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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bigfoot's BarBQ

Okay. Mr owner needs to work on some advertising or marketing a little bit. Just check out that sign. The three bullets consist of "Bar-B-Q" .. then nothing.... then "Burritos." Even if I do a google search of "Bigfoot's BBQ" and "Michigan" there are totally zero hits. I do eventually get a listing when I simply type in "Barbecue" in Au Gres, Michigan. However, the address must be totally wrong because the Google Map is pointing to the incorrect position. (Seems to be true for many Au Gres listings).

Still, for a few nights around the 4th of July weekend, The Husband and I went up to Au Gres to go camping. We chose a campsite - Pointe Au Gres Marina - because of the sheer fact that they also were a marina and we could keep our boat in the water the whole time. That was totally convenient!

Anyway, it turns out that there isn't much of a downtown Au Gres. I know it sounds mean, and we really tried to like it, but there's an old bowling alley, a bar or two, and a few family restaurants. I think Au Gres needs to have a neat bay-side downtown, not one that centers around US-23 a mile or two north. Well, times are tough and there were hundreds of cottages/homes for sale there, as there is everywhere in Michigan.

So this isn't a city review for Au Gres, though we did have a nice time. This is a review for the one establishment that we actually went to twice! Mostly because The Husband has become addicted to smoked meat as of late. It's gotten so bad, we're considering buying a smoker. But I digress....

Bigfoot's Bar-BQ is in "downtown" Au Gres right where US-23 and Michigan Ave meet, and there is a little triangle of land as Mich Ave angles south. It may not look like much from the outside (Okay, it looks totally closed) but if the Open sign is at least illuminated, you should totally stop.

On Friday, the fourth, we stopped and seemed to be the only patrons. At least in the tiny counter area which holds a few bar stools and a few 2 person tables. I'm okay with the cute little setup, you don't need much room as long as there is good BBQ to be had. And there was!

The menu is pretty simple. You've got pulled pork or beef brisket sandwiches for a reasonable amount of cash, in three different sizes (Small, medium, and large - ranging from $4 to $6 I believe). We ordered one of each and both were delicious. The sandwiches are served with the top of the sesame bun askew and the meats are piled high, with a topping of their unique BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce is tangy, spicy, and very good! I tend to like sweet sauces but this was a nice change of pace. The meats were smokey, juicy, and exactly as they should be. One of my favorite parts of the sandwiches was that besides chips, he served them with sliced pickles. The tangy pickle mixed with a little smokey BBQ pork was an excellent combo. I will have to remember that!

They also offer a special homemade coney chili on Koegel hotdogs (I tried explaining to The Husband why Koegels are the only hotdog, but alas, he grew up too far from Flint to understand). We didn't get a chance to try that.

Among other things, they definitely have ribs - a half rack for $7 or a full for $13. The Husband wouldn't stop talking about brisket all morning on Saturday so on our way out of Au Gres, we had to stop at Bigfoot's again. While the boring husband stuck with brisket, I tried the ribs and decided I'd write a review for the place. I thought I ordered a half but got a full, but leftover BBQ never seems to be a problem for us. The ribs were delicious. Smokey, juicy, and with that unique spicy sauce. I got a side of "garlic mash" with the ribs and they were awesomely super garlicky, just how we like 'em.

We spoke to the owner on the first visit, especially since we were typically the only ones there, minus a woman coming in to make sure his hotdogs were Koegels and order some take-out. I didn't catch his name but an old take-out menu said something about Bigfoot's having come from Golden, Co. Google doesn't seem to agree (no hits on that search), but his shirt also said Golden Colorado, so now I am wishing we would've asked for the story. Nonetheless, he definitely smokes the meat out in the back of the building (which used to be a drive-in restaurant clearly), and he certainly knows his barbecue. The other patron asking about the Koegels said he must not advertise much because she always forgets about the place. I think with a little TLC, this will be one of the most popular spots in Au Gres! Good luck to Bigfoot's! If you see a sign that says "Hot BBQ", stop in!
Bigfoot's BarBQ
121 WEST Huron (Google sais North)
Au Gres, Michigan


  1. Hi Ms Bliss,

    The owner of Bigfoot's, Craig Cooper, was indeed based in Golden, CO for at least some years. I've just had a bad experience with him and wanted a record of it online, just in case anyone else is looking into hiring him.

    He advertised his Bigfoot's Bar-B-Q on Thumbtack (where he was certified as having registered with the State of Colorado), as well as Craigslist and the other usual places. I contacted him in June 2012 for a barbecue in September 2012 – our wedding reception. He was very friendly; we had a few conversations over the phone and email about just how the barbecue could be set up.

    He asked for a 50% deposit a month beforehand, and we gave it to him. He even went to the park beforehand and mentioned difficulties he would have setting up. We discussed some options. He wrote to confirm the final number of guests less than a week before the date.

    And then he didn't show up. He couldn't be reached on the day and hasn't responded to phone calls or emails during the last month. His profile has been removed from Thumbtack, though his website is still up in rudimentary form ( He cashed the check for the deposit and hasn't returned any of the money.

    We were very much looking forward to the barbecue; our wedding reception wasn't ruined - we had pizza and salads and a lot of jokes at his expense - but we were disappointed. And we're very disappointed he hasn't contacted us since then.

    Beware of Craig Cooper.

    1. To the anonymous above - I too have had an extremely disappointing experience w/ Craig Cooper/Bigfoot's Bar-b-q and wanted to make you aware that he has recently popped up on Facebook - search... "Craig Cooper - Waterford Township, Mi." Wish you all the best in recouping your losses!!