With a party of five and a hankering for some good American before the football we headed to Mr Big Stuff down Meyer Pl. We’d made a booking but needn’t have worried, Me Big Stuff had only just opened for the night and was still quite empty when we arrived.
Everything on the menu looked tempting and wanting to save time and because it was difficult to come to a decision with so many people, we ended up opting for the banquet. The staff knew when we had to leave and ensured us it was the most efficient choice and would give us a taste of everything. As any good night out should, we started with cocktails. I went for the Kool Aid with watermelon, it was interesting but overly sweet. A good novelty drink but definitely not something to have often for the sake of your sugar intake!
Now for the banquet, let the deliciousness begin! We started with some pickled okra, a bit of a soul food delicacy. It may look a little like a chili but it was actually refreshing and light, a great way to cleanse the palette before a big meal! Next up, the fried pigs ears. I’d tried this before and hadn’t enjoyed it because the fry wasn’t right, but this time was different! They were crunchy and light and I think we finally understood why people rave about them so much! The dishes were beginning to come fast at this point and the next to make it to our table were the watermelon bites. It was refreshing with a spicy hit, and came in handy later to cool the jerk chicken! We also tried the peach and beets. An interesting salad with a combination of fruit and veggie and a light creamy cheese. Beetroot is fantastic and it’s about time it got to star in more dishes! Next up on the banquet menu was blackened fish, but we made the switch to chicken and waffles. Basically because it’s chicken and waffles, a combination of breakfast and dinner that could never be anything less than delicious. Sweet and fried food is a great combination, the chicken was tender and the waffles crisp but it would have been a more cohesive dish if it was served together. Plus it was a bit awkward to actually eat your chicken and waffle, messy is fine but you want a bit of everything! Next to arrive was macaroni cheese, served hot with a beautifully crumbed top. The dish was served hot, was that kind of oozy, creamy and cheesy that makes it such a comfort food. The macaroni was a touch over for our tastes but this is a common complaint eating mac and cheese out so we’ll forgive them for it! Now for something spicy, the jerk chicken! If you’re looking for something with a real bite, this was definitely it. The chicken was tender and juicy, almost falling off the bone and you can’t help but get your hands a little dirty but that’s part of the fun. With some more greenery, and a nice change from the heaviness of some of the fried dishes was the Kale and Yam salad. We were initially expecting something savoury, but this dish was surprisingly sweet, it was nice and light but not really what we are looking for in a salad. The tongue and cheek was the next dish we tried. A juicy, tender beef with a crispy, melt in your mouth skin. The sauce was rich and there was a great mix of texture and flavours. The corn bread was perfect to soak up all the juices from the beef! Finally, we swapped the waffles (the usual dessert for the $65 banquet) with apple pie. Instead of a slice we got our own mini apple pie. The pastry was a bit over done but the pie popped and melted in your mouth and was small enough to just give you a taste after a huge meal!
The banquet ended up being a lot more food than we expected, they were certainly generous bringing out two or three plates of each selection. We would probably have happily shared a single dish of each and ended up taking a lot of leftovers home! Next time we won’t be ordering the banquet, but it was a good way to get a taste of everything on the menu!
If you’re into a bit of American comfort food Mr Big Stuff may have just what you’re craving!