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Contact Us,Trying to determine a list of the best barbecue is kind of like trying to find the best pair of jeans. There are so many different cuts, styles, and fabrics, the idea of picking just one that represents them all perfectly is near impossible.

American barbecue is not something that can be easily defined. From North to South and the East Coast to the West there are literally dozens of regional styles to consider, from Memphis and Carolina’s famed pulled pork to St. Louis style spare ribs, Alabama’s white barbecue smothered chicken, Kansas City’s burnt ends, and Texas brisket.

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Here in South Florida, where the Southern influence can be felt even hundreds of miles from the ‘cue belt of the nation, pig and cow lovers can brag and say we have a little bit of everything when it comes to authentic regional barbecue staples. Are some better than others? Of course. So we’ve sifted through the good, the mediocre, and the bad to give you this list: the ten best barbecue restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Photo courtesy of Blue Front BBQ

10. Blue Front Bar Grill

1132 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth.

Don’t let the quasi art deco building that once housed Jetsetters Lounge in West Palm Beach fool you: Blue Front Bar Grill is as good as it gets in Palm Beach County when it comes to barbecue. The menu is a mashup of all American soul classics, everything from ribs, pulled pork, and collard greens to some killer cornbread and macaroni and cheese. Owner David Paladino and his family purchased the iconic, Florida born Blue Front Bar B Que sauce company in 2011 from Annie Nelson, widow of the company’s founder, Norris Nelson. As the story goes, Nelson began his barbecue operation in 1964 at the corner of 15th Street and Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach. Growing up in Eastman, Georgia, he learned to cook from his father ribs and chicken slathered in a spicy BBQ sauce that quickly became a hit, beloved by all the locals who frequented his shop. It became so popular, Norris began selling his sauce in empty soda bottles. Later, in 1979, he patented the name Blue Front Bar B Que Inc. and began marketing his sauce to the public in many stores throughout the country. Now, more than 40 years later,
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you can even get a potent cocktail during happy hour, a side or two of live music to go along with your meal, and a to go bottle of that famous barbecue sauce for savoring the flavor at home.

9. Carousel BBQ

204 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach. Call 754 212 4535.

Happy customers and barbecue lovers know 1 year old Carousel BBQ in Deerfield Beach well, where chef owner Leroy Jones has been cooking his Memphis and Georgia style eats and Southern soul food in the former Lil’ Ole Caboose space. The restaurant, once a food truck based in West Palm Beach, actually got its start with Dora McElhaney, a Georgia native known for many years across the region for her Southern style dishes she’d learned to make from her mother and aunt, like collard greens, green beans, and candied yams. Her specialty was barbecued ribs. A regular contestant for the city’s Ribfest, she took home four first place finishes during her time at Carousel, including her last in 1996. The next year, McElhaney partnered with Jones, and together they moved the business to Pompano Beach, where they continued to cook for many years, melding the best of both families’ secret recipes to create the Carousel BBQ menu. Today, the Carousel menu is simple and straightforward: barbecued meats, fried seafood, and sides that can be mixed and matched in lunch or dinner sized portions. That includes racks of spare and baby back ribs, pulled pork served with buttered and toasted slices of white bread, and baskets of fried shrimp and conch all of it prepared by Jones, who slow cooks meats for hours at a time in the restaurant’s new propane and wood fired smoker out back.

8. Greenwood BBQ

2014 NE 36th St., Lighthouse Point.

Almost 1 year old, Greenwood BBQ in Lighthouse Point focuses on quality meats that have been meticulously sourced, served in environmentally conscious style. Its owners call it “clean barbecue.” The dining room is painted with “eco friendly” paint and decorated with all natural bamboo furniture. Cups, straws, and plates are disposable and compostable. And to ensure clean meat,
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Greenwood’s general manager, Lillian Hines, juggles orders from three vendors across the country, buying grass fed beef and heritage pork that has been raised humanely and without the use of antibiotics, steroids, or GMO feed. Her hustle pays off in the pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. Flavors seem brighter and more intense than an average barbecue and the cuts leaner. The best seller: the pork spare ribs, taken from the belly side of the pig’s rib cage. Flatter than back ribs, which are curved, belly ribs have more bone than meat but loads of flavor. Fall off the bone, though, these are not. And while barbecue enthusiasts notoriously love to battle over which ‘cue style is the best, Greenwood subscribes to no particular style. Carolina pulled pork is served with a vinegary mop sauce; a serious smoked beef brisket with a hotter sauce, as is typically found in Texas; pork ribs come Memphis style in a tangy tomato based sauce.

7. BBQ King

2500 W. Davie Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954 835 5325.

Located on a strange little stretch of West Davie Boulevard, between I 95 and 441, is BBQ King one of many hole in the wall restaurants littered among a string of ethnic joints you’ll find in this area. There’s mom and pop Chinese takeouts with waiting rooms no bigger than a hall closet, some Salvadoran pupusa action, tongue tacos at the Guatemalan place, conch soup at the Honduran comedor, as well as Mexican and Haitian hideouts. But these days, you can’t miss the unmistakable smoke and aroma of barbecue streaming from the self proclaimed “World Famous” BBQ King, packed into a squat orange pillbox that was formerly a paintball shop. Here, they serve up simple barbecue that its proprietors perfected in Alabama. Of course, claiming to be barbecue royalty takes serious gumption unless you can prove your worth. This bright orange BBQ bunker with a smoker out back has earned its crown. The Southern style barbecue joint fills the surrounding neighborhood with the aroma of slowly smoking pork and chicken. Heaps of meat and traditional Southern porcine filled fare is matched by some less traditional (yet very South Florida) offerings of jerk chicken,
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smoothies, and seafood salad.