Two weeks ago, I went to Jack's Smokehouse, a newish joint on Oakland Park that's been getting a lot of press lately. The press is deserved. It's a small repurposed fast-food place with bathrooms on the outside, picnic tables on the inside (and a few in the parking lot), and a drive-thru that stays open late.
I had a sliced pork sandwich. The meat was lean, butter-soft, pink and smoky as all get-out. It was topped with a just-right sauce. It's good. Really good. I mean, man oh man it's good. Oooh, it's good. The sides were nothing special, but oh, that barbecue. Oh.
Contrast with the big Scoby's that opened last year in Davie. I stopped there in the middle of one of my weekend 50-mile bike rides knowing nothing about it. It's a cavernous place filled with mock picnic tables. It's under-decorated, proabably because there's just too much wall to cover. They have a large indoor barbecue rig that looks like a giant wood-fired pizza oven in open view. They've also gotten very good reviews in the Herald and Sun-Sentinel, and the original Pembroke Pines location that I haven't tried has a good rep.
The staff was friendly and the sides were decent. They have 5 barbecue sauces on each table, one a North Carolina mustard-based one, the rest tomato-based dark ones in nearly-indistinguishable grades of spiciness save for the hottest.
Alas, I tried their sliced beef and it came out barely warm, and it was tough and almost rubbery. Smoky, though. Maybe it was an off afternoon. If anyone's had a better experience there recently, I'll give it another chance.. but on the basis of this visit, I don't plan to go back. Who has time for tough barbecue?