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Jan 12, 2008 02:45 PM

bar-b-que beach miami

any good?

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  1. Awesome (if the same as the one on South Beach).

    Is the one on Biscayne around 125th now open?

    14 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      I really like bbq beach, but awesome is a stretch.

      1. re: tpigeon

        No, I mean it - the best BBQ I've had locally.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Sort of same with me but I have not been to Tom Jenkins or some of the other ones. I will say the babybacks at River Oyster are far better than anything I had at bbq beach. So was the pulled pork sandwich (R.I.P).

      2. re: Frodnesor

        Your description makes it sound simply delicious! Where is it at in SoBe?

        1. re: eatnbmerry

          The SoBe location is on the north end of Washington around 15th.

          Bar-B-Que Beach Restaurant
          1555 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

          1. re: Frodnesor

            What kind of beef and pork do they use?

            1. re: jacopopoli

              If you're asking for "provenance" of the meat (i.e. Niman Ranch), I have no idea. If you're asking about cuts, they do baby backs, spare ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork which I'm 99% sure is shoulder, beef brisket, also chicken.

              Here's the website ->

              And here's another good writeup by Advisor Girl ->

            2. re: Frodnesor

              Closer to 16th. almost right across the street from el chalan.

          2. re: Frodnesor

            Not yet, I don't know when.
            They have a zoning variance notification sign out front. I think that is the hold up.
            No workers there, I think it is all finished except the sign.
            Question: Do you ever eat at home?

            1. re: keysrat

              *Question: Do you ever eat at home?*

              Sure ... there's always take out!

              Sadly, it's actually been months since I went to Bar-B-Que Beach - it just made quite an impression.

              1. re: Frodnesor

                Howie Kleinberg's Bulldog BBQ in North Miami Beach should be opening soon too.

                1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                  picked up take out last night and found it just ok. we are big tom jenkins fans, and agreed we would rather just wait til we're in lauderdale than eat at bar b que beach again.
                  we had the whacked pork- good, but really fatty and not too flavorful on its own, needed lots of sauce. the 1/2 chicken was pretty flavorful. the 1/2 rack babybacks were just ok. sides were small. baked beans and collard greens were tasty. mac n cheese dry and flavorless. fried green tomatoes and sweet potato mash pretty good. spicy slaw too spicy- and i love heat, just spicy vinegar that took away from other flavors. tried a few different sauces, all decent.
                  nothing was BAD, just not worth going back to me. even though we had just picked all the food up hot, i had the feeling i was eating reheated leftovers.

                  1. re: gingersnap

                    I guess it's a matter of style. I don't mind some pork fat, and I'd much prefer to choose and add sauce myself than get something that's already been slathered in something (that's usually too sweet and sticky to boot).

                    Again I've not yet tried the NM place and it may not be as good as the SoBe one was.

                    1. re: gingersnap

                      BBQ depends on good timing/turnover. Was it busy when you went? I've also heard that tom jenkins is good and look forward to trying.

            2. My personal favorite in south florida is the Dixie Pig... killer eastern carolina style barbecue, addictive hush puppies, and even peach cobbler. Jack's in Lauderdale on Oakland Park Boulevard is pretty good. I happen to really like L'il Reds for a quick meal. I've had some tasty ribs pulled from steel drum smokers in liberty city... I may try beach barbecue -- but only if I can be convinced that it's not yet another overpriced miami beach eatery.

              Meanwhile, I am in the minority in not liking Tom Jenkins (well, I like the side dishes.. but the barbecue does nothing for me). Georgia Pig was awful the time I went years ago -- and I haven't had the inclination for a second chance. Shorty's and Sonny's are, in my mind, the fast food of barbecue.

              22 Replies
              1. re: karmalaw

                Other than the fact that they opened up in South Beach, Bar-B-Que Beach is not at all a South Beach kind of place. In fact the place seems pretty incongruous there. As for prices - $18 for a full rack of baby-backs (w/ 2 sides), platters of pulled pork, beef brisket or bbq chicken for $10-13 (inculding 2 sides). The "bucket of bones" appetizer of their dry-rubbed spare ribs was ridiculously generous for $9.

                I'm not big on Shorty's, not so much on Sunny's either. Haven't tried the others you mention.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  I agree that the food is solid, well priced, and is not similar to most places in south beach, but Lucky Strike and Quarterdeck are somewhat similar in vibe to BBQ beach.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    I might give you Quarterdeck, but Lucky Strike? Lucky Strike is a slick, polished, nationally franchised, overpriced bowling alley / lounge - I'm not sure how it compares to a hokey pseudo-tropical motif place with plastic trees everywhere.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      I enjoy this site because of all the varying opinions....some I agree with...some not...and that's the beauty of it....I didn't go to BBQ Beach looking for "South Beach Vibe"....I went there looking to eat "Real BBQ"...which is meat...cooked at low temperatures for extended periods of time...and I found that at BBQ Beach....

                      I'm on a team that cooks at professional BBQ contests...and we've done well....I've had the opportunity to eat at the "great" BBQ restaurants...Gates, Big Bob Gibsons, Bryants, Corky's, Rendzevous, Stubbs, etc....and the spare ribs and brisket that I ate at BBQ Beach this week compare favorably with those notable bbq restaurants....


                      1. re: LargeLife

                        Interesting points of comparison. I keep trying to tell folks that BBQ Beach is the real deal.

                        I think the point of the "South Beach" discussion was the concern on the part of some that it was just another overpriced phony South Beach place - it is far from it, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, it's also a very large space and far from busy the times I've been there.

                        I'm hoping that the North Miami location has the same quality of food and a better customer base than South Beach.

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Frod...You make a great point....I too noticed that the beach location is rather large....and it wasn't very busy there...and it is..."the season"....But I also thought it was a weeknight and no place looked too busy......I'm hopeful this place sticks around....As I mentioned in an earlier restaurant BBQ goes...this place is excellent.....

                          I met with their kitchen staff....exchanged some ideas...and they're a knowledgeable....I thought they killed the spare ribs with dry rub...but beyond was really, really good......We'll see....

                        2. re: LargeLife

                          Interesting, I really like the brisket at BBQ beach and it is my goto dish there. I do not have much experience with BBQ, but when I tried Hill Country in NYC, I found it in a whole other class. It was amazing.

                        3. re: Frodnesor

                          It attracts a sports crowd like the bar at bbq beach and quaterdeck. Just don't freak out and machine gun me with 8 posts like last time you disagreed with me...oh, wait, I did the machine gun posting-- nevermind :). Note - I usually go to watch games at both bbq and lucky strike and my vibe comments come from that perspective.

                          Food is not overpriced at lucky strike and it is not bad either for a bar. I do think the food at bbq beach is much better though...

                          1. re: tpigeon

                            The lanes are overpriced. The prices are just about right for fried macaroni and chicken fingers. (To be fair, I always eat it when it's in front of me).

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              Agree on the lanes. Was not sure what you were referring to.

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                Just outta curiosity, how much does a game go for?

                                1. re: eatnbmerry

                                  Don't recall other than that doing the kids' birthdays there starts to cost a small fortune even before factoring in food.

                                  1. re: Frodnesor


                                    Look forward to trying this Que place although am concerned about not being full since like I've said good que is dependent on timing and turnover. If not, the dryness factor takes hold IMO.

                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                      Frod, you pay for all these great meals and wine and won't take the kids bowling???
                                      I know the price is high but stop by one night after dinner and you will have fun, especially during model season...
                                      The beach needed a place like Lucky Strike. We didn't even have a movie theater a few years ago and Lincoln Road was a ghost town at night...
                                      The food is good for a sports bar type of place

                                      1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                        Agreed on all fronts and the food is definitely better than at Cloverleaf Lanes!
                                        Just to make absolutely clear, though, I would never actually recommend the place for the food.

                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                          Agree. I would never tell anyone to go there for the food alone. However, if someone wants to watch the Giants win on Sunday and grab some food, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

                                          1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                            G-Men beating cheeseheads would make any food taste that much better!!

                                            1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                              As a matter of fact, that is exaclty what I am going to do this sunday :).

                              2. re: Frodnesor

                                Shorty's is actually the healthiest because after you have eaten there, you do not necessarily want more; it is not quite good enough.

                              3. re: karmalaw

                                I agree with you Karma, i only tried it once, Tom Jenkins but i was really disappointed, it was so bad that i remember saying i never wanted to go back there again and we haven't and that was 3-4 yrs ago. It was on a Sunday Afternoon. There were 3 of us and none of us were happy campers.

                                We go to Shortys on University and Sterling. We find the food there is normally very good and the price the same. We both like their Brisket and Chicken. I tried the Ribs once and didn't like them at all. The Waitress took them back and brought more out but to me it was the same. I do not recommend them unless i just hit it at a bad time. Usually Shortys is very busy at this location. Sometimes they are waiting outside to get in.

                                I do go by how busy a place is. I don't care how good the food is normally, if it is not busy, to me, it usually turns out not to be as good

                                I do want to try BBQ Beach. You have me willing to give it a try. Has anyone tried it recently? In the last couple of months? Any busier? Have you tried it on Weekends? If we go it will be on Sat afternoon. Or Thurs.

                              4. I've been to BBQ Beach twice in the past month and thought it was very good as restaurant BBQ goes.....The spare ribs that I ordered were smoked correctly...pulling away from the bone easily (not falling off the bone as that's not "real bbq").....I thought they used too much dry rub on them but still very, very good.....I also tried their brisket and it too was properly smoked at a low temperature for hours and rendered to the point where it was extremely tender and flavorful.....When it comes to any BBQ's always best to get there when they're busy as that's when you're served meat that hasn't been hanging around and is fresh from the smokers.....I also tried a smoked Beef Rib and it was also very tender and tasty.....

                                This place serves "real bbq"...meats that have been smoked at approximately 250 / 275 degrees for hours....Not meats that have been par-steamed or par-boiled then braised and sauced.....Light years better than Sonny's or Shorty's......

                                My experiences were good...hope yours are the same.....Service was just OK and parking will try your patience.....


                                10 Replies
                                1. re: LargeLife

                                  You are so right. May I return us to my review of the first time I stumbled upon this mecca of true Bar-b-que.

                                  1. re: 2top

                                    Calling it a mecca of bbq is taking it far, but I am glad to have it here. It is certainly very good bbq.

                                    1. re: tpigeon

                                      I'll agree with tpigeon.....A mecca of BBQ would be Stubbs in Austin, Big Bob Gibsons in Alabama, Sonny Bryen's Smokehouse in Dallas (Inwood/Memorial), Dinosaur BBQ in NYC, Rendzevous & Corky's in Memphis, Arthur Bryan's in K.C......Those are BBQ Meccas.....And there are no BBQ meccas in the State of Florida....Some good places....but not Meccas.....


                                      1. re: LargeLife

                                        I'm not saying it is a Mecca, but Tom Jenkins beats the pants off Dinosaur NYC five days a week, it would be seven but TJ is closed Sunday and Monday. I'm not sure what the best Q in NYC is, but it ain't Dino. In NYC it depends on what you want as each place has its specialty.

                                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                                          Stuart...I respect your opinion.....Bless you!...I've also been to Dinosaur in NYC and it was reasonably good and folks do stand in lines to get in....Perhaps because of the coverage on Food Network...but still a landmark BBQ establishment.....I had the pleasure of cooking with the Dinosaur crew at last year's BubbleQ and they were a sound team....I've also crewed for three other teams...all Memphis in May Finalists....and I enjoy eating and trying BBQ at different "meccas"....It's like I don't love Arthur Bryan's in K.C...but the fact is it's still a landmark BBQ joint whether I like it or not....Been to Tom was reasonably good....but far, far from great....All just a matter of taste.....Kind of like Cheesesteaks in Philly.....


                                          1. re: LargeLife

                                            No doubt Dinosaur NYC is popular, as is the branch in Syracuse. I respect your knowledge and experience, in fact I will be at Bar-B-Que Beach Restaurant in Miami Beach this week because of the praise I am reading on this board. NYC has come a long way with Q but it is very expensive and only a handful of places do it the right way. To this Q deprived New Yorker, Florida has a lot of good tasting and reasonably priced Q. For the record I think Daisey May does the best ribs and Hill country does a prime rib that is out of this world, RUB's burn't ends are pretty special as well. What do you think of Dixie Pig? I have seen some praise but it is not talked about much.

                                            1. re: stuartlafonda

                                              I haven't been to Dizie Pig yet...but I'll get there sooner or later...I like People's BBQ....I don't think the BBQ there is great...But the "Soul Food Sides" there are extremely good and I try to get there once or twice per year....I like to try BBQ spots...but my standards are high because I'm a pretty fair pitmaster myself....I have what's known as a Big Green Egg...smoker and grill....And the meat that anyone can turn out on this contraption is better than any restaurant once you get the hang of it....Go to and check it out......

                                              I would like to reiterate that I liked BBQ Beach....didn't think it was perfect...but at least the meat was smoked in commercial smokers...low-n-slow...and that's something you don't get at most places....Most places par-steam or par-boil their meats...then throw them over an open fire...and sauce and flip a few times...then serve...and that's not BBQ.....


                                              1. re: LargeLife

                                                I second the sides at People's BBQ. The tasty mac and cheese had a chunk of cheese in it - so it's not powdered. The potato salad was tasty, the rice was flavorful. They ran out of the seemingly highly regarded collared greens and sweet potato pie. I thought the cornbread was pretty tasty.

                                                But as far as BBQ goes for itself, what's bringing people back here are the ribs - not anything else, from what I understand. Their ribs are really good. And I would go back just for that, even if their service is pretty lousy.

                                                1. re: mialebven

                                                  What's really funny is this thread...about a BBQ place on Miami Beach...that's pretty good...and is getting so many responses....Perhaps it just goes to show that people are interested in "Real BBQ"....and there's not many places to get it.....And maybe there's a genuine need for more, better BBQ in South Florida.....

                                                  I went by Shorty's in Kendall last Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and there was a line out the door!!....Shorty's is just OK....I eat at the one that's less than 3/4 of a mile from my office in Doral at least once a week because it's fast, convenient, and I like the corn and slaw better than the meat....which is just grilled...not BBQd in the "low-n-slow" way......

                                                  When I'm eating at Shorty's...I just think to myself...if these nice folks ever ate "real bbq"....they wouldn't know how to act....I think some would fall over on the floor and go into convulsions after eating a rack of ribs that had been over a low fire for about 5 hours....Or a hunk of Boston Butt or Brisket that has been in my Big Green Egg for the last 18 hours.....Then again it's hard to mass produce real BBQ in large quantities....But at places like Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse in Dallas or Stubbs in Austin....they get it done...and done right......

                                                  A fun discussion.....


                                                  1. re: mialebven

                                                    Their service is far better than most places in south beach. Thier bbq pork and brisket are also very good. As a matter of fact, I prefer them to the ribs.

                                  2. It's interesting to read these comments from 2008; I just went there (May 2010) and it sounds like it's changed a bit.

                                    After the waitress took my order and gave me some helpful info about their specialties, my appetizer of grilled jerk wings came out quickly. They were DELICIOUS: well seasoned and spicy, without nuclear heat that destroys all flavor.

                                    I only had a few bites before my entree came out. Already? Whoa, let me finish my appetizer before you throw more food at me that sits and gets cold because I can't tear myself away from the delicious appetizer! It would have been understandable had the restaurant been busier, but only two other tables occupied.

                                    My entree was the spareribs with sides of collard greens and fried green tomatoes. As one who lives below the Mason-Dixon line, I'm ashamed to admit that I never had fried green tomatoes before. I'm so glad I had them here. Crispy, delicious, flavorful heaven.

                                    I wish the collards were half as good, but I can say that they did try. I'm not a fan of of sweet-savory combinations, so the addition of that much sugar was lost on me, and the abundance of red pepper flakes made me cough with every bite. They were pleasantly smoky and sported chunks of ham hocks, but that wasn't enough to redeem them.

                                    Now, the ribs ... in most cases, I can take or leave meat--especially pork (I like to leave it). However, it's my duty to seek out the best ribs everywhere I visit. They were not here. Not even close. The rub they used was delicious but the meat was many hours from tender (no tugging could pull that off the bone), and because it needed more time in the smoker, it was very fatty.

                                    After that, it took about 25 minutes for my waitress to come back and check on me. Seriously. When she finally came back, I ordered the very forgettable key lime pie (mine is wayyyy better) and waited another 15 minutes for my check. Friendliness and helpfulness do go a long way, but it's hard when you have somewhere else to go and the joint is almost empty.

                                    So, hit and miss with the food and service. My mouth waters when I think of the wings and fried green tomatoes. I will go back when I return to SoBe, but I'll go when I have major time to kill and I'll try to forget about ordering ribs.