Follow the smoke and smiles to NMB’s Bo Legs BBQ

Four days a week, barbecue buffs line up in the parking lot of Foxy Lady Laundry for Bo Legs BBQ . The scent of smoke drifts from the “barn,” a screened trailer on wheels with a built-in grill. (An outdoor smoker-grill was recently added to keep up with demand.) This is barbecue to eat with your hands in your car or seated in a plastic chair near the grill.

Kevin “Bo Legs” Dority was born in South Carolina with bowed legs and grew up in Clermont, west of Orlando. As a youngster he picked citrus and watermelon from Florida to Delaware with his brothers and parents. His mother fed the family barbecue, and by 9 Kevin was manning the grill. He married his childhood sweetheart, Diane, and moved to Miami, finding work on a car assembly line and partnering in a restaurant before striking out on his own a little over a year ago.At first, Bo Legs BBQ operated on North Miami Avenue, but after Foxy Lady Laundry owner Richard Bassin became a customer he rented Dority the spacious lot on busy 167th Street. For now the food is prepped in a church kitchen, but the two men hope to build a restaurant on the site. Dority dons goggles to work the grill, using tongs to turn chicken quarters and slabs of pork ribs seasoned with a wet rub. His brother Toby helps stoke the oak and apple-wood coals and slow-cook the meat, while Diane, Kevin Jr. and daughter “Baby” Diane help pack orders. The most, flavorful, blackened meats are good naked, but sauce fans can choose from the hot, tomato-based signature sauce with chiles and secret spices, mild original (also tomato-based) or tangy honey mustard. The sample platter has dark-meat chicken, spice-marinated jerk chicken and ribs plus thick triangles of cottony bread. Sides include whole-roasted sweet potatoes or Idaho spuds, mac and cheese and baked beans with ground beef. The soul-satisfying barbecue at this humble spot is worth the wait and the telltale sauce mustache.

Linda Bladholm’s latest book is “Latin and Caribbean Grocery Stores Demystified.”

Side Dish

Red Rice

Serve with barbecued, grilled or roasted chicken and coleslaw.

1/4 pound bacon, diced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup long-grain rice

1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juices

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Cook bacon in a heavy saucepan until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan, and cook onion until soft. Add rice and stir until it turns opaque. Stir in tomatoes with 1/2 cup water and the salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Crumble bacon over rice to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from ‘Culinaria: The United States’ by Peter Feierabend and Gary Chaseman (Konemann, 1998).

Per serving: 326 calories (37 percent from fat), 13.1 g fat (4.3 g saturated, 5.8 g monounsaturated), 19.3 mg cholesterol, 7.8 g protein, 42.8 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, 1,185 mg sodium.

If you go

What: Bo Legs BBQ

Address: 250 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach (in the Foxy Lady Laundry parking lot)

Hours: 4-10:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday

Prices: Sampler $10, ribs $7, jerk or barbecue chicken $5, sides $2-$5

Contact: 305-303-2134