The cuisine team at Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap prints a menu chock full of barbecue descriptions and a thirst-quenching arsenal of beer and wine. The kitcheneers cook the barbecue brisket for 18 hours to honor the flight duration of Apollo 11 ($15.75). A half rack of slow-roasted baby back Miami ribs ($15) makes a meaty companion for a 16-ounce Blue Moon ($7), 1 of 12 draft beers, while the dry-rubbed pulled pork, which is enveloped in a seasonings and spices and slow smoked ($15.50), companions a glass of Primaterra pinto grigio ($7), which, like the Ferrari and the Ferris Bueller's Day Off script, was imported from Italy.
Woody Mills is thinking of his mother, Grace Meyer. In 1980, she collaborated with Woody and his wife Yolanda to formulate three recipes that became Woody's sweet, hot, and tangy-mustard sauces—the linchpins of the first Woody's Bar-B-Q in Jacksonville. At that point, Woody became the guardian of the family's legacy of southern-style barbecue, which medal-winning pitmaster Paul Kirk and barbecue historian Ardie Davis went on to feature in their roaster's anthology America's Best BBQ. And while the recipes remain a secret, Grace Meyer's legacy is anything but. Today, Woody's Bar-B-Q franchises bring the celebrated marriage between pickles and pulled pork to eight states throughout the country.
The menu kicks off with battered okra—fried exclusively with trans-fat-free oil—alongside the hearty and hotly contentious Brunswick stew, which both Georgia and Virginia claim as their own unique creation. Two types of pulled pork and ribs star among a roundup of beef brisket, shrimp, and chicken, all of which can be packed into a sandwich for a quick drive-thru meal or spread on platters for catered events. Through helpings of garlic toast, Texas gets a special nod on nearly every plate, whereas signature baked beans and fluffy cream pies evoke a broader southern tradition of using rich comfort food for physical comedy.
Chefs at High Steaks BBQ prepare barbecue classics from across the south. They expertly slice some cuts into brisket before slowly smoke roasting them in a red wine and BBQ spice marmalade; others they grill into juicy ribeyes. There’s Carolina-style barbecue pork—which chefs slow-smoke and hand chop from the bone—and Memphis-style ribs rubbed with natural spices and kissed by Elvis’s ghost. Drawing inspiration from the Lone Star State, the chefs also smoke-roast certified Angus brisket in a spiced red-wine marmalade. Organic-cornmeal hush puppies and a handful of homemade desserts round out each meal.
High Steaks BBQ accommodates guests in their main dining room or 60-seat private dining room, where visitors can watch the game on a high-definition TV or ritually torch the opposing team’s jerseys in the brick fireplace.
Waiters whirl through Grimpa Brazilian Steakhouse's streamlined interior, dancing with swords that skewer more than 15 kinds of meat. Diners can sample steaks and an 18-item salad bar and hot buffet in the art-strewn dining room or on the outdoor patio, where swaying palms and ghost cowboys bring to mind traditional gaucho camps. An onsite wine cellar accommodates international vintages of red, white, and bubbly, and an à la carte menu allows chefs to pair tender cuts of beef and fish with gourmet sauces and sides.
The greatest of meats are paired with sauce sidekicks, slaying the bland and defending the savory. Q's meats are prepared in an authentic Texas-built Bewley pit roaster or infused with woody goodness in an on-site smoker. Pay tribute by plunging face first into a platter of pulled pork with Texas toast, cole slaw, and beans ($16.95), or by cracking open the crispy skin of a brined, glazed whole chicken ($18), topped against every law of decency with sides such as fried okra and cheese grits (both $6). Tip back a three-bourbon Qhattan with cherry and vermouth ($9) or a 13-ounce glass of Shiner Bock ($7) amid the pleasant aural aroma of live tunes on the weekend, or sneak to the back for a wee dessert of buttermilk shortcakes ($7) and a full rack of dry-rubbed pork spare ribs ($24).
Bar-B-Que Beach Bar and Restaurant puts hand shovels to work digging into starters such as the fried dill pickles served with a tangy dipping sauce ($6) or the bucket of bones, a generous sampling of traditional dry rubbed spare ribs, spiced and slow-cooked in an authentic wood-smoked barbecue pit ($8). Rib platters include the infamous baby back ribs ($19 for a full slab/$13 for half, both with two sides) with a choice of original or "Sweet Georgia Brown" barbecue sauce and two sides, as well as tender barbecue pork spare ribs seasoned with the award-winning Rib Rub ($15 with two sides). The menu rounds itself out with a bevy of burgers, steaks, surfside items, and sandwiches.