Nopbe Jr.'s has been around for some years now, an oil-drum smoker outside and a takeout counter in an outbuilding in the parking lot of the Shell station at Powerline and Sunrise, among a grubby strip of tire shops, convenience stores and the like, a mere five or so minutes from gleaming Downtown Fort Lauderdale and prime beaches. There's a smog-lashed vinyl sign tied to something saying it was voted best barbecue in the Sun Sentinel and other pubs some time back.
Sounds accurate enough. The ribs are pretty damn fine. Not the leanest of slabs, but tender and chewy all at once, pink inside with a bit of char on the outside and wonderfully smoky (if smoky is what you like). The sauce is North Carolina style, with mustard and black pepper front and center. At $5.00 for a lunch plate with 2 sides before 3PM, it's the best barbecue bargain I've found around here by far--ribs probably on par with Jack's, at Soul Food BBQ prices. They also do pork, chicken and some other stuff I forget. Don't expect much from the sides and they won't expect much from you; the beans were agreeable if straight from the can and the collards were decent.
Not for the squeamish (hey, Goodbelly). It's a bit ramshackle and there's an ashtray by the register, and the (wood) smoker is, after all, under a tent in a busy gas station parking lot on a traffic-clogged stretch of Sunrise. No seating whatsoever and no decent place to sit in walking distance, and if you want a bathroom.. it's a gas station.
If this doesn't scare you off and you've already been to Tom Jenkins and Jack's, I recommend it as a great next stop for one of those days when getting takeout will do. Enough with all this nonsense about high-concept dining in South Beach and where to get the most decadent truffle tasting menu in Palm Beach. Viva chow!
Anyone know anything about the competing operation in the parking lot of the other gas station right across the street?
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