Keeping one secret can be challenging for some, but the chefs who brew Chez Porky's housemade barbecue sauce have to keep at least 25. That's how many ingredients go into the signature marinade—one of nine memorable sauces on the menu. Another popular and equally guarded recipe yields the sweet-and-sour raspberry sauce, which decorates helpings of wings and skewered, bacon-wrapped shrimp. The jamaican jerk sauce, meanwhile, bespeaks the staff’s talent for mingling tropical spices. They channel this skill set to produce plates of farm-raised new zealand mussels—prepped with Cajun-spiced butter—and to stir up zesty bowls of caribbean coconut soup. Even steaks benefit from their sauce expertise; the bourbon street new york strip steak, for example, basks in a bourbon-rosemary-teriyaki mixture.
The kitchen has been coating entrees in tangy house flavors since 1985. Cooks refrain from freezing any of their seafood or meat and instead offer cool refreshment in the form of domestic and imported bottles of beer that patrons can stuff up their sleeves. They also cater meals for any type of special event, transporting pans of gumbo, smoked sausage, and barbecue pork to parties both big and small.
Most barbecue joints slather their food in one type of sauce—the smoky Texas style, the sweet Memphis style, or the vinegary North Carolina style. That’s not the case at Red's Backwoods BBQ. There, six signature sauces from various regions coat fall-off-the-bone ribs, slow-cooked pulled pork, and juicy chicken.
The chefs also use a secret rub to bring out the flavor of their homemade gator bites. And though the large portions of meat and two sides offer filling meals by themselves, taste buds pine for decadent Southern sweets such as housemade banana pudding, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie topped with scoops of ice cream, and frothy root-beer floats that harken back to a simpler time when everyone moved at a slower pace and rode dinosaurs everywhere.
Inside the brick oven at Texas Hold'Em BBQ, meats sizzle alongside whole bell peppers. There's a reason why the latter are called The Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers Bluff—behind the vegetable exterior and under the blue-cheese crumbles lie hidden helpings of beef or pulled pork. The restaurant's menu carries its poker theme across meals such as the Nachos Two Pair and the All In sandwich, but its classic barbecue dinners have no need for a new name. Guests can order chicken, ribs, sausages, and brisket to pair with traditional sides, including baked beans and corn on the cob. At the bar, a catalog of craft beers from assorted breweries counterbalances saucy bites more refreshingly than iced glasses of more sauce. With TVs spread along the length of the bar and a penchant for private sports parties, Texas Hold'Em BBQ advocates for team spirit in addition to smoky roadhouse dining.
Jimmy Jax sports saucy and savory lunch and dinner menus that boast a boney bounty of baby-back ribs from the award-winning ribsperts at Michelbob’s ($9.99 half rack, $14.99 full rack), alongside other sauceable, sliceable palate pleasers. Chomp down on a Chicago-style thin-crust or new deep dish pizza loaded with cheeses imported from Italy and Wisconsin ($7.99–$14.99 for thin-crust or $10.99–$18.99 for deep dish) and covered with your choice of tasty toppings ($1.49 each), ranging from Italian sausage and Genoa salami to ethnically ambiguous tomatoes, green peppers, and anchovies. Lunch and dinner plates include comforting mouthfuls of smoked barbecue pulled pork ($7.99) and melt-iculously viscid five-cheese macaroni ($7.99 dinner), and suppertime combos ($11.99) pair the restaurant's signature rib-sticking rib racks with one of six other signature tastes (served with a garlic knot and choice of three sides).
Lucille's Bad to the Bone BBQ slathers on the delicious with its signature grilled dishes. Its roughshod renegade chili ($5.25) or luscious split pea soup with pulled pork ($4.25) will warm up the palate enough for it to take off its tear-away windbreaker, and the crispy chicken salad, with its buttermilk-battered chicken, crispy noodles, bacon, and honey barbecue dressing, will exercise crunch muscles ($10.99). The best of both worlds, combining half a rack of baby back with half a rack of St. Louis–style ribs, will coat taste buds in its toothsome sauciness ($19.99), and the variety of blackened, grilled, or fried fish will transport the sea's savoriness to local stomachs ($13.99-$15.99). Barbecue buffs who like to protect their fingers from an onslaught of sauce with shields of wheat can chomp on the buffalo chicken wrap with blue cheese ($9.99), the mahi Reuben ($9.99), or the barbecue sandwich in one of three ways: pulled pork, beef brisket, or pulled chicken ($8.99).
In 1984, Steve Birger needed a name for his new barbecue restaurant when suddenly he found inspiration from a Jim Belushi skit on Saturday Night Live. Although he’s no “Rappin’ Jimmy B,” Stevie B similarly hails from Chicago and infuses Windy City influences into his Southern-style barbecue. At his Weston restaurant—under new management—chefs bake ribs before searing them on a charbroil grill, and shred barbecued beef brisket that can fill a Philly sandwich, moonlight as a delicious toupee, or star on a dinner plate alongside baked potatoes and onion rings. Shoestring fries, creamy coleslaw, and other sides round out each meal.