May

15

I like to write about the merits of good BBQ. As much as I like to write about good BBQ, I love the search to all corners of the South in order to find the best BBQ around. I've found a little gem in my backyard that's just an hour away from my front door. Located in Arcadia, Florida, Slim's Barbeque is as good as it gets. Walking into the restaurant, one's nose immediately picks up the fact that Slim's is the real deal, and not one of those chains like Sonny's. The waitress automatically seats you and gives you a 24 0z glass of sweet tea that tastes as good as ambrosia. Without any pretense, she rattles off the listings, and adds…what's real good today. When I drove over to Arcadia yesterday, I ordered a combo plate, which was a combination of ribs, chicken, and sliced pork. I added some grilled garlic bread, some BBQ beans, and cole slaw to the mix, and was ready to do some serious chowing down . Listening to Randy Travis on the jukebox, and looking at all the real cowboys in the place made me realize that I'm in the original South Florida, not the Yankee coasts. My food showed up after awhile, and I noticed the nice smoke rings on the sliced pork. My taste buds told me that the ribs and chicken were succulent, tender, tasty, and perfectly done. Slim's BBQ menu is so well prepared, one would enjoy it even without the sauce. Adding sauce to the meat is like listening to Vivaldi while reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle….it just makes it better. The sauce is a sweet, tomato based sauce with a secret recipe, and is in my top 5 for BBQ sauces. Since they sell their sauce, I always get a couple of bottles whenever I'm there. Anyways, I ripped through the food like I was coming off a fast. The side orders were first rate, the grilled garlic bread done in the Southern BBQ place style, on the grill.  Slim's uses French bread instead of Texas Toast for it's garlic bread, and that makes a difference. The cole slaw was homemade, from local ingredients. They put a bit of celery seed in the slaw to give it that distinctive old Florida flavor. The beans had a lot of pork, with their smoky distinctive BBQ sauce taste. Eating good BBQ, drinking a gallon of sweet tea, and listening to country music on the juke box made it a real enjoyable experience. In fact, I'd rate this experience a 9.5/10, and I'm a tough critic. Slim's has been around for 50 years or so, and they must be doing something right. Slims offers other menu choices, but everyone goes for the combo plates, rib plates, or sandwich plates. On my way out of there, I bought a few extra sliced pork sandwiches to bring back home. I gave a couple to friends, and saved one for later. That's how we do it here in Florida…if one goes to Slim's, one must bring back some sandwiches for friends, or remain silent about the whole adventure. Given the choice of going to the best restaurant in Sarasota or Slim's BBQ in Arcadia…..Slim's will win out every time.


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