Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Apr 23, 2007 07:18 PM

BBQ Query

I've been researching a lot for an upcoming trip to Orlando and some decisions have been easier than others. Does anyone want to weigh in on the best barbecue. I like the sounds of Smokey Bones, O'Boys and Bubbalou's. Any advice/suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I dont know what you consider good 'Q ,but the best I've had in the Orlando area is Brothers and Sisters, decent 'Q,excellent cobbler (the peach is mind numbing!),the service is very friendly albeit slow...just make time for it and enjoy your meal,here is a review from the paper i am from the southwest (N.M.),and 'Q is a differnt beast out there,and much better IMO ,but that's just me, if you should go to Bubbalous ,the burgers are better than the 'Q, I would also reccomend Cecil's Texas style BBQ,at I -4 and Lee rd, good 'Q,good sides.MrsGif,now that i think about it,if you want good grilled meat,ask a question about authentic Jamaican Jerk, i have only bought it at Goldencrust bakery,and it is ok,but i know a lady from the island that has fixed it for me several times,and i must say it is wonderful stuff ,i hope this helps,and i hope y'all enjoy your stay!

    1. Don't bother with Smokey Bones. It's a chain owned by Darden (of Olive Garden and Red Lobster fame), and their barbecue is so mediocre, they've been changing the menus and phasing it out.

      I personally like Sonny's, a Florida chain based in Maitland (in the Orlando area), but some people would beg to differ. I think Bubbalou's is good (at least their original location on Lee Road near 17-92 in Winter Park), but still prefer Sonny's. I haven't been to O'Boys, but my girlfriend has tried them and she prefers Sonny's. I've heard great things about Cecil's and keep meaning to try them. I believe they specialize in big barbecue beef ribs, but they may be only available on Fridays (or perhaps they only offer all-you-can-eat beef ribs on Fridays).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        I agree that you should skip Smokey Bones..........definitely mediocre!!!

        I had the brisket there, and it was'nt quite terrible enough to send back, but it was'nt too good either...

        The best thing was the waitress; she was so kind and attentive that it helped make up for the lousy meal

        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

          I gotta agree on the Sonnys recommendation, not great,but good ,and certinly reasonable...dont know why i forgot to include them....brain fade i guess.

          1. re: jword2001

            Sonny's can be extremely inconsistent, and much of it depends on if it is franchised or still owned by Sonny. I ate at onve near Ocala and was shocked to have a good meal. Mostly, Sonny's is forgettable or bad. Neither is worth it when I'm on vacation.

        2. Agree with everyone on skipping Smokey Bone's, I eat there every couple months but then again I live in Orlando so sometimes it ends up being convenient, it's not bad but nothing worth seeking out.

          Your other ideas on the other hand are both good IMHO, another place is Blackwater BBQ on Edgewater. Sonny's isn't bad either but not worth seeking out in my opinion.

          1. Well, I was going to throw in a recommendation for Park Ave BBQ but it seems they're all on the east coast of FL. Sorry folks, but at least I did my research first. Tell us what you find in Orlando because I have reason to go over (and up) there every so often and always love to find good BBQ

            1. My favorite BBQ in Orlando is Brothers and Sisters. It's a bit out of the way but worth the trek. In town, I like the Bubbalou's on Lee Road. Don't bother with the other franchise locations, they just aren't as good as the original.

              Smokey Bones (it makes me sick just to type the name) is to BBQ what Olive Garden is to Italian and Red Lobster is to seafood. It's less than mediocre, cafeteria grade drek, although Yankee tourists seem to like the donuts and televisions. Boy howdy, that's what I go to a BBQ place for.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bkhuna

                You may want to try the new olive garden in Altamonte springs, i always hated it also,but had lunch at a friend's insistence, and was pleasantly suprised , not high end Italian,but a HUGE improvement over the old Olive garden, as for Bubbalou's on lee rd, i need to try it,i'vebeen in two others and neither did much for me...good burger though.