I'm completely perplexed by the whole South Florida BBQ thing. I'm perplexed by Jenkins being rated so highly on every "user" rating site. I'm perplexed by the reviews I read; and then experience something completely different. Is Jenkins giving something away to get hoards of people to glorify their food and trash all others? None of it makes sense.
I went into Scruby's with the lowest of expectations. I had planned to go someplace else, but it was exepectedly closed this Memorial Day. It is, after all, Memorial Day, so barbecue made sense. I read so many so-so reviews that I couldn't get excited about it. Jax is gone. Jenkins is closed on Mondays. I was in the neighborhood. So Scruby's it was.
I decided on the combo platter so I could try both the spare ribs and the baby back ribs. At 4:45 the place was already filling up. In a part of town where most places were closed and most parking lots were bone empty; you could barely find a spot at Scruby's.
Inside, the place is a rat race. They're so disorganized it was painful. While a bunch of people stood around, the one guy who was taking new take-out orders was also answering phones, bagging take outs and running in the back for liters of soda. It took a while to place the order; and it would have been worse if one of the servers didn't notice the chaos and entered my order separately. But then I had to go over and pay the dude, who seemed so confused I'm not even certain that I paid for my order and not someone else's.
Its a pretty big place, with an actual dining room where families can sit and eat.
The wait wasn't too long once the order was placed. I didn't get a chance to see any of it until I got it home. My first impression was a bit of disappointment, perhaps without good cause. My last BBQ was at JAX, and the small size of the sides and the mundane looking garlic bread jumped out at me. I wasn't going to have more than a bit of the bread anyway, so in the big picture it didn't matter too much.
Since this was just a late lunch I took half of everything and loaded into onto a plate, and at that point I realized that it was plenty of food. One bite of the garlic bread and I knew it was a waste of calories; just skip it. The cole slaw was the pulverized kind; a big minus. But the taste was very good. Not too sweet. I grabbed a spare rib; kind of dry. Putting some of the supplied BBQ sauce on them made them better. But still not a big win. The beans; oh the beans. With bits of pork or brisket mixed in, the beans were great. The thick, not too sweet sauce was perfect. Then I tried the baby back ribs. Whoa. Absolute Xanadu. These boys were delicious; tender, fall off the bone, finger-licking good ribs. Their brochure says that baby backs are their signature dish. Finally some truth in advertising. These are the best baby back ribs I've had in South Florida.
Sometimes when you don't expect much, you get your most rewarding experiences. It proves that you can't listen to common-folk when deciding where to eat. Sometimes you just need to try it for yourself.