ll be the location we use for our team lunch in a couple weeks.

What Big Daddy’s Barbeque Joint has going for it.


You smell Big Daddy’s Barbeque before you walk in the door. The thick, rich, smokey barbecue smell emanates throughout the parking log. Even kills the smell of the Dunkin Donuts. Then when you walk in you get that smell mixed in with some vintage blues music – vintage Beale St. feel complete with framed pictures of classic Memphis on the walls. Vintage concrete-polished floors because you can make a mess a couple LED TVs – one for news & one for sports, a menu over the counter covered in a classic barbecue pit lid with a glimpse of the custom firepit in the kitchen, great beer selection in the cooler to the counter’s right by the soda fountain machines & plastic silverware and you know you’re in a place owned by someone who’s at least seen a vintage BBQ place up close. Once you order at the counter you go fill up your drinks, grab some silverware and custom sauce and pick one of the tables or booth in the area – or the spacious patio on the warmer weather days – and sit and wait for your food to be served. Each table has ketchup, a squeeze bottle of Big Daddy’s house barbecue sauce & a roll of paper towels to get your ready for your journey.


I wish I could tell you all that they serve but I usually just blindly go with the daily special because everything looks so good that I don’t think about it. All the fixin’s & trimmin’s: baked beans, cole slaw, muffins, corn bread…They also have salads and meat sandwiches for those who aren’t in the mood for barbecue or pulled pork or brisket. Soft drinks & craft beers: yeah, I was in a good place. Me and my buddies make excuses to eat there time and time again.

What Big Daddy’s could do a little more.

Memphis ambiance but no Memphis ribs.

I’m not a ribs snob but for a joint that has Memphis styles, trimmin’s, fixin’s, music & style, you’d think they’d have Memphis Ribs. They have house ribs and St. Louis ribs, but no Memphis Ribs. I hope they give it a chance!

Local SEO.

Yeah, I just went nerdy on the internet marketing. I know they owner tried to work on the site himself. I said before I left for Southwest Florida that I’d give him suggestions and I should hold true to it, but right now it’s hard to find the website because the webhosting he’s using is indexing their internal linking and they haven’t done and SEO proposal yet but I think I’m going to do it for free just to get them some good press because I don’t want to always have to go up to Smokey’s on US 20 for barbecue when some great stuff is in my town.

Would I go back to Big Daddy’s Barbeque.

Yes. Many, many times! And y’all should go, too!

And, yeah, I think we’re gonna try a #nwitweetup there!

Have you been to Big Daddy’s Barbecue?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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