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Big Joe’s Barbecue

Sunday 21 April, 2019
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Big Joe's Barbecue-Titusville-5-Stars

Best Barbecue in Brevard

"Being so closely related to the South, barbecue was part of segregation and helped defeat it." -- B. Seale

In my illustrious 50 odd years living on the Space Coast, I have become known for many different things. Chief among those are my love of food and helping others; these, along with boredom, lead me to this point in my post-career life. I still get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the city of Titusville pops up on my dining destination device. The last few trips up the coast have actually been surprisingly good, and a BBQ joint popped up and in my experience, even the worst BBQ I have had is better than the best yogurt. Ever. So I pointed the BBDO mobile North and headed on up to check out Big Joe's Bar-B-Que Shack.

Located just this side of the river right before US 1 heading towards the coastal island in an unobtrusive plain white tiny shack is where one will find Big Joe's. With its quaint porch and potted plants outside, the building is reminiscent of a Florida long left in the past. Life was simpler then, even slower filled with simple pleasures like a cold beer and tender, slow roasted, slathered in homemade sauce Bar-B-Que. Upon entering Big Joe's I was gregariously welcomed by the front of the house server, Monique. Monique is super nice and charming. She answered all of my questions graciously like the professional she is. I noticed a man that had to be Big Joe himself sitting on the back porch smoking his meats. Seeing this, my first thought was, "This is going to be authentic for sure."

Watching Joe get to work on my order, I relaxed and took in the chilled vibe of the joint. Expecting Opie to saunter in whistling a tune, I was thoroughly enjoying my downtime when I was notified our order was ready. Placing my daydream aside, I hurriedly grabbed the grub and commenced to performing one of the finer aspects of life...stuffing my face with freshly prepared barbeque! After one bite of the pulled pork sandwich, I knew I was in the presence of a real, honest to goodness Pit Master. Starting with obviously USDA Prime cuts of meat, Joe slowly smokes it with patience and love. No malarkey, this is the best slow roasted barbeque pork I have ever tasted. Ever. The sauce!!! Joe's sauce is made on site from what has to be his own recipe and I must say it is the best I have ever had. Tangy, sweet and with an ever so slight kick, it's just what the Doctor ordered. The smoked sausage was next to fall victim to my insatiable lust for an excellent barbeque. Being on par with the pulled pork, it too was delicious beyond compare. Smoked to perfection and draped in more of that out of this world sauce, it was to die for. Turning my gluttony toward the final item ordered, the barbeque half chicken I had to wipe away a small tear escaping from my right eye. Yes, the grub is that good it brought a tear to my eye. Taking a minute to allow all the beauty that is Big Joe's eats to sink in, I allowed a satiated sigh to escape. The chicken was just as tasty as everything else. Smoked to perfection the meat practically fell off the bone with so much nummy tenderness I felt another tear about to trickle down my cheek. Dude! It's just food, I told myself as I scarfed down more of that sauce! What is in that sauce, Big Joe?

I would be remiss if I didn't take some time to mention the delectable sides that accompanied all of the gloriously smoked meat, and perhaps the one place with room for improvement...the bread. The side of Sauteed Collard Greens was fresh, well seasoned and good enough to belong on the same plate as the aforementioned meat items. Fresh Collard Greens have a subtle bite that one does not find in pre-packaged or beyond its prime greens. If Big Joe had a garden out back where he grew his own, I wouldn't be surprised. As Southern as Collard Greens are, Cole Slaw is more of a Southern staple that just about anything and is a must with barbeque Big Joe obviously puts as much care to quality and love in the making of his slaw as he does the smoking of his meats and the blending of his sauce. This was, hands down, the best slaw I have had (I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record). It was fresh, crisp, obviously hand cut and had the most deliciously tangy sauce to be found in a slaw. Now, perhaps the one place with room for improvement is the bun on which the sausage sat. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't close to the standard set by the aforementioned meats, sauce and sides. With sausage this good, the bread needs to be a step beyond the store bought buns from our childhood.

The Big Boy says, "Someone once told me if you are out of town and need to find a great place to eat, ask a fat guy. Well, this fat guy says this is the best BBQ I have had to date." P.S. Everyone needs to eat here. Everyone. #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout