Lawrence restaurants: Bigg’s owner talks ribs, carrying on a restaurant tradition
This Q&A appeared in the Jan. 22, 2020, edition of the Journal-World’s Crave food supplement. More from that section, including interviews with Lawrence restaurateurs, can be found here.
Doug Holiday, owner of Bigg’s BBQ, talked with the Journal-World recently about ribs and carrying on a family tradition of restaurant ownership.
Bigg’s BBQ, 2429 Iowa St., is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Q: What’s your favorite item on your restaurant’s menu?
A: All our ribs are my favorite. We don’t cook them in a sauce. We just use a dry rub and then smoke them.
Q: How did you get into the profession?
A: I have always been in the business. I began as a busboy at 13 in Colorado Springs and have never gotten out of the business. My grandparents Jim and Virginia Large were in the restaurant business. In 1955, they turned a bookstore at 507 W. 14th St. into the Wagon Wheel Cafe, better known as the Wheel.
I came to KU to go to school, and in 2000 I opened the Hereford House. Then in 2004, we opened Bigg’s BBQ. Bigg’s is a tribute to my grandfather. Then in 2012, we opened Burgers by Bigg’s.
Q: What is one trend in food that you are most excited about right now?
A: The trend right now is a lot of delivery. But we have been doing delivery since we opened in 2004. We are ahead of the game.
Q: Other than your own restaurant, what restaurant would you most like to eat at in Lawrence?
A: I like to eat at (Morningstar) Pizza or Johnny’s at Sixth and Wakarusa. I always eat local.
Q: How do you go about trying to balance the ideas of healthy eating and creating a really flavorful dish?
A: We have some very healthy options such as grilled salmon, steamed vegetables and salads.
Q: What’s your best advice for someone who is trying to become a better cook?
A: Have a lot of patience. There is a lot of trial and error with things that work or don’t work.