Restaurant News

Free Barbecue at Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert on May 2

A meat platter from Joe's Real BBQ.
A meat platter from Joe's Real BBQ. Chris Malloy
On May 2, Joe's Real BBQ will be serving the only thing better than barbecue: free barbecue.

The celebrated Gilbert barbecue hall turned 20 earlier this year. Owner Joe Johnston has put together a string of specials to mark the milestone. On May 2, the annual customer appreciation day at Joe's, he will serve 5,000 meals for nothing.

Nothing, that is, but an optional food donation to Open Arms Care Center. Joe's will be taking canned food, and is hoping you will bring canned fruit. Cereal boxes will also be accepted. Though this is an optional donation, we can't imagine you'll roll up to a free barbecue feast without some cans for the needy.

Joe's has been giving away free barbecue since 2000. Over the years, the number of free meals the place has given away has reached 83,000.

Free meals include pulled pork or chicken breast. Each comes with coleslaw, barbecue beans, a cookie, and a drink. Smaller sandwiches will be available, also gratis, for the kids.

click to enlarge Cafeteria-style sides at Joe's Real BBQ. - CHRIS MALLOY
Cafeteria-style sides at Joe's Real BBQ.
Chris Malloy
Entertainment will also cater to both adults and kids. For kids, there will be balloon artists. For adults, FunkFit, a fitness studio, will be leading exercise classes around lunch time. During dinner, the bluegrass band Romen Buffalo will playing.

You have to be at Joe's to get the meal. You can't do takeout. And yes, you can only get one (free) meal per person.

Don't forget to show up with those cans.

Joe's Real BBQ. 01 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert; 480-503-3805
Every day 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy