Tom Jenkins BBQ

Bar-b-q
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

Tom Jenkins is a small place with a big reputation as a source of classic southern-style BBQ meals. Opened in 1996 by a couple of guys who already were known for making fine BBQ sauce, it is a worthy Fort Lauderdale destination for anyone in search of good ribs.

Chopped pork, plump sausages, chicken, and brisket also are on the menu, but meat-laden bones are what draw the crowds. For supreme tenderness, there are baby backs; for maximum flavor, spare ribs. I love the latter: hefty logs laden with meat that pulls easily from the bone and is relatively tender, but muscular enough to offer all the flavor of a good chew. Jenkins’ famous sauce is faintly sweet, complex, and laced with a subtle shot of pepper.

Side dishes, served in Styrofoam (like everything else), look ordinary but taste better than that. Mac & cheese is as tangy as it is comfy; aromatic collard greens are beguilingly pungent. Other available companions include Brunswick stew, potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob.

For dessert, sweet potato pie offers just the right palliative note to end an exciting meal.

Even when it isn’t busy, Tom Jenkins demands patience. Once you place an order at the counter and pay for it, you will wait a while for it to be assembled, at which point you are called up to get it, then find a place at one of the few picnic tables available. When it is crowded (every weekend night, for sure), parking can be scarce and you definitely will wait. It’s worth it.

What to Eat
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Ribs
Ribs
Must-Try
Ribs reward a good chew with tides of smoky pork flavor.
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Sausage
Sausage
Must-Try
Sausage is taut, fatty, flavorful
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Must-Try
Very cheesy mac & cheese
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Must-Try
Potent collard greens are pork's best friend.
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Must-Try
Sweet potato pie is a gently spiced denouement.
Tom Jenkins BBQ, Corn Muffin
Corn Muffin
Perfunctory corn muffin crumbles well over collard greens.
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Arahi’s Bakery

    Miami, Florida

    Open by dawn, Arahi’s is a friendly neighborhood bakery with cakes, pastries, plated hot breakfast, and strong Cuban coffee, all at bargain prices.

  • El Mago de las Fritas

    West Miami, Florida

    El Mago is a happy neighborhood diner serving the unique Miami sandwich known as a frita: a vividly-spiced ground beef patty on a Cuban roll.

  • Sonny’s Famous Steak Hogies

    Hollywood, Florida

    Brash, bustling Sonny’s of Hollywood, Florida, is a destination for seekers of Philly cheese steaks, cold hoagies, burgers, pizza, and hospitable counter sass.

  • 925 Nuevos Cubanos

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    A high-spirited juice bar, restaurant, art gallery, and good-times environment, 925 Nuevos Cubanos is a brilliant taste of south Florida’s Cuban culture.

  • El Palacio de los Jugos

    Miami, Florida

    El Palacio de los Jugos is a combination produce stand, juice bar, and restaurant — one of the most authentic Cuban institutions in Miami.

  • El Cristo

    Miami, Florida

    El Cristo is popular among Miami’s Little Havana visitors who seek beautifully rendered traditional Cuban cooking, simple or deluxe.