Bam Bam’s BBQ, a new BBQ joint opened in Orem a year ago. The owner has learned from the barbecue greats and toured the competition barbecue circuits, adding several trophies and titles to his collection. They got rave reviews and we got really excited to go try authentic Texas BBQ from a pit barbecue champion.
We showed up on a weeknight for dinner and stepped up to the counter to order. It’s a counter service restaurant: order and pay at the counter, then they’ll call you when your order’s ready. The atmosphere is fun with several long picnic tables perfect for large groups and local sports memorabilia on the walls. They weren’t very busy that night, but the staff didn’t seem eager to help us order our food.
The menu is posted on a chalkboard and is frequently updated since they routinely sell out of many items. The turkey was sold out and we took the last of the pulled pork. You can order a sandwich, which is served with one side and a drink; everything else is a la carte. Meats are sold by the half pound and sides are sold with the choice of single serving, a pint, or a quart. Everyone gets a slice of bread on the side, but it seemed like white Wonder bread straight from the bag.
Food is served on a large sheet of paper like several of the BBQ joints in Texas do it. I myself am a fan of the paper plate for BBQ…less mess, especially when you’re trying to share food among family. One of the kids ordered a sandwich meal, but the rest of us ordered several meats and sides to share. We had to ask for extra papers when I think they should have just asked how many we needed (even the sandwich meal was served on the family paper). I felt like they wanted to feed us like animals from a singular trough or something. We also asked for several small paper trays to share the sides.
Ribs ($7.99/ half pound), Beef Brisket ($9.50/half pound), & Pulled Pork ($6.99/half pound) – The ribs and pork were both good with a nice smoky flavor. Brisket is a highly praised menu item at Bam Bam’s so we were really excited to try it, but the high percentage of fat really turned us off. Brisket is usually quite moist and frequently has a lot of fat. This one was over the top with the fat, though…one large slice was all fat and had to be discarded.
Tangy & Sweet Sauces at the Table – The meats are served without sauce so you can sauce it all you want at the table. The Sweet was the favorite at our table…it was more of a traditional BBQ sauce. The Tangy was a thin, vinegar-based BBQ sauce which I still really liked. Combine the two for the best of both worlds.
Beans ($7.99/quart) – I love it when multiple varieties of beans are cooked together with bacon, spices, and sauce. These looked really good. I was surprised by the lack of sweetness. These are savory beans with flavors of bacon and cumin. They are quite saucy, too, as you can see.
For us, Bam Bam’s didn’t quite live up to the hype. We thought most of the food was good, but the prices were a bit high considering nothing knocked us out of the park. The brisket was a disappointment, but we know a lot of people go there just for that, so maybe we got an extra fatty batch. Service was severely lacking from the lackadaisical attitude when we were ordering to when my youngest spilled a full drink and they didn’t clean it up well, leaving ice cubes all over the floor. If I went back, I’d recommend getting a pork sandwich meal if you’re going to eat there (less mess & a decent price) or getting several meats and sides to go for a family style meal at home.
Bam Bam’s BBQ
1708 South State Street
Orem, UT 84058
Entree Price: $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.6
Mr. Diner: 3
Mrs. Diner: 3.5
Amazing Diner: 5
Sweet Diner: 3