Back in 2017, Roderick ‘Big Roddy’ Saba and David Kempnich opened Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack in Fish Lane – a cosy barbecue joint that specialises in racks on racks of ribs. Although the cosy South Brisbane location gave the team an air of modesty, Roddy and David had lofty goals to expand far beyond the confines of their laneway digs. For the past few years, the boys have been focused on recruiting reliable local suppliers and nailing their recipes, cooking processes and service style until it was rock solid and easy to replicate, but all the while they kept their eye on Brisbane for a spot to expand. After scoping out potential sites in Toowong, Coorparoo and Brisbane City last year, Roddy and David finally found the perfect locale in The Valley – a sizeable restaurant space at the base of M&A Apartments on McLachlan Street. Formerly the home of Madame Rouge, the site’s size (room for more than 140 patrons compared to South Brisbane’s 46) and existing furnishings proved perfect for Roddy and David’s needs. Cushy leather booths, red-velvet curtains and a central stone-topped bar created a terrific foundation to build upon, all that was needed was some new specialty gear in the kitchen and a few cosmetic touches and Big Roddy’s 2.0 was ready to roll.
Compared to its South Brisbane sibling, Big Roddy’s on McLachlan Street offers a lot more room for folks to linger. The space is perfect for after-work drinks and snacks, a feed before a night of revelry, or a laid-back lunch with the crew. Like South Brisbane, the centrepiece of Big Roddy’s menu is ribs – baby back pork ribs, pork button ribs and beef short ribs – all seasoned, basted and chargrilled until incredibly tender. When it comes to barbecue sauce, you’ve got options – choose from original, smoky, sweet, spicy or the Max Power sauce (the sauce that sounds good in your ear and tastes good on your tongue). Not to be outdone, the burger selection also has the goods – we’re talking cheeseburgers, fried-chicken burgers and the Ribwich – which comes with your choice of beef rib and brisket or slow-cooked pork rib, belly and shoulder. Rounding out the menu is a selection of wings’n’things and sides, including options like poutine (with bacon pieces), jala-macca-peno poppers (crispy jalapenos stuffed with mac’n’cheese – ooft), buffalo wings, corn on the cob, coleslaw, chicken strips, chilli fries and the buffalo fried cauliflower. Those with room for dessert can dip a spoon into some choc-caramel ganache, but soon Big Roddy’s will also be offering ice-cream and shakes to end your barbecue feast on a sweet note. Of Big Roddy’s four beer taps, two are reserved for Big Roddy’s own Champion Lager and Monteith’s crushed-apple cider, while the other two will showcase a different brewer each month (all bottled varieties are Aussie craft drops). With more bar space to work with, Roddy and David will be introducing a cocktail list soon, bolstering its established selection of beer, wine and spirits.
Also of note, Big Roddy’s is using biodegradable food packaging for all of its takeaway, delivery and in-store meals. Come March, the both locations will be composting 100% of all food waste generated in partnership with the BioPak Compost Club. Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack is now open in Fortitude Valley. For opening hours and contact details, click over to the Stumble Guide.