Written by Kim Cherie Fowlkes
I rarely leave a restaurant completely satisfied and with a smile on my face. My belly was so full when I finished eating that I had to relax before I could get up to walk to my vehicle; which was basically parked at the door. I was stuffed. Probably overstuffed. The outcome here was a total surprise to me and my co-worker Sonya when we took our first bites from our respective food trays that they serve the food on.
Like a lot of restaurants and eateries, I learned of Bad Brad’s on social media and I was immediately interested because of the photos that were posted of delicious looking food. Of course I followed them right away. I really wanted to keep up with what they were doing and when they were doing it. And, now I think I have had my eye on this place for at least 6 months and I decided that I was going to see “Brad” this month; more specifically, this past weekend.
Juicy Smoked Chicken Wings
I probably had looked at the menu once or twice when I initially followed them on “The Gram“. But, this week leading up to my foodie visit I looked again and again. That menu is huge. A huge menu to me is rarely a good sign to me. But, I could tell that they had it together and this time a large menu was a positive thing. Almost everything on the menu had barbecue involved somehow. Ribs, Chicken, Brisket, Shredded Pork and Chicken, Pizza, Nachos, Fries, Chili and Chowder were all infused with something to do with smoked meats or a BBQ sauce. I could not decide on what I was going to order because I wanted to try almost everything! Even the things I don’t want to eat on any other occasion I wanted to try at Brad’s.
We made it to Bad Brad’s on a misty and cold Saturday afternoon. It was not a bad drive from Flint and only 20-25 minutes from Grand Blanc. We got off the express way and encountered a traffic jam right on Baldwin Rd due to road construction going north bound towards the restaurant. There was no wait when got there and we sat right down. When entering the doors you will notice that the ambiance in the restaurant is a modern, rustic blend. It was very pleasing to my eyes. The guy and girl servers were dressed in green camo apparel as if they were out hunting. It all seemed to work together.
Perfect Sweet Potato Mash
Our server Trevor came right over to introduce us to the restaurant and gave us overview of what they were about when it came to cooking. He highlighted that everything there was made from scratch and then educated us on the different bbq sauces they had to accompany the smoked meats available on the menu. All of the sauces were centerpieces on the table so that you could try them on all during your meal.
Finally we were ready to order! My friend Sonya went first but, we had both decided that we each wanted to get and order of the BBQ TRIO which included 2 bones of St. Louis style ribs, 2 nice size Chicken Wings and, 3 slices of Pig Candy. Ok y’all, when I tell you that the meat on the ribs was oh so tender, BELIEVE ME THEY ARE. They were perfectly seasoned not too much and not too little. I didn’t use any sauce. I didn’t need it and I wasn’t interested once I had taken a bite. The chicken wings were the same way except, I tasted more seasoning and smoke in the chicken even more mouthwateringly delicious. Last but not least in the trio was the Pig Candy. When I first read Pig Candy on the menu I thought to myself, Oh that’s a cute name” and fitting because the bacon is cooked/smoked with sugar and bit of chipotle powder and then turned into what must be sweet pork pieces. But, bacon is bacon. I love bacon, I will eat in anytime so, just bring it on…. And, what a surprise I got when I tasted this bacon!! It tasted just like candy!!! It was definitely bacon but after being marinated in the sugar/chipotle blend and then smoked it was made it to a wonderful sticky delight. For this bacon a little goes a long way so share with your friends and family.
Fall off the bones Meaty Ribs
Sonya sides included the Bad Brad’s Pit Beans, Sweet Cornbread and the Collard Greens that were dotted with Black Eyed Peas. She could not stop raving about the greens. She said she knows there has to be some southern roots back there in that kitchen. My co-worker was just as pleased as I was with her meal. We both agreed to wear clothing with elastic in the waist the next time we return.
Sweet with a spicy kick Cornbread
I was also impressed with the side dishes I had ordered. I was stumped there too but, lucky for me they had a Side Sampler which included any 3 sides. I got 4, Fries, Coleslaw, Sweet Potato Mash and Cornbread. So, I always have to know how the French Fries are wherever I go and the fries did not disappoint here. I wanted more fries. The Coleslaw reminded me of the coleslaw my Grandmother used to make when my mother would barbecue. They gave me plenty of that, enough for leftovers. Next I tried the Sweet Potato Mash. There was no description on the menu so I was not sure if this dish was a savory mash or sweet mash. I learned upon its arrival at my table that it was a perfect mash. When I asked Trevor what was in the side dish he wasn’t sure but he did find out for me. He let me know that it was cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt & pepper. I agreed to try it and when it came to the table I mixed in the spot of sweetened butter that was intended for my cornbread. I hadn’t even tried the sweet mash yet. But, when I did….It was a winner. It was again perfectly seasoned; not too sweet, not too savory. I could taste definite sweetness but the little taste of saltiness balanced it right on out. I wanted more of this too. The perfect mix into this outrageous meal was the Oh So Sweet Cornbread that is sprinkled with pieces of hot pepper throughout and is baked in a the form of a small round disk as if it was baked in a tiny cast iron skillet. I didn’t know if this was a side or dessert. It really didn’t matter though. I should have got one for each course.
The one thing I knew for sure before I got there is that I was going to get the dessert of Sugar Donuts that is served with a trio of sauces. But, after that meal of meals, there was no way I could think about dessert. That festival of food that landed at my table had me finished for the day. I may just have to work my way backwards next time if I plan to make it to dessert.
Coleslaw like my Grandmother’s
Bad Brad’s is taking the Culinary and Barbecue industry to school and I learned all about it on Saturday. Check out Bad Brad’s BBQ menu and let me know how you like it when you go!
I had to take some Sweet Potato Mash Home! 🙂