Friday 13 December 2013

Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue, 204 NE 1st St, Miami, FL 33131

I’m going to be spending a lot of time in Miami next year and one thing that is really important to me is to find an amazing BBQ restaurant, somewhere I can rely on 100% of the time, somewhere where I can eat at least once a week. I found a local place called Jimmy’s BBQ, which was fine; but that was all that it was: fine. I was really disappointed by this so did a little bit of Google research. Then I found Sparky’s…

This place is listed in the top 2% of restaurants in Miami, of which there are 3,535! It is a short ride away on the Miami Metro Mover, a free-to-ride light rail system with a station that is directly opposite Sparky’s, a very unassuming looking place that you probably wouldn’t give a second look to if you didn’t know it was there.

Inside is more of the same: unassuming, but with a great character and an eclectic mix of customers; suited-and-booted city boys, local workmen and cops. In my experience, any eatery in the USA which attracts cops is worth a try, given that they mostly spend their days driving around looking for the next bite to eat. We sat down and ordered from the super-friendly staff.

I had one of the combo meals: pulled pork, brisket and two sides for $14.75. This was easily amongst the best pulled pork I’ve ever eaten; it was full of flavour and melted in the mouth. The brisket was just as good, much more thinly sliced than I had experienced before, all the better for it. The brisket was beautifully marbled which gave it a fantastic flavour. The sides were both good too, which were fries and coleslaw.

Sparky’s makes its own BBQ sauces, many flavours of them. The classic BBQ sauce is probably the best but all are tasty. We were offered some spicy sauce by one of the staff and whilst these were American spicy (i.e. not very spicy at all) they were incredibly tasty. Alternating between the various sauces available really elevated this dish further still, it just kept on giving.

This was easily enough food for me; however, I had a sudden realisation that I had been in Florida for a week and hadn’t eaten any key lime pie! This was a) quickly rectified and b) a big mistake because I couldn’t move after that.

The combo I ate at Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue is a very deserving SUPER-DISH and somewhere I expect to visit many, many times next year. If a measure of success is how long before you visit a restaurant again, then the fact that we were sitting there less than 24 hours later means it must be very good indeed. Highly recommended.

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