Looking for a bit more meat with your weekly produce shopping? Last Friday, Bigmista's Barbecue -- aka former banker Neil Strawder and his family -- set up shop in the prepared-foods section of the Eagle Rock farmers market, giving nearby Hawaiian Chicken some friendly competition.
For those not up on the Bigmista's craze: Last November, the Long Beach-based operation began bringing their meats (which have been smoked for eight hours), to the Watts farmers market before quickly adding a slew of others markets to their repertoire: Atwater Village, Lawndale, Torrance and El Segundo.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Next thing I knew I was quitting my job, this was going so well," says Strawder. That was February. On this particular July evening, the team, consisting of Strawder, his mother, his father-in-law and his wife's cousin, seemed to be off to another good start on their first visit to Eagle Rock, where they were selling $4 BBQ sandwiches and Bigmista Samplers: ribs, brisket, sausage and pulled pork for $17.
Because Strawder learned his craft from pit masters around the country via BBQ-Brethren.com, his barbecue cannot be easily categorized as Texas-style, Kansas-style or so on. "It's just Bigmista-style," he laughs.
Eventually, Strawder would like to open his own spot, a kitchen with a take-out window. For now, though, he's happy to ply appreciative carnivores with pig candy -- strips of apple-cured bacon topped with caramelized brown sugar and cayenne pepper -- before they explore what the rest of the farmers market has to offer.
Bigmista's Barbecue: every Friday, 5-9 p.m., Eagle Rock farmers market, 2200 Merton Ave.