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Restaurants & Bars

Big Q Smoke Barbeque -- another Ft. Lauderdale gas station

s.m. koppelman | Dec 20, 200206:31 PM

In my posting re: Noble Jr.'s a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that there was another takeout barbecue running out of the other gas station at Powerline and Sunrise in Ft. Lauderdale. Big Q Smoke is it--a yellow mobile kitchen parked in the Sunoco lot, and a couple of sturdy old smokers by the side of the road puffing away. No tables, no chairs, no counter. Stictly takeout. I wasn't ready to eat anytime soon, but I was coming out of the hardware store next door so I figured I'd have a look. When I asked the proprietor whose cue was better--his or his rival's--he laughed, acted wounded, and insisted I try a rib. "It's Christmas".

Oh, I thanked him. Did I ever. I told him I'd be back.

I drove off and ran some more errands and oh man was that rib haunting me, so at about 6:30 there I was again.

It's only open Friday and Saturday, 11 AM - 10 PM, the year-and-a-half-old weekend gig of yet another Ft. Lauderdale barbecue monomaniac. It's just ribs, chicken and--on sandwiches only--chopped pork. I got a rib dinner. As seems to be usual around here, the sides weren't anything great. Decent mac and cheese, okay collards served spiked hard with peppery vinegar, and (sigh) beans straight from a can with no doctoring. The starch for soaking up extra sauce is plain old slices of white bread.

The ribs, though. Ah, the ribs. Falling-off-the-bone tender, pink, with a charred, chewy outside. They use better meat (and charge a bit more) than Noble's. And the sauces--a mild Carolina mustard sauce and a hot tomato-based one--are just right (if you don't say which you want, you get "medium", which is equal squirts of each).

Recommended. Even better than Noble's, maybe, but why give rankings in a close race like this? It's some of the best in town. Go.

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