Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shiver's BBQ

28001 S Dixie Hwy
Homestead, FL 33033
(305) 248-2272

On our way back up US 1 out of the Keys, we were looking for somewhere not too far out of the way to stop for lunch, but also not too far out of the way, in general. We were also on the lookout for some meat. I mean I LOVE seafood, but a couple of days with no pork is a couple of days too long. Shiver's for some BBQ was the obvious choice.

This place is located in Homestead, home to a huge Nascar race, and apparantly, they have a following among those fans. Now all things aside, one thing that I will give to race fans is that they know barbecue. Shiver's (pronounced SHY-vers) has been around for over 50 years, and it seems they have not changed much. They had a basic BBQ menu with some interesting sides. I went for the baby back ribs and pulled pork combo with coleslaw and cornbread souffle. This came served with a slice of buttered toast on a metal tray. No-frills comfort food. They also offered a regular BBQ sauce, a peppered sauce, and a vinegar based sauce. Our server gave us the heads-up that the vinegar based sauce was bland. Good call, but also very confusing. Normally vinegar sauces kick you in the sinuses, what kind of magic did they work to take the tang out of vinegar, more importantly why would they do such a thing? Luckily the pepper sauce was pretty tasty, as the traditional sauce was also lacking (it tasted like Kraft). But back to the meat. The pulled pork was good, not great, but tender, slightly smokey, and when smothered in peppery tomato based sauce, it hit the spot. The baby backs were even better, not quite falling off the bone, but very nearly, and had a nice consistency to them. The coleslaw and cornbread souffle, however, were the stars of the meal. The slaw was a perfect example of traditional Southern coleslaw – creamy, pungent and slightly peppery. The cornbread souffle was light, sweet, airy and riddled with kernels of corn. I loved it.

The BBQ chicken and ribs combo was not quite as good. The ribs were spare ribs, not baby back, and although ample, I am a real sucker for the baby back variety. The chicken was also tasty, but nothing spectacular. The baked beans were standard, not quite as exciting as the souffle. I was a fan of the this place, as it was truly a down-home joint, and a welcome reprieve from my pescetarian diet of the previous days. I would definitely recommend it as a stop on the way back from a trip to the Keys.

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