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Bulldog BBQ

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pilches Jun 1, 2009 08:58 AM

Just got the July issue of Bon Appetit where Bulldog is listed as one of the "Best New Barbecue Restaurants" in America! How do you figure? Maybe there weren't that many to choose from?

  1. f
    Feleciablue Jun 1, 2009 09:11 AM

    I dont know, is that the one that was opened by one of the Top Chef Contenders? Tom Jenkins in Fort Lauderdale is AMAZING! Every time I drive by, my car sucks in the smells of the smoke, I am instantly hungry!

    1. r
      rebus1805 Jun 1, 2009 01:10 PM

      Have eaten at Bulldog many times. Love their ribs, brisket, flat bread with BBQ chicken and pulled pork. Cornbread, cole slaw and BBQ sauces are average. Chopped salad and Homestead tomato salad are excellent. Large portions and fair prices. Service friendly and prompt. Fruit cobbler, chocolate cake and cookies and milk are all excellent. Not classic Carolina Q but comfortable neighborhood place. Added bonus, they serve Yueng Ling beer. Howie has been there in the kitchen every time we have been there. Fun to sit at the bar and watch the action.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rebus1805
        advisor_Girl Jun 1, 2009 04:12 PM

        pilches>

        That's some well paid PR placement.

        BullDog is Aventura franchise fodder and little more. It's like saying Pollo Tropical is the best Cuban food in town. We got an e-mail over the Memorial Day weekend (Maybe UrbanDaddy?) saying that they would fill a takeout box of delicious Bulldog BBQ to feed a family of five for $50. The BBQ pork at Bulldog was the consistency of pencil shavings last time we were there - pulverized and served in a little cup.

        We live on the Beach and head north during HipHop weekend to avoid the traffic and went to the takeaway window at BBQ Beach on 125th & Biscayne and took away a hefty aluminum takeaway box of tender, smoky "Whacked pork" which is served in big, moist, tender chunks - for $4.50 a pound. Honestly - we lived off that smoky takeaway for ALL 3 rainy weekend days for a twenty...

        Bon Appetit my arse!

        AG

        1. re: advisor_Girl
          Icantread Jun 1, 2009 04:58 PM

          BBQ Beach is pretty good for a more BBQey experience, though I do like a bit of the menu (not really the entrees) in Bulldog. Btw, I think I had the best St Louis Ribs (or ribs period) I've had in Miami recently in Mahogany Grill.

          1. re: advisor_Girl
            freakerdude Jun 1, 2009 05:49 PM

            I think the key word is "new". "Best NEW Barbecue Restaurants" in America. Even with that consideration and reports from avid Q fans who have been, I'd have to think it is not a contender for that award. Especially when you are considering the entire nation(?).

            1. re: freakerdude
              p
              pilches Jun 2, 2009 06:43 AM

              Thinking about it, it is probably because of Howie and his Top Chef appearance. The one time we were there I observed him and never once saw him smile or seem to have fun. I really think his attitude reflects on his food.

              1. re: pilches
                HabaneroJane Jun 2, 2009 07:40 AM

                i thought so too, but the small blurb didn't even mention Kleinberg!

            2. re: advisor_Girl
              r
              rebus1805 Jun 2, 2009 03:58 PM

              AG. I respectfully disagree about franchise fodder. Bulldog does not pretend to be real Southern BBQ. It is Howie's take on BBQ. BTW, I have no connection to the restaurant. Sorry it does not meet your high standards.

              1. re: rebus1805
                advisor_Girl Jun 3, 2009 11:17 AM

                No worries rebus>

                We don't all have to like the same things and I don't have any ties to any restaurants either. I do think that Bulldog would make a great franchise - it's got a cute decor and a fun graphics package, a nicely formatted restaurant fare that would translate anywhere and a super friendly family style vibe. I do not think it is BBQ in the sense that real BBQ fans tend to be zealous about flavor (myself included) but the place is definitely appealing to a broad base of homey food fans and would do well as a chain.

                I eat at chain restaurants (oh GASP!) and this one would work - don't you agree? It's just not what I had hoped for when I heard that Howie was bringing his Top Chef energy to a budget-friendly BBQ joint in North Miami. That said, I don't love the eat-in experience at BBQ Beach on 125th so much but the flavor of the meat is more authentic tasting to me and we really enjoy the takee outee like we do at Joe's Takeaway on the Beach.

                I like the more authentic taste of slow cooked smoky BBQ and the more developed flavors that "pit masters" bring to the stuff they strive to call BBQ. I think Bulldog is a safe and somewhat modest "formula" of comfort food that really addresses the NMB crowds very well. They line up in the hot parking lot for it after all. It is great that Howie is there and while he shows little of the spunky monkey charm he had on TV, it is good to see he is invested in his product. Why does he seem so sad?

                There is surely no harm/no foul in being commercial and successful and Howie is busy being successful. It's just not "The Best" for me.

                My 2 cents...

                AG

          2. Icantread Jun 2, 2009 08:44 AM

            Maybe this is like getting a wine specator award for your wine list? (insert credit card here)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Icantread
              advisor_Girl Jun 8, 2009 04:43 AM

              ICR>

              Maybe so... The Miami Herald reviewer seems to agree with the Hounds:

              http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainm...

              AG

              1. re: advisor_Girl
                l
                LargeLife Jun 9, 2009 04:10 AM

                I've read the reviews....and I'm not going....because I want "real bbq".....But kudos to Chef Howie for creating what the folks in that neighborhood consider to be BBQ.....He serves what I call "Yankee BBQ" and it's working out well for him......I just won't be in the line for it........Can't wait to crank up my Big Green Egg and smoke a brisket for about 18 hours this weekend!!

                EMac

            2. h
              hungry_gurl Jun 9, 2009 10:42 AM

              I have to say that I agree with rebus... I thought that the food was awesome and definitely had a different BBQ flavor to it. When I went I ordered the beef brisket, which came with coleslaw and cornbread, and I chose my side to be the sweet fries. The friend that I went with ordered the "burnt end beans" which looked awesome, but that could be just because I am a really big brisket fan. The beans came with pieces of the brisket in it, which looked mouthwatering. I was content with my meal and the portion size allowed me to bring home leftovers. The service was friendly and definitely efficient, we were constantly being checked up on if we needed anything. This was my first time going to Bulldog BBQ and I thought the place was going to be like any other barbeque place, which is grungy and more casual. The decor of the restaurant is very relaxed and upscale at the same time. I plan to return back for some more delicious food and I recommend this place to anyone else who enjoys great quality food. I am a big fan!

              2 Replies
              1. re: hungry_gurl
                dmo305 Jun 12, 2009 06:23 PM

                GREAT REVIEW !!!

                1. re: dmo305
                  l
                  LargeLife Jun 14, 2009 08:49 AM

                  I guess the problem is perception...when you think of "Bulldog"....you think of a serious, stern kind of animal.....and when you combine "Bulldog" with "BBQ"....you envision a "serious BBQ" kind of place.....I haven't been to BBBQ.....and have no plans to......But I just think the name of the place should set the tone of what's to be expected.....and this place...from what I've read....really has very little to do with serious BBQ....ie...Low-N-Slow......But in the business sense....this plays well to the folks that live in NMB.....and as I've said before....that's good business.....and in these economic times....that's smart busines.....

                  EMac

              2. Alyson777 Jul 30, 2009 07:55 AM

                I just got back from a visit to Miami and I was looking for a new restaurant to try..My boyfriend and I decided to go to Bulldogs BBQ on Bicayne Blvd. I had to comment on this restaurant because the food was AMAZING!... The service was even better. I never had such friendly service in Miami. The waiter was quick, smart and super friendly.
                There is a reason why Bulldog BBQ was listed as one of the best new BBQ restaurants in America.. As a Canadian I may even go as far as t say North America..
                Although I have seen this concept before I was very impressed by everything my partner and I ordered. I also liked the paper towel rack next to the table. As a starter we shared the buffalo chicken wings . I ordered the ribs with a side of mac n cheese. The ribs were perfect! The mac n Cheese made with three different kinds of cheese including a very sharp aged cheddar was out of this world. My partner had the Pulled Brisket Sliders with Sweet potatoe fries. The brisket was soft and lean and marinated in the most delicious juices. One of the best tasting brisket I ever had outside the home... The fries were the best I ever had... I can't wait to go back on my next visit. A+

                1. dmo305 Aug 3, 2009 05:06 PM

                  I actually had a REALLY good meal here recently. Four of us started with the Fried Oysters App and the Pulled Pork lettuce wraps, which were both pretty good, although I think the wraps could use another component, maybe some type of tomato salsa/relish.

                  I had the ribs which were really good and flavorful, no sauce necessary, which is good since the sauce there is mediocre at best. The red one so closely resembled ketchup it was a bit absurd. I also tasted the brisket which was surprisingly good, as on our first visit i thought it was just ok. This time it was prepared very well and was a bit smokier, shifting a bit on the brisket spectrum from jewish towards bbq. The sweet potato fries were likely the best i have ever had- perfectly crispy while remaining light inside, well seasoned but not oversalted, not greasy, not too hard. The burnt end beans were likewise delicious, with little bits of meat within the sweet beans, topped with a heap of crispy onions. I also got to try the white turkey chili which was pretty good although a bit too goopy from the cheese.

                  It was funny as I laughed at one of my dining companions who mentioned as we sat down that they were voted best bbq in miami... and then proceeded to eat my laughs by the end of the meal. Not saying its the best, but it can't be ruled out as far as restaurants go... (i'm not trying to compare to the roadside bbq smokers dotted around the city). Good stuff!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dmo305
                    Miami Danny Aug 4, 2009 09:17 AM

                    Cornmeal-crusted fried oysters he served at Taste of the Nation last week were outstanding

                    1. re: Miami Danny
                      The Chowfather Aug 5, 2009 07:23 PM

                      Tried the oysters tonight and they were great. The Mac and cheese was much better than my last visit. I finally tried the ribs and Yankeefather really liked them...

                  2. yomyb Aug 9, 2009 06:46 AM

                    Went last night finally. I don't care how you want to call it or whether it is "real" bbq. It was fantastic, delicious food. We had ribs and pulled pork, both of which were cooked perfectly. I like when my ribs fall of the bone a bit, whether that is real bbq or not. The pulled pork was moist and delicious. But the highlight for me was the baked beans with the crispy onions. Perfect sweet moment of the meal. As far as the cornbread and mac and cheese... I've had better. I always order mac and cheese hoping I'll be served a little pot of bubbly goodness coming straight out of the oven...which barely ever happens, but both were still very tasty. The mustard sauce was better than the red bbq sauce but neither was outstanding. Overall, I think his take on BBQ is pretty darn good, and I liked the vibe of the place. It was full of families which these days works just fine for us ;)

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