Almost one year ago, Jeremy and Nicole Biondi took a leap of faith and opened a restaurant aimed at bringing something new and fresh to Newton — on April 22 Moo’s BBQ will celebrate its one year anniversary with $1 pulled pork sandwiches.
Moo’s BBQ features quality smoked meats including brisket, chicken, pulled pork and ribs while most, if not all, sides are enjoyed equally by customers including: bacon macaroni and cheese, cheesy potatoes, jalapeno corn and others.
Jeremy Biondi said the No. 1 seller is the BLT, while other specialty sandwiches like the Pacino (brisket topped with hot link sausage, ghost pepper cheese and a special sauce) and the Barnyard (almost a pound of meat with brisket, chicken, pulled pork and smoked bacon) are gaining in popularity.
Moo’s BBQ keeps things fresh and fun for families and individuals alike in a variety of ways. For instance, when customers order they will be given a famous name like John Stamos or Marilyn Monroe, but kids will often be asked who they want to be named.
“Interaction with the customers is a highlight for us,” Nicole Biondi said.
The co-owners also have a variety of mottos posted that ring true to their business ± “carnivore’s heaven,” “we have nothing to hide, our sauce is on the side” and “manure happens.” Moo’s BBQ also lets kids enjoy a free cookie when they eat their whole meal. The restaurant declines to sell alcohol to ensure it remains a family-oriented place.
“We really want the children to experience more than where moms and dads have to take them all the time. I want them to experience different foods because it is also enjoyable for the parents while being at ease,” Nicole Biondi said.
Moo’s BBQ also offers a catering menu, which Stacy Davies of Ankeny recently raved about.
“They are so accommodating for catering orders. I cater luncheons for health care providers so large groups of 50 to 60 people, they will take care of setting up food, delivering it and cleaning up after it, it is just a seamless catering experience,” Davies said. “I highly recommend Moo’s BBQ dining in or dining out, it’s a great place.”
The Biondis said there will always be pressure to make customers happy, but a restaurant focused on meats can be difficult to manage financially — especially when those meats are fresh every day. Most meats, whether it was ground beef or brisket, were a couple bucks years ago. However, Moo’s BBQ has paid up to four times as much.
Giving back to the community has also become important to the business. Throughout April the Cameron sandwich is offered each Thursday as part of Autism Awareness month, with some proceeds going to The Homestead in Altoona. In February, Moo’s BBQ also worked with the Relay for Life as a designation for donations. Jeremy Biondi said he hopes to get more active with donating to charities in the future.
“By Sunday, I’m completely worn out and by Monday I’m ready to do it again. We have awesome employees that actually care about their job and enjoy the food we put out,” Jeremy Biondi said. “I don’t want to be a millionaire with this place. I would rather get four hours of sleep, get up and be happy to work instead of hating my job.”
Jeremy Biondi said his favorite memory of Moo’s BBQ was the first two weeks they were open because they were selling out of food and couldn’t keep up. The restaurant hopes to have equal, if not greater success in the next year. Jeremy thought it would be a good way to kick off the year with $1 pulled pork sandwiches for his customers next week.
“Come and enjoy some quality smoked meats. We put passion into our food. Most people do it for a job, I do it because I love it,” Jeremy Biondi said.