Serving up sauce-slathered eats since 1980, Woody's has garnered praise from publications including the Ledger and continues to woo taste buds with succulent ribs, chicken, pork, and sides. Patrons can perform cheek-stretching calisthenics with the super sampler starter, a piled-high platter of pop-able bites including fried garlic mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, corn nuggets, and onion rings ($7.99), before moving on to a main event such as a full rack of Woody's signature baby back ribs, featuring pork that slips off the bone as sure as a cat slips off an ice sculpture of a larger cat ($14.99). Meat disciplinarians might consider the Sloppy Woody, pulled pork and Woody's secret sauce caught in a prison of formalist bread loaves ($6.99). Vegetarians are invited to pig out on the tossed salad ($2.69) or the country vegetables ($1.89).
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.
Mojo's owner and proprietor, Todd Lineberry, grew up in North Carolina, right in the epicenter of one of the most thriving barbecue regions in the country. Todd grew to appreciate the distinctive tastes and flavors of different barbecue traditions, which is why he fuses flavors from the major barbecue regions—North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City, Texas, and the tour bus for the Charlie Daniels Band—into the dishes served at Mojo. Using authentic cooking techniques and housemade sauces, chefs stuff the menu with dishes such as pulled-pork shoulder, pit-smoked chicken, and chopped-brisket sandwiches. To complement these regional barbecued delicacies, they also prepare housemade Southern sides such as collard greens and creamy coleslaw.
Each Mojo Jacksonville-area location has an identity as distinct as the dishes it serves. Live blues music permeates the airwaves and nearby ocean waves at Mojo Kitchen, BBQ Pit, and Blues Bar, while Mojo no. 4 stocks more than 175 whiskies such as Jameson, The Macallan, Wild Turkey, and Jack Daniels. Each location also caters for parties and events of all types.
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.
The eclectic menu at 4 of a Kind BBQ mixes southern cuisine with Latin influences amid the flavorful tang of barbecue recipes honed for more than eight years by the restaurant's chefs. Mouths warm up by biting into a crispy chicken empanada ($1.50) or a foot-long barbecue pork sub ($6.50), the perfect length to sate hunger and to measure how many square feet of barbecue one's trunk can fit. As meats cook, sizzling charcoal and the fragrant essence of pecan wood infuse by-the-pound barbecue options such as 16 ounces of brisket ($9.50), and an order of 10 chicken wings and fries comes in a choice of six sauces such as honey garlic, fire, and teriyaki ($6.50). The daily lunch special heaps plates high with a choice of meat and two sides, side options including hot bar menu items, side salad, plantains, a dinner roll, or soup of the day ($6.25).