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Jan 16, 2006 12:28 PM

Best ribs in Orlando

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Where can I find absolutely the best baby back ribs in the Orlando area. The kind that stands on it's own, just meat and rub, with no need for sauce. Like any chowhound with a mission, I'm willing to drive a bit, just short of driving to Memphis or something ;)

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  1. I'd send you to Blackwater Barbecue on S. Orange Ave. They are next door to Le Coq Au Vin.
    Opened a couple of years ago by guys who cook on the bbq circuit. First rate ribs -- no need for sauce, of which theirs is too sweet for my taste anyway.

    I also like Uncle Jones on 436, just west of 17-92 in a little old house on the south side of the road. Although truthfully, I don't know if he sells baby backs.
    Don't bother to eat in. Other than the cornbread and the collards, nothing else is outstanding -- well, maybe the pie.
    Just get a rack to go. Guarantee you'll be tossin' bones out the window on the way home.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mervine

      I was going to suggest Blackwater's also. Good choice Bob.


      1. re: Bob Mervine

        Keller's in Orlando has some good location is on University and Goldenrod in the Winn-Dixie Plaza...O'Boys in Winter Park very good...not overly impressed with Bubaloo's...or however you spell it...

        1. re: Bob Mervine

          these are the best fucin ribs i ever tasted

          1. re: paul

            Must add to this thread, which didn't get much response to begin with, I see.

            Made a third (or fourth, I forget) vist to a tiny hole in the wall last night that does some wonderful 'cue. Called "It's a Secret," it is hidden in a small strip mall north of Curry Ford Road on the east side of Bumby, just past the corner gas station.

            1427 S Bumby Ave # E
            Orlando, FL 32806
            (407) 898-1833

            The food is obviously prepared elsewhere, as there's no sign of a smoker -- or any cooking apparatus besides a microwave (to heat the sides).
            It's a one-lady operation. You order and she cuts and packages, There are seats, but I watched 5 orders go out the door for 1 that ate in.
            She does half and whole slab spare ribs, (no baby backs), barbecue and Caribbean chicken, sliced pork, chopped beef, sausage and rib tips. Her Mac 'n cheese is gone by early afternoon, but don't despair, the collards are just as tasty.
            She also bakes pies of almost any variety - however I've never tried one.
            No alcohol.
            It's plain and simple, but the food is awesome. Ribs lean and meaty, with enough fat left to be both crisp and juicy. Caribbean chicken is chopped into bite sized portions, all dark meat, and needs no sauce. The rub has a relationship to the tastes in the sauce, tangy and fruity without being too strong. An accent for the tender, moist chicken.
            She does a tomato-based sweet sauce that has some flavors of the islands, clove, allspice, maybe cardamom with a noticable fruit component -- more than apple cider vinegar would add -- the fruit is definitely in the sauce. Applesauce, maybe?
            She won't say a word about it. That's where the place's name comes from. She does mild and hot variations.
            The hot isn't very, but I add some heat with Cholula, a carrot-based Mexican hot sauce that doesn't disturb the flavor very much. Or I add a dried chili blend from my garden if I want to make it really hot.

            Anyway, a hidden barbecue treasure In Orlando, on the south side, that deserves more attention and at least a stop to try it.


          2. re: Bob Mervine

            I'd recommend against uncle jones, According to eat drink and be weary on one of the local news sites - They keep getting closed for roaches.

            Although its not open yet, Has anyone tried Shane's Rib Shack?

            1. re: cherylp3

              I really believe that segment does more restaurants a disservice than any help it provides to consumers.

              That said, I get my ribs to go from Uncle Jones.


          3. Lake county has several good cue joints. I know uncle jones and lake county can stand and surpass. If you like sweet barbq, try The Damn Smoker on Hwy 19 north of eustis. Good homemade potato salad.
            If you like Hot mustard sauce, try king's in eustis. This is a eustis barbq tradition.Don't leave your keys in your car and roll up the windows.
            Further on up the road north of umatilla on hwy 19 is the Old crow Barbq. This is real home smoked barbq at it's best. Fall off the bone Good!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mountdorahound

              I spent two years in Leesburg. The places you mentioned have opened since I moved on,
              However the only memorable 'cue from my days there was at:
              BC's General Store
              8730 County Road 48
              Yalaha, FL 34797
              Phone: (352) 324-3730

              Country store atmosphere and great pork and sauce.
              Most othe rest of it, even Jack's near Clermont, was little more than ordinary.
              Sounds like I need to do some updating.


            2. I agree!! King's is a tradition and if you like mustard based 'Cue it very good. BC's in Yalaha is second best but believe it or not the best ribs are at Quarter Decks in Dona Vista (Hwy 19 between Umatilla and Eustis). Yes it's a fish place, but more people have told me how good their baby backs are.

              1. i know you asked for orlando, but since everyone else is talking lake county ;) --- i've not eaten at the great-sounding places listed so i can't compare, but sugarboo's in mount dora is AWESOME. (only open on fri sat and sun) i've had chicken, ribs and pork. i'm very picky with my BBQ and they do it right, imho.

                it's only take out (and it's in a poorer area) but you can call ahead for the drive thru then eat in the park of downtown mount dora or back at your B&B / hotel.


                1. BCs is fabulous, but they are only open intermittently, so I strongly recommend a call ahead to make sure the ladies will be there.

                  BTW, why the hang up on baby backs? IMHO, they aren't always the best. Don't hold up as well low and slow, vendors slip in substandard quality because the meat is more marbled and I like the texture of the St. Louis style rib better.

                  Anyway, Sugar boo's also has a great rep, but haven't tried them lately. I have eaten at Quarter Decks, but not the ribs. Worth a try.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bob Mervine

                    Well I wasn't really hung up on baby back, I was just asking mainly asking and as you can see it was over a year ago. I agree they don't hold up as well and I find that it's a lot easier to mess up. But when they are spot on, I just can't resist.