Football and barbecue go hand-in-hand, so it only seems right to start the new season at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, owned by four University of Miami alums.
Hidden in the back of Mary Brickell Village, the new barbecue joint offers takeout, but then you’d miss its best features: great country music (Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn), a ladies-drink-free deal at the bar Monday through Wednesday for draft beer and frozen margaritas, and keepsake iced tea stirrers with the slogan “Put Some South in Yo’ Mouth.”
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The North Carolina-billed barbecue? It’s not as rockin’ as the atmosphere, but it’s respectable. The sliced, marbled, brisket strips were thick and chewy, but they had a nice smoky zing that left our lips feeling slightly sunburned. The pulled pork had the same rub, but came out dry. Our hulking beef ribs were meaty but too fatty. The moist pulled chicken was our top choice, along with the thick and mildly sweet “original” sauce. The accompanying coleslaw was cool and creamy.
Southern sides — yams with walnuts, collard greens, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese — join the typical fries, corn on the cob and baked beans. The hush puppies didn’t wow us, but perhaps that’s because the promised maple butter never joined them.
Owned by linebackers DJ Williams (Denver Broncos), Jon Beason (Carolina Panthers) and Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints) and PR professional Ron Berkowitz, the restaurant has multiple Manhattan locations. This is its first Florida outpost, and let’s hope the kitchen can keep up with championship expectations.