Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chunky T's Old FLA BBQ

Chunky T's takes their BBQ seriously. When you pull up outside at 918 NE 16th Avenue, the first thing you see is a giant smoker housed in its own tent. There is a pile of wood and a smaller smoker for tempeh. Okay, so the smoker isn't GIANT, but it's pretty big considering the size of the dining room. Chunky T's is first come-first serve BBQ, which is usually the best. They make a certain amount of each item and when they're out, they're out. So if, for example, you really want some brisket, you better show up within the first 2 days of the week they're open. This ensures that you get amazing BBQ every time. It hasn't been thrown together to quickly fill orders. Chunky T's has taken their time to make your food the right way.


This restaurant is a small white room with a tiny ordering counter. There are various types of patio/picnic furniture on which to sit. It probably seats 20 people or so. Like I said, it's about the BBQ, not the place. Even so, they display local art with any blues, Florida, or nature themes. I have a soft spot for places that show local artists off. When I went, they had these gorgeous oil paintings of blues artists. There was a great one of local legend, Bo Diddley. They also appear to have a small stage, but there was nothing going on when we were there. Then there is the giant pig. Yes, there is a large pig statue painted a perfect pepto pink. No big deal. We're here to eat.


Pretty fast. I don't really know how busy it gets earlier in the week (they are open Tue-Sat 11am-8pm). We went on a weekend, when they had a sign on the door that they were out of everything expect pulled pork and tempeh. I wasn't kidding when I said to go there early in the week if there's only one thing you want. Our orders were taken immediately, kindly, and delivered promptly.


It's an old style BBQ place. Think brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, mac 'n' cheese, green beans, baked beans, ribs, and chicken. They also have turkey and BBQ tempeh. Remember, once they run out of something, that's it for the week. There will be a sign on the door.


They have a few beers and drink options, but nothing amazing. The BBQ is great! It's flavorful, juicy, and drenched in a mustard-based BBQ sauce instead of tomato-based. If you've never tried mustard BBQ sauce, you should give it a shot! It is more tangy than sweet, and so delicious. Alex has said he could chug the stuff and not feel bad about it. It's that good. I tried their pulled pork sandwich, and Alex has had the brisket. I would probably put the pork up against any other BBQ place in town. It spilled its heavenly goodness over the sides of the bun and onto my wax paper-lined basket. Half the sandwich may have ended up there. Anyway, there was nothing left by the time I was done. Oh, I loved that they offer two sandwich sizes! I hate having to order the same size sandwich as Alex when one half the size would do me just as well, without that guilty feeling of leaving amazing food on my plate. One just has more meat than the other, it's not like a sandwich cut in half or anything. A surprising tidbit- their mac 'n' cheese is some of the best I've had at a BBQ joint! Not watery, not chewy or dry. Just perfect. The beans leave something to be desired, but what do you expect? Honestly, they probably use canned baked beans. Don't bother getting them, just go for the mac.


Affordable. It's about what you'd expect to pay for a BBQ sandwich and a side.


We're pretty smitten with Chunky T's. I want to go back. Alex has already gone back. If I worked closer, I'd definitely go there for lunch all the time. I'd give it an 8.5/10. The other 1.5 points are for the very "meh" sides (except the mac 'n' cheese), and they could probably use a better beer selection. Plus the fact that they run out of brisket. I understand it's because it is so good, and I think it is entirely appropriate to smoke what you're gonna smoke and be done with it for the week, but I want some brisket, dammit!