Tag Archives: ribs

BBQ Heaven in the Middle of Central Florida

21 Jul

I was first introduced to the marvelousness that is 4Rivers Smokehouse about 3 years ago when visiting their location on Fairbanks Avenue located in Winter Park, FL. This location became so incredibly busy that they actually had to move to a much larger location a little further down the street. As the demand for their succulent BBQ continued to grow, they proceeded to open their second and third locations in Winter Garden and Longwood, Florida.

Hot Brisket Now at 4 Rivers

Hot Brisket Now at Four Rivers

Four Rivers' wide variety of bottled sodas

Four Rivers’ wide variety of bottled sodas

4Rivers is currently rated the #1 BBQ establishment in Orlando and rightfully so. They offer some of the best BBQ this side of Texas! Their signature menu item, which also happens to be my go-to meaty entrée, is the 18-hour slow smoked beef brisket. You can’t help but watch them slice this juicy masterpiece. Be careful not to drool.


Other magnificent meats offered include their southern pulled pork, juicy Texas sausage, pulled chicken and smokehouse turkey. You can order any of these tasty options on a sandwich, in a quesadilla, or part of a dinner plate. One of the best values I have found is their set of 3 Smokehouse Sliders – just pick your meats and load them up with some of their mouth-watering sauces!

One Brisket, One Texas Sausage, One Pulled Pork Slider

One Brisket, One Texas Sausage, One Pulled Pork Slider

BBQ isn’t complete without some pretty rockin’ sides and 4Rivers has it covered! Their mac-n-cheese is super creamy, the smokehouse corn is fantastically seasoned, their baked cheese grits are rich and smooth, the cornbread is moist and their biscuits are buttery. And make sure to order a side of their amazing Krispy Kreme bread pudding, you won’t regret it.



They’ve created some awesome signature sandwiches too. One is affectionately dubbed the Texas Destroyer. They pile their tender smoked brisket, onion rings, jalapenos and provolone cheese all onto a soft bun and then smother it with their signature 4R sauce. I’ve also had the pleasure of trying their fried pork cutlet sandwich which is topped with chipotle aioli! Admittedly, you can put chipotle aioli on anything and I will eat it but on this sandwich, it was just the icing on the cake. The pork, being the main event, was juicy and fried wonderfully and the aioli delivered an ideal amount of heat.


In the mood for wings? Fear not – 4 Rivers offers perfectly smoked wings which can be ordered in either 6 or 10 increments. Add a side of their wonderful BBQ sauce and you can’t go wrong. Oh, and you can’t forget their St. Louis style ribs. These can be ordered in either full or half rack servings, sure to satisfy anyone’s cravings.


On one of my more recent trips I tried a bowl of their brisket chili. I was completely blown away before I was even done with my first bite! It starts with a layer of Fritos on the bottom that’s topped with a huge serving of their out-of-this-world brisket chili and that is finished off with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. I would dare to say this is my favorite item on their entire menu. The combination of seasonings and huge tender chunks of their smoked brisket create pure perfection!


4Rivers not only prepares crazy good BBQ, they also create some of the best desserts Central Florida has to offer! Being blessed with the luxury of space, their Fairbanks and Longwood locations have a Sweet Shop attached where you can watch their pastry chefs create some pretty amazing confections. I’ve devoured so many of their treats I’ve lost count. Their chocolate covered cake balls are to die for and their cakes and cupcakes are moist and decadent. Love ice cream? Well you must try some of their amazingly creative flavors – the red velvet alone is worthy of a trip! Any of their spectacular creations would be a delicious end to any meal at 4Rivers.

The Sweet Shop full of delicious desserts

The Sweet Shop full of delicious desserts

4Rivers Red Velvet and Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

4Rivers Red Velvet and Biscoff Cookie Ice Cream

So don’t wait, run to your nearest 4Rivers Smokehouse! Just look for the never-ending line, you can’t miss it.

4 Rivers Smokehouse

1600 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

1047 South Dillard Street
Winter Garden, FL 34787

1869 State Road 434 West
Longwood, FL 32750



The Best BBQ Joints in Memphis, Tennessee

1 Jul

Last October one of my closest friends decided he wanted to road trip across Tennessee for his birthday with our first stop being the fabulous city of Memphis. Our goal – to eat as much phenomenal BBQ as we possibly could! We knew we were only able to spend one day in Memphis before heading to our next location, so we started our BBQ sampling right after stepping off the plane! Before even picking up our luggage, we hopped over to Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que in Terminal B of Memphis International to try their famous BBQ spaghetti.


We arrived at 9 a.m. and the line was already forming! This tasty dish was a combination of spaghetti, seasoned pork and Interstate’s own BBQ sauce, a tomato and vinegar based sauce with a hint of spice. The seasonings in both the pork and the sauce provided a great kick. It was definitely worth the wait and is a must try when visiting the Memphis airport!

After a few touristy hours at Graceland we headed to our next stop, Corky’s Bar-B-Q, a location famous for its pulled pork and ribs. We got there around lunch time and were seated immediately. To begin, we started with their amazing bread rolls! They were still warm from the kitchen, fluffy on the inside and crusty on the outside. And, after adding a thin layer of butter, they were even more remarkable.


For our appetizer we ordered a Memphis tradition, the BBQ Smoked Sausage and Cheese Plate. The hickory smoked sausage was out of this world wonderful – it was juicy and had a great snap! Pickle spears and pepperoncini peppers came alongside and melded incredibly well with the smokiness of the sausage and creaminess of the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.


For my entrée I ordered their BBQ pulled pork sandwich. This marvelous pile of pulled pork comes topped with their famous BBQ sauce and coleslaw (I opted to have the slaw on side). After trying this lovely pork creation, I completely understand why it is so famous; it was everything you want pulled pork to be – lean, tender, succulent and bursting with flavor. Corky’s was a huge success and excited us even more for our next stop of the day!


We checked into The Peabody and saw the Broadway Musical “Memphis” at the Orpheum Theater before heading to our next stop, Central BBQ.


I had heard some pretty astounding things about their BBQ nachos so I knew I had to give them a try – and they lived up to the hype! The tortilla chips were topped with their divine pulled pork, BBQ sauce, cheese sauce and shredded cheese! And if that wasn’t enough, they were then finished off with a light dusting of Central’s BBQ seasoning. They were absolutely heavenly, some of the best nachos I’ve ever had! The chips stayed crisp the entire time while eating them and the tanginess of the BBQ sauce mixed perfectly with the spiciness from the cheese sauce and BBQ seasoning. The pulled pork itself was excellent as well – flavourful, moist and seasoned wonderfully. I also ordered their beef brisket plate. The thinly sliced brisket was fall apart tender and had a great smoky flavor. It was accompanied by two of their homemade sides. I went with the house made kettle chips and their creamy mac-n-cheese – both were very well executed. This was, without a doubt, one of the best meals we had all day.


Wandering around Beale St for a while put us in the mood for our final stop of the day, Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous. I have to admit, I’m usually not a huge fan of ribs; they generally are full of fat and come covered in a sauce that’s too sweet for my liking. However, after experiencing the pork ribs here, my opinion drastically changed.


They use a dry rub at Rendezvous instead of the usual wet BBQ sauce. It’s an unbelievable combination of oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika. The ribs are first based with a touch vinegar and then the rub is shaken on. This is where I was also taught how to correctly eat a rack of ribs – resting your teeth against the bone and gently pulling the meat away. Since these ribs were cooked so flawlessly it took no effort to get the meat off the bone. They are simply the best – moist, tender, juicy and seasoned beyond perfection.


I could not have asked for a better way to end our incredible tour of Memphis BBQ!

I cannot wait to return to Memphis! However, hopefully next time we will have more than just one day to fill our bellies with BBQ goodness!

Interstate Bar B Q
Memphis Airport
Memphis, TN 38118

Corky’s Bar-B-Q
5259 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38119

Central BBQ
2249 Central Ave
Memphis, TN 38104

Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous
52 S 2nd St
Memphis, TN 38103