Saturday, May 28, 2016

Barbecue in Orlando? The Best of All Styles

When I think of barbecue I think Memphis, the Carolinas, maybe Texas, but really not Florida. Yet Orlando has become a mecca, or at least a melting pot for barbecue lovers. Think of it like this, all of those unique styles of BBQ trickled down to the deep south of Florida. So we got it all.

To figure out the Orlando BBQ scene is a heady experience. There are so many, so good. If I've left one out please be sure to send me a note and I will surely include it next time;

4Rivers 18hour Smoked Angus Brisket
4Rivers Smokehouse -  Brisket, ribs,
pulled pork and smoked turkey are a few of their signature items. It gets crowded but no one seems to mind waiting, you're welcome to opt for take-out instead. Barbecue's not a neat cuisine and even 4Rivers' sandwich The Messy Pig with two layers of slaw, pushes the envelope. Some fans swear by the desserts, as well, if you've got a sweet tooth, they are Southern-inspired and sinful.  Order-to-go  (407-474-8377)

Ellie Lou's Brews & BBQ - Ellie Lou's web site promises they'll "rub you the right way," and it appears they're holding up their end of the bargain. With offerings like the Pork & Bleu (chopped pork with EL's signature bleu cheese cole slaw), classics including fried green tomatoes and cheddar grits along with delicious dry-rubbed ribs -- you choose your sauce -- this is a family-friendly haven with a place in its heart for beer lovers. Start your little brew-masters young with a root beer; they've got it on tap.  Order-to-go  (407-347-9515)

Harry & Larry's Bar-B-Que - There's just something about beef brisket and slaw that gets the mouth watering. Or maybe you're a rib aficionado. Or have a thing for smoked turkey. The beauty of Southern barbecue is that you don't really have to choose. Just get a multi-meat plate and dig the H in. One taste of Harry & Larry's wares and you're transported back to that last roadside smoker you hit up on your way from somewhere to someplace else and the only thing you remember is trying to get one more taste of the sauce out from under your nails before resorting to that old Wet-Nap in your glove compartment. Brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey beckon. Stop in for a slab or buy it by the pound and haul it home and become the hero of dinner.  Order-to-go  (407-614-5950)

Pig Floyd's BBQ
Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa - Pig Floyd's ideally sits amid a multicultural stretch of Mills. With Caribbean, Latin and Asian culinary influences finding its way into the menu, PF's allows lovers of traditional Southern Q and those with a hankering for flavors from far-flung places to have fun sampling the menu. Here you'll find the surprise of soy, citrus and curry along with the sweet, smoky profiles you'd expect. Succulent pork belly, tender brisket and pulled share the bill with an array of street tacos, BBQ banh mi and other intriguing selections.  Order-to-go  (407-921-1696)

Porkie's Original BBQ -  Porkie's is a casual, friendly, little place with a massive following they've built over the decade-plus they've been open. Slow-cooked oak- and hickory-smoked ribs are the specialty, but Porkie's burgers, chicken, steaks and hearty sandwiches have some serious proponents. Porkie's has a regular Bike Night, so you can come for the Q and stay for the show as motorcycle enthusiasts roll in for a family-friendly event that draws impressive crowds. Porkie's sauce selection ensures there's a delicious drizzle for every palate. Order-to-go  (407-880-3351)

Pig Omelette - Fat Boy's, St.Cloud
Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q - Located in St.Cloud, this venue is neither fancy nor touristy. They've been slinging quality Q on the relative cheap for almost 40 years, a sure sign they're doing something right.  Hefty slabs of wood-smoked ribs are the stars (sauce them as you like). A selection of sandwiches and classic sides from slaw to mac to barbecued beans should keep you quite sated. You can even come early, too. Fat Boys' serves breakfast in the mornings, beginning at 8 a.m. Order-to-go  (407-892-4400)

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