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Feb 10, 2009 07:55 AM

The Best Tampa BBQ!! ??

The Absolute Best BBQ Pork and Texas Brisket in Tampa is now Calley's Sticky Bones BBQ. 2313 W Linebaugh Ave. 813-935-6600. This place is a hole in the wall restaurant that you would never know existed. The man who runs it is an accomplished professional BBQ Master (certified in Kansas City BBQ) who wins competitions all the time. He decided to open up a restaurant to continue his hobby while his real job is in A/C Work.

The ribs are okay, BUT the PORK is awesome - truly amazing!! Absolutely the best in the Tampa Bay Area. The Beef Brisket is also outstanding. Make sure you ask him to slice it and pick out a really nice moist piece.

All that being said - I would really like everyone to put it out there and let me know where you stand. I am constantly looking for new places. PLUS my wife is now pregnant and all she craves is BBQ pork.


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  1. That's interesting. Do you know the name of the team he cooks on in the BBQ Circuit?

    1 Reply
    1. re: RibDog

      Not certain. I have been there only 5 times - next time I go, I'll find out for you.

    2. First Choice in Brandon is awesome! Across the bay, there's a pretty good bbq restaurant in Clearwater across from the county courthouse.

      4 Replies
      1. re: TampaAurora

        I'm not arguing, but I have yet to be happy at First Choice...

        Just up the road is 'Down To The Bone BBQ' who usually blow my mind with their ribs...

        I'll pop by Calley's Sticky Bones BBQ tomorrow---- hopefully they're open on Sundays...

        1. re: Mild Bill

          Bummer... No machine or person answered when I just called at 1:06PM...

          Maybe I'll try during the week...

          1. re: Mild Bill

            I have to agree with you bill. I don't know why First Choice gets all the hype? It's slightly above average at best.

            I'll take Big John's or Down to the Bone over First Choice any day of the week.

            1. re: FrankC

              Going out for chicken and brisket means my BBQ options are limited. First choice has a good bbq chicken, but I only went once. I do enjoy Smokin Out - the new place in Clearwater. But, I'm a sucker for a place that smokes their own fish and their own meats.

        2. That's interesting that there is actually someone certified in Kansas City style BBQ, down here in Fl.

          We'd like to hear more,as my wife will travel almost any distance for truly great brisket.

          Although price is really no object for the best bbq,what do the prices look like?


          10 Replies
          1. re: TomFl

            There's no "certification" when it comes to cooking KC-style BBQ. He's likely a certificed KCBS juge or has competed in KCBS-sanctioned events or both.

            I stopped at a place called Carter's BBQ which is on HWY 60 in Mulberry whichy is just minutes away from Tampa. Take I-4 East from Tampa, get off HWY 60 and it's south a mile or so on the west side of the highway.

            Maybe I got lucky, I don't know. But I stopped in that place a few months back and bought a slab of spare ribs and they were really smoked to perfection. Maybe a tad bit hammy in texture but delicious. Caution! The yellowy mustard sauce they serve is DISGUSTING. But they ribs that I purchased from them were first rate. Make sure you tell them, "NO SAUCE".

            I'm a KCBS-certified judge and have particiapted in several KCBS-sanctioned events and tasted all kinds of sauces from mild to wild and that sauce was unlike anything that's graced my pallot. But this place was busy, friendly and the meat...which is the thing....was very good. Hopefully it wasn't an accidental occurrence.


            1. re: TomFl

              Very inexpensive. As for the certification - I be LargeLife is right. None the less, the certificate of whatever he is has been framed on the wall next to sever pictures and trophies.

              1. re: WStampa

                Don't bet, I am right! LOL! I travel to competitions all over the country. Always trying to learn, learn, learn more about BBQ all the time. Most folks that compete in KCBS competitons are also KCBS judges...This way they can taste the competition and continue learning themselves.....It's a process....There's also a Florida BBQ Association that also sanctions BBQ competitions and most folks that belong to the FBA also belong to the KCBS....check out sometime to learn more if you're interested...


                1. re: LargeLife

                  All of the FBA competitions are north of the mid state line. The only thing around Boca is the judge's seminar. I guess SoFla is not even worthy of one competition.


                  1. re: freakerdude

                    You're right about that FD...most of the competitions are up north a bit......They did have one in The Keys for a couple of years...but not sure if they're still holding that one or not....I cooked in that one three times with Dr. BBQ and the Bonesmokers....alot of fun!!.....They did have a competition at the Homestead-Miami Speedway last year and I believe that the FBA or KCBS did sanction that one as well.....Would like to invite you to the Big Green Egg Fest thats in Ocala in March......You can attend $20....and eat all you want!!....And you might even buy one and become a fellow EggHead....and turn out competition quality BBQ of your very own......There's also a great event in Clermont....called "Pig on The Pond" that's a ton of fun.......


                    1. re: LargeLife

                      The contest in the Keys was held in Key Largo. It ran for two years and then the organizer lost their contest site. Too many busy bodies around the park did not care for a bbq contest one weekend out of a year so they got it stopped. That was too bad as that was a nice contest.


                      1. re: RibDog

                        I have never been impressed with the BBq in Pinellas but...... We make it down to Ellington Mall every so often and the is a BBq place (somthing)Carolina BBq on the same exit just oposit side of I-75. It is worth the drive just for the BBq without the mall. Bad news is the owners travel a lot and will close up shop ocasionally. I also was impressed with Kojacks on Gandy, the ribs were the best.

                        1. re: Matthewgt1981

                          You might be thinking of Hickory Hollow BBQ in Ellenton.

                          1. re: RibDog

                            I had the shank appetizer (among many other things) the last time I was at Hickory Hollow and it was really good. Jaymer's in Valrico is respectable BBQ if we are going to be including places as far away as Ellenton (although who cares about a little drive when it comes to BBQ?).

                            Jaymer's BBQ
                            3331 Lithia Pinecrest Rd
                            Valrico, FL 33596

                            1. re: CFishman

                              You could be right, I havent been in quite some time, I just remember the pulled pork and corn fritters. Im now in Orlando where BBq is somewhat geared toward the UCF kids but there are a few holes in walls that do some great stuff. Bubba-lu's in Winter Park is one of the best. They even have Grandma chained to a pot of greens that melts in your mouth. (no actual Grandma) but the greens taste very family recipe. And the make up for the fact your sitting next to Lee Road at rush hour.

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