Cryderman's Barbecue- Melbourne/Cocoa- 5-Stars
"There are two different things: there's grilling, and there's bbq. Grilling is when [you crank up the heat and sear a steak, burger, hot dog, etc.] BBQ is going low and slow." -- G. Fieri
As any good Southerner does, the Big Boy loves bbq. However, having struck out more than not when looking for such in Brevard County, my ambition to find one that measures up to BBDO 5 star standards had annealed into a diamond at this point. But, as I responded to people commenting on my reviews for bbq places, one name kept popping up. Cryderman's.
If any of you have followed me for any length of time, you know by now that I will not bend to the public will, except this one time. Forgoing my usual random act of eating, I hopped in the BBDO machine and pointed her towards Historic Downtown Melbourne.
This is their second location with their flagship being in Cocoa Village. Noticing the restaurant black hole they chose for their location (I can't tell you how many places have failed here), I was crossing my fingers hoping this was the charm to break that curse. Upon entering my olfactory senses were immediately put on notice. This certainly smelled like the real deal.
We stepped forth to the counter of promises and asked for a Brisket, ribs, some smoked sausage, and pulled pork with sides of the prerequisite (for authentic bbq) coleslaw and mac & cheese. As we stepped back I couldn't help but notice people starting to pile in, As the menu sign says, "...or until sold out," it looks like we got here at the right time. Grabbing our order and sliding into a family style bench we began to ogle our booty. The presentation of the victuals does not rank all that high on our criteria for rankings here at BBDO, but I would be lacking if I didn't mention two things about our meal before getting into the flavors. First and foremost it looked authentic. The meat looked like beautiful cuts without a lot of gristle or fat and the sausage was hand stuffed on site. Secondly, the aroma wafting up made my eyes drool and my mouth do a second take. Now that that is out of the way, let the critique begin!
First on my persnickety palate was the beef brisket. This had to be the most tender, juiciest brisket I have had to date. The meat melted in the mouth as perfectly smoked meats should. Wow, was all I could think as I glanced at my dining companion only to find him lost in the smokey deliciousness that was the beef brisket. Grabbing my knife and fork to cut off a rib, I almost took all the meat off it was so tender. The meat detached with a slight scrape of my fork telling me just how succinctly cooked these were. As with their menu mate the brisket, these were prime ribs with nary a streak of gristle in site and boy oh boy were they delicious. That sauce was complex, flavorful, fresh and had just the right amount of kick to let you know you were enjoying homemade bbq. It was all I could do to pull my eager lips away from the ribs and move on to the next item in our order, the smoked sausage.
As mentioned above, the sausage is stuffed in house. You can tell as machine stuffed sausages are crammed to the breaking point while hand stuffed are a tad bit looser. I know no one else here in Brevard does this by the consistency of the filling. This sausage was some of the best meat I have had since the above meats. Complex, flavor...I know, I'm sounding like a broken record here, but what else is there to say?
This brings us to the final items to be reviewed, the sides. One look at the slaw and you know this didn't come out of a gallon jug with the name Sysco emblazoned across the front, oh, no Sirree Bob. This here was made the way our ancestors intended slaw to be and that is by hand. This includes cutting, shredding, seasoning, and mixing. Once again, it's obvious they know what they are doing in the back as the convoluted flavors gelled to perfection the aforementioned chopped and shredded veggies resulting in a slaw that leaves all other slaw in the dust. The mac & cheese was also made in the back, though I am sure they do not make their own pasta, it certainly was delicate enough and cooked to an immaculate firmness that broke on the tooth as only properly cooked pasta does. The homemade cheese sauce was rich, creamy and packed with very tangy cheesy goodness. They obviously take their sides as seriously as their meats here, and that tells me they take pride in all that comes out. As I lay my fork down I looked again at my guest (who is a nationally recognized Executive Chef) and the rolled back eyes,satisfied smile and empty plates told me all I needed to know about his opinion of Crydermans.
The Big Boy says, "for the hands-down best BBQ in the county (at least that I've had) stop in at either Crydermans. Just make sure you get there early because when they are out...they are out!" #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy