Monday, March 2, 2015

Florida's Kitchen - Livingston

I would call Florida’s Kitchen a hidden gem if it weren’t for the building’s loud blue and yellow facade that makes this place completely conspicuous.  And though Florida’s is not on the most well-traveled path, Hitch N Post Cafe sits just down the road, putting this stretch of Highway 350 on the barbecue lover’s map.

THE MEATS

Florida's catfish comes highly regarded but I was here on barbecue business and therefore selected the pork ribs and sliced brisket from the menu.


The ribs and brisket arrived together on the plate and stood in stark contrast.  The ribs stood out with their red bark and the pink smoke-kissed meat beneath it.  The brisket on the other hand looked limp and lifeless like it had been cut quite a while before I had even placed my order.

The ribs with their beautiful exterior did not disappoint.  The sticky glaze provided sweet character to the already smoky crust. The meat was wonderfully moist while holding a terrific chew.  These ribs are some of the best you’ll find anywhere and could win a pageant with their combination of looks and charming sweetness.

The brisket on the other hand was a complete disappointment.  Like the ribs, the brisket unfortunately tasted exactly like it looked.  The slices were slightly dry and hindered by some poorly rendered and still gooey veins of fat.  The flavor was poor and smoke evaded this cut of meat.

THE REST

The sides aren’t much to speak of either.  The beans and potato salad tasted like it came straight out of a tub.  The sauce was very thin and slightly smoky.


Florida’s embraces its country setting with an equally country style of décor.  The interior is not much to look at with mismatched tables and chairs.  The regulars don’t seem to mind as they show up for lunch day after day.  The restaurant is full-service so your experience will depend on your server and the crowd that day but I would not bank on having a quick meal at Florida’s. 

THE VERDICT

Florida’s Kitchen is, without a doubt, worth a visit specifically for the ribs.  Pork ribs of this quality are hard to find and tend to hook you once you’ve found them.  I’ll stick to the ribs on my next visit and satisfy my brisket craving down the road at Hitch N Post.




Address: 796 Fm 350 S, Livingston, TX 77351
Phone: 936-967-4216
Hours: Wednesday: 11AM - 830PM; Thursday - Friday: 11AM - 9PM; Saturday: 11AM - 930PM

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*All Grades Are Based Solely on the Quality of Texas BBQ Offered at the Joint. We Aren't Looking for Burgers or Catfish!

My Grading Scale:


A = This is some of the finest BBQ you'll find anywhere. It is worth a roadtrip in itself along with any required wait.
B = This is very good BBQ, even if it is over an hour away, consider making the drive.
C = This is just average BBQ but it's worth a stop in a pinch.
D = This is a poor example of Texas BBQ. Even if it's the only place around, skip it. Apologize to any non-Texans that have eaten here.
F = This is not only a bad Texas BBQ, it is probably not suitable for human consumption.

 
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