Gator’s BBQ

Review by: Dale Fine

       Back in February 2016, several folks from all over the country converged on Jacksonville for a weekend of comeraderie and good Roadfood.   We were hoping to seek out some good BBQ and thanks to Roadfooder Crew84Row who did some previous research, our search was short lived.
       Gator’s BBQ is located due west of downtown Jacksonville . Primarily take-out, it is housed in a small stand-alone brick building. Venture behind  the restaurant and you’ll find a generously sized wood pile — a promising sign of  tasty Q to come.
       Entering the restaurant,  you are greeted by a cozy room with a few tables offering chair or bench seating for hungry customers who opt to eat in. Keep in mind it does get busy, especially on weekends.
       We began our meals with crispy fried squash which was just begging to be dipped in house made swamp sauce, a creamy horseradish concoction. Although Gator’s offers brisket, cajun sausage, smoked chicken and pork chops, I naturally went with the smoked pork and ribs. The smoked pork was luxuriously smoky with a nice amount of bark. The ribs were tender with just enough chaw to let me know that they were smoked low and slow over oak.
       Typical of most North Florida BBQ joints,  squirt bottles of golden mustard BBQ sauce reminiscent of the South Carolina midlands are readily available, along with  several other sauces to add to your Q at will. In my opinion, anything more than a squirt or two is a distraction.
       My sides included fresh from the fryer fried corn on the cob and some of the smokiest Brunswick stew this side of Georgia.
       Our meal concluded with a small sampling of Gators’ homemade banana pudding.
       John and Sandy Shepherd, husband and wife owners of Gators BBQ, were  gracious hosts and all of us were glad we had the opportunity to visit one of Jacksonville’s finest BBQ Meccas.

What To Eat

Smoked Pork

Brunswick Stew

Fried Squash

Swamp Sauce

Banana Pudding


Gator’s BBQ Recipes


What do you think of Gator’s BBQ?

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