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More barbecue to 'worship' in the SouthShore and Brandon area

More barbecue to 'worship'

The SouthShore and Brandon area has as many barbecue restaurants as it does churches. Well, not quite but for many, 'cue is a religion unto itself. In addition to the local restaurants we reviewed, here are some of the places you can worship.

— Ernest Hooper, Times staff writer


957 E Brandon Blvd., Brandon

(813) 685-1800

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

Hooper's take: Relatively new to Brandon. Salads are referred to as "rabbit food" and "Rocky Mountain oysters" are really fried chicken breast bites stuffed with swiss cheese and bacon, but you can "fool your friends in the trailer park."

Down To The Bone

110 S Kings Ave., Brandon

(813) 653-9903

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Hooper's take: Open since 2003, owner/founder Mark Nettles operates with recipes handed down from his "Madea" in St. Petersburg.

First Choice

10113 Adamo Drive, Brandon

(813) 621-7434

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hooper's take: A favorite of chief financial officer Alex Sink, First Choice has drawn lines since 1992. It now has a second location in Plant City (712 S Collins St.).


3331 Lithia-Pinecrest Road, Valrico

(813) 657-4227

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Hooper's take: Open since 2005, Jaymer prides himself on tender, fully-smoked meats. He shares a patio with the adjacent Cyndi's Corner Cafe, operated by his wife.

JR's Floribbean Outpost

1001 W U.S. 92, Seffner

(813) 655-1760

Hours: Noon until ...

Hooper's take: A restaurant/watering hole, JR's is known for Caribbean-flavored meats and an impressive collection of hot sauces.

Shane's Rib Shack

6020 Winthrop Town Drive, Riverview

(813) 661-6500

Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hooper's take: On the Web site, visitors must agree to legal terms before learning the secret of Shane's sauce.


10010 Adamo Drive, Brandon

(813) 621-8784

724 Cypress Village Blvd., Sun City Center

(813) 642-0907

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Hooper's take: Founded in Gainesville in 1968, the Brandon store consistently ranks as one of the top 10 performers in the franchise. Gators like me swear by Sonny's.

Mike's Smokehouse BBQ & Grill

7117 N U.S. 301, Tampa

(813) 626-5222

Hours: Monday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hooper's take: The "Redneck Platter" features frog legs, gator, catfish, hush puppies and coleslaw.

Smokey Bones

136 Brandon Town Center Drive

(813) 655-3400

Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight. Open till 1 a.m. Tuesdays for beer pong tournament.

Hooper's take: Probably best place in Brandon to eat barbecue and catch the big game.

Smokin' Joes

10252 County Road 39 S, Lithia

(813) 737-3010

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Hooper's take: Next to the Rick's Custom Meats, it has quickly built a reputation as one of the area's best.

Squirrel's Kitchen

Bloomingdale Avenue and Hoover Road

(813) 458-1362

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Hooper's take: Great pulled pork and side dishes. Offers smoked mullet, too.

Trust Me

8624 U.S. 301 S, Riverview

(813) 919-6410

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

Hooper's take: Spices and sauce complement the meat without overpowering it. Ribs are a must-try.

More barbecue to 'worship' in the SouthShore and Brandon area 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:49pm]
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