Mix seasonings in a small bowl. Next pour about 2-3 TBS olive oil into a bowl. Get a large piece of plastic wrap or foil. You need enough to completely wrap up the chops. Lay out the plastic wrap or foil on the counter.
Rub the seasoning mix into the chops. Next brush or rub the olive oil on the chops. You want enough for a light coating. Tightly wrap up the chops in the plastic wrap or foil. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes – 2 hours.
Grill on both sides. I like to brush on BBQ sauce while it is cooking.
4 Rivers Smokehouse is small central Florida chain that has recently moved into Gainesville, Florida. The 4 Rivers website describes themselves as a sophisticated Texas-style smokehouse. I think I would describe them as trendy. Sophisticated just doesn’t fit with BBQ. We have tried several BBQ places in Florida claiming to be “Texas-style” and 4 Rivers is the only one that is even close. It has the look, feel and menu of a Texas BBQ place.
They have the best brisket we have found in Florida. They even have Czech sausage or Texas sausage as 4 Rivers calls it. The sausage is from West, Texas. So far we have tried the ribs, brisket, sausage and turkey. My favorite is the sausage, I think because that is one of the things I miss the most about Texas BBQ.
Personally, as long a BBQ joint has good meat done right I really don’t care much about the sides. I guess because I really don’t like the usual sides like beans, cole slaw and potato salad. 4 Rivers has a good selection of sides. We have tried the fried pickles, armadillo eggs (jalapeno poppers), green beans, mac and cheese and bread pudding. They have the best fried pickles. Their bread pudding is amazing. I think the sandwiches that include two sides are the best value. They have an ample serving of meat and sides.
One thing that 4 Rivers needs to change to truly be Texas Style BBQ is to offer Dr Pepper. They have that awful undereducated imposter instead. I will say I haven’t missed it. 4 Rivers has a very large selection of vintage sodas as a well as Cheerwine on tap. I really like Cheerwine in my opinion it is a close 2nd to Dr Pepper.
So a BBQ place with great meat and amazing side, what more could they offer? Desserts, of course! The Sweet Shop has quite a selection of cakes, cupcakes and cookies all made in-house. We have tried the Snickerdoodle cupcakes and the Cheerwine Cupcakes. The cupcakes are big enough to share. The Big Guy even got me a cup cake instead of a birthday cake this year.
On the weekends the Sweet Shop makes Kolaches (pronounced ko-LAH-chee). Kolaches are yummy Czech pastry that is either filled with sweet fillings like cherry, blueberry etc or savory fillings like Czech sausage. The sausage kolaches are similar to pigs-in-a-blanket. Hint if you by extra kolaches for the next days breakfast store it in an air tight container.
Food: Excellent best BBQ in Florida.
Selection: Excellent. All of the usual offering brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey as well as a selection of signature sandwiches. Oh I they even have pulled pork. My recommendation is skip the fake stuff and stick with real BBQ.
Service: Excellent. The staff is always friendly and eager to help.
Atmosphere: Very nice. It looks like a real Texas BBQ joint complete with the long tables.
Allergy Rating: Very good. Not sure if they have an allergy menu. I haven’t needed one. The staff is knowledgeable and have been able to answer any questions I have.
We first tried Bacon’s BBQ and Catering in La Crosse, Florida
a few months ago and were impressed. They have pretty good BBQ especially for Florida.
Our first time there we decided to try the chop brisket sandwiches. It was a pretty good chopped brisket could be a little more tender. On our second visit we tried the chicken sandwiches. We were both pleasantly surprised. It was outstanding.
The sandwiches come with two sides instead of the usual one side. They have a very good mac and cheese. It has nice buttery and creamy taste. We also tried the sweet potato fries, fried okra and green beans. Bacon’s features a selection of vintage sodas.
Food: Very good. Pretty good chopped brisket. The mac and cheese is awesome.
Selection: Excellent. They have the usual offerings like brisket, ribs and chicken. They also have several more unique items.
Atmosphere: Nice. It is a walk up place with a nice covered outdoor seating.
Allergy Rating: Good. They do not have an allergy menu but the staff is helpful. However for my allergies BBQ places are usually fairly safe.
Overall: Very good. It is worth the drive to La Crosse.
This summer we spent a lot of time on the road. One of the places we stumbled upon was Kickin’ Ash BBQ in Montgomery, Texas. It was really an accident that we found Kickin’ Ash, we were so lost in the Piney Woods of East Texas that even our GPS didn’t know our location.
One thing about Texas BBQ is often small towns have the best BBQ. The place smelled like BBQ. It is always a good sign when you can smell the smoke and meat cooking. The Big Guy looked up for reviews Kickin’ Ash and we decided to give it a try. Kickin’ Ash may have some of the best brisket. I’ve had in a long time. The sausage was good as well.
Kickin’ Ash started as a competition BBQ team. It was well worth the side trip. Oh, according to their website they are only open Friday-Sunday.
Food: Excellent. The brisket was excellent.
Selection: Excellent. They have usual BBQ offerings brisket, sausage, ribs, chicken and turkey. They even have pork. Really don’t know why they need that one.
Service: Outstanding. Extremely friendly and well trained.
Atmosphere: Simple but appropriate. It is a BBQ place after all. Also, you could smell the smoke.
Allergy Rating: We have found that BBQ is usually allergy friendly.
Overall: Excellent. If you are nearby it is worth the drive.
My failed trip to a new restaurant claiming to be a barbecue joint inspired me to repost this. It seems this so-called BBQ place only served ribs, pulled pork and ham. It is appalling and should be illegal to call one’s-self a barbecue restaurant and not even attempt to serve real BBQ. Originally posted February 12, 2008.
Sunday I wrote about my Top 10: Favorite Foods. Number #5 barbecue has created a little bit of discussion. So, I have decided to devote an entire post to it. While I do not claim to be a barbecue expert I am from Texas and that is about the same thing. In Texas we are serious about are beef especially barbecue.
That is right I said beef. Barbecue is beef! It is not chicken or pork. Turkey, ham and German or Czech sausage are also acceptable. I prefer brisket although I do like a good Czech or German sausage.
Now that we have established what type of meat to use let’s discuss how to cook it. First, dry rub and then marinate it for a long time. Yes, I did say marinate and dry rub, it is not either/or it is both. The meat should be slow cooked in either a pit or a big smoker rig. The trick to making a nice tender brisket is to dry rub it & marinate then, cook slow cook it over heat. If you can get mesquite wood for cooking it is even better and it smells great.
Ok, we have the meat cooked lets talk about how to serve it. The meat should be served hot with a warm sauce. There is no need for 400 gazillion sauces all you need is one or two good sauces. If you want variety make a mild one and a spicy one. It is however important that the sauce is warm. Also, mustard is for hot dogs not barbecue do not add it to the sauce. You may however add jalapeno, honey, molasses, beer or Dublin Dr Pepper (Don’t know what Dublin Dr Pepper is then read this.) Barbecue is about the meat not the sauce. If you cook it right, you don’t have to hide it under the sauce. Brisket should be served in thick slices for a plate dinner. In a sandwich it can be either sliced or chopped. Brisket is never to be served thin sliced or pulled. Keep your hands out of my meat! A barbecue sandwich contains bread, meat, pickles, onions and maybe a few jalapenos. Keep your slaw and other frilly vegetables away from my meat. After all this is barbecue not a salad bar.
One last thing about barbecue. When you have people over for burgers and hot dogs break out the grill that isn’t a barbecue. That is grilling or cooking out. It isn’t the same thing. Barbecue involves the use of smoke.
Of course that is just my humble opinion about real Texas style barbecue.