Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bodacious, Indeed: Bubbalou's Bodacious Bar-B-Que Review

Eating Orlando readers picked Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que as the best in Orlando. A safe, easy choice, but not a bad one. Bubbalou’s has to be my favorite place to eat barbecue in the Orlando area. You can’t beat the location, the service, or the food. And you surely can’t beat the name.

Yes, Bubbalou’s has expanded from its mom-and-pop origins to giant, chain-like restaurants across the area. Yes, their catering vans are everywhere. But yes, the Winter Park location is still small and still on Lee Road. Yes, the employees are still grease stained and smell of hickory smoke and Marlboros. And yes, the barbecue is still delicious.

Normally, I stop at Bubbalou’s for a quick, lunchtime pork sandwich. The sandwich is big, tasty, and served fast. The place is always packed, but if you do find a seat, it’s great fun to eat on the old picnic tables right along with used car salesmen, blue collar types, and quite a few members of Winter Park’s finest. It seems everyone loves their Q.

On my most recent visit, however, I decided to have dinner and order the Baby Back Ribs ($13.99). I’ve had them before, but I couldn’t remember if they were good or not. After my dinner tonight, I can’t get the ribs out of my mind.

A light rub, a slight smokiness, more than a hint of sweetness, and a divine tendency to fall right off the bones, the ribs at Bubbalou’s were close to perfection.

I’m a sauce guy. Everything is better with hot sauce or barbecue sauce (or gravy for that matter). I love to sauce just about anything. But tonight, I couldn’t bring myself to even dabble my ribs in sauce. They were just too moist and delicious without it. If you ask any of my regular dining companions, they will surely tell you what a high compliment that is from me.

Oh, and the sides were almost as good as the ribs.

Fries: Crinkly. Golden. Crispy. Perfect.
Slaw: Chopped. Sweet. Runny. Perfect.
Beans: Saucy. Meaty. Syrupy. Perfect.
Bread: Garlicky. Buttery. Plentiful. Perfect.

What can I say? Bubbalou’s hit it out of the park tonight. Readers, you know good BBQ.

5 Bodacious Bones out of 5

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que1471 Lee Road
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 628-1212

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