Eclectic home-style Texas BBQ joint serving award-winning brisket

Bam Bam’s BBQ –

Orem, UT – Texas Barbecue – $ to $$ – Casual
Sifter Critique

Brandon O. - Pro Sifter and PhotographerOct 28, 2019

Overall 4.2 / 5.0

4.3

Food

4

Service

4.3

Ambience

4.2

Value

Overview

The story of Bam Bam’s BBQ is symbolic of the American Dream. Owner Cameron Treu’s grit transformed him from BBQ enthusiast to world-class pit-master. He won his first competition in Arizona as a rookie. Next, he caught the attention of John Lewis, the King of Brisket, and trained with him. After apprenticing in Texas, he moved to Utah, took out a small loan, and then opened up Bam Bam’s in 2013. Since then, he’s won many BBQ champions and has even cooked for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. If you’re looking for an authentic Texas barbecue here in Utah, this is it! Their meats are spot on! They also offer nachos, barbecue sandwiches, and other sides.

Value:

Bam Bam’s charges for their meat by weight, but portions are large. They offer smoked turkey, brisket, pulled pork, chopped beef, and sausage links. The prices range from around $3 to $10 per half-pound, based on what you order. Sides start at $2 for a single serving and go up to $9 per quart. BBQ sandwiches or the nachos, called “Swachos,” will run you $8 to $12 each. The sandwiches come with a side and fountain drink. For a family of three, with four types of meat options and two sides, it ran us around $45. Due to the quality of the meat and the portion sizes, the value was mainly there. The quality of the sides were inferior to the meat, bringing the value down for us.

Most popular dishes:

The pork ribs, regular sausage links, brisket, and burnt ends when available. Entrees sell out, so come early!

What I ordered:

The brisket, of course! We also ordered jalapeno sausages, pork Swatchos, smoked turkey, potato salad, and coleslaw. The ribs and burnt ends sold out before 5 pm, Friday night.

Food quality:

The Sauces
Bam Bam’s offers three unlabeled sauces. The lighter sauce has a tangy vinegar, chili, and pepper taste. It’s very acidic. The darker sauce has a tomato-base, a strong smoky flavor, and tastes of sweet molasses. The middle sauce is both acidic and a little sweet.

Pulled Pork Swatchos (Nachos)
The pork was incredibly moist. It had an excellent blend of lean and fatty pieces. The pork alone is smokey and light on seasoning. Minimal flavor from the dry rub comes through. The natural juices from the meat and smokiness from the barbecue pit standout the most! This dish is “trashy,” an intended blend of premium and low-quality ingredients. The nacho cheese was your typical fast-food cheese sauce. The chips were also nothing special, your average supermarket quality. The BBQ beans were homemade and soaked vs. canned. Some beans were a little too firm, but most were al dente. Not too sweet. Overall it was savory, a little sweet, and quite smokey. The chips get soggy quickly, so devour them quickly to preserve the crunch!

Brisket
Bam Bam’s serves the meat sans-sauce. The meat itself has a savory dry rub with ample pepper. When you order, you’re presented with the option of lean or fatty slices. For both, the meat was moist towards the middle and dry on the edges. Not to mention, it was incredibly smokey! The beef is enjoyable on its own. You can also sweeten it to your desired level or make it more acidic with three different sauces.

Turkey
The pepper rub is too much, overpowering the sweet, smoky flavor in the middle. I cut off the skin from a piece, and it was so much better. It’s tender and lean and decently juicy.

Jalapeno Sausage
The sausage was firm on the outside, moist and gooey on the inside with a cheddar filling. It packs a bit of heat, so go for the regular sausage if you’re worried. The wood smoke flavor was the best of all the meats we tried.

Potato Salad
It was very acidic and overly salty. The potato pieces were tiny, so it was more of a mashed potato salad, heavy on mustard, mayo, and pickles. It also had a strong celery salt flavor.

Coleslaw
The cabbage was a bit wilted and had too much pepper for my liking. The flavor itself was both sweet and acidic. Out of the two sides, it was my favorite, but I’ve had better elsewhere.

Dietary Needs:

All the meats and barbecue sauces are gluten-free. Their kitchen is also gluten-friendly. There are great dairy-free options, as well. Don’t expect vegetarian options other than coleslaw, but that’s BBQ for you!

Ambiance:

Before you even walk in, you can smell the BBQ! You also leave smelling like BBQ! The space is eclectic and homey. Chalk drawings line the walls, tables are communal style, and you’ll find sports playing on the TVs. They also have a map on the wall so you can pin home. It’s very much a family establishment, so bring the kids! It’s also a place to come with friends or meet your neighbors sitting next to you on a crowded night. Also, make sure to take a picture with the pig statue out front!

Service:

The staff was friendly and prompt with my order. We had our food within three minutes of ordering. The restaurant itself was a bit dirty. The trash was overflowing, and it was hard to find a clean spot on the communal tables.

What I liked most:

The pulled pork, brisket, and that the meat comes sans-sauce. Far too many BBQ restaurants in Utah douse their meat with too much sugar.

What I disliked most:

That they were out of ribs, regular sausage, and that I forgot to try the Mac N’ Cheese with Goldfish cracker crumble.

The verdict:

Bam Bam’s is one of Utah’s better barbecue joints if you’re coming for the meat. The sides that we tried were average. Check it out if you’re craving Austin inspired Texas BBQ. We’ll be back!

Food prepared in this establishment may contain wheat, shellfish, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts. Please ask the establishment prior to consuming any food.

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