New in Tempe: Big Bellys BBQ

Barbecue master sounds like the perfect second career for a former pro athlete.

Bryan Proby, chef-owner of the month-old Big Bellys BBQ in Tempe, used to play defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

But nowadays, he feeds hungry customers his own "unorthodox," secret-recipe barbecue -- ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, hot links, and something he calls a "barbecue sundae."

What's that, you ask?

Proby explains that it's got nothing to do with ice cream, except in the way of a splurge: there's meat at the bottom, layered with beans, topped with coleslaw, and sprinkled with pickles. Sounds like something I could get into.

Originally from Los Angeles, Proby says his family always barbecued on weekends, and it became his passion. At Big Bellys BBQ, he keeps the same spirit of backyard barbecue.

For now, the restaurant, located at 1323 W. University (at Priest) in Tempe, is only open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eventually he'll expand to weekend hours, and will also be doing jumbo turkey legs for Sun Devil Stadium.

Call 480-921-1990 for more info.

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