Some things are good enough on their own. For example, finding $50 on the ground is great. Adopting a puppy is wonderful. We could stop there and be just fine. But imagine if you went to pick up that $50 bill and discovered a $100 underneath it, or if you brought home that adorable puppy and then learned it knew how to do your taxes.
That’s what going to Hometown Barbecue feels like. They have the best barbecue in Miami - and that alone is enough of a good thing. But then you come here and discover incredible broccoli, excellent cocktails, and a turkey BLT that makes us want to throw our napkin in the air like a graduation cap. And it’s these unexpected bonuses that make Hometown so much more than just a great barbecue spot.
The Allapattah restaurant occupies a huge, open-air warehouse with some additional backyard seating. You order at the counter, take a number, and find an open seat - which is usually pretty easy since there are so many tables. Most people here will be eating something from the absolutely beautiful selection of smoked meat: brisket, pulled pork, turkey, pastrami bacon, pork ribs, and jalapeño cheese sausage are all served by the half-pound. None of that is a bad choice, and it’s easily the best barbecue you’ll find in Miami.
But there are more great things on Hometown’s menu that are easy to miss while in a state of rib-induced hysteria. The mole-dusted smoked chicken wings sprinkled with queso fresco are truly some of the best wings you’ll ever eat. The plancha broccoli is smoky, crunchy, charred, and just a little spicy thanks to the chili oil and poblano cream. And the smoked turkey BLT is a life-altering sandwich that no amount of adjectives can do justice.
On top of that, Hometown serves some really great cocktails and frozen drinks, in addition to a solid beer and wine selection. There’s occasionally live music on the weekends and even though the food is the main event here, it’s just a fun place to hang out and have a few drinks.
It’s not like Hometown needs any of these extra bonuses to convince us to eat here, but we’re definitely not complaining. Because given the choice between an adorable little beagle and an adorable little beagle who could get us a huge tax refund, we’re going with the latter every time.
The only downside to ordering this sandwich is that you might never be able to order anything other than this again. The turkey is smoky and so much juicier than we thought turkey could possibly be. It’s served on Tempur-Pedic soft pullman bread and comes with an “avocado mayo” that is our new favorite condiment. Seriously, it’s that good.
Each wing has a perfect mole dusting and a little blanket of crumbled queso fresco. It’s like they all went through a barbecue version of one of those automated car washes, and came out the other side all shiny and delicious.
It might seem counterintuitive to waste stomach space on a veggie at a barbecue restaurant but this smokey broccoli deserves a place on the table. The charred poblano cream and chili oil help make this dish the best broccoli we’ve ever had.
This is the barbecue equivalent of an uppercut from Mike Tyson. It somehow tastes like brisket, steak, and ribs all at once. It’s not something you want to eat on your own, because (like a Tyson uppercut) it could easily knock you out if you have too much. So convince the table to split this with you.
The tacos come one per order, and we get it if you’re skeptical about an $11 taco. But they are really large tacos - and stuffed generously with taco-friendly toppings like onion, cilantro, salsa, queso, and your choice of smoked chicken or brisket. They’re not bad at all, but we still prefer Hometown’s sandwiches over the tacos.
If you are the kind of person who gets very excited by a proper brisket - one that’s smoky and fatty but still holds its shape and doesn’t just melt into a soggy puddle - this one won’t disappoint. And if you’re the person who’s never really understood brisket hype, try it. Then you might get it.