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Enter the kingdom of Dr. BBQ. The smoker filled with a delectable arrays of meats, perfuming the air with a scent that really should be bottled (like his sauce) and a staff that loves to share their menu favorites. Yes, I had a wonderful time and was well overdue for a visit down to the two-story building near the Trop at 1101 1st Ave South in St. Petersburg. All it took was an invite to lunch with two good friends, Isaiah Chavez and Katie Ryan.
Sincerely, from the moment I walked in to Dr BBQ The Restaurant it was that aroma that did it for me. That and the sign on the door that read “when we’re out, we’re out.” It takes many hours to smoke those meats and they go quickly. But I knew what I wanted even before I got there. Everyone raved about the “Burnt Ends.” They’re lovely little nuggets of what I regard as beef candy. Made with certified Angus Beef it’s the only meat they served with sauce that has carmelized and added a nice little crunch. But if it’s your first time I would suggest the “Feeding Frenzy.” Your choice of 8 ounces of specialty meats and four sides. For the three of us it was more than enough with a doggie bag at the end of the meal. We chose the Burnt Ends, Pork Belly, Smoked Turkey and Sliced Brisket. We were going to give the Pastrami a try but you guessed it - already sold out. Our sides? The Jack Daniels BBQ Beans that had the perfect kick of heat at the end; my new favorite way to have slaw - Sandi’s Bacon Bleu Cheese Slaw; Creamy Potato Salad and very nice Fries. I also gave the Cornbread Madelines a try, served with very appealing prickly pear butter. That’s just a few items on the menu and the rest a great reason for another meal.
And talk about lucky. The Dr. was in and Ray Lampe was kind enough to spend a few minutes with us and talk about the new venture and life in the downtown St. Pete culinary jungle. But it’s a winner. From the moment I posted a few shots on Facebook and had many friends asking about Dr. BBQ and when we’re making a return trip, well, that’s going to be the easy part. Love the place Ray, and we’ll see you again soon.
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM ANN KELLY’S KITCHEN
There are two different things; there’s grilling and there’s barbeque. Grilling is when people say “we’re going to turn up the heat, make it really hot and sear a steak, sear a burger, cook a chicken. Barbeque is going low and slow. - Guy Fieri