A Fork on the Road

Playful ’cue at Fort Lauderdale’s Red Cow


If you go

Place: Red Cow

Address: 1025 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale (in the Gateway Shoppes)

Contact: 954-652-1524, redcowftl.com

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Starters $8-$12, salads $11-$13, sandwiches $10-$12, entrees $14-$24

F.Y.I. Full bar, 4-6 p.m. weekday happy hour. Sunday brunch (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) includes apple pie pancakes, pecan waffles and arepas with Cheddar and chorizo.

Side dish

Sweet Potato Grits

This recipe adapted from relish.com pairs two Southern staples for brunch or dinner.

2 cups water

3 cups milk

1 cup stone-ground grits

2 medium sweet potatoes, grated

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

Combine water and milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add grits, whisking constantly. Add sweet potato and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer until grits are thick and creamy, 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in spices and butter. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 157 calories (35 percent from fat), 6.1 g fat, (3.5 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated), 17.2 mg cholesterol, 5.2 g protein, 20.5 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fiber, 183 mg sodium.

The neon “Meat” sign with the flashing “M” above the smoker not-so-subtly suggests that you “eat” at Red Cow. The industrial-hip joint has wooden tables, red chairs and cartoons projected on a back wall. Meats include brisket, ribs, pulled rotisserie chicken and smoked turkey breast.

Owner Elliot Wolf grew up in Coral Gables in a family of specialty foods importers. After working at Houston’s, he opened Coconuts and G&B Oyster Bar in Fort Lauderdale. Three months ago he opened the Red Cow with Texan-born chef Steve Shockey, who slow-cooks the meats in a Mesquite brand smoker over hickory and cherry wood.

Start with skillet cornbread, smoked fish dip or steamed and grilled artichoke halves. There’s also a “jerk-cuterie” plate of jalapeño-Cheddar sausage, “pork-strami” made from brined and smoked shoulder, pimento cheese with toast, pickled okra and strips of beef, duck and pork jerky seasoned with brown sugar and bourbon upright in a mason jar.

Sandwiches include the Smoking Gun (12-hour smoked brisket with crispy onions), Gobbler Club (apple wood smoked turkey with bacon jam) and North Carolina-style pulled pork with slaw and a hush puppy.

Go whole hog and get American Wagyu beef ribs charred in sweet tomato-pomegranate sauce or dry-rubbed, beer-steamed pork spare ribs with bacon mashed potatoes.

For sides, pick from fried Brussels sprouts, deviled eggs, sweet potato grits and cauliflower mash.

Drink dessert in a tequila-spiked root beer float.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who can be reached at lbb75@bellsouth.net.

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