Thirty years ago, a mother, a son, and his wife joined forces to create their own barbecue restaurant, starting with family-inspired, made-from-scratch recipes. They formula proved to be a success, and Woody’s Bar-B-Q now dishes the same quality eats from locations in six states. The restaurant’s defining secret sauce decorates baby back ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and roasted half-chickens at each location.
Chef Pedro Ramirez can often be seen hovering over a crackling spit, tending to the pig that roasts over its flame in the open air. When the bounty is finished cooking, Ramirez whips it up into pork sandwiches and platters—a Ramirez Restaurant specialty for nearly two decades. A retired US Navy Chief, Ramirez now leads his kitchen staff as they craft fresh ingredients into authentic Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican dishes infused with homemade spices akin to the ones used by Ramirez's ancestors from Santo Domingo. In the dining room, designed in the style of a beach bungalow, Latin paintings hang over tables topped with homemade sangria and margaritas, and an outdoor patio supports the tropical atmosphere with flags and strands of lights as powerful as a billionth of a sun.
In a mobile food truck, Driftwood's pit masters slow cook the menu's meaty offerings for up to 16 hours on site at various Jacksonville locations as well as catered events. Lunchers refuel with daily selections, such as pulled pork, chicken breast, or ribs, that are each smoked over wood cut from cherry, apple, or bacon trees. Chefs craft homemade sides including baked beans and coleslaw to complement the protein-packed morsels. For catering, the mobile barbecue mavens journey to company picnics, weddings, and other events to fill the stomachs of 15 or more people. Meal planners can select spreads of one ($14/person), two ($16/person), or three ($18/person) meats, each of which comes with a choice of two sides and bread. Skilled servers emerge from the food truck to help customers pile up plates and bury leftover rib bones in their garden.
Mojo Bar-b-Que is a true Southern blues kitchen, named for that good luck feeling that is often the antithesis of the blues. But good food mojo is exactly what’s on order here at this eatery on University Boulevard, thanks to a special selection of back-home barbecue that runs from North Carolina pulled pork and Texas hotlinks to simple dry-rub spareribs. There’s a host of sandwiches, salads, soups and seafood entrées to choose from as well, though meat-free sides like cheese grits, collard greens, black eyed peas and smoked yellow corn might be enough to keep any vegetarian happy. With yellow walls, roomy booths and a variety of funky blues artist photos on the wall, Mojo’s is a true barbecue favorite in Jacksonville.
Newberry's Backyard BBQ soulfully dishes out ribs by the rack, pork by the pull, and sides by the spoonful to diners hankering for heavenly smokiness. After scanning the vast menu, start off with a seasoned helping of sweet potato fries ($6.25) or fried ravioli ($5.95) before plunging mouth bones into sandwiches ($6.25–$9.25) smuggling juicy morsels of pork, beef, turkey, and more. All sandwiches, midday meals, and delicious dinners are served with at least one succulent culinary sidekick (choose from a hunger-fighting roster of potato, coleslaw, baked beans, applesauce, and more). Enjoy a light meal with a chamber salad ($8.49), beef up dinners with a hot-off-the-grill NY strip ($16.99) or rib eye steak ($14.75), and get faces deliciously dirty with owner Rocky Voglio's tasty baby back ribs ($10.99 half rack, $16.99 full rack).
BubbaQue's emulates the renowned culture of southern hospitality with a cheerful, welcoming atmosphere and a menu of hearty, southern-style barbecue. It's chefs slow-smoke premium cuts of pork, beef, and poultry to creating mouthwatering sandwiches and barbeque specialties— including the barbecue wings that won them the champion title at Lakeland's King of the Wing competition. The chefs utilize their barbecuing expertise to create seven different types of sauces, with flavors ranging from spicy to smoky to sweet.
Out in the dining room, baskets of barbecue and bottles of beer speckle wooden picnic tables. The restaurant decor is lively—with colorful knickknacks, playful signs, and zero marble busts of a glowering Andrew Jackson.