Shorty’s may not serve Miami’s best barbecue, but there is something unique and fun about going to one of Miami’s oldest barbecue spots in a 70-year old log cabin under the Dadeland South Metrorail station. If you combine all the elements of a meal here, it’s much more than the sum of its parts.
Shorty’s transports us to a time when most of Dade was farmland, and the friendly service and communal tables make us feel like we just crashed someone’s cookout. The food itself is solid. An appetizer of fried green tomatoes with a spicy ranch dipping sauce is as good as anything you’ll get in the Deep South—thin, crispy crust, and tart, delicately sweet unripe tomatoes. And if you order the corn, you’ll get to roll the cob in a styrofoam boat of melted butter before you take each bite. The spare ribs are the best and most classic item to get from the smoker here. The meat falls off the bone and has a deep smoky flavor. The pulled pork and baby back ribs are also good—but the brisket and chicken tend to be dry and underwhelming. Their cole slaw, which comes with every BBQ platter, is one of our favorites in Miami: sweet, creamy, and seasoned with celery seeds.
Whatever you order just make sure to ask for their vinegar sauce to slather over the meat. And do save room for a big slice of homemade key lime pie, which is custardy, intensely sweet, and mildly tart.. Shorty’s does offer all this food to-go and has 2 newer locations in Miami and Davie—but any experience outside of the original Dadeland location just doesn’t quite feel the same.