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Blue Willie's BBQ

Do they set up in the same place or move around? If so, how do you find them?

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  1. Allegedly they're on se 3rd & se 6th st in Fort Lauderdale right across from the courthouse, but I went there yesterday to try it and I only saw the usual JB's Cheesesteak stand, which incidentally, i plan on trying tomorrow unless the Blue Willy's shows up.

    I think that Blue Willys is a myth. I am at that courthouse almost 5x a week and I have never seen it.

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bluewillys
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/bluewillys

    2 Replies
    1. re: SouthFloridaFoodNerd

      This could be how urban myths are started, but my husband told me he saw them there last week, and I think we saw their equipment there in the parking lot, just west of the former AutoNation building, over the weekend.

      1. re: tlubow

        that's where I looked but I didn't see them yesterday. But according to the Facebook page, they've been having some issues, appreciating the understanding or something to that effect. I'll try again tomorrow and report back if it's found.

    2. I found it! It was good! The service was quick and friendly. I had the chicken & white bbq sauce. The chicken was moist and well seasoned. The side of beans was pretty good, had nice chunks of pork in it. The coleslaw was the least thrilling, not the most flavorful but will probably be great on top of the brisket which i'll try soon.

      If your looking for it just look deep into the pockets of the parking lot. It's barley visible from the street but it's in there.

      4 Replies
      1. re: SouthFloridaFoodNerd

        had it again! this time it was chopped pork with mustard & regular bbq sauce on a delicious potato bread bun and i had their secret side dish, mac n' cheese. super good.

        1. re: SouthFloridaFoodNerd

          "Secret Side Dish".....mac-n-cheese?....Now THAT is funny.......I don't think I'll be looking for Blue Willies BBQ......as I enjoy award winning BBQ in my own backyard!.....But fun to read about!

          Ft. Pierce, FL

          1. re: LargeLife

            secret as in it's not on the written menu but you can buy it ($1.99 as opposed to $1.50 for the other sides).

            1. re: LargeLife

              I suggest you try Blue Willy's - the BBQ is the best I have ever had! Love the brisket, love the pork, love the Mac&Cheese wiwth secret crunchy topping..... it is a lunch to dream about! Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Tues-Fri. - Follow Willy on Twitter and Facebook! That is how I find out where he will be with all his amazing food!

        2. This place is terrific, finally made it to his store yesterday.

          It's been open about 5 months now, on Federal Hwy in south Pompano Beach. Actually at the old site of Emil's Sausage.

          Blue Willy's Bar-B-Cue
          1368 S Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33062

          Open Sunday too!
          Tues - Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
          Sunday 11:00 - 8:00 PM


          Pix of one of their pork butts - and some of my take out food (which of course does not do justice)...

          4 Replies
          1. re: CFByrne

            After leaving BW, I drove directly to my old standby, Troy's in Boynton Beach and got the exact same dishes. Ribs, pulled pork, greens, macncheese.

            The verdict? BlueWilly's, 4-0.

            Mrs. CFB on the many leftovers: "You know you're finishing the Troy's, right?"

            1. re: CFByrne

              I went for the first time on two days ago and was very impressed. I'm no BBQ expert but I enjoy it and have had a lot over the years. Willy's brisket is LEGIT. Best I've had down here by far. His pulled pork sandwich was great too. No room for sides but I will be back soon and often. p.s. He does pastrami on Thursdays.

              1. re: The Chowfather

                Went back last Thursday for late lunch. Unfortunately they were out of pastrami. I went with the ribs plus collards and Mac n cheese. Both sides were good. Collards cooked right with nice overall flavor.

                Ribs were great. Memphis style, nice dry rub added sauce necessary. Meaty and smoked nicely w nice pull.

                1. re: The Chowfather

                  Oh my gosh...I finally made it to Blue Willie's today for the Thursday only, house-made pastrami and good heavens! This tops every single pastrami sandwich I have ever, ever had! I chose to have it the way Will likes it with slaw and mustard sauce and wow...I just can't begin to explain how moist, tender, and flavorful it was.

                  When the lunch rush slowed down Will even took the time to come out a speak to a few of us customers. He said the pastrami is an old school recipe that takes 5 weeks to prep. First it takes 4 weeks to brine the corned beef brisket in-house, then another week of curing and smoking to turn it into pastrami.

                  Oh man, come next Thursday? I say run, don't walk to Blue Willie's BBQ! Go early though, Will also said he goes through 200 lbs of pastrami every Thursday and it's usually sold out by 2:30 or 3:00.

            2. They have set up permantly in Pompano, on Federal Hwy, 1/8 of a mile north of McNab on the east side. Limited parking

              8 Replies
              1. re: walkoda

                3 Weeks to brine? I have some ocean front property in Florida City I'd like to show you......

                Ft. Pierce, FL....via Homestead

                1. re: LargeLife

                  Was that really necessary EMac? I simply posted what the cook told me.

                  1. re: LiveRock

                    Just do the math....if they say they sell 200 pounds of pastrami on Thursday....and they say they brine the meat for 3 weeks....that would mean they're brining thousands of pounds of meat.....

                    Difficult to brine 1000s of pounds of meat...in a refrigerated environment.....for weeks....wouldn't you think?.....

                    I'm glad you like Blue Willy's.....I believe the reviews are sincere and I'm looking forward to trying it.....Love great BBQ....

                    Ft. Pierce, FL....via Homestead

                    1. re: LargeLife

                      Doin' the math -- they only sell the pastrami on Thursday, and they sell 200 pounds on that day. That means, even with a three week brine period, they're only storing 600 pounds of product, 800 pounds if you count the curing and smoking time.

                      I tend to doubt the three weeks -- maybe a little hyperbole -- but it'd certainly be doable, given the one day per week selling period.

                      1. re: southocean

                        Doable...versus practical. You would have to have brine tanks the size of a garbage dumpster or several smaller ones taking valuable cooler space. I have serious doubts about that claim. 3 Weeks? No discernible improvement in flavor and meat quality. Maybe just a little hyperbole? I'm thinking a lot of hyperbole here.

                        Sorry to the stick in the mud but I hate "BS" and when somebody tells a customer they're bringing meat for 3 weeks.....I'm calling "BS". BS!

                        I'm going to go there and try the place. Why not? I've driven the 100 miles for a great taco. My BBQ is also pretty good too....and have a trophy or two to prove it. But that's another story for another day.

                        I'm going to try it.

                        Ft. Pierce, FL

                        1. re: LargeLife

                          I suggest you go on a Thursday...and talk to Will about his brine/curing process. Perhaps your advice will save him some time, energy, and fridge space.

                          1. re: LargeLife

                            FWIW, Katz's in NY say they brine their corned beef for 4 weeks and the pastrami for 2-4 weeks.


                            They're a slightly bigger operation.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              Frod....I also saw that about Katz....on one of the "foodie" programs.....And yes...they're a slightly larger operation.......Most roadside businesses don't have the facilities to brine 1000s of pounds...or even 100s of pounds....

                              I'm going to go try their BBQ.....I love great BBQ....So I'll make the trip and I'll even try the pastrami....But for what its worth...pastrami isn't BBQ to me....but that's just me.....

                              For me...BBQ is all about ribs, boneless country ribs, pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken and sausage....The meat is the thing....Could care less about collards...mac-n-cheese....slaw...beans and the like....I sell those sides....but its all about the meat....

                              Ft. Pierce, FL

                2. I was there two months ago had a combo plate. I like the food and the ambiance. I give them a 9 out of 10 on BBQ.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: lastZZ

                    Enjoy! Good BBQ is hard to find here in South Florida as we all know and when you find a place you really like then support it! I'm looking forward to trying this place as well.

                    Ft. Pierce, FL

                    1. re: LargeLife

                      If you hate lines get there 11AM or whenever they open and pastrami is only on Thursday. He gave me a free taste and it was very good but I got the mixed platter to get a variety. They have Kreuze sausages so they claim

                      Lunchtime can have you waiting in line to order due to the influx of workers (blue and white collar)

                      They had firewood stacked inside. No tipping really. You line up to get yer bbq then seat and eat. Decent sauces. Maybe bring some slices of your favorite bread to mop up sauces although they do supply a few slices w your meal

                      1. re: lastZZ

                        They open at 11:30.

                        If you want Pastrami on Thursday, a line forms starting around 11AM I would guess. I got there last week around 11:15 and there were about 10 people ahead of me.

                        They opened at 11:30 promptly and I had my stuff in 5 minutes or so.

                        So you probably could get there at 11:30 and not have a problem, but yes, when noon strikes, it's likely bad news,

                        LifeRock above said they sell out by 2PM or so.

                        1. re: CFByrne

                          You did good on timing it! I got there 1230, had to wait in line 25 minutes and I never wait in lines. If I lived closer I would have left to return early another day

                          1. re: lastZZ

                            I actually got there around 1:15 a couple of weeks ago and there was hardly a wait. The pastrami was still available that day but he said it wouldn't last much longer.

                            The pastrami is cured and smoked, which to me is the essence of BBQ, and he does an awesome job of it (whether it takes weeks or just days). I am however looking forward to getting back for some of their other offerings.

                            1. re: LiveRock

                              Liverock...I will respectfully disagree....curing and smoking are two different things where BBQ is concerned....

                              BBQ....Smoked meat.....starts with raw product....Whereas cured is cured and ready to consume.....That's not to say you can't take a cured ham, toss it on my smoker and have great meat to make a wonderful sandwich with...you can....and it will be fantastic....But it's certainly not the essence of "real bbq".......

                              BBQ is a very subjective subject of which I'm a student of....I own a BBQ business....Occasionally compete....And have taken many, many trips to learn from and taste the best in different parts of the country.....

                              Nobody that I know of considers cured meats to be "BBQ".....It's cured meat and that's it.....And I happen to love a great pastrami sandwich as much anyone....But pastrami isn't BBQ......Not even close...

                              One of my favorite "foodie" experiences took place at Dean & DeLucca out in California some years back.....where I was fortunate to eat their version of cured NY Strip steak....and it was nothing less than amazing.....

                              BBQ has nothing to do with cured meats.

                              Ft. Pierce, FL....via Homestead

                              1. re: LargeLife

                                Go to Texas and explain to about 1000 BBQ joints that their cured and smoked sausage is not BBQ.

                                On second thought, you may better off making that explanation from your keyboard in Florida. Some of those old school Texas BBQ guys may not be so agreeable.

                                1. re: cowdogs

                                  Not so fast Cowdogs (great handle by the way).....I've spent plenty of time in Texas.....Hit ALL the places in Lockhart.....Spent 3 days at Sonny Bryan's (original location on Inwood & Memorial) learning to smoke brisket.....Franklins...Salt Lick....Been there and done them......

                                  The sausage that most places serve are smoked....not cured....two different processes....Most of that sausage is smoked in a matter of hours....not the days required in the curing process.....

                                  And I'm OK to make that explanation face to face with the old Texas BBQ guys.....of which I know many of them personally.....So we're all good there!

                                  BBQ is as subjective as any topic on earth.....For example...I HATE NC BBQ....Not my ball of wax....But I have friends that absolutely LOVE what they're serving in Lexington......It's just not for me......But I respect it....

                                  BBQ...always a favorite subject....:)

                                  Ft. Pierce, FL

                                  1. re: LargeLife

                                    All good points and I see where you're coming from...I'll bet you don't think "real" chili has beans in it either. ;0)

                                    1. re: LiveRock

                                      Chili is another one of those subjective subjects! :)
                                      I'm OK with beans in the chili! But being a SoFla guy I'm not one to even think about chili...unless it's a little chilly outside!....And that's not very often!

                                      But I am a BBQ purist....or traditionalist.....I love smoking meat....It's a passion.....Also a business for me.....You wouldn't believe how damned hard it is just to find a decent brisket to smoke! And if you're entering a contest you have to track down a wagyu brisket that's PRICEY! The life of a pitmaster isn't always the easiest. But when people smile when they're eating your product that's one of the best feelings in the world! A lot of early mornings and a lot of late nights!

                                      Ft. Pierce, FL

                  2. They moved from the 'food truck' downtown to Pompano on US1. The location is really nice inside but the parking is horrible. The sign on the front just says BARBAQUE. I think they only have 4 spaces and they fill up FAST. The service isn't the same as when they ran the truck (a little more to the point) but the bbq was good.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: FTLToday

                      How exactly does this add to the conversation? I think you made a wrong turn at Yelp. Counter service is counter service, no?

                      1. re: The Chowfather

                        When you are yelled at by a guy at Blue Willies for where you park, for no reason, it kind of is a customer service no no. Counter service should be friendly and the guy probably felt bad for yelling at us, but never apologized and was just cold. The guys that worked the food truck downtown were awesome and service was crazy good and friendly....probably the owners. Food is still good though.

                        Sorry to say, service is as important as the food.

                      2. re: FTLToday

                        The parking "problem" has a very simple solution.

                        Directly across the street you'll find a huge Publix and a huge Marshalls, with a parking lot of about 200 spaces.

                        Yes, you have to cross US1 but we are all grownups here...

                        If you feel guilty, go in Pbx and buy a box of handiwipes...

                        1. re: CFByrne

                          Dittos on that! park at Publix/ That's what I did.

                      3. I ventured to Blue Willie's BBQ and unfortunately didn't have the great experience that many here have written about - - - and sadly it had nothing to do with the food!

                        I rolled into BW's at about 2 p.m. - - - late for lunch I know. There were two guys eating at one table and otherwise the place was completely empty and no cars in front.

                        I rolled in and looked at the menu carefully. Since I had never been there before I wanted to try all the meats they offered. Kind of like a "sampler platter" if you will.

                        The nice young lady told me they didn't offer a sampler platter and the best she could do for me was a "combo platter, 2 meats and 2 sides".

                        I told her that I traveled quite a distance to eat there and hoped to try all the meats they had to offer. Not looking for free samples per se and certainly willing to pay for each and every item - - - I just didn't need a pound of each as I would end up with 3 or 4 pounds of meat!

                        A gentleman that I presumed to be the owner / manager or both came over and asked "what seems to be the problem?". I told him, "No problem here. I've traveled quite a distance to try their BBQ there and wanted to get something like a little sampler platter and that I was more than pleased to try and pay for every item".

                        And he also told me, "the best we can do is a two meat combo and two sides". It was at that point I knew that they weren't interested in working with a customer who is a BBQ Freakazoid and wanted to try their product.

                        I realize what I was asking for was not a menu item. But I'm the customer, I wasn't asking for any item that they didn't have ready to serve and they weren't interested in showcasing their product. And given there were only two other customers in the restaurant - - it didn't seem like an unusual or abnormal request to me.

                        Many people here know that I own a small, weekend BBQ stand in Ft. Pierce that is reasonably successful and if any customer asks me for something that's not on my menu but I do have the material to make - - - I make it! I don't sell chicken sandwiches but if a customer asks me for one and I have chicken ready to go - - - I MAKE IT!!!

                        As I told the manager when I was leaving - - - "Money is walking out your door".

                        Also - - - to be clear, they weren't rude, impolite or disrespectful in any way, shape, form or fashion. They just weren't ready to serve a "BBQ Foodie" and accommodate.

                        I was just sorry that I couldn't taste their BBQ. And that opportunity has passed and I won't be back.

                        Ft. Pierce, FL

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: LargeLife

                          Give them another try in a year or two after their bite wears off. Maybe they were pissed off at sales that day...being the summer and all. Snowbird season is when they rake it in.

                          I never say never about any place that gets so many good reviews.... its about the food not the customer service though you were treated shabbily as if they could care less.

                          1. re: lastZZ

                            No...I won't be going back.....They don't need the business.....and I get it......

                            The hard, cold facts of the food business is this - - - as a vendor....regardless of station....it's your job to get the money out of the customer's pocket and in to yours....period....end of story.....

                            As the vendor....it's my job to create product that people want to continuously come, buy, eat and enjoy - - - and do it over and over and over.....And to do it with love and passion that customers can taste.....That is the mission....That's my mission.....

                            There's nobody's food that is good enough to be treated shabbily.....I wasn't treated poorly per se....I just wasn't accommodated....

                            Funny joke.....Man walks into restaurant....With cash in hand....and wants to buy BBQ.....He wants to buy a little of everything....and willing to pay....no matter the price.....Restaurant has the food....but chooses not to sell it.......Man takes money and goes home.....with money still in hand....."

                            And I told the gentleman that I spoke with....very politely....if you're ever up Ft. Pierce way....on a Saturday or Sunday.....stop by my place....it's also on US1.....and I'll serve you everything I have....any way you want it.....

                            Ft. Pierce, FL

                            1. re: LargeLife

                              Based on all the hype I too went in there on Saturday just to have a look and check out the menu. It was early afternoon and there were a few people being served by a young lady at the counter while some guy was slicing meat behind the glass.

                              I waited until after the customers had placed their orders and asked the young lady if there was a take out menu. I get a very terse "We're out"!! I know they are famous for their brisket but I am a rib lover and the menu just says "ribs" so I asked what type of ribs they were and she said "pork". I said "I know they are pork but what cut of ribs are they" and she leaned over the counter and looked at me as if I had two heads and said "spareribs".

                              Customer service doesn't seem to be in their vocabulary and she needs a little attitude adjustment. So I got ribs at Texas Hold em and they were delicious - smokey, meaty - probably one of the few places in this area where you can get baby backs. Blue Willies will not be getting my business

                              1. re: DolceFarNiente

                                I go there on a regular basis. Their food is really good, however, they are "structured". Kind of like the soup nazi on Seinfeld. Not all restaurants accomodate peoples "wants". I have gone to much more expensive restaurants and they don't always do whatever the customer wants. If you are in line, they often give out tastes, so you can decide between a meat or two. Their food is good, they are kind, but they don't tend to "bend" the "rules". With that said, I will go back again and again.

                                1. re: walkoda

                                  And I hope you enjoy it....again and again.......

                                  If you're the soup Nazi....and have people waiting in lines...outside the door.....then you can probably be an ass-clown to your customers....and not worry too much about it.....right?

                                  As I mentioned, nobody there was rude or impolite.....just not accommodating.....And in this day and age.....that's just not the way to do business......If my purchase was $25 or $30.....that might pay for 3 hours of time that you have to pay a dishwasher these days.......

                                  On CBS's Sunday morning show.....they were at the Rolls Royce factory in England.....the most exclusive car maker in the world.....And they are in the business of accommodating.....making Rolls Royces to order....for Saudi Sheiks....Rappers.....Chinese billionaires.....With no two really alike.......Rolls Royce is in the business of accommodating.....and if they can do it.....BW's BBQ can do it.......

                                  Summertime....slow....showbirds are gone....and a guy wants a little sampler platter and is willing to pay for each and every ounce of it......Doesn't seem like too tall an order.....And again....there weren't any lines out the door.....

                                  In my regular profession.....if there's anything in this life that I've learned it's this - - - every time you tell somebody "no".....there's always somebody out there that says "yes".........And I've made a pretty handsome living of other people's "no-s"......

                                  Ft. Pierce, FL....

                                  1. re: LargeLife

                                    No question about it, they handled it improperly. I say this having recently retired from a very senior position in the hospitality industry. My restos had a simple rule . . . if the customer had a strange, off the menu request, and we had it in stock, we served it. And this is for a lot more complicated operation than Blue Willie's.

                                    Where on US 1 is your place?

                                    1. re: Alfred G

                                      I'm on US 1 and Easy Street. It's right in the middle between Port St. Lucie and Ft. Pierce. Saturday and Sunday from 11 until we sell out - - - which is usually around 3:30 and 4:00. Just follow your nose!

                                      Mine is a "hobby" business that we take very seriously. We have a beautiful food trailer and two 15-foot smokers on trailers. Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Boneless Country Ribs, Potato Salad and BBQ
                                      Beans. Sweet Tea too!

                                      Nothing fancy. Very solid BBQ. Step up, order up and we wrap it up. Similar to "Texas Style" in that we wrap your order up in butcher paper and you ease on down the road.

                                      Ft. Pierce, FL