May is National Barbecue Month. Of all the barbeque staples out there — burgers, hotdogs, chicken, steaks, even ribs — pulled pork is a favorite. Smoked for hours, hand-pulled and covered in sweet and spicy sauces, this tasty treat can be enjoyed on a sandwich or as a meal at any of these places here in the Tampa Bay area.
Sweet G’s BBQ
8511 Florida Mining Blvd.
Near Waters and Anderson
This mobile restaurant has incredible sweet Kansas City BBQ pulled pork that will make you want to stuff yourself silly. The pulled pork is juicy and smoke the right way with magical rubs in state of the art smokers by Green Mountain Grills. Everything from the pull pork and baked beans to the corn casserole and mac n’ cheese is homemade that day by the owner and his wife. Hours: M – F 10:30 am – 3:00 pm. No weekends.
Holy Hog Barbecue
4004 Henderson Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33629
This family friendly restaurant offers the very best of Southern–style barbecue. If you’re in the mood for a smaller serving of pulled pork, go for a sandwich. Entree portions are available if you’re extra hungry too — a big pile of saucy pulled pork is piled on a plate next to your choice of two sides and a piece of crispy Texas toast. For those big family dinners, you can “pig out by the pound” and order as much as you need to feed your entire family.
5703 W. Waters Ave.
Tampa, FL 33634
Johnny Ray Smith, a retired NFL player who was a defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, opened Jazzy’s BBQ in the mid-1990s. Everything on the menu is homemade, including the sweet and spicy sauces. Juicy pulled pork can be ordered in a sandwich, by the pound or as an entree with two steaming sides and a fluffy roll. There’s even a kid-sized portion for the little barbecue lovers in your family. Jazzy’s is closed on Sundays.
The Bricks of Ybor
1327 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
The Bricks of Ybor is a community-focused restaurant that serves up an eclectic menu of vegetarian, gluten-free and house-made fresh specialties alongside art shows, themed nights, live music and daily drink specials. The Pacific rim pulled pork sandwich is among one of the house specialties, and for good reason: the pork is coffee-marinated and slow roasted, then served up on Hawaiian sweet bread with your choice of a side. To make a healthier and still delicious meal, order your pulled pork in a whole-wheat wrap and request a side of mixed greens.
Luckie B’s Fire Grill & Bar
4351 4th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Luckie B’s knows how to make the best pulled pork. Each piece is pecan and oak wood smoked for 12 hours until it is deliciously juicy and tender. Even better, you can order your pulled pork in a variety of meals: the pulled pork sandwich, which comes in either a “junior” or “large” size, the Carolina pork wrap, which comes wrapped up with cole slaw, shredded cheese and Carolina sauce, or served on a platter with a choice of two sides and garlic toast. All food is hand-made and fresh to order.
Smokin’ J’s BBQ
5145 Gulfport Blvd.
Gulfport, FL 33707
Smokin’ J’s serves up the highest quality pulled pork. A serving is eight ounces of nearly fat-free meat that is smoked for 14-16 hours and hand-pulled. Then, housemade barbecue sauce is added and the pork is smoked some more. You can order it in a sandwich with one side or on a platter with two sides. If you’re serving a crowd, order by the pound for a meal that is guaranteed to satisfy taste as well as hunger. If you don’t feel like going out, no problem — you can have it delivered for a $2 fee.
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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.