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Restaurants & Bars 4

M+E Bar-B-Q, SR 40 halfway between I-95 and Ocala

s.m. koppelman | Sep 4, 200506:41 AM

Stopped here last week on a drive up to Georgia that kept a few of us out of the hurricane. It's a scrubby lot containing a trailer piled with wood, a tiny, rickety screened shed containing a smoker, an old mini schoolbus serving food out the window, two picnic tables, and shade for the owner and his buddies provided by freestanding carport (complete with an ad for the maker) with a half-dozen lawn chairs under it.

Portions were enormous: a $5.50 pulled pork sandwich weighed well over a pound. Maybe two. A $10.50 half rack of meaty St. Louis ribs turned out to be a big pile of ten or so.

The meat had a good black-peppery dry rub. Sauce was tomato based, not overly sweet, stuck to the ribs decently and blended well with the pulled pork. Everything was tender without falling apart and smoky. There was a touch of waiet in the flavor; whether it came from humidity in the cooking process or from (perish the thought) boiling the ribs I don't know, but the smoke still wins out. Pretty good overall, even with my bias toward pure, dry smoke and heat. Definitely worth a stop if passing through.

I don't know the area, so the best I can do for landmarks with any certainty is that it's just east of an intersection leading to Deland to the south and Pierson to the north. It may be between US 17 and SR 19 but I may be confused. There's a boiled peanut stand (well, a pickup truck and a folding table, anyway) across the street, at least sometimes.

Beats me what the hours are, but you can be sure it's closed Sundays.

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