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Top Ribs in FLA

Here are my top three...please share yours.

1. Flanigans (although it's a chain and not a BBQ joint), I have yet to savour better ribs in any of the state's BBQ joints.

2. Shorty's their spare rib lunch special is hard to beat.

3. Mama Lucy's soul style from the hood of Opa Locka, NW 119th St and 22nd Ave. Take out works well for me!

I'm just getting over my rib burnout from a year or so ago, so I look forward to some great recomendations. Thanks FLA!

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  1. 1. Uncle Jones in Altamonte. Get a slab to go, (not worth eating in) and order some collards and cornbread if you want, maybe some sweet potato pie to go with it. Wonderful.

    2. Shorty's/Shivers -- I just renewed my rib fix last weekend at the Shorty's in South Miami on Bird Road. Good as ever. I devoured a rib (spare, not babyback) plate, some corn, two orders of the best slaw in the world, and a sliced (not pulled) pork sandwich. Don't be fooled by any of the other sauces. The pulled pork comes mixed with a sweet sauce. Ugh. Get the sliced and the original sauce. Also ate half a chicken breast, tasted some babybacks and had two huge glasses of sweet tea.
    The Homestead vesion is called Shiver's. Same food, just as good. Maybe a bit simpler menu. Sauce is the same, as is the coleslaw.

    3. Blackwater's in Orlando. Just opened a second location in north College Park. I describe their style as Kanasas City, because they serve sauce with the meal. Bother the sauce. The dry-rubbed ribs are more Memphis style and pretty good.

    I've also had good barbecue at People's and Lucille's in Miami, but only once for each so I'm hesitant to rank them. I did like People's a lot, however.

    I know, Tom Jenkins and all the rest. I'm researching a book on Florida barbecue, so load this thread up with lots of information so I can pick and choose where to go.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Mervine

      Well Bob, if you are looking down from that Smorgasbord in the sky, I have come out of hiding to thank you for your Shriver's BBQ recommendation. Although they are "now" unrelated to Shorty's, they are eerily similar, well everything but the food that is! Shriver's Spare Ribs are the best I have ever savored! Head and heels above their bobbsey twin to the North. Thanks again for that and all the other gems you gave us back in the day. May you RIP.

    2. Dammit Bob, I really need to try Blackwater's and Uncle Jones (especially because I live so close to the latter). Is O-Boys any good? I pass the one on Fairbanks in Winter Park all the time.

      By the way, I've tried the Bubbalou's on Lee Road twice now, and I still prefer Sonny's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        O-Boys isn't bad, but to me it has nothing special beyond the usual list of meats and sauce. I'll eat there, but I won't go out of my way to eat there.

        I heard about the new Blackwater's location on the radio last night. I thought they said it was on Edgewater, which would put it in College Park. I am trying to get more details. If so, that might be a more convenient location for you.

        Another place I should have mentioned and forgot is called "It's A Secret," which refers to the cook's wonderful sauce. She does both Jamaican style and smoked chicken as well as ribs and pulled pork. Don't recall if they serve beef. Located just north of Curry Ford Road on Bumby on the east side in a tiny strip mall. You have to look for the signs. She makes powerful good 'cue, a nice tangy sauce and good sides.

        As for Bubbalou's, they fall pretty much in the same category as O-Boy's for me, except for the lamb and those wonderful cold beers in the tub.


        1. re: Bob Mervine

          Ditto what Bob said.

          Uncle Jones and Blackwater's get my vote, although I havent visited Blackwater's College Park location yet.

          O-boys and Bubbalous are just OK.

      2. Forgot to mention Wildsides's in Thornton Park. He has a couple of other locations, at least one I know of in Kissimmee, but the original is the only one I've dined at.

        All the meat is smoked, ribs are quite good and really doesn't need sauce. Chicken is the best, again it doesn't need sauce. I also like his pork -- he does a Cuban style sandwich with the pork that is quite good.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob Mervine

          I second the St. Louis ribs at Wildside's in Thornton Park (downtown Orlando). Best ribs in Orlando, and I think I've tried them all. No sauce needed at all - their dry rub with the smoky flavors is heaven.

          I'm glad to hear Uncle Jone's is still going - I need to get back up there. Those were damn good ribs!

          And I just had ribs at Bono's in Gainesville and they were very impressive. Smoky, and literally falling off the bone tender. Great sauces, too.

        2. st louie style smokies-it's the "pink ring" @ Smokey Bones FLA/USA

          6 Replies
          1. re: netmover

            Better get ready for a change. Darden is testing a new concept to replace Smokey Bones, I think it will be gone in 2 years.


              1. re: Bob Mervine

                I guess their going to try to make some of thier "corporate-que" that can actually be eaten by people that like barbecue.

                I have a rule that say's never flame others for their opinions, but I'll make an exception for Smokey Bones. They are, if not the absolute worst, at least one of the poorest excuses for a barbecue restaurant. Indedible, yes, even I couldn't choke it down and I lived on MRE's and vat can rations for years.

                Televisions and donughts do not a BBQ place make.

                1. re: bkhuna

                  I'll second that about Smoky Bones. Certainly we can do better than that here on this forum with all the foodies that hang out. I mean if we do Smoky Bones, let's just go ahead and stick Sonny's on this list(ok let's not).

                  The best ribs I've had in Fla was at the Taste of Pinellas by a vendor called Brothers BBQ. I think they have a stall at one of the Flea Markets in the Clearwater area, off Ft Harrison Rd. I have the card stashed at home.

                  1. re: bkhuna

                    Can you provide an address ? I drive that road frequently and have never not seen a flea market or 'que joint. There used to be a eat outside/take it with you place just south of Morton Plant Hospital; but it closed at least 2 years ago.

                    The only decent 'que that I've found in Pinellas County is Eli's in Dunedin. But he's open only on Friday and Saturday from noon to 6pm. I concur re: The Bones.

                    1. re: bkhuna

                      Smokey Bones is a chain(I believe Darden Restaurants ala red lobster).....nuff said. Too corporate not enough soul to be respectable.

                      Darden Restaurants
                      5900 Lake Ellenor Dr, Orlando, FL 32809

                      Smokey Bones
                      2693 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759

                2. They have opened a place called Rocky River Grillhouse in a suburb south of Clevland that retains some of the look of Smokey Bones, but with a radically different menu that doesn't have much, if any bbq.
                  What they will do with the concept is up in the air -- but Darden has been pretty clear that it isn't happy with Smokey Bones in its current configuration and they have already redone the menu to "broaden its base" to be more attractive to non-bbq lovers.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bob Mervine

                    That makes particular sense outside the traditional barbecue belt. I suspect that many middle- to upper-middle-class customers are put off by the sight of pink pork. As for the South, I wonder if some of Smokey Bones' lukewarm success in its original form comes down to enduring attachment to local styles of 'cue among people who care about the stuff. And maybe the people who want to eat ribs in a homogenized theme-restaurant prefer mushy, baked baby-backs.

                    [This chunk of the thread should probably be retitled and moved to Chains.]

                  2. I think the problem with Smokey Bones' lack of success is that the meat tastes like *#)^. What can you expect from Darden though. Smokey Bones is to BBQ what Olive Garden is to Italian.

                    Cheap food for the early bird and coupon crowd. There's not a nicer way to say it.

                    1. I got to put Mama Lucy's at the Top of my list...ain't nothing like the real thing. Liberty City, 305, MIA, the bottom!

                      Any one tried their Sause??? What does that mean??? Pork somethin' I was told and "it's good"!!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: netmover

                        Chopped-up ears, snouts, tails, what-have-you cooked up in a spicy gravy. The word is "Souse". Good stuff if done right.

                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                          Souse-this one's pure ears, from the Great Souse truck outside Take One lounge on NE 79th St-nightly; and a rib sandwich from the House of Bargains parking lot rib guy-Thursday and Friday only. He smokes them starting at 7AM, and doesn't start serving 'til 10:30. Get there quick!

                      2. I know this may be a bit dated, but I ran across this post and decided to mention Rib City in Ft. Myers. Since expanding their service has become dodgy at best, but they serve a good rack of ribs, for south Florida anyhow.

                        1. I think we need a post for "Worst Ribs in Florida". Sonny's would have to be on the top of the list. I had ribs there once that tasted like rubber. ugh.

                          1. Net, I haven't had their ribs outright, but the Rockin' Rib Rolls at Flanigan's, sorta like an egg roll with rib meat, are fantastic. I thought they were a ready-made frozen Sysco type of food (since I worked at Sysco now I'm suspiciuos of anything like that) but DH was a server there (for about a day) and he says he saw them being lovingly prepared by hand in the back. That gets extra points from me!

                            I was never a rib fan, and just started eating more of them. My favorite comes from our own grill, but I love the baby backs at Woody's and at Roadhouse. I know they're chains, but I've just started, ok?! :-P Roadhouse has some time of Jim Beam or other whiskey-based sauce, and it's awesome. Woody's has tons of meat.

                            On a side note, Bob, do make time in your book research to check out Bono's in Stuart on Federal Highway. I haven't had their ribs, but the rest of their Q is pretty awesome. They do a Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich, which I'm not fond of, but other than that their pulled pork, chicken, turkey, etc. are pink-smoked and extremely juicy and flavorful.

                            1. some lake county choices, although i'm not recommending cause i haven't eaten at any except for sugarboos, which i do indeed enjoy on a regular basis - i'm just providing the info in case anyone wants to try 'em out........


                              also, choctaw willie's in winter garden is pretty good as i recall.

                              1. In no particular order for Broward area:
                                - Flanigans - LOVE Flanny's
                                - Chez Porky's - great raspberry bbq sauce
                                - Houstons - another chain but great ribs
                                - Michael's Kitchen in Hollywood - hoisin BBQ sauce served over fried rice.

                                1. Uncle Jones here in Orlando is about the best I've had in Florida. But if I want ribs I go to the source and have them shipped. "17th street bar and grill" in Murphysboro, IL. 4 time world champion at Memphis in May and best ribs I ever ate IMO.


                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: theflytyr

                                    I haven't found a really good rib in South Florida yet. I am unimpressed with Smokey Bones, Tom Jenkins and Flanigans and don't think they can compete with real southern BBQ joints, as found in plenty of other states. The beef ribs that are sometimes on the menu in the Coral Gables Houston's are pretty good, though, and even their regular pork ones are usually decent, but again, not world class and there are much better items on their menu. I think your idea of having really good ribs shipped from some place that knows their ribs is a fine plan and I'm going to check it out :) BTW, the place you linked to above has just been awarded Best Ribs in USA by Bon Appetit magazine. They must be doing something right - Cheers :)

                                    1. re: DagnyTaggart

                                      "17 th street" shows up at the Big Apple bbq Block Party every year, full rig, with Mike Mills himself in attendance. I have eaten them a number of times, the best ribs? maybe. I think Tom Jenkins is every bit as good.

                                      1. re: stuartlafonda

                                        1. Tom Jenkins in Ft.Laud.
                                        2. Miracle Rib in Ft. Pierce
                                        3. CW Barbeque in Hobe Sound
                                        4. Norris' Ribs in Ft. Pierce
                                        5. Scruby's in Pembroke Pines

                                  2. About once a month I pop in to 'Down To The Bone BBQ' off of HWY 60 in Brandon...
                                    I get the ribs plain---no sauce---although their sauces are good...
                                    'First Choice BBQ' in Brandon gets mentioned a lot but 3 outta 5 times I'm really disappointed when I get stuff from there...

                                    A few weeks ago I got a rack to go at 'First Choice' and they were tiny...
                                    I HATED paying $20.00 for that, and I said so--- but I did follow thru with the dealio---
                                    The guy could not have cared less that I was disappointed... He just stared at me...
                                    The box barely weighed a pound... I ate the whole thing and I was still hungry!
                                    A RACK!

                                    The racks I get at 'Kojak's' (last week) and 'Down To The Bone' (two days ago) weighed
                                    M-M-MUCH more! The styro lids barely close...
                                    I ate 3-4 'Down To The Bone' ribs and I wasn't hungry no more...
                                    I ate a few later, and my wife had a couple...

                                    The taste and texture are consistently great!
                                    Meaty, 'just smokey enough', and the meat pulls clean from the bone without being mooshy, like BBQ paté...
                                    I have an aversion when it tastes like I'm doing shots of liquid smoke...
                                    I classify ribs like that as 'generic'...

                                    And-------------- the character, smiles, service, warmth, pride, and professionalism, of the owners and employees are just the best!

                                    'Down To The Bone BBQ'.... Really 'delicious' Ribs...
                                    For me, they've been consistently better than First Choice...

                                    Oh, and the ONE TIME at 'Down To The Bone' when the ribs were smaller than usual, the owner mentioned it first, assuring me that he added a few extras to make up for it...
                                    I remember the ribs that day were just insanely good! Thick, tender, juicy, and perfectly flavored/seasoned/crafted...

                                    110 S Kings Ave
                                    Brandon, FL 33511


                                    1. King's Taste in Mount Dora -- I'm not really a ribs girl, but their ribs are smoked in such a way that the whole top of the rack is like bacon. mustard/vinegar sauce, too -- I'm from the midwest so that was a new one, but it was delicious. kind of a shady neighborhood, but worth it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: waffle789

                                        Shhhh. don't mention King's Taste. It's bad enough driving two hours to get there and find they've run out without you telling everone about it.

                                        Let's keep it our little secret. :)

                                      2. Tom Jenkins!!! Bar none in Fort Lauderdale. Any given weekday you are going to be rubbing elbows with a crowd of all aspects of society. Cash only and closed on Sundays "It is the day of the Lord" prominently displayed over the counter. I have not tried them in years, since I became kosher. Still hear about it.
                                        On a different note, I'd like to contact the owners of the web-site to suggest separating Florida geographically. It is a long state and I don't think that what applies to Monroe, Dade, Broward & Palm Beach is pertinent for someone looking for something in Central or North Florida. Do you know how to do that?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: mrotmd

                                          If you're just kosher-by-known-ingredients when eating out, don't forget that Tom Jenkins also puts out fantastic chicken, with the same smoky goodness as the pork items.

                                          1. re: mrotmd

                                            No reason to separate the state (it's big - but a lot of us have spent lots of years living in it and exploring it).

                                            I would however say - as someone who lives in NE Florida - that talking about getting the best ribs in Florida - and then concentrating on south Florida - is like talking about getting the best stone crabs in Florida - and then concentrating on Jacksonville ;). I can get better ribs at any local county fair than you get at Tom Jenkins. Robyn

                                            1. re: pvgirl

                                              Exactly my point! So Fla is becoming a foodie heaven. Not so much as a ribs place. The kosher-by-known-ingredients is almost doable in vegan places. Short of that, stakes are too high :)

                                          2. This is a really easy question.
                                            Best ribs, in order-

                                            First place- Tom Jenkins (N. Federal Hiway in Ft Lauderdale) Big drawbacks are closed Sundays, no beer, no credit cards, nowhere to sit (there are about 6 picnic tables for seating) and GIANT lines... Call ahead to take out. Weekends they have peach cobbler to die for for dessert. Also, they have lemonade made with 3 ingredients, just the way God meant it to be -lemons, sugar, water, period!

                                            Second place- Scruby's (Pembroke Pines, University and Pines) Great pork, spectacular sides (I would kill for the beans and slaw) Nice smokiness. Always crowded.

                                            Third place- Jack's Smokehouse (Oakland Pk Rd between I95 and West Dixie) Ribs are similar to Tom Jenkins, sides aren't as good, but they do sell beer and take credit cards and are open Sundays and you can find a place to sit, so that compensates a lot.

                                            Fourth place (distant 4th) is Shorty's. (locations in Kendall by Dadeland Mall and Davie at University and Stirling) I used to love this place (well, the one in Kendall) but it got gussied up when they rebuilt after Hurricane Andrew blew it away. Installed actual glass windows, fer pete's sake! And the food kind of suffered. Plus, I just find their sauce yucky. Ordinary bottle of BBQ sauce from Publix is better. Still, the meat is nicely smoked and pretty tasty, so I just skip the sauce.

                                            1. Brothers & Sisters pork ribs in Ocoee (Orlando) - mmmmmmmmmmmm

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: YosemiteSam

                                                This place is most definitely worth the two hour drive. Wonder food, wonderful people. One of my absolute favorites.

                                              2. 1. The Miracle Rib, Avenue "D" in Ft. Pierce. Best ribs and sauce anywhere, neighborhood is deadly.
                                                2. Tom Jenkins in Ft. Laud.--What can I say? I fly into FLL just for the ribs and collards.
                                                3. Scruby's in Pembroke Pines--Decent ribs, sliced pork is better. Good sauces. Scruby's is what Sonny's wishes it was.
                                                4. Dale's Barbecue in Ft. Pierce--Sentimental favorite.
                                                5. Woody's--My favorite rib chain, especially the one on 27 in Lake Wales.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                  Do you think that Norris's Ribs, which won "Best Ribs" in St. Lucie county, are better than Miracle or Dale's? I only ask cause:
                                                  - I don't confess to being a ribs man
                                                  - My 90 y/o mother (now in Jax) keeps talking about Norton's.
                                                  - So instead of flying into JAX over Labor Day weekend, I'm going to Ft. Lauderdale first (beach time for me) then DRIVE up and pick up some Norris's Ribs. www.norrisribs.com

                                                  1. re: howard hodges

                                                    I guess this is after the fact, but if you drive 10 minutes from FLL north to US1 and Davie Blvd., you'll find Tom Jenkins BBQ. which has the best spare ribs in South Florida. I fly into FLL solely for that reason, whether I'm going to West Palm or Miami.

                                                2. People's is my fave, though Tom Jenkin' rocks and Lil Red's (both in Broward) are fine.

                                                  Lucille's in Delray and Boca is/are good, too.

                                                  And count me in the pro-Sonny's contingent.

                                                  Here's a review of People's

                                                  1. Quarterdeck has nice baby backs too and at 10.99 for a full rack special (coleslaw only) you can't go wrong.

                                                    It's all in the Flanagan family...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: netmover

                                                      Big John's is the Tiffanys of 'Que. I've been eating 'Q for more than half a century and this is the best ever!!

                                                    2. Big John's Alabama BBQ on 40th in Tampa, highly recommended by a buddy on the Tampa PD (and he was right!)... Porkie's on 441 in Apopka is good too, especially their "chipped" pork or beef sandwiches.

                                                      1. Can't leave out Newberry's Backyard BBQ just outside Gainesville...Pretty sure the guy who runs it is in witness protection, but it's the best barbeque (ribs included) I've ever had.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: blondie23

                                                          Yep they are the best. Newberry's Backyard BBQ. If there is one thing the mafia knows besides all the good places to put the bodies it is foooooood.
                                                          They have the best St. Louis ribs Baby Backs and pork in the business.
                                                          They are 20 minutes west of Gainesville on Newberry Road aka SR 26.

                                                        2. West Coast visitor here. I had great time visiting Orlando, and the Tampa area this past summer. If I may plug a great BBQ restaurant in St. Petersburg called Atwater's Cafeteria. My buddy and I were in town attending a Tampa Bay Devil Ray game (Great facility). However, before the game we just did the tourist thing and drove around site seeing and looking for a place to eat. Lo and behold in a corner parking lot was a big ol' BBQ smoker belching and bellowing and calling our name. Thank God we stopped. Smoky, tasty, fall off the bone ribs. We tried the pork and beef ribs with Mac&Cheese, Collard greens, Yellow rice, and white rice. Oh yeah, two pieces of fried chicken. Washed it all down with some suds.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Pakkai

                                                            Anyone ever tried JJ's in Bradednton? How is it?

                                                            1. re: Pakkai

                                                              Atwaters has been in South St. Pete for decades. It is a SOUL FOOD restaurant- NOT 'QUE. If you got ribs there, they were boiled short ribs in a greasy gravy. Hardly "Q!!

                                                              1. re: shurshot

                                                                Shurshot, you sound like a Q expert, I am not.
                                                                However, those were the best boiled short ribs in a greasy gravy that I've ever-ever eaten!
                                                                Ummm I don't know the last time you were there but in their parking lot is a big, old, smoking, black oil drum with a smoke stack chugging along. The beef ribs were delishious and the pork ribs were soft, falling off the bone sweetness. You may be correct about the pork ribs as they did come from a tray dripping with gravy. Gosh Damn they were good. I love southern soul food and this was my third experience with this cuisine. If this is hardly Q, please show me the light. I am a Q rookie. Alas I live on the other coast but I will be back to Florida soon. I hope.

                                                            2. I know alot of you chow hounds in S. Fla don't make it up to Ocala, but I have to mention Tommy's on N. 441 as excellent BBQ. The ribs are awesome! There are alot of BBQ joints around here, but Tommy's is far above the rest! If you're ever passing thru, you should check them out.

                                                              1. My brother has been talking good about this place in P'cola, it is on the top of my list for the next time I am home. King's BBQ, 2120 N. Palafox,... one man operation, good chopped beef or pork BBQ; not much selection... good prices, for take out only - no eat in capabilities, picnic table out front near hot asphalt main thoroughfare.

                                                                1. I am sorry, but Tom Jenkins is just a category killer here. No one makes better ribs, or chopped pork, or mac and cheese or most anything on the menu. They do it right. Everything is actually smoked from start to finish, no oven, no boiling, no crap. The meat has the proper pink smoke ring, and the sauce is as good as it gets. That is why they have been voted best BBQ for so many years. Try the chopped pork, which is like the best of ribs, with no bone. It is NOT pulled pork, it is much better. Not to be missed are the mac and cheese (which I do not eat anywhere else) and the greens. If you have any room left, the peach or apple cobbler will fix that.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: EDBM

                                                                    Is the Tom's in West Palm Beach run by the same people as Fort Lauderdale? We thought it was because the location in Boca was supposed to have moved to West Palm. We went out of our way to try it and were very disappointed - the pork didn't even seem to be smoked. We asked the person at the reception desk and she said it was "slow cooked" and she didn't know about smoked. We thought it was a replay of what happened at Piggy Pat's south of Utica - used to be great and then they cut corners when they got a bigger crowd.

                                                                    1. re: barkeater

                                                                      No, no connection. I've eaten in both and Tom Jenkin is entirely better. The Boca/Palm Beach Tom seems to sell his sauce in Publix, but the joint is nowhere near as good as Tom Jenkins.

                                                                  2. I got to say Lucy's ain't what it used to be since their smoker went up in smoke! They now barbie them out in the parking lot and they're just not the same...

                                                                    1. This is in JAX, FL
                                                                      There's a new place called Treemendous BBQ on the west side. Hope I spelled it right since I can't find the address right now.

                                                                      It's on Herlong Rd about 1/4 mile off Normandy Blvd (by Herlong Airport), next to some kind of trailer parks of somesort...
                                                                      This place opens only from Fri-Sun during meal times. It's a very small place but clean place, seats maybe about 15 total, most people order to go.
                                                                      Friends claim their ribs rivals those long time establishments in town, I haven't had a chance to taste it because they sold out when I went there...and that was early in the evening too!

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: travelingfood

                                                                        There's a rib place, and I cannot remember the name of it (I'm sure someone will want to kick me in the shin for that) which is right on the border, between Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach, on the east side of US1. All of the locals eat there, and the selection and quality of their ribs is absolutely incredible. I have never had better, literally anywhere in the world, except for Jamaica, possibly, if you can compare bbq qith jerk seasoning to good 'ole American style ribs.
                                                                        I was actually trying to describe it to a co-worked who is in that area this weekend - anyone have any idea what it is called?

                                                                        1. re: Okun

                                                                          Might be The Miracle Rib trying a new location. The original is on Avenue "D" in Ft.Pierce, but the neighborhood is so rough that they have occasionally tried branching out to various locations along Rt.1. On the other hand, it could also be Norris's Ribs, which has been there for many years. Decent ribs, but can't compare to the Miracle.

                                                                          1. re: Okun

                                                                            The place you are thinking of (and it is named by others in this string) is Norris's [sic - yes, they even spell their own name wrong, a sign that it MUST be good eats]. Website is http://www.norrisribs.com/.

                                                                            I've gone there for 20+ years whenever I'm up that way, and have always been confounded by their claim to fame: "voted best ribs in St. Lucie county" SUCH an understatement (for me they are the best anywhere). They would have to be best in state, and I say that as a regular customer of Tom Jenkins (love almost everything Tom Jenkins makes, except the ribs, which I have found to be very dry). Flannigan's is not too shabby, but the US 1 location of Norris's aluded to in the prior post is the end-all be-all in my book of ribs.

                                                                            1. re: non sequitur

                                                                              Do you think that Norris's Ribs, which won "Best Ribs" in St. Lucie county -- and according to you -- are the best anywhere, better than Miracle or Dale's in FP? I only ask cause:
                                                                              - I don't confess to being a ribs man
                                                                              - My 90 y/o mother (now in Jax) keeps talking about Norris's as the best she's ever eaten in her life (and baby back ribs are her favorite.)
                                                                              - So instead of flying into JAX over Labor Day weekend from Wash., DC, I'm going to Ft. Lauderdale first (beach time for me) then DRIVE up and pick up some Norris's Ribs. www.norrisribs.com

                                                                          2. re: travelingfood

                                                                            LOOKING FOR A JAX RIBS PLACE!
                                                                            Have you found the correct name/# for that place OR have you found a better rib place in JAX?

                                                                            I ask cause although I'm driving some ribs from Norris' in Ft. Pierce, obviously I can't do that on a regular basis (if at all again.) They can ship it but they freeze the ribs and pack it in dry ice. Somehow I think that's going to change the tastes of the ribs, so I'm looking for a GREAT baby back ribs place in JAX that I can drive her to during my occasional visits from Wash., DC (A dutiful son!)

                                                                            1. re: howard hodges


                                                                              it's Treemendous BBQ, 8927 Herlong, just west of 295 close to where Herlong angles into 228. Hors 11A-8P Th Fr Sa. . Menu and directions at www.smokinbbq.org

                                                                          3. Dixie Pig in Fort Lauderdale on Dixie Highway. A real hole-in-the-wall outdoor shack with great ribs, chicken, etc.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: larfied

                                                                              I agree that the special roadside ambiance of the Dixie P is hard to beat, but I consider their smoky rich brunswick stew, rather than their ribs, to be the glory of this hole in the wall. For ribs, I love Tom Jenkins. And I would love to praise the Georgia Pig on 441 for their ribs as well, but, alas, I have never been able to eat beyond their incredible pulled pork sandwich (plus a slice of home-made pecan pie) to find out!

                                                                            2. I have yet to have a great rib in South Florida. Granted I haven't eaten at them all, but...

                                                                              * Shorty's sauces are so poor that it turns me off from what is generally a decently cooked rib
                                                                              * Flannigans has decent ribs, but it ain't no rib joint

                                                                              I've ended up just smokin' my own in the back yard on my grill. It takes a lot longer, and they aren't the best I've ever had, but they're better than the other places I've tried here in Miami.

                                                                              BTW -- anyone ever tried The Pit? A friend of mine from Texas raves about the place that's so far west on 8th St. it's past the Urban Development Boundary.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fultonbrewing

                                                                                House of Bargains-100 NE 79th St. Guy smokes some major ribs in the parking lot every Thursday and Friday. I've sent out-of-town film crews there, and months and months later, the only thing anyone talks about is Joe's Stone Crab and the rib guy. There are tons of great rib guys here. Even the guy on Federal Hwy behind Publix (Biscayne and about 50th St) smokes a great rack-he's there every weekend. Both dudes make their own sauces. The best rib-dudes here are mobile.

                                                                                1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                                  Fantastic tips. I'll seek out the guys with the smoker on the trailer hitch!

                                                                                  1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                                    Danny, is the House of Bargains parking lot operation still in existence? And if so, what time is the best to go there?

                                                                                    I went by yesterday evening (Fri) and there was nobody there. The House of Bargains itself was padlocked and had a city notice posted on the door.

                                                                                  2. re: fultonbrewing

                                                                                    MD bringing it for real..."going mobile", the Who and now MiamiDenny.

                                                                                    Keep your eyes open FLA for TOP mobile RIBS...

                                                                                    FB, I tried the The Pit and fondly remember it...umpteen years ago. Did I see where they garnered (a while ago now) a dirty dining segment on the local news?

                                                                                    1. re: fultonbrewing

                                                                                      The Pit has excellent Q, a close runner-up to Tom Jenkins.
                                                                                      Everytime I am out that way, I make the pilgrimage to the Pit.
                                                                                      It's important.

                                                                                    2. I can't get past Tom Jenkin's. The best. Period.

                                                                                      Sonny's? How the heck do they stay in business? Worst ever.

                                                                                      1. My favorites I did not even see mentioned here. It's PARK AVENUE BARBECUE! They started as a single mom and pop place but now have quite a few locations throughout Palm Beach County. I don't know if that makes them a chain, but i think they're great!

                                                                                        I used to love Tony Romas and Bob Rubino's. They are no longer in this area. What I really loved was the fried onion loaf. Yummy!!

                                                                                        1. Austin's Smokehouse in Hobe Sound is the best of any between Boca and Stuart. Why? Because he actually allows the wood smoke to make contact with the meat. And he uses a dry rub, which you will not find anywhere I know of. Sauces kick booty and the sides are home made.

                                                                                          To be honest, there are some below average mentions on this thread. But if you prefer faux-Q made for the masses, then that is your choice. Thre is not one single chain in SoFla that makes BBQ worth mentioning IMO. Chain + BBQ usually = disaster. BBQ is not grilled meat slathered with sauce. Call me a hardliner......

                                                                                          1. Out of curiosity has anyone here ever tried Hitching post? I'd love some great fall of the bone ribs or any bbq this 4th of July weekend. I'm near the gables and rather stick to the Dade area. I'm not a fan of shorty's so not looking for a recommendation for there, lol.

                                                                                            1. My top three choices:

                                                                                              1. Tom Jenkin's

                                                                                              2. Tom Jenkin's

                                                                                              3. Tom Jenkin's

                                                                                              I won't even bother discussing the chains, and I really cannot understand how places like Sonny's, Shorty's and many others even stay open. TJs put an end to the BBQ debate the day they opened their trailer on US 1, years before they bought the building. Do I wish they served beer? Yes. Do I wish they were open Sunday and Monday? Yes. Am I willing to put up with every inconveneince to eat the greatest BBQ around? Yes. (as well as their mac 'n' cheese) And BTW, they have been taking credit cards for a while, making things a little easier, and also, call in your order in advance, then you will only have a short wait on arriveal.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: truffled

                                                                                                I agree!

                                                                                                Tom Jenkin's is the best.

                                                                                              2. Eli's in Dunedin. Open only on Friday and Sat until they're out. Alt 19 and Main st. Smoked Turkey Legs, if they have them, are killer.

                                                                                                1. Rax by the Trax BBQ is a little place in Port St. John (Brevard County) that sells the best St. Louis Ribs I have ever eaten. They are melt in your mouth good. My Mom loves them cause she can take her teeth out to eat them! Its a small place just a few seats that focuses on take out and delivery. I asked them how biz was, the owner told me they sell 500+ racks a week. Baked beans and Horsradish fine grind cole slaw was to die for. We had a Chocolate Eclair Cake for dessert. I going every week from now on. :)

                                                                                                  1. I just breezed thru this thread and was surprised not to see People's BBQ in downtown Miami. (I may have missed a post?) That is the real deal BBQ for sure, I would have to say they are among the best bbq, if not the best bbq here in the MIA. Take out works well for me. Go straight to the cashier to place your order, otherwise it can be a cluster...enjoy!

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: netmover

                                                                                                      I think Fat Man's is still tops-and that joke about your mother taking her teeth out was actually a quote from Fat Man (scroll down to the video where he explains 'tenderoni')


                                                                                                      Outside Take One Lounge-Fri/Sat for fresh smoked ribs-10:30PM-5AM

                                                                                                      1. re: netmover

                                                                                                        Here's a little preview of what you find over at downtown Miami's Peoples BBQ...finger licking good straight out da hood!

                                                                                                        1. re: netmover

                                                                                                          Afraid I must disagree, netmover. People's BBQ doesn't come anywhere near the best in FLA, I wouldn't even include it in the top 5 in Miami.

                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                            Let's have your top 5 list then...

                                                                                                            1. re: netmover

                                                                                                              It's premature, as I am still sampling different places.

                                                                                                              Having said that, of what I have had so far in the greater Miami area only, I would say

                                                                                                              VII Sports Club
                                                                                                              Tom Jenkins
                                                                                                              St City
                                                                                                              The Pit
                                                                                                              Mama Lucy's

                                                                                                              There are a lot of mentions of Saturdays-only, guy-with-a-grill in a parking lot places that I need to try.

                                                                                                              1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                Thank you.

                                                                                                                You bring two new to the table I never knew.

                                                                                                                Truth is any Dade County BBQ discussion must include Peoples BBQ. It is an institution. You may not like their sauce or their style of rib, but many have for generations. In fact, I make no bones about my dislike for mustard style bbq sauces which theirs is, but I must say it is growing on me . Their ribs are served unlike any others too. And all that smothered stuff looks so good! Anyhow, when hungry for lunch and near downtown Miami, People's BBQ is definately a dandy option.

                                                                                                        2. Hot Boyz on NW 27th Ave about a block north of Broward Blvd in Ft Lauderdale is without a doubt the best ribs I've had in South Florida. Saturday only and you have to bring cash, but it's well worth it. They pull some smokers out into an empty lot between a couple of buildings.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: netmover

                                                                                                              Let's go Back to central florida and Lake County(the undisputed rib capitol of Florida). The Mount Dora hound had some exceptional ribs over the weekend here at a place called Sugarboo's I have given them a hard time about their doneness or lack there of in the past. After 4 visits and perfectly cooked every time,in a black pepper dry rub,I can now recommend them! I am still not crazy about the sauce,,but it is good on the chicken. I just like sweet hot sauce on my ribs. AND The chicken is good too!

                                                                                                            2. re: swoll50

                                                                                                              Anyone know what happened to the guys from Golden Ribs, a similar situation in Coconut Grove?

                                                                                                              1. re: Ryan Goldschlager

                                                                                                                I noticed that the shop was closed every time I would go by there maybe 6+ months ago.
                                                                                                                Then I happened to go by on a weekend. New restaurant had taken Golden Ribs' place. A staff member who was there (they hadn't yet opened for the day) said that they were only open Thurs - Sun (close at 8 on Thurs & Sun, 10 on Fri & Sat).
                                                                                                                **I've never happened to return to actually try the food at the new place though.**

                                                                                                                Main Event Sports Cafe
                                                                                                                3809 Grand Ave Cocount Grove (305) 443-6882

                                                                                                            3. Mississippi Sweets BBQ in BOCA!

                                                                                                              1. Shorty's origional location (www.shortys.com) gets my vote. Prefer the sauce they bring w/ the food not those already on the table.

                                                                                                                Shorty's Bar-B-Q
                                                                                                                2650 Pga Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: coconutman305

                                                                                                                  Funny but the address you show as their "original location" doesn't show up on the web site you linked. Is that a different Shorty's than the original one down in Miami??

                                                                                                                2. i would add Simply Southern Bbq and the Black Eyed Pig
                                                                                                                  here in Naples..

                                                                                                                  1. Okay.... It looks like I'm moving to St Lucie area in early 2012 so I need to start learning about the restaurants in Florida. First I'll look into ribs (not que....ribs) Can anyone update the list below, eliminating closed joints and adding new ones. I'm sure others will appreciate it as well.

                                                                                                                    From August 2006 to October 2011 these joints were nominated in this. I've deleted duplicates and negative reviews. I think I got them all but I'm half asleep atm so may have missed one.
                                                                                                                    I'm still learning the towns so I may have street names instead of cities. Thank You...Rick

                                                                                                                    Shorty's - South Miami
                                                                                                                    Mama Lucy's - Opa Locka
                                                                                                                    Uncle Jones - Altamonte
                                                                                                                    Shivers - Homestead
                                                                                                                    Blackwater's - Orlando/College Park
                                                                                                                    People's - Miami
                                                                                                                    Lucille's - Miami
                                                                                                                    O-Boys - Winter Park
                                                                                                                    Uncle Jones
                                                                                                                    "It's A Secret"
                                                                                                                    Wildsides's - Orlando
                                                                                                                    Bono's - Gainesville
                                                                                                                    Brothers BBQ - Clearwater
                                                                                                                    Eli's - Dunedin
                                                                                                                    Rib City - Ft. Myers
                                                                                                                    Bono's - Stuart
                                                                                                                    Chez Porky's -
                                                                                                                    Michael's Kitchen - Hollywood
                                                                                                                    Tom Jenkins - Ft.Lauderdale
                                                                                                                    Miracle Rib - Ft. Pierce
                                                                                                                    CW Barbeque - Hobe Sound
                                                                                                                    Norris' Ribs - Ft. Pierce
                                                                                                                    Scruby's - Pembroke Pines
                                                                                                                    'Down To The Bone BBQ' - Brandon
                                                                                                                    King's Taste - Mount Dora
                                                                                                                    Scruby's - Pembroke Pines
                                                                                                                    Jack's Smokehouse
                                                                                                                    Shorty's - Kendall
                                                                                                                    Brothers & Sisters - Orlando
                                                                                                                    Dale's Barbecue - Ft. Pierce
                                                                                                                    Woody's - Lake Wales
                                                                                                                    Lil Red's - Broward
                                                                                                                    Lucille's - Delray
                                                                                                                    People's Bar-B-Que and Soul Food - Miami
                                                                                                                    Big John's Alabama BBQ - Tampa
                                                                                                                    Porkie's - Apopka
                                                                                                                    Newberry's Backyard BBQ - Gainesville
                                                                                                                    Atwater's Cafeteria - St. Petersburg
                                                                                                                    JJ's - Bradenton
                                                                                                                    Tommy's - Ocala
                                                                                                                    King's BBQ - Pensacola
                                                                                                                    Treemendous BBQ - Jacksonville
                                                                                                                    Dixie Pig - Fort Lauderdale
                                                                                                                    Austin's Smokehouse - Hobe Sound
                                                                                                                    Rax by the Trax BBQ - Port St. John
                                                                                                                    Eli's - Dunedin
                                                                                                                    Hot Boyz - Ft Lauderdale
                                                                                                                    Mississippi Sweets BBQ - Boca
                                                                                                                    Simply Southern Bbq - Naples
                                                                                                                    Black Eyed Pig - Naples

                                                                                                                    Austin's Smokehouse
                                                                                                                    9024 SE Bridge Rd, Hobe Sound, FL

                                                                                                                    Miracle Ribs
                                                                                                                    1807 Avenue D, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

                                                                                                                    Rax by the Trax
                                                                                                                    926 Fay Blvd, Cocoa, FL 32927

                                                                                                                    Atwater's Cafeteria
                                                                                                                    895 22nd Ave S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

                                                                                                                    St Lucie
                                                                                                                    1306 Avenue M, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

                                                                                                                    Opa Restaurant
                                                                                                                    3051 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

                                                                                                                    Wildside Cafe
                                                                                                                    400 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: wytewyz

                                                                                                                      unless you want to do a lot of driving....i would concentrate on the ones closest to where you are going to be...
                                                                                                                      i mean i keep in mind the ones near Miami for when we occasionally go to sobe..
                                                                                                                      and the ones around disney/orlando area...

                                                                                                                      but unless they are angels raining from the heavens/slap yo momma ribs...
                                                                                                                      i dont go driving 6 hours for them...

                                                                                                                      i mean its almost 2 hours just to drive across my county...

                                                                                                                      1. re: wytewyz

                                                                                                                        The best ribs I've had in Florida are from McCarter's Barbecue in Fort Myers. McCarter's is not a restaurant, just takeout (and cash only). There's no sign on the place, but it's hard to miss. Head East on MLK out of downtown Fort Myers, and look for the smokers on the left.

                                                                                                                        7 bucks gets you 4-5 bones and a couple slices of white bread. I have a tough time justifying making ribs anymore, since I can't make them for as cheap as he sells his.

                                                                                                                        1. re: bagofwater

                                                                                                                          This is the real deal in Barbeque in Ft. Myers. A full slab for $23 will feed four hungry people and order some short end pieces if you need extra. No ambiance, no sit down, no CC's, no baby back ribs, just the best ribs in the area. Say hello to Willie who is there 7 days a week until about 7:00PM.

                                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                            YIIIIKES RACERX THAT'S HEAVY....WOW!!! GOOD THING I'VE ONLY GOT THE RIBS THERE. LOL...NOT ANYMORE DANG!

                                                                                                                        2. I like Callie's Bones, or something like that, in a little shopping center on the corner of Armenia and Linebaugh. Prices are really good, too. It's a small place and the owner's, at least I think they're the owners, are young and nice. The sides seem to be either out of a can or bought at Sam's and repackaged, though. Stick with the BBQ and make your own sides. Oh, they do have grilled corn on the cob, but I think the little corn sections are probably previously frozen store-boughts. Like I said, stick to the BBQ.

                                                                                                                          1. NOT Sonny's in Tampa. I think they had the nerve to sell me the previous night's warm-ups. Dry dry dry. That was 6 months ago. I was passing by and decided to give them a second chance, but this time I bought the pulled pork--half of it was fat! That's why I bought the pulled pork--so I wouldn't get all the fat. Chains! What was I thinking.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: TampaLandscaper

                                                                                                                              Any GREAT Rib places in Broward ( Hallandale ) besides Tony Roma ?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Luvtooeat

                                                                                                                                Is Tony Roma even still open, with their fake BBQ? If you want the best that there is, head up to Tom Jenkins in Ft. Lauderdale, on US 1, a half block south of Davie Rd. on the east side. Closed Sunday and Monday, and closes at 8:30 during the week and 10:00 on Fri and Sat. It is the lord's BBQ. End of topic. Try the chopped pork, mac and cheese [and I don't eat ANY mac and cheese, except TJ's] the greens. The ribs are excellent, but I strongly recommend the regular ribs over the much smaller baby backs, as they really hold up well through the smoking process. I am getting hungry typing this, and it is Monday. Damn. Have to wait til tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                1. re: truffled

                                                                                                                                  Amen, brother. If you're in Ft. Pierce, try the Miracle Ridb on Avenue D. Just don't go at night.

                                                                                                                            2. I hit up Tom Jenkins recently and HE got it goin' on! Got to be TOP 5 in South Florida...

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: netmover

                                                                                                                                A hearty AMEN. BTW, there is no "Tom Jenkins." It was a name picked by the two guys who started the restaurant years ago,

                                                                                                                                1. re: truffled

                                                                                                                                  And the legend/myth has now officially been debunked! In that case, THEY got it goin' on...

                                                                                                                              2. Mmmmmmm...........

                                                                                                                                Jenkin's Quality BBQ @ 830 North Pearl Street, Jacksonville, FL 904 - 353 - 6388.

                                                                                                                                Callahan's BBQ @ 45007 State Rd 200, Callahan, FL 904 - 879 - 4675.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Littleman

                                                                                                                                  There's also Jack's Barbeque at exit 1 on I-95, just south of the FL-GA line. Great chopped pork sandwich and ribs.