One thing I’m grateful for is friends who are always down for beer and brisket. My usual sidekick just so happened to be on call for work, and my good friend Maria swooped in to the rescue to be my dining partner for the night. Since moving to the South end of Calgary Alberta, I’ve quickly adapted from a bougie inner city girl to the Suburban Scarlet O’Hara, proclaiming “I will Never Go Hungry Again!”- ensuring I have a long list of close fave eating spots. And Big Sky BBQ is one of them. From My home in Auburn Bay, Big Sky BBQ is a quick 11 minute drive South to Okotoks, where its clear you are immediately immersed in the spectacular Albertan countryside, passing over the Bow River where people are fly fishing or taking in an relaxing float. The rolling foothills, pastures, and acreage homes tout a vibe where living seems easy and unbothered by the city that lays North of them. The scenic drive never fails to build anticipation for me, where the tension begins to leave my body and replaced with some deeper breathes, filling my lungs with air that just feels more bountiful.
I fell in love with Big Sky BBQ last summer, when we had a hankering for BBQ but didn’t want to drive downtown to our other favorite spot The Cormery Block. It would be since I had snagged me a southern boy from St. Louis 4 years ago, that I’d now consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of what can be considered “Good BBQ.” Not only good BBQ, but how BBQ can vary from region to region, whereby one can hone in on what their favorite style of BBQ is. From the rubs, to the woods, to the smoke, to the sauces, it all can cone together exquisitely if done right. BBQ is the type of food you can taste the passion and soul put into it-maybe that’s why it makes us feel so good when the rich aromas hit our senses. It ignites a sense of familiarity that feels like home with every morsel that falls of the bone.
Upon arrival you are transported to an authentic Texas Style BBQ Joint- But aesthetically nicer in my opinion. Inside you get the vibe of a roadhouse, where its spacious and cozy all rolled up in one Biker Loving atmosphere. My favorite however is the outdoor dining, where there are picnic tables with umbrellas in a beautiful grassy landscape, and heated bar seating that makes it easy to sit out there for hours and take in the sunset. When you look out, you’ll see horses running majestically in the distance. As you can tell from my description, ambience is everything for me when I’m out to eat, and BBQ without the right setting in my opinion can make or break even the taste of those savory meaty delights.
So it was no surprise that despite the cool temperatures Maria and I sat there with our coats huddled up under the heat lamp for hours, putting back Sangria’s and Tall Boys like a couple Roadhouse hussies looking for a good time. Its the kind of place where you can strike up conversations with strangers beside you and reconnect with the world again after a lengthy year amidst this exhausting pandemic, While Alberta continues to sway in and out of varying restrictions, we’ve become more cognizant about supporting our local businesses like Big Sky BBQ, as its a place that clearly gives back to us as well in the form of a place to gather safely over some good ol’ soul food. Food has always historically brought people together- and this establishment does just that.
So we dined on their Smoked Beans, Brisket, St. Louis Ribs(to die for) and coleslaw to balance it all out. I personally love to mix my Beans and Slaw together making for an extra sloppy mouth watering variation. I don’t think there isn’t anything on the menu that isn’t amazing, and if you go with a group get the platters as you get some major bang for your buck that will keep you eating BBQ for the days ahead.
So if you are a local to Calgary or surrounding area, this is a must go to spot in my opinion. Lets continue to get see our local businesses through this rough patch, and do yourself a favor too by getting out the house!
Big Sky BBQ also has an on location butcher shop, catering, and Pit Master cooking classes!