The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We were in Orlando to see a play at the Shakespeare theater and ate lunch at Bubba Lou’s Bodacious Bar B Q near Universal.

Loren ordered the baby back ribs and I ordered the brisket, both came with cole slaw, beans and fries.  I also ordered a side of macaroni & cheese.

We were both disappointed in the bbq.  The restaurant smelled like bbq, but the meats didn’t have any smokey goodness flavor whatsoever.  I wasn’t expecting the brisket to be sliced so thin.  It was more like a plate of roast beef and somewhat dry.  The mac & cheese was also dry, but had a good flavor.  The ribs came off the bone easily, but just lacked flavor. 

After the $5 coupon we had, the total bill was $27.  The restaurant was really busy, but this wouldn’t be my first choice for BBQ. 

Bubba Lou’s Bodacious BarBQ
5815 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL

Bubbalou's Bodacious Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Orlando
  • This is BBQ

    We haven’t been over to Brady’s Backyard BBQ since March, so we were due for some tasty BBQ’d meats.  I think you learn to appreciate a place more after you’ve eaten at a few other places.

    We decided to split a pick 3 combo and got brisket, riblets, and pulled pork.  They charge an extra $2.50 to share, but they throw in an additional side, so we got potato salad, cornbread pudding, and a taste of collard greens.

    There was so much food on the plate, way more than we could both eat in one sitting.  I’ve turned into a brisket convert.  I used to be all about the pulled pork, but my new found taste for brisket was wonderfully satisfied tonight.  The cornbread pudding is one of my favorite side dishes here. 

    Total bill was $26 and there were plenty of riblets and some pulled pork leftover for lunch tomorrow.  The brisket didn’t even have a chance at leftover status.

    Brady’s Backyard BBQ
    340 Main Street
    Safety Harbor, FL

    Brady's Backyard Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Safety Harbor
  • Funky Art

    We decided to try out Soul Food Sunday at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe today.  It has a big, wide open dining area.  We were seated on the 2nd floor and I can imagine it gets very loud in there when they have a band.  The artwork was pretty funky, from a mirror frame made out of old aluminum cans to a painted refrigerator door high up on the wall.

    Loren was having a hard time deciding what to order so he asked the waitress what was good (she listed just about everything on the menu), but he decided on the homemade veggie burger with a side of collard greens.

    The veggie burger had a lot of interesting flavors in it plus a little bit of spice.  It was not your ordinary veggie burger, that’s for sure.  He wasn’t impressed with the collard greens though.  He said there was a sweetness to them that he didn’t like.

    I went for the pick 2 bbq and got some brisket and ribs with a side of sweet potato fries.

    Tender bbq with a sweet and smokey sauce.  The brisket was sliced thin and had a bit of fat on it, but also a wonderful flavor.  I was full after eating the ribs, so most of the brisket came home.  The sweet potato fries were sliced thin and they were crunchy with just the right amount of salt on them. 

    And just to be able to say we did, we got an order of chocolate covered bacon to go.

    It was kinda weird. It’s not a very thick slice of bacon. That first bite you get has the salty, bacon, chocolatey taste, then the chocolate melts in your mouth and you’re just left with cold bacon.  The nuts on top sort of distracted from the bacon as well. 

    Total bill was $32.  Everything was definitely homemade and there were a lot of good flavors going on.  Definitely a place I’d like to try again to taste some of the other dishes.

    Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe
    5119 N Nebraska Ave
    Tampa, FL
    (813) 234-1000

    Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, BBQ, Soul, Tampa
  • I admit, I watch Food Network a lot and inevitably it fuels my food cravings.  Last night, we were watching “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” and the BBQ they were showing made both our mouths water.  So, for dinner tonight, we searched other reviews to find some awesome BBQ and ended up at Cally’s Sticky Bones Barbecue in Tampa.

    Cally’s is a small BBQ place off of Linebaugh.  As soon as you walk in the door, you can smell the smokey goodness.  Since we wanted to try a little bit of everything, we got the Ultimate Sampler Platter which had ribs, chicken, chopped pork, and brisket.

    It came with one side, but we ordered a couple more, just because I can’t resist mac & cheese and cornbread pudding.  I probably should have resisted.  They were ok, but nothing special.  I had to send the mac & cheese back to the kitchen because it was cold.  The cornbread pudding was a little gritty and the beans were just ok.  But let’s face it, you don’t go to a BBQ joint for the side dishes.

    I’ve never been a big fan of brisket, but I gotta say, that was the best thing on the plate.  It was awesome.  It was so tender and juicy and had great smoke flavor.  I think I may have been missing out all these years just ordering pulled pork.  The ribs, chicken, and chopped pork were all really good too, but the brisket definitely stood out.   I can understand why they’ve won some Florida BBQ awards. 

    We thought we were going to have leftovers, but no such luck.  Once you started eating, there was just no way to stop.   I’m glad we got the sampler platter so we could try it all, but next time, I’m just getting a big ol’ platter of brisket.  Total meal with all the sides and a drink was $27.

    Cally’s Sticky Bones Barbecue
    2313 W Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL
    (813) 935-6600

    Cally's Sticky Bones BBQ on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Tampa
  • Had an unscheduled lunch with the boss today.  Conveniently, he chose a place near me this time.  One of our favorite lunch places (yes, we have a lot of favorite lunch places), Brady’s Backyard BBQ in Safety Harbor.

    I forgot to take pictures of the food, but I had my phone out while I was waiting for the boss, so you get an “atmosphere” shot.

    Brady’s has been around for 4-5 years, and used to be in a quaint old house on 3rd street across from the post office.  I liked that place, it had a homey feel to it.  But, I guess it wasn’t the greatest place to run a restaurant, and the parking wasn’t the best.  They moved a couple blocks to one of the strips along Main street a few months ago.

    I love me some pulled pork, and some ribs (their rib tips are AWESOME), but a few months ago I discovered their brisket sandwich, and that’s what I had today.  It’s pretty basic.  A bun with two huge chunks of super-tender and tasty brisket.  It’s gotta be a half-pound of meat, and it’s good stuff.

    The small sandwich comes with chips and a pickle.  What else do you need?  Well, you need collard greens!  Fortunately, their chip guy hadn’t shown up yet today, so we got to choose a side.  Did I mention that their collard greens are top notch?  Really, all of their sides are good.

    The kicker for me, however, is their mango barbecue sauce.  It is to die for!  Very unique flavor, just sweet enough, just tangy enough… MmmMmmMmm!

    The small sandwich basket is only like $7, you can’t go wrong.  So, yeah.  We like Brady’s.  Best BBQ in this area.  I like Hot Rod’s a little better, but I’d have to drive 20 miles to Lutz for that.  Within 5 miles, nobody else challenges them.

    Brady’s Backyard BBQ
    340 Main Street
    Safety Harbor, FL 34695

    Brady's Backyard Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Safety Harbor