New Jersey native Glenn Gross is invading the PA comfort-food scene with his finger-licking Fat Jack’s BBQ, a concept that launched its Malvern hub officially Monday, Nov. 3, as of 11 a.m. With additional locations in Philadelphia (off Roosevelt Boulevard) and in Jenkintown, Gross is on a mission to champion the East Coast barbecue scene one slab of ribs at time.
This guru of ‘cue is nestled in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center, where he is showcasing his competitive edge (as seen on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters) through recreations of his award-winning Southern hickory-smoked barbecue. He’s drawing country-wide inspiration for his specialties like Carolina-focused pulled pork, Memphis-influenced pulled chicken, Texas-style beef brisket, smoked chicken wings, burnt ends and endless Southern-inspired sides (mac ‘n cheese, corn on the cob, collard greens, red beans and rice, etc.). Take a peek at his full menu here.
What does BBQ King Gross think about joining the Main Line ‘cue movement? “We smoke all other barbecue restaurants,” he says. “Here’s the difference: we put a little bit of ourselves into it. We’re a small chain, and we pride ourselves on consistency.”
Is he a sauce or a dry-rub kind of BBQ guy? “I’m a sauce guy,” he says. “It’s something I’ve always done and I like it. I’m confident in my [sauced] product and do what I do because I have won so many competitions in the last 15–18 years.”
But, what really ranks his brisket so high on a foodie’s pedestal? It’s all about the extent to which he’s slow-cooking and slow-smoking the meat. “Our brisket runs anywhere from a low of 14 hours to a high of 18 hours,” he says. “Ribs go about four hours. Little things like chicken breasts, that’s just 25 minutes. It all depends on what we are doing—we do specials that take less time, like bacon-wrapped strips, where we smoke ‘em and then grill ‘em.”
An additional perk of the Malvern-based Fat Jack’s BBQ is curbside “pig-up” (read: pick-up). Gross additionally sweetened the deal of his newest location by offering opening-day guests an incentive: the first 50 patrons scored cards granting them complimentary sandwiches every week for a year.
Fat Jack’s BBQ also announces it’ll be smoking soon in Hamilton, N.J., and Morrisville, Pa. Visit the newest Fat Jack’s BBQ hub at 235 Lancaster Ave., Ste. E3, in Malvern; phone: (484) 320-8149. Follow Fat Jack’s BBQ Malvern on Facebook and Twitter too.