Florida off the bone

Now before anyone from Memphis or Texas or North Carolina gets all bent out of shape here, I must say that I am by no means saying that Florida has the best barbecue in the world.  I can’t say that, because I haven’t tried anyone else’s offerings, although if someone wants to extend me an invitation to stay with them and sample the world’s best barbecue in whatever city they believe has it, I will strongly consider it.  So I will say that while Florida may or may not have the best barbecue around, it does have plenty of it, and it is some pretty some pretty good food.

Growing up, I never had any real barbecue at all.  We would actually talk about barbecuing when we cooked out over coals, which anyone who knows anything about barbecue knows, is not really barbecuing.  I had a few things cooked with barbecue sauce on them, but not the slow-cooked smokey meat that is true barbecue.  I never had that at all until I moved to Florida, and I was instantly hooked on it.

In Gainesville, there are sit down barbecue places, like Sonny’s, which started here, and there are semi-sit down places where there may be a booth or two and there’s a permanent building, and then there are the take out places that are usually mobile.  A lot of the mobile places have permanent spaces that they occupy, but if they need to move for whatever reason, they can.  There may even be a few of them with tables or chairs scattered around the yard, but mostly these are walk-up windows that give you food to take with you.  And while I will not claim to be a barbecue expert by any means, I really like going to a place where all that matters is the food.

Terrell’s is one that I pass frequently and that always, always smells so good I just about want to die from it.  You can see that there are two parts to this mobile kitchen, the part for humans, with a window and condiments and fixings, and the one for meat, with a lot of smoke.  That smoker is magic, I tell you what.

I’m sorry, but this is the kind of food that just requires a little bit of corniness and a little bit of an accent.

The menu here includes all the meats that matter – beef, pork and chicken.  Ribs, of course, are high on the list, but that’s not what I ordered.  I’ll leave them to those who like bones more than meat, although I won’t complain if someone were to give me some.  Likewise, the chicken.  That’s just not quite what I want.  The cow is usually good when smoked all day long, but it isn’t my favorite, either.  What I love, more than anything else, the thing that made me fall in love with barbecue, is pulled pork, smoked until it is falling apart, and then piled on a bun (or garlic toast).  This is maybe the best food in the whole wide world, and Terrell’s does a really good job with it.

The only problem is, I gave up eating out for Lent.  So I bought this, because this isn’t the kind of place where you can say “let me take a picture of all your food, but I’m not buying it,” but then I couldn’t eat it.  It made me want to cry.  Funny thing is, though, I really didn’t have any trouble at all finding a couple of volunteers to help me out with my dilemma.  Thanks girls!

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