Everyone knows that when it comes to finding great food, you follow the locals. After all, they know their neighbourhood a lot better than we do! While Diva #2, Ranger & the Savages were on vacation, we stopped in Ft. Lauderdale for a day and our friends told us about some incredible BBQ that we just had to try!
Tom Jenkins BBQ started out when two friends, passionate about food, started selling their own BBQ sauce and meat. People could not get enough of it, so in 1996 they opened Tom Jenkins Restaurant. There are no reservations, so there is often a line up, and the place is always packed. As we sat down at the wooden benches, a little girl who was leaving said to us “it’s worth the wait girls!” The walls are filled with old family portraits and trinkets, giving it that authentic “mom and pop” feel.
There are many sides to order along with your meat, and if they run out of ribs or brisket, well you’ll just have to order something else. We tried as many sides as possible including the corn on the cob which was nice and sweet, and the hush puppies which were light and fluffy with a nice crunch on the outside.
You can’t eat at a Southern inspired BBQ joint without having the macaroni & cheese. This, however, was our least favourite of the side dishes only because the macaroni seemed like it was overcooked so it felt soggy. Potato salad and coleslaw also seemed appropriate. Both were great. The potato salad was mayo based and had red peppers and pickles. The coleslaw was equally delicious with shredded carrot and yes, pickles!
On to the main event and as one friend said “give me a rib now!” Thankfully, they didn’t run out because these ribs were delicious! With a beautifully caramelized skin, the meat just fell right off the bone. The smoke ring also went deep into the rib, giving it a nice smoky flavour. Dipped in a little of their homemade BBQ sauce, our table fell silent for a few minutes and we were soon licking our fingers clean.
There’s usually nothing special about chicken but at Tom Jenkins BBQ, the chicken is a must! The meat was moist and the skin separated from the meat and had just enough crisp to it! If only chicken tasted like this all the time!
The brisket didn’t disappoint, complete with burnt ends! The crust on the meat was almost lacquered with smoke and flavour and the smoke ring penetrated deep into the meat. It was tender and moist, and the burnt ends had so much flavour. Delicious!
Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, so we took leftovers home. Tom Jenkins BBQ is a small place and if they expanded, they would still be packed. But that’s part of the charm and attraction – the line to get in, having to know your order when it’s your turn or you get yelled at for holding up the line, the “mom and pops” feel – it’s all part of the experience. And it’s an experience everyone should enjoy!
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 1236 South Federal Highway, 33316, Brisket, Chicken, Florida BBQ, Florida restaurant, Fort Lauderdale restaurant, Ft Lauderdale BBQ, Hush Puppies, Macaroni & Cheese, Potato Salad, Ribs, Southern Food Florida, Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Q, Tom Jenkins BBQ, Tom Jenkins Florida, Tom Jenkins Ft Lauderdale