Monday, February 17, 2014

Just Ribs - Fort Meade, Florida

I was driving from Orlando to Fort Myers, just passing through Fort Meade in the center of the state on SR 17, through farming country, when I spotted this road-side BBQ: small wood building set on blocks, big smoker out to the side, smell permeating the area, and looking about as much backyard bbq as you can get and still sell the meat. I was trying to eat mostly vegetarian, but I couldn't pass this up. "Cracker" came to my mind as I looked at the African American men running the place, a term used by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to refer to early Florida settlers. I don't think that term was appropriate in this case, but these looked like farmhands that really knew how to barbecue. I did a u-turn, found a place in line behind some other patrons all driving pickup trucks, and tried to figure out what they offered. Those ahead of me bought some chicken and some catfish. 
Order window to the right, smoker inside the gray shack.
I love the hand-made sign.
Catering truck adds signage.
I ordered a half slab of bbq pork ribs, some fried okra and potato salad, all to go. While I was waiting a person came back for some more bbq sauce, so I figured it was probably good. They gave me several containers of bbq sauce with my order, kind of a yellowish-orange color. It had a honey-mustard taste to it. The pork ribs were the largest, most meaty I've ever had. They had a nice smoky pink layer and were great dry, still quite moist, but even better slathered with some of the bbq sauce. 
Ribs two layers deep: much more than I expected.
Crusty outside, nice pink layer of smoked meat, yet still plenty moist.
Beautiful looking meat.
Honey-mustard barbecue sauce - very thick and sweet.
I'm not normally a big barbecue sauce fan, but this was really good.

The fried okra was okay, as was the potato salad, but the bbq pork ribs were some of the best I've ever had. This is what bbq is all about. A huge smoker, tons of meat, smoke and smell wafting through the air, paper plates and plastic utensils and fresh off the grill. I'm glad I don't live nearby because if I did, I would have a hard time resisting these. This place is worth driving some miles to enjoy. 
The fried okra was okay, but not worth getting full on with such beautiful ribs to tackle. 


  1. Roadside barbecue served out of a ramshackle building? That has your name written all over it. Glad it was worth the wait in line!

  2. LOMLs parents have a trailer at a park down the road a bit(snow birds). We were visiting there last month and finally had the timing to stop and eat. Ribs were good and prices reasonable for what you get. I prefer my ribs but these are some of the best I have had other than my own. The owner is a really nice guy to talk to as well.