original big eds

I can’t believe I’m still blogging about Angela and Gerri. Their stay provided me with like a month’s worth of blogging material. Before Angela came, we were planning on how to epically celebrate the end of their half marathon. We settled on RIBS.

race pics

The problem is, after running 13.1 miles, you don’t really want to eat all that meat. I could have told Angela that. But since I wasn’t running the race, I figured, hey, maybe I could convince them that they’d want it.

Luckily, they were willing to wait a couple of hours before their appetite returned, so I got my ribs afterall.

And no, even though I’m pictured up there in that bright yellow shirt, I only ran the last 3 miles. Hence why my smile matches my shirt while Angela looks like she’s undergoing a root canal. I know, not only am I a cop-out but I sneaked my way into the race.

all you can eat

Big Ed’s has alot of menu options, just in case if you’re not up for all-you-can-eat, but not enough variety if you’re a vegetarian. I think the prices are pretty reasonable. Roughly $19.99 for all-you-can-eat. That’s not too bad, that is if you can make it beyond the first plate.

garlic bread!!

Instead of say an Italian loaf or baguette, they serve you those garlic bread disks. But don’t let the name fool you. They might as well be called butter bread disks. Don’t get me wrong. They’re wildly amazing. But each bite is like soaking your mouth through a butter-wash. After a couple you sorta back off. I mean, before your heart feels the heart attack, your mouth actually does.

It was no surprise that we actually did not finish the bread, despite how delicious it was.

salad untossed
With each all-you-can-eat, they first serve you a salad. I figure that this is their attempt to 1) make you feel less guilty by giving you something healthy in the beginning and 2) fill you up a bit so you’ll eat less ribs!

Either way, nothing special about the salad. The lettuce is second-bench quality, with sparse amounts of tomato and onion. At least the honey mustard is pretty fantastic!

tossed salad

Oh no, with all that dressing, the salad just became 10,000,000x unhealthier...

regular bbq

All-you-can-eat Original BBQ ($19.99)

I’ve been here once before despite living literally a mile away. On summer nights, I’ll drive by this place and catch a giant whiff of all that pork. Most times, the pork scent is entangled with this intense BBQ smell. It goes without saying that as a BBQ lover, I got their original BBQ ribs.

However, let me elaborate on how this post is different from my first visit.

Instead of ordering straight up spare back ribs, the three of us went for a SUPER COMBO, which gives you a serving each of:

  1. Baby Back Ribs: aka loin back ribs. They’re the smaller ones with less fat. The meat is leaner but these are fall off the bone tender at Big Ed’s. If I ever go back, I think I’ll just get these exclusively.
  2. Spare Ribs: These come from the belly of the pig and are a bit larger than the baby backs. They also contain a little bit more fat, which provides more flavor. Interestingly, these are a cheaper cut of the rib. I didn’t mind them, but baby back ribs > spare ribs.
  3. St. Louis Ribs: These are the biggest of the three with the most fat. They’re trimmed to remove the tips or brisket end of the spare ribs.  Despite this, the meat is a bit “tougher” to chew and for me, it’s just too much work. They’re not really fall off the bone tender either.


(Pictures and description courtesy of allbbq.com)

cajun ribs
Cajun Dry Rub

With that being said, we wanted a variety and each person ended up ordering a different type of sauce/rub. Big Ed’s serves its ribs with either its Original BBQ, Cajun Dry Rub, or Honey BBQ. They’re all $19.99. Note that getting three different cuts of the ribs still cost $19.99 compared to just ordering exclusively one cut.

To be honest, I was not at all a fan of the Cajun, which is what Gerri ordered. The ribs are alot tougher, due to the lack of moisture from the sauces. Gerri seemed to like them as they provide a kick that the other two sauces lack.

cajun steamed veggies

I can’t believe both of them got steamed veggies even after all that running. You could also settle for a baked potato, cole slaw, or fries.

honey bbq


The Honey BBQ was obviously more sweet than the original. For me, this erred a bit on the sweeter side (that I’d expect), but Angela seemed to love it. The main difference between the Honey BBQ and the Original BBQ is that the Original is a bit smokier.

honey bbq again!
A side view. With Veggies.

more original bbq

And then, there’s me. Notice the fries. Notice how the Original is also less glaze-y than the Honey BBQ.

While Big Ed’s is known for their Original BBQ recipe, I have to say that I can’t taste the difference between these and say the Kraft version of BBQ. Maybe my tastebuds are just too unrefined to taste the subtle differences but hey, that’s me.

The fries are decent, but nothing to rave over. I’d also reckon that they fried these in very dark oil since they have tiny bubbles on the outside, and hence have a bit of a burnt flavor to them. Angela really liked them but for me, it was just a bit too oily.


Big Ed’s has all these rules about all-you-can-eat. They charge $1.97 on doggy bags following the first plate. I can’t believe the three of us actually thought we could make it past two plates.

Angela: “ME TOO”

[15 minutes later]


[insert food comatosis]

We barely got through half of the ribs sadly… Clearly this is a better deal for guys.

onion rings and beans

Bryant, who also ran the race, ended up joining us sometime later since he had a quick bite. He just got onion rings, wings, and beans. What a weird combination.

I tried the onion rings. Bangin’ licious. Well, all onion rings are bangin’ licious.



What saddened me is that following the meal, I no longer have this intense craving whenever I drive by. It’s like my first experience with Sonic. Their burger was so insanely delicious that I’d actually salivate thinking about it. Well, I went back on Friday and it was like ehh, I could do without this. The same went for Big Ed’s. The ribs were good and all that but they weren’t your “Holy heck! That’s so delicious that I need to come back again!

Which is why I ask you the question- Is Big Ed’s the home of the best ribs in NJ?

305 State Route 34
Matawan, NJ 07747-9501
(732) 583-2626
Get directions
Rt. 34 & Edgar Rd. (OH BOY THERE’S EVEN A BUS!!)