The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Spicy BBQ

I saw the sign for the Dunedin Smokehouse earlier in the week so we decided to try it out for dinner tonight.  I’d heard it gets pretty busy on the weekends and they don’t have a very big parking lot, so we went early and there wasn’t a crowd.

It isn’t a very big restaurant inside, but they do have patio seating as well.   We went inside and grabbed a booth since it was cold out.  Unfortunately, there are TVs on the walls above all of the booths and they had the volume up way too loud for the space.  Even after I asked if they could turn down the volume on the one over my head, it was still pretty loud in there.  I’m sure with a crowd you could barely hear yourself think.

We decided to split the Big John combo so we could try out the different items on the menu.  It came with pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and ribs. 

The combo came with two sides so we got some garlicy greens and sweet potato cornbread.  I also ordered a side of potato salad.

The best thing on the plate to me was the brisket.  It was tender and had a decent flavor.  Next would be the pulled pork.  I thought the ribs were charred way too much, I couldn’t even eat them.  The chicken was ok.  I didn’t really like any of the BBQ sauces either.  Even the “sweet” ancho sauce had a bit too much bite for me and the mango honey mustard sauce didn’t really have any mango flavor, just mustard. 

As for the sides, they didn’t do it for me either.   If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know by now that I’m not a fan of spicy food and all of the side dishes had some sort of peppers in them.   Actually, I’m not sure what was in the potato salad, definitely dill, but something spicy as well.  Loren said the greens had more texture in them than he’s used to.  He thought they had been sauteed instead of boiled.  He seemed to like them though.  I took one bite and all I could taste was some type of red pepper. 

All in all, not the best BBQ experience we’ve had.  Total bill was $31.  I doubt we’ll be back.  There are definitely better BBQ places around. 

Dunedin Smokehouse
680 Main St
Dunedin, FL

The Dunedin Smokehouse (Coming in October) on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Dunedin
  • 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
  • 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
  • Tasty BBQ

    The first time we tried to go to Georgia Boy’s BBQ in Oldsmar, they were closed, but we finally made it out there today for lunch.  This is definitely one of those hole-in-the-wall BBQ joints.  There’s no seating inside and one picnic table out front, so plan to get your BBQ to go. 

    The owner offered us a taste of the pulled pork when we walked in.  It had a nice BBQ flavor and I ended up getting the pulled pork sandwich and some potato salad.

    He definitely piled on the pork, but I should have told him to go lightly on the sauce.  He drenched the sandwich.  I ended up having to eat it with a fork because there was no way to pick it up without wearing the sauce.  I really liked the potato salad too. 

    Loren got a half rack of ribs and a side of collard greens.  He went for the spicy sauce, which wasn’t really spicy, but more tangy.

    The ribs were really tender and flavorful.  I would definitely order those again.  He said the collards weren’t anything special, but let’s face it, it’s not about the sides, it’s about the meat.  For $20, this is probably one of the best BBQ meals we’ve had in a while.

    Georgia Boy’s BBQ
    205 E St Petersburg Dr
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 854-4498

    Georgia Boy's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: BBQ, Oldsmar