If you’re looking for some Southern comfort food that won’t hurt the wallet, here are some barbecue places to try.
- Chez Porky’s isn’t your typical barbecue joint. The Pompano Beach restaurant bills itself as a combination of ribs, wings and Cajun things. Owner Tom Douglas says the menu has evolved over 25 years based on customer requests and his tastes. Original signature dishes include baby back ribs; BBQ chicken & pork dinners; Louisiana-spiced chicken & seafood; and flavored chicken wings in nine sauces ranging from Oriental to raspberry. Louisiana-style wings have Buffalo flavor without the grease while ribs are juicy & served with spicy sauce. House specialty sprimp zingara arrived plentiful – a heaping plate of shrimp sautéed in butter, white wine, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a touch of marinara sauce.
- Once a small regional chain, Stevie B’s Rib Café has scaled back to one small Weston location. The unassuming storefront is decorated with Chicago Cubs and Jim Belushi photos, harkening back to the city where Stevie Birger started. Baby back and St. Louis ribs are the centerpiece, but the menu also includes a mix of chicken, seafood, salads and sandwiches. Ribs are smoky, meaty and served with just enough sweet & tangy sauce. Baby backs fall off the bone while St. Louis ribs are chewier, but just as tender. Cajun chicken breast is covered with a mix of fiery spices and sweet potato chips are addictive. Dinner portions are big enough to share and Stevie B’s offers a slew of specials throughout the week
- Not much has changed since a local owner opened Jax House of Ribs in a former Sonny’s BBQ in Fort Lauderdale. They’ve still got the large salad bar and the wood picnic tables. The menu is basic barbecue with the usual choices: Baby back or St. Louis ribs, sliced or pulled beef and pork, smoked turkey and chicken. Plus extras like fried shrimp, catfish and chicken wings. Pulled pork has a tangy marinade, while sliced beef is tender but could use a bit more time in the smoker. Baby back & St. Louis ribs were both heavy on the fat. Portions are large and affordable, with almost everything under $15. Check the website for coupons. The best deal for big eaters is the all-you-can-eat specials ($12.95 to $21.95). The side dishes come two at a time in huge portions – skip the mac & cheese and stick to the beans, cole slaw, onion rings and collard greens.