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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.

    also:
    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!

          EMac66
          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

          https://www.facebook.com/bluewillys

          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

              9 Replies
              1. re: walkoda

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

                EMac
                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....

                    EMac
                    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.

                        EMac
                        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.

                            http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/ho...

                            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....

                              EMac
                              Ft. Pierce, FL

                        2. re: LargeLife

                          Following up on the "How can they possibly cure 200 lbs for 3 weeks"...

                          CPC reports, "Banks begins with a 1,100-pound lot, portioned out and prepared 200-pounds at a time after a rigorous 5-week curing and smoking process."

                          http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/cle...

                  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.

                    11 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.

                      EMac
                      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.

                                EMac
                                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....:)

                                    EMac
                                    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!

                                        EMac
                                        Ft. Pierce, FL

                                        1. re: LargeLife

                                          Couldn't agree with you more about not being able to find a good brisket in Sofla. I surprisingly found one at Glick's kosher market in Delray if you can believe that!

                    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.

                          EMac
                          Ft. Pierce, FL

                          {NOTE: As explained in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7645..., this poster is owner of Lulu's Divine Swine, in Ft. Pierce-- The Chowhound Team)

                          9 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.....

                              EMac
                              Ft. Pierce, FL

                              {NOTE: As explained in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7645..., this poster is owner of Lulu's Divine Swine, in Ft. Pierce-- The Chowhound Team)

                              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"......

                                    EMac
                                    Ft. Pierce, FL....

                                    {NOTE: As explained in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7645..., this poster is owner of Lulu's Divine Swine, in Ft. Pierce-- The Chowhound Team)

                                    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.

                                        EMac
                                        Ft. Pierce, FL

                                        {NOTE: As explained in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7645..., this poster is owner of Lulu's Divine Swine, in Ft. Pierce-- The Chowhound Team)

                                        1. re: LargeLife

                                          We travel up to Vero frequently, so I'll be sure to make a point of stopping in the next time we do. Would love to meet the man with the trademark punctuation (".....").

                                          1. re: non sequitur

                                            We'll look forward to seeing you! I'm the guy with the big hat....you won't miss me! (LOL).....

                                            I write in the conversational blog style...Bit by bit....as if we're texting...almost...lol

                                            Chow fer now....

                                            EMac
                                            Ft. Pierce, FL

                                            {NOTE: As explained in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7645..., this poster is owner of Lulu's Divine Swine, in Ft. Pierce-- The Chowhound Team)

                          2. Our friends that moderate chowhound have contacted me regarding my written comments here about Blue Willies BBQ. They feel that I should have disclosed that I own a BBQ business with my comments.

                            Yes, I do own a BBQ business. LuLu's Divine Swine in Ft. Pierce. We've been in operation for nearly three years and we're located at the Easy Street Fresh Market on US1 and Easy Street. We're open from 11 a.m. until we sell out and that's about 3:30. Saturdays and Sundays only.

                            We have a very nice food trailer that's completely mobile. Our specialties are boneless country ribs, brisket and baby back ribs. We also feature BBQ baked beans.

                            It was suggested that we are a competing business with Blue Willies. We are approximately 100 miles north of Blue Willies with Palm Beach and Martin Counties separating the two.

                            To review, I didn't write anything negative about the food at Blue Willies as they didn't serve me the day I went visited. I requested a "sampler platter" of sorts so I could try all of their items and they refused the request. I also pointed out that nobody was ever rude or impolite during my visit. Obviously, I was disappointed that Blue Willies wouldn't accommodate my request.

                            Again, the chowhound moderators have politely asked that I disclose that I'm a BBQ business owner and hopefully I'm meeting their request.

                            Sincerely,

                            Ed McLean

                            1. I had to laugh! I read all the posts about how hurt some poor shlub from down south was all bent out of shape because they wouldn't accommodate him and sell him a sample of all their meats. It occurred to me that if he seriously wanted to try them, AND pay for them, he could have gotten two 2 meat plates (if they had 4 meats for sale) or maybe even three 2 meat plates (if they had 6 meats for sale) and so on. But that didn't occur to him I guess. He just decided to leave. Glad he did! If the BBQ is good then eat it, don't whine over being told to order off of the menu. I haven't had an opportunity to try the Q around here yet, I've only been here for 2 months now and I'm still working up the nerve to give it a go. I'm from Austin, and my standards are kind of high so I'll let my palate adjust to South Florida then I'll go. I do love me some LaSpada Hoogies though, they are a real treat! I also can't seem to get enough of the sandwiches at Gran Forno, I assure you there isn't anything like them in Austin! I'll try Blue Willie's soon, but I'm still trying to figure out why exactly Pastrami is classified as BBQ. I guess if Skyline can call their spaghetti "chili" then Blue Willie's can call a pastrami sandwich BBQ. I'll let you know what I think this Thursday if I am lucky enough to get a sandwich.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: edberliner

                                Mr. Berliner, I'm that poor schlub that wasn't served at Blue Willie's.

                                Before I go any further, I have to disclose that I own a BBQ business in Ft. Pierce, Florida. A roadside BBQ stand - LuLu's Divine Swine.
                                US1 and Easy Street - between Pt. St. Lucie and Ft. Pierce.

                                I read about Blue Willie's BBQ here on Chowhound. Read many great things about this establishment and as a BBQ aficionado I wanted to try it. I love to try great BBQ most anywhere I can find it. I travel the country eating great BBQ - Lockart and Austin, TX (Salt Lick, Snow's, Franklins) Dallas - Sonny Bryans (where I took a 3-day seminar to learn to properly smoke brisket). I love BBQ. I love to eat it, smoke it and sell it.

                                I went to Blue Willie's on a hot July afternoon, it was slow and with virtually nobody in the establishment. I politely asked for a "Sampler Platter" which isn't on the menu. I wanted to try a 1/2 pound of each of their meats and they refused the request. Nobody was rude or impolite. But I did find it odd that they made no effort to accommodate. I wanted nor expected anything free. I was willing to pay for every ounce. I just didn't need 4 pounds of meat - that's all.
                                Since I'm not in their immediate area often, I wanted to try as many of their items as I could - that's all. What's wrong with that?

                                If that makes me a poor schlub - then I'm a poor schlub. I think I'd rather be referred to as just a schlub (as there's nothing poor about me). I didn't feel like I was treated "within the spirit of bbq" at Blue Willie's. But never did I negatively comment on the food (as I never got to try it) and I was never treated poorly or disrespected by anyone there.

                                EMac
                                Ft. Pierce, FL

                                1. re: edberliner

                                  > I'm still trying to figure out
                                  > why exactly Pastrami is classified as BBQ

                                  Far as I'm concerned, Willy can call it milk or seafood... As long as he keeps making it like this (pictures)...

                                   
                                   
                                  1. re: edberliner

                                    > I'm still trying to figure out
                                    > why exactly Pastrami is classified as BBQ

                                    For the record, Blue Willie's doesn't call the pastrami BBQ. Blue Willy's is a BBQ restaurant that runs a special on Thursday offering some of the best pastrami I've ever had but...they don't call it BBQ. They call it pastrami.

                                    When you consider though that smoking is part of the process in making pastrami, I personally don't see why this would even be in question.

                                    1. re: LiveRock

                                      Same reason that people argue about beans in chili....lol

                                      Or chocolate and peanut butter.....

                                      Or chocolate and raspberries.....

                                      Or steak with or without steak sauce.....

                                      Or Cheese steak wit or wit out....

                                      Or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop....

                                      Or whether pastrami is BBQ.....

                                      And the list goes on....lol

                                      EMac
                                      Ft. Pierce, FL

                                  2. Just finished eating my first (certainly not my last!) pastrami sandwich from Blue Willie's. I should say that I just finished eating as much as I could of my sandwich, I'm saving about 1/2 for dinner. My assessment: Absolutely DELICIOUS! I give it a 10 on a pastrami scale of 10. FYI I got to the place about 11:15 and was 7th in a line that stretched to about 40 by the 11:30 opening time. It was quick and painless to be number 7. I ordered mine with slaw, no mustard on an onion roll and added a side of mac and cheese. The total came to about $15.56 which I think/thought was a tad high, but the sandwich was huge, stuffed high with glorious pastrami. The slaw added a sweetness to the meat but didn't interfere with the taste or really add much to the experience. I drove from Las Olas to get my fix and took the sandwich and side back home to eat it. The roll held up fine and the mac and cheese was just as hot at home as it was when they loaded it into the container. The sandwich was hot and juicy and as previously mentioned, stacked a mile high. The meat was extremely flavorful, tender, juicy and delicious. I think it is the best Pastrami sandwich I have had, in fact I know it is. I would recommend it to anyone who asks. I have already emailed my son-in-law, a foodie all the way, and told him to take off work if he has to and get to Blue Willie's next Thursday to taste a little slice of heaven. You should too!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: edberliner

                                      Glad you enjoyed it! The brisket is good too!

                                      1. re: edberliner

                                        I usually get one to eat in and one to take home.

                                        And then, there's so much meat at home I can use it for a variety of other dishes, including my Pastrami Pizza (with Swiss Cheese and Sauerkraut).

                                        1. re: edberliner

                                          I would love to know how it compares to Zingers. Does anyone know?

                                          1. re: Alfred G

                                            Have not tried Blue Willies yet, but will, simply because it tops my list on what I'd take if stranded on a desert island.

                                            I LOVE and think Zingers pastrami is #1 in my book (great spice, buttery-moist, melt in your mouth fat-meat ratio which is perfection to my taste buds), even after having Katz's (NYC) 2 times this summer, now my #2. But, it's not really fair to compare any "barbecued" product to a cured/smoked/steamed preparation. I can say this with conviction since I worked in a bbq joint for a time. Apples and oranges, so you cannot make a comparison.

                                            While it's ok to love Blue Willie's pastrami (and I'm excited to think I will too...) "barbecued" Pastrami- Same name-different dish.

                                            1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                                              At the risk of repeating myself...at no time that I have seen does Blue Willies claim to "barbecue" their pastrami. Yes it is a BBQ restaurant AND they happen to serve a killer house-made pastrami on Thursdays!

                                              No offense but...I might suggest that you at least try the dish before you strive to make comparisons.

                                            2. re: Alfred G

                                              Alfred, I love Zingers and stand behind my 5 star yelp review of their quality pastrami sandwiches. I'll go back to Zingers in a heartbeat but...Blue Willies tops my list.

                                              Zingers is a traditional, moist and flavorful, deli style pastrami served to perfection. Blue Willies has a "made in-house with loving care like his grandpa used to make" flavor that, for me anyway, puts it over the top.

                                              1. re: LiveRock

                                                I'll be there Thurs. Gotta try that pastrami @LiveRock if you agree that Zingers is 5 star.

                                            3. Got there at around 1215 (it's a Thurs so I was there for the pastrami) and waited in line for probably around 20 minutes, 12 pp ahead of me. But it was fun. I spoke with other enthusiasts that were from where I grew up and we not only knew common people, but spoke about our hometown favorite restaurants. And, of course, we spoke a lot about pastrami.

                                              So here are my two cents about BW's. It was delicious. About 85% of the patrons were men. I thought that was funny. The place was completely packed with patrons at their communal tables and was also clean and not sticky like other bbq joints can be, or so it appeared. I say that because the lighting really stunk, but I still think it was clean. I know this is weird at a smokehouse, but there literally was no 'smoke' aroma. All this said...not the biggest deal, i'm just setting the tone for you.

                                              The food. The pastrami was perfectly warm and well crusted with loads of assertive pickling spices like coriander and pepper, almost too much for me. Some bites I actually had to scrape off the seasonings. The meat-fat ratio, was to my liking almost perfection. Just enough buttery fat co-mingled with the sweet and fragrant meat. I noticed that most people were eating theirs on an onion bun, but I opted for the rye bread because 1) the onion bun looked kind of dry, and 2) I just think pastrami should be eaten on rye bread. Mistake. This rye was sub par. It was a thin cut with a soft crust, so the juices from the sandwich made the whole thing fall apart. I also opted to have mine with deli style mustard, which was fine and cole slaw that tasted pedestrian like the kind you get behind the supermarket counter. I'd skip the cole slaw next time.

                                              My husband ordered pulled pork on the onion roll and sauced it up at the table. For me, it might have been the tastiest pulled pork I have ever eaten. Hand pulled in front of you, you get big and small chunks, moist with just a bit of char on some pieces. The pork certainly tasted like pig, but didn't have that "porky" taste that I find to be sour sometimes. The smoke was there, but just enough to allow the pork flavors to shine. Believe it or not, I didn't see even one person eating ribs. Not a one. But maybe because it was thursday. I gotta believe that other than the money aspect of it all, the bbq master must be sort of bummed in a weird way that he is getting all this buzz about the only non-smoked dish on his meat menu.

                                              Alfred, I'll say this to you, because you love Zinger's, I think as much as I do. This place, this pastrami, is totally awesome. There is no denying it. Worthy if you will. But for me, and IMO, I choose Zingers for the pastrami, if only for the whole package; the great, great homemade crusted rye they serve it on as well as the Dr. Brown's and Knish I get to accompany the meal. I guess, that's the way I like to eat my pastrami. Maybe even a black and white afterwards.

                                              2 sandwiches, 2 lemonade/arnold palmers $23.55

                                              ps. Not the best parking, so park on the side streets
                                              pps. Anyone been to that polish deli next door? How's that?

                                               
                                               
                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                                                Thanks for the thorough write up, Lettuce. I know LiveRock was also there today, so maybe he'll weigh in too.

                                                I've mentioned the parking issue before, and the solution is simple. Directly across US1 sits a huge Publix / Marshalls shopping plaza.

                                                Park there and walk the 250 feet.

                                                If you feel guilty, go into Publix and buys some moist towelettes. :-)

                                                1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                                                  LIL - Many thanks for your opinion. Since I live in Boynton Beach I think I will stick with Zinger's. I agree about the total package.

                                                  1. re: Alfred G

                                                    But DO go for the smoked food. Very delicious. I also heard that "Smoke" in Delray is excellent. I have not tried it yet, but if you don't like to drive too far, here you go.

                                                2. I was about 8th or 9th in line this morning for my second pastrami sandwich in 8 days (I was here last week also). I have to say that it was good, but not really stellar like it was last week. I thought the flavor wasn't up to par and my meat was kind of tough unlike last week. I'll be back, just not next week, I'm giving them a few weeks to get back into form. I'm trying Zinger's next. BTW I bought two sandwiches and took one to my son-in-law who liked it, but didn't love it which I think proves my point. If he tried last weeks he would have loved it. Oh well.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: edberliner

                                                    Wow, sorry Ed! I was there later on and my pastrami was as tender and juicy as could be. I wonder if maybe there was a subpar brisket in the batch.

                                                    I actually did skip the slaw this time and went with deli mustard & rye which is how I've always liked my pastrami. I must agree with LIL on the bread...as compared to the effort put into the pastrami a heartier, bakery style rye would be perfection!

                                                    I've been trying to arrange a lunch with a friend that is Polish. He'll be a perfect candidate for checking out the Polish Deli next door! I'll report back on that.

                                                    As a footnote: I think word has definitely spread. I lunch late, usually after 1:00 and this is the first time I've run into a substantial line. The conversation was indeed good though and the wait was tolerable.

                                                    1. re: LiveRock

                                                      You mentioned a supbar brisket and that may be. It's very difficult to get really good quality brisket here in South Florida. They're small, puny and not a lot fat. And there's no way to identify a 'clinker' before you smoke and serve it. I like to smoke 18-22lb. packer cut briskets and IBP is shipping in 11-14 pounders and that's not ideal. Every one of them is different that's for sure.

                                                      EMac
                                                      Ft. Pierce, FL

                                                      1. re: LargeLife

                                                        An "off" brisket sounds a more likely explanation than needing to give Willy "a few weeks to get back into form".

                                                        He has a massive amount of this stuff curing at all times. Something like 1200 pounds. (200 per week over 6 weeks).

                                                        I can't be certain - but I'd bet it is a super-controlled process.

                                                        And it seems doubtful his pastrami-making skills just went south for a week or two.

                                                        Meanwhile I've not been to Zingers so looking fwd to trying them out.

                                                        http://zingersdeli.com/

                                                        1. re: CFByrne

                                                          FYI: If you like pastrami hand cut, zingers will do that for you, otherwise, it's done on a slicer, which gives you a different experience. Also, Knish's are same recipe as Knish Nosh on Queens Blvd, NY. So good.

                                                          1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                                                            Zingers remains the only true to form classic deli that I have found in our area. I am looking forward to paying them another visit soon!

                                                            http://www.yelp.com/biz/zingers-delic...