Sparky's Roadside BBQ // Downtown Miami
I made my way to Sparky's Roadside BBQ in Downtown Miami on Wednesday evening to try out their version of BBQ. This establishment has only been open a couple of weeks and it's a very basic place with a few tables, a counter and chairs. This has a "hole in the wall" feel to it and that's just fine - as long as the food is good - and it is.
I opened the festivities with smoked wings. They were a bit overdone and that's likely because of the sugary rub on them. They were juicy, tasty and well-smoked. They could go with a better grade of wing - and they should. But overall a great way to start.
From there, I went with a half rack of spare ribs. Upon first glance, the ribs were very dark and they were a bit overdone. They were dark because of the sugary rub. Although a bit overdone, the smokey taste was definitely there. I got the skinny end of the rack and that was unfortunate. Nonetheless - very good and can get even better.
As for sides, I had their collard greens and they were nothing less than excellent. And the waffle fries - always my favorite - didn't disappoint.
This place is new and they're still working out the kinks. But they're smoking meat there and doing it well. Would suggest they back down the amount of sugar in the rubs and that will lighten up the color of the smoked meats. But they're certainly on the right track and their intentions and ambitions are solid. Owners are hardworking and earnest.
Can't call it a "BBQ Destination" just yet - - but the potential is there.
Sounds like they are using refined brown sugar instead of raw turbinado which has a much higher burn temperature. I just learned about this brown sugar replacement for dry rubs about 2 months ago. No more dark, burnt looking meats.
Sparky's menu posted in this thread:
It's simple...just use the same amount of raw turbinado in place of brown sugar. It will not turn black as the burn temp is a good bit higher. Typically, for most rubs, you use a 50/50 mix of salt to sugar as the base. Then add onion powder, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, lemon pepper, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, celery seed, cayenne, chipotle, etc. I have even heard of people using dried berry powders like raspberry and such for distinctive but suttle tastes.
I rub the meat lightly with wet mustard and then apply the rub to stick to it. The wet mustard has little taste after smoking but works great as a rub adhesive.