There’s a saying: “Behind every great man is a great woman…” And at Big Daddy’s BBQ, this woman is Khaseta Grigg. She doesn’t work at Big Daddy’s anymore, but people still ask about her. She’s a big part of how our relationship with customers began and how it continues. She also played a big role in making those amazing homemade sides that compliment main dishes.
Just like Hoss, her roots are here in the more rural parts of Southwest Idaho. She grew up out in the country, north of Middleton with her sisters and parents who still live close by. “My parents are my role models,” she says. “They have been married for 51 years and even though they had their ups and downs, they worked hard for what they wanted and worked really hard for their relationship.”
She met Hoss through a mutual friend.. She says, “I thought he was funny. He made me laugh and he loved to communicate. He was so outgoing.”
Eventually Hoss and Khaseta married and their first big venture together was the purchase of a bar named The Red Eye in Kuna. A year after buying that, the economy crashed. So, for 3 years, they were selling the smoked meats as a way to support the bar-- so that is was “The Red Eye Bar and Grill”
“Hoss is a GREAT great pitmaster," She explains. "After many years of failing, he finally had his product down and that’s when we brought it into the bar.” The smoked meats side of things took off and made way for catering and food truck success.
She remembers those early years and how they were very tiring with long hours and struggle upon struggle. “It was just me and him 6 days a week for a long time. And, if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t have done it for so long.” Though it came with a lot of sweat and tears it taught her that a lot of hard work pays off.
During this time she knows good things were happening, but it was slow and steady. It took 5-6 years to get to a point where she could walk away from the day-to-day duties and feel confident that the smoked meats business would be successful. The constant growth they still see today surprises her as does her husband’s unstoppable drive. As a restaurant co-owner, she says, “Knowing that we put out a good product and the customers like it and they keep coming back is the most satisfying part of the work.”
As a “people person”, getting to be around customers, knowing them and their story, really made her work at Big Daddy’s BBQ a labor of love. As her daughter Kersten explains, “She knew customers by name, what they did for a living, their kids, what their kids were doing. It was no secret if you came in and she knew who you were, she’d ignore the phone to talk to you.” And that is also why Khaseta still gets asked about 4-5 times a month from regular customers.”
Khaseta’s family might be the most surprised at how her enjoyment and knack for cooking contributed to the success of the restaurant. Growing up, she learned a solid foundation for cooking, but didn’t really hone her skills until her health forced the issue. She had to find less-processed, preservative free options. Learning as she went and with a little help from family, she came up with some of the sides customers love-- like the potato salad and mac ‘n cheese.
“The potato salad was just me experimenting. It took 2 years to write down what I was doing so that someone else could do it,” Khaseta explains. “And eventually I had to just shake my seasonings into a bag and measure it so I could write it down! When I’m home, I still don’t write down recipes.”
The signature dessert of Big Daddy’s is Big Momma’s Bread Pudding. Though this “Big Momma” is not big in stature-- only big in heart. She’s the mom all the kids in the neighborhood go to and the ‘old soul.’ For the bread pudding recipe, she took a recipe her niece had and changed it up a bit with more vanilla, golden raisins, and chopped pecans and bourbon. The result is a favorite finale to a BBQ dinner.
All of her cooking and relationship-building is based from home now. She stepped away to preserve her health and most importantly, her marriage. She explains how hard it is to work with your other half, “We did it for 14 years and it got to the point where I wanted to choke him out everyday…. so I chose to walk away because I still wanted to be married to him for another 23 years.”
Now she is able to watch her grandson and get more personal quality time with her husband of 26years. They get out in the mountains together as much as possible in their UTV with hopes to have more time at the ocean together someday.
If you were to open a completely different restaurant, what kind of food would it have and why?
We’ve always talked about a burger joint, smoked burgers or breakfast. But we have always talked about if this didn’t pan out or if we expanded because it is a very expensive venture. Especially because prices are controlled by the economy.
Does this restaurant, recipe-building experience change the way you enjoy going out to eat?
“We try not to judge, because other people do things their way, but we do tend to have stronger opinions on steaks or other meats.”
What are some of their favorite places to eat?
I really love Gino’s. We love Red Pavilion. Sakana. We like to support family-run small businesses.
What is the most unusual food hack that tasted surprisingly great?
Put our beans and potato salad together and eat it at the same time. It’s really good!
What is your favorite thing on the menu?
There’s so many things on the menu I like. I love our turkey. I’ve always loved it. I love our prime rib.
What’s the modern kitchen gadget you couldn’t live without? My knives. Sharp knives.
Pick up our T-shirts (sizes S-2XL) and Hats can be purchased up in the store at 1551 W Cherry Lane in Meridian, Idaho.