Posts Tagged With: barbeque

Rib City-No knife required

Rib City with Teddy

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I usually don’t like to write about chain restaurants, but in this case, I just have to. While researching a trip to Naples, Florida, I saw mention of Rib City and thought about giving it a try. They claim that “if you have to pick up a knife to eat our baby back ribs, then we’ll pick up your meal.”

We got there after lunch and before dinner, so there was a shift change and there was only one waitress on duty. She was super friendly and apologized several times for taking so much time. But the food came out promptly and piping hot.

Rib CityI ordered the baby back ribs platter which came with two sides, cole slaw and French fries. I like sweet, creamy cole slaw and this did not disappoint. I also like sweet barbeque sauce and again, I was not disappointed. Considering these were lunch-sized portions, they were huge. Plenty of food, and very good food. For dessert, the waitress recommended the coconut cream pie. Again, wonderful. Super huge and delicious.

The menu includes all the traditional barbeque options: pork, beef, ribs (baby Rib Citybacks and St. Louis), chicken and turkey. Sauces: Sweet, Tangy, Hot or Carolina Mustard. Sides: French fries, corn on the cob, cole slaw, baked beans, apple sauce. Desserts: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Southern Pecan Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chocolate Mania.

Rib City started out as a small family-style barbecue in 1989 in Fort Myers, Florida. They branched out into nearby Cape Coral and several other Florida cities. They now have locations in Colorado, Utah, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

http://www.ribcity.com/rc/index.php

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Porkie’s Original BBQ – It’s Smokin’

Exterior

TEDDY’s RATING: 

There’s a lot of competition out there when it comes to barbecue restaurants. You’ve got your major chains like Smoky Bones and Sonny’s and the up and comers like 4 Rivers. So how does a small, single location survive? Well, Porkie’s Original BBQ in Apopka, Florida must be doing something right because they’re still open and thriving.

InteriorThey seem to distinguish themselves from the Big Guys by using oak and hickory wood and slow smoking their meats on their 20-foot BBQ pit. They also have 6 sauces, all original recipes and made from scratch. Owners Steve and Mike started Porkie’s back in 2002 after traveling the southern states in search of the “perfect BBQ flavor.” That flavor is getting rave review from locals. They’ve been voted “Best BBQ” in Central Florida. (However, I don’t know where that title comes from!)  And apparently comedian Dennis Miller is a huge fan of the place and recorded a radio commercial for Porkie’s.   That’s totally awesome!

The menu includes pork, chicken and beef which can be served pulled, sliced, chopped or chipped. You can get platters, combos or “samiches.” Side dishes include baked beans, potato salad, collard greens, green beans, garlic toast, macaroni & cheese and dirty taters. I had the Pig Dip, thickly sliced smoked pork on Cuban bread and served with au jus. It was good, Pig Dipas were the dirty taters which are cubed red potatoes sautéed in onion and garlic. And supposedly their Monster Ribeye Samich is something worth trying.

Sometimes Porkie’s features some experimental dishes using very unusual meats like bison and beaver. When I visited, they had samples of bison chili. (I don’t like chili, so it wasn’t for me.)

Another thing that makes Porkie’s unique is that every Thursday night they host a local biker’s night. This weekly event sometimes draws several hundred bikers to the restaurant.

Porkie’s Original BBQ is a casual, family friendly restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s open Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner. Catering is available.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

http://www.porkiesapopka.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4Rivers Smokehouse – For some it’s BBQ Nirvana

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to 4Rivers Smokehouse. Though I find the food good and prices competitive, I don’t gush over the place like a lot of people I work with. They just can’t get enough of it. There must be something I’m missing because the line at lunchtime is always literally out the door. And if you check out the publicity page on their website, you’ll see that everybody’s talking about 4Rivers Smokehouse.

Chef and owner, John Rivers, wasn’t always a BBQ master. He spent 20 years working in the pharmaceutical industry. Originally, his interest in great Texas-style barbecue was only a “backyard passion,” but after organizing a barbecue fundraiser for a young child’s cancer treatment, John saw how popular his BBQ was. He left the corporate world to open up his first restaurant in 2009.

Since then, 4Rivers Smokehouse has become one of the fastest growing restaurants in Central Florida. Currently there are three locations, Longwood, Winter Park and Winter Garden, but soon they will be smoking meats in Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida.

The menu includes your regular BBQ fare: angus brisket (pretty popular with my colleagues), pork, chicken, turkey, wings and St. Louis style ribs. They have your traditional sides like cole slaw, French fries, potato salad, corn bread, beans, but also mac & cheese, sweet potato casserole and fried pickles. And what I found very unique was their huge variety of bottled beverages including Cheerwine and many types of root beers.

The first time I tried 4Rivers Smokehouse BBQ was at a company party. I thought the pork was very tender and tasty, but I didn’t care for the sauce. (I like the Sweet sauce at Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ.) So, at my last visit (also a company function) I got the smoked chicken salad sandwich. It was very good – smoked chicken with grapes. For my sides, I had cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. Everyone raves about the mac & cheese and I agree it was very good.

The Longwood, Florida, location has a Sweet Shop next door where you can partake of all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, pastries and other goodies. (The other locations have desserts from the Sweet Shop available.) I was quite looking forward to the Orange Creamsicle cupcake that I got, but found it only average. Perhaps other flavors are better like the red velvet, carrot cake, coconut or birthday cake. They even have some unusual cupcake flavors like Mountain Dew with crushed Doritos and the Grape Nehi.

Since my work colleagues are totally obsessed with 4Rivers, I’ll be trying it again in the near future. At our office, we have an annual pre-Thanksgiving lunch catered by 4Rivers. Maybe I can bring my own sauce!

Dates of Visit:   November 2011, October 2012

http://4rsmokehouse.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Taste the Love” at Luella’s Bar-B-Que

TEDDY’s RATING: 

There used to be a really great barbecue restaurant in Asheville called The Fiddlin’ Pig. At least, I thought it was great. Good food, good service and live music every night. Well, unfortunately, The Fiddlin’ Pig went out of business. So, on my last trip to Asheville, I was looking for a new place for barbecue. I found it at Luella’s.

The place is named after founder Jeff Miller’s grandmother as well as his daughter, nicknamed Elly. “Grandma Lue” cooked for all the family gatherings and handed down her love for good cooking to Jeff. His interest in food, along with his family background and the desire to create an authentic barbecue taste, prompted Jeff to open a restaurant.

To compliment the smoked pork, beef, chicken and turkey — and that’s how Jeff looks at sauces, as complimentary, not overpowering – are five distinct sauces: Hot Flash, Smoked Jalapeno, Lusty Mustard, Scooter’s Vinegar and the most popular, Sweet Pisgah. (The last two are homemade and gluten-free.)

Their top seller is the chopped pork sandwich with macaroni & cheese. I had the chopped pork sandwich and topped it with the Sweet Pisgah sauce. Instead of the mac & cheese, I had a side salad with homemade blue cheese dressing. The meal included hush puppies, which were great. That’s what I loved the most about The Fiddlin’ Pig, their hush puppies, sweet and crunchy, and soft in the middle. I’m glad Luella’s has great ones, too.

This made-from-scratch barbecue brings in customers of all types from retirees to students to business professionals. The building used to house a pizza joint which was a popular hangout for students from the University of North Carolina. So when Jeff remodeled the place, he kept that in mind, creating an atmosphere that pleases everyone.

Asheville is known as a beer town and six local microbrews are featured at Luella’s. I’m not a beer drinker, so I tried the Ultimate Luella’s Strawberry Lemonade with fresh strawberries, Absolut Citron, lemon and ginger ale. Quite refreshing and delicious.

Portions are a good size, service is very good and prices are competitive. And sometimes they have live bluegrass music. If the parking lot is full, which it always is at Luella’s, then you know it’s got to be good.

Dates of Visit:  May 2012

http://luellasbbq.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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