Orlando, FL 32817
There is a 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Jacksonville, I have never visited, but while in Orlando my friend suggested we give this a try. As a fan of BBQ I was all in. This location is close to UCS so the place was packed with an assortment of all age groups. I don’t know what I was expecting the interior to look like, but it is a massive open spaced, large windows and a quite spacious outdoor seating area, long tables, and metal chairs. All I could think of was school or prison.
It did not get any better when we stepped up to the counter to order. Menu boards display choices, drink cooler contains beverage offerings, and there is a fountain option as well. Food stations contain all the sides.
So this is how it works, place your order, a tray is covered with brown paper, the staff in Smokehouse short hand mark your order on the paper, starting with the meat and then sliding the tray on down to the sides. Think Subway. Efficient and disturbing all at the same time. I am well past the point in my life where I want a pile of brisket unceremoniously plopped on a tray, with soggy fried pickles, and a dried out Jalapeno popper, but that’s what it was. It was a happy moment when the beans were placed in a cup.
Once I got past the presentation, it was time to focus on the food. The brisket was very good, I asked for the fatty brisket, and was rewarded with sweet juicy melt in the mouth wonderfulness. The meat can stand alone with out the benefit of additional sauce, but I wanted just a hint of heat. Baked Mac and Cheese, rich and creamy much better than we expected. The pickles by the very nature of living on a food station were soggy, we asked for a fresh order and that wish was granted. Much better. Actually the size of the pickle pieces were much larger than most restaurants serve, so what you get is a crunch from the breading then a crunch from the pickle. Beans were just beans, nothing good or bad to say about them. We finished our meal two contented women.
Now the fun part of this place, there is a bakery on site, and at this particular store they do the baking on site. Cakes, Cupcakes all sizes, flavors meant to tempt you and it did . We took ours to go, but I have to share the pictures. It would be well worth going to 4 Rivers Smokehouse just to experience this.
We took this home to share, and as were were going out stopped to wash our hands in this great sink.
So the verdict, we (me) would certainly return to sample other menu options, and I will be visiting my 4 Rivers Smokehouse at home. I had to remember we came for the meat not the atmosphere and the meat was worthy, Mac n Cheese well worth ordering, look for poppers that have not been sitting out, because they get quite dry. Grab a bunch of your besties and get some great BBQ, but remember to save room for those wonderful dessert offerings.