Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL

Junior Burger
2006/03/20 08:26:39
The best bar-B-Que around!!! I discovered Tom Jenkins one day by driving by and seeing all the smoke coming from the chimney and the smell was to die for. It was wonderful. It stays packed from the time they open @ 11:00 am until closing time everyday. They are not open on Sundays or Mondays and they don't take credit cards (just to give you a heads up). Please, if you are in the Fort Lauderdale area, please check out Tom Jenkins on US 1 highway. You will definitely go back again and again and also take a friend.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/20 13:52:32
I have often lamented the lack of "real" barbecue here in Florida.  You would think as big a state as Florida is, there would be some decent 'que SOMEWHERE.  It took some time, but I finally found something worthy of the name.  I made two visits here (somewhat) recently - to prove that the first one wasn't a fluke - that is where my jaded nature on Florida bbq has led me.

Tom Jenkins' BBQ is located right on US Highway 1 in Fort Lauderdale - yet, somehow, I almost managed to drive right passed it - twice!

The minute you step out of the car, the intoxicating aroma of pit smoke envelopes you.  Off to the side, you can see what will soon become the mechanism for making this fine barbecue.

Most of my decor shots came out crappy - and even this shot of the menu isn't the best.  But, it gives you a little idea of the place.  Most of the decor consists of old concert fliers from legendary African-American artists of the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  Sam Cooke is visible here.  They also try to educate their consumers as to what barbecue should be, as evidenced by the "Pink is Good" sign, advising customers that the smoking process produces the pink ring on the 'que.  Believe it or not, this type of education is still somewhat warranted in areas where "true" barbecue is not readily available.

The pit.  Again, I don't know that anyone is going to confuse me with Ansel Adams with this photo, but it should give you the idea of what they're cooking.  For the record, we dined there on a Wednesday afternoon/early evening (pre-dinner rush) and on a Saturday afternoon - around the same time.  The pit was arranged in much the same way both visits.

All meals, whether you choose to eat in or take away, are packaged to go - with a ramiken of their barbecue sauce on the side.  What lies beneath the wax paper???

Glorious baby back ribs!  These were fabulous.  I don't usually judge barbecue operations on baby back ribs, but these were F-I-N-E, fine.  The meat was tender, but not "falling off the bone," as so many misinterpret good 'que to be.  There was potent smoky flavor, as evidenced by the aforementioned thick layer of pink smoke ring.

In the background are some ordinary fries and top tier macaroni and cheese.

The exterior "crust" of the ribs had excellent chew, perfect to compliment the tender meat inside. 

Have I mentioned that I liked the ribs?

I have also written of my love for mac and cheese.  This stuff was in the top ten or twenty percent of my mac and cheese favorites.  This is also my preferred method of preparation - baked; it had good cheesy flavor, but wasn't the overly creamy stuff that I can do with out. 

One of the previous "complaints" (if you could call it that) about Tom Jenkins' BBQ is that they don't take credit cards.  Somewhere along the way, they seem to have rectified that situation, as I used my card there twice.

I can say - without a doubt - this is barbecue that would make pitmasters in KC, Carolina, or anywhere else proud.  Should you find yourself down FLL way, this is surely a good option for any 'que-lovin' Roadfooder!

Tom Jenkins Bar-BQ

1236 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-2067
(954) 522-5046
post edited by The Travelin Man - 2009/06/20 13:58:16
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/20 14:48:27
Review and History from the Miami Herald.
(Click on "Show Review")
post edited by MiamiDon - 2009/06/21 09:13:02
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/20 17:19:56
So Floridians discovered these two guys many, many years ago when they first sold their ribs out of the back of their cars on the weekends. They developed quite a following.  They did it on the weekends; they worked in the computer industry for I believe IBM. 

They finally took the plunge and put up a bricks and mortar place and made it.  Great story for you guys that post on Professional Forum with your hot dog and other uniqie cart offerings.  Dreams do come true. 

But, if you live in Central or Northern Florida, there is a place I think is very very close to if not equal to TJ's....It's called Pearl's Country Store in Micanopy (just outside Gainesville).  This place is right up there with TJ's.  Right there!  They have brisket, too.  One difference is Pearl's Country store uses a Southern Pride smoker they have built into the wall vs an open pit, but the "Q" is equally as good IMHO.  Their sides are great, too.  TJ's mac n cheese is terrific..So is Pearl's version.

Speaking about the lack of decent "Q"?  Rockin Ribz in Sanford (near Orlando) is more than decent.  Their only negative, which we mentioned in our report (JoeR) was their mac n cheese.  Not good.  But, their ribs were very good.  The new owner needs some support so any of you in the Orlando area why not give her a try. 
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/20 18:03:53
Baah Ben, I concur on Rockin' Ribz.    I think I know something about decent BBQ, too.
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/20 18:09:04
Wow!  I certainly wouldn't think to expect good bbq in South Florida, but those photos have convinced me otherwise.  Simply gorgeous pics TTM.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/21 07:57:25
QFan has occasion to use the Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood airport from time to time.  For any RF-ers using the airport, Tom Jenkins' is just north of the airport.  It's less than 10 mins drive on US 1 (Federal Hwy) on the right hand side of the road.  Just turn north on Hwy 1 as you leave the airport and start looking for it when you get into the built-up commercial area a few mins north of the airport.
Bonita Springs, FL
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/21 09:09:59
One of these days I'll get there.  I had a plan the other month to stop by on the way back from Daytona.  I called first, and found that they are not open on Sundays. 
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/21 09:30:11
Yeah, TTM, but did you LIKE the place?   ;~) 
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Que in Fort. Lauderdale, FL 2009/06/21 10:34:46
It was OK.