I made my way to Myron Mixon's new Pride & Joy BBQ last night and it was an interesting experience to say the least. This is a 'destination' type place as its not in Miami's best neighborhood (and we'll get to that later).
I arrived right around 5 as that's when any BBQ place is starting to pull product off the smoker as the dinner hour is near. I sat at the bar, went over the menu carefully before making my selections and my servers were Ann Marie and Lido.
First, their beer menu is extensive - both in the bottle and on tap. Problem is, they don't have much of what's on their menu so I settled for a bottle of Stella Artois which was $6. It wasn't very cold but I soldiered on from there. The bar area is quite nice and they have an antique pick-up truck as the decorative focal point (but its much too large and takes up too much space but still cool).
My first selection was their smoked chicken wings. I ordered the 8-piece version. Unfortunately, they've chosen to go with a smaller graded wing (yes, wings can be ordered in different sizes!). If these wings ever were smoked, it wasn't for long and then they were deep fried. These were very average and ordinary and rather tasteless. Very unimpressive and not worth the price. Not a great start.
From there, I went for a half rack of the St. Louis style ribs. Yes, ribs come graded as well and these were probably the 1.5-pound slabs so they weren't very large or particularly meaty. That said, they were properly rubbed and smoked and tasted great! If you're looking for "fall off the bone" ribs (and that's not real BBQ) then these aren't for you. If you're a BBQ purist and love a properly smoked ribs that come away from the bone with a gentle tug then you're in the right place! These ribs were excellent.
And then I ordered up a BBQd half chicken. If this half chicken spent much time in the smoker it would be hard to discern as there wasn't much smoke flavor if any. This piece of yardbird was a major disappointment.
At any BBQ establishment, the meat is the thing for me. But I did order cole slaw and it was the type I like - - - rough cut and not minced. It was very tasty and likeable. Large portion.
This establishment looks like a cool, hip BBQ place and the music in the background is blues-based and it's a fun place to be. They also have a lovely back porch / terrace with fantastic, heavy-duty wooden picnic tables and there's a neat fence built out of small smoking logs.
This place is expensive as BBQ goes. My bill with tip was $51 for 1/2 slab or ribs, 8 chicken wings, 1/2 BBQ chicken, cole slaw and 1 beer. I believe that most everything is a la carte and that's unusual in a BBQ restaurant. The ribs were truly excellent while the wings and chicken were fair-at-best. The slaw was delicious. Service was excellent. Ambiance was cool.
Fact is, this is a sketchy neighborhood and parking is an issue. Is it a dangerous neighborhood? I didn't really feel that way (as I'm a 6'6, 290lb guy). But I don't think you would want your wife or girlfriend wondering around by themselves on those side streets far past dark. Walking towards the restaurant and smelling the smoke is a plus, dodging the chickens running around the streets is part of the neighborhood's charm.
How does this place stack up against Brother Jimmy's and Sparky's? To be fair, this place is new and still finding its 'sea legs'. BBQ Legend Myron Mixon is a partner and you expect greatness but he has four other parnters in the venture and it seems like they've opened before they should and they're working out kinks. As the old saying goes, 'you only get one chance to make a first impression'. The food at Brother Jimmys and Sparky's Roadside is far more consistent and the best bet at the moment. But Pride & Joy has potential and is worth the trip but maybe waiting another week or two is advised. Again, those ribs were really great......
Ft. Pierce, FL
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