The best barbecue spot in the Sunshine State according to the Food Network

Barbecue food on table — Courtesy: Shutterstock — foodio

Fresh seafood and key lime pie come to mind for foodies when they think about Florida.

The state “under five flags” has a rich and diverse culinary history, nevertheless, and is known for its mouthwatering, slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone meats.

The Food Network published a report listing the top barbecue joints in all 50 states, and they described how Florida’s selection differs from every other one in the South.

“Unlike other Southern areas known for ‘cue, the state has no defined barbecue regions,” The Food Network said. “Individual barbecue joints [in Florida] have unique styles and techniques that are all their own.”

The top barbecue restaurant in Florida, according to the network, is Jenkins Quality Barbecue in Jacksonville. According to their website, Melton Jenkins, Jr. and his wife Willie Mae opened the restaurant in 1957 with “God, a dream, and $125.”

Although Melton Jenkins, Jr. passed away in 2013, the Jenkins family’s second and third generations continue to serve meats covered with their distinctively hot mustard sauce. Three locations of the beloved restaurant now exist in and around Jacksonville.

“Slabs of ribs, half chickens, and pork are smoked with oak in open brick pits,” reads the Food Network’s mouth-watering description of the restaurant. “The meat is laid atop slices of white bread or nestled inside a seeded bun and slathered with that tongue-tingling sauce.”

The sauce is extremely spicy, but Jenkins Quality Barbecue offers a lighter version for those who prefer to stay away from the heat.

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