When the new owners conceived of their idea for Wholly Smokes Bar-B-Que, they checked the frills at the door. Wood booths and tables proudly display two items and two items only: succulent sauce, and fully stocked paper towel dispensers to erase the evidence. Their menu, on the other hand, has a bit more to say—particularly, it celebrates classic American barbecue by allowing customers to put together plates heaped with their choice of meats and sides. There’s a steady supply of sliced pork, beef, and sausage coming out of the pit, which pair well with servings of coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, and barbecue beans. Tailgate specials fuel game days with full slabs of ribs or Britain's 18th-century currency whenever there was a sudden silver shortage: pounds of smoked meat. Wholly Smokes also recently introduced chicken wings, slathered in sauces such as hot garlic or sweet honey barbecue.
Mike's Smokehouse BBQ & Grill takes the best tasting things from the sea, garden, and pasture and turns them into delicious barbecued eats. The menu runs the gamut from frog legs to alligator to sweet rib tips and fried okra. Meats arrive in the form of wraps, salads, and sandwiches, or plated simply with a choice of two sides. Ambitious eaters can attempt the "redneck platter," a mountain of catfish, crawfish, and frog legs served on the pages of Jeff Foxworthy's diary.
Though years of working as a trainer for chain restaurants taught Mike Tolley how to cook quality food efficiently, it was the slower, lower-heat cooking that he enjoyed the most. So when he decided to open his own restaurant, Uncle Mike's Smokehouse, he eschewed traditional fast-food preparation in favor of the slow smoking that gives meat a rich, complex favor. He and his chefs grill everything from pork shanks and chicken wings to St. Louis?style barbecue and steaks. They don't just specialize in savory, smoky flavors, however. They also add a sweet note to meals with slices of cornbread, vanilla maple sweet potatoes, and bourbon-laced pecan pie.
At On Q Smokehouse Grill, diners could build an actual food pyramid representing all five food groups with menu items such as the fried green tomatoes, pulled pork sandwich, walnut chicken salad, and mac and cheese. Combo dinners plate two or three meats next to a pair of sides, such as coleslaw and sweet potato fries, while the smoked mullet dinner refuels brain tanks with healthy omega-3s that power the lightbulb above your head. The drink list quenches thirst and loosens ties with premium and domestic beers on draft and by the bottle, as well as wine by the glass.
Proponents of dry rub can be found across the Midwest—Oklahoma’s barbecue joints are an especially good bet. If you ask any of these die-hards, they’ll say that what dry-rubbed meats lack in sauce, they make up for in the delicately balanced flavors of their spices. Rib Crib BBQ & Grill captures these flavors and brings them to its cozy Lakeland restaurant, where guests can feast on chicken, ribs, and briskets smoked onsite over hickory chips. In addition to pit choices, Rib Crib dishes out Southern¬-style sides such as corn on the cob, mac ‘n’ cheese, and slow-cooked cowboy beans that guests can lasso individually with a tiny rope of floss.:m]]
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.