I live in Florida, and while it may be the south, there is very little southern about this state, and that includes our BBQ options. Florida is a melting pot of transplants from all over the country with the east coast of Florida having a lot of people from the east coast of the US and the west coast of Florida seeing a lot of people come from the mid-west, so our BBQ game is seriously lacking.
I am always on a mission to find some solid BBQ near my neck of the woods on the west coast of Florida, and one of the best places I have found so far is actually a growing chain. Mom and pop type places are normally where I gravitate, but if something is good, it’s good, and there is no reason to deny it. Which brings me to this review of Mission BBQ.
Mission BBQ opened it’s first store on September 11, 2011 and that date was no accident. The entire business model is about supporting those that protect and serve the USA. They are all about the military and first responders, and if you show up at lunchtime, expect everything to stop around noon and everyone in the restaurant to stand up and solute the American flag. I have eaten at Mission a handful of times, but it was always in the evening, so the first time I went their for lunch I wasn’t sure what was going on but soon caught on, and really embraced the patriotism, it was a pretty cool experience.
From their humble beginnings in 2011, they are now in over a dozen states across the country and growing. They aren’t just one type of BBQ, meaning they aren’t Memphis style, Carolina Style, KC or Texas, they are a little bit of everything. I have tried just about everything on the menu including the brisket plate, chopped brisket sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, pulled chicken, sliced turkey and baby back ribs. Everything was really good, although the ribs were my least favorite. They weren’t bad at all, just not as good as everything else, however I do like that I can add just a bone or two to any meal. My favorite item on the menu, and it’s not even close, is the chopped beef brisket sandwich, it’s mouthwatering good. Their brisket is fantastic, and I love the pairing they do with their Memphis Belle BBQ sauce. This sandwich is not for the dainty, you will have sauce dripping down your arm and all over your face, but in my opinion that’s the sign of tasty BBQ. Pellet Guy (that’s what I am calling my husband now) loves the pulled pork and surprisingly the smoked turkey. He can’t get enough of their smoked turkey, and he’s normally a pork and beef kind of guy.
You get a seriously generous portion of meat too, which is a big deal for me. I should never leave a BBQ restaurant hungry, if I do, then they have failed, and that is definitely not the case at Mission. Their sides are all solid too. I usually get fries, mac ‘n cheese, or slaw, but I always keep an eye out for their seasonal side because when they have a sweet potato soufflé I am all over it. I also love all their sauce options they put on the table, it’s like a BBQ trip around the country with sauces from all the different BBQ regions.
When I tried Mission for the first time I had no idea they were growing across the country, because the quality and taste of the food felt like this was their only location, and I think that says a lot about a chain. If you have a Mission near you, or near someplace you might be traveling, I highly recommend giving them a try.
Have you tried Mission before, what did you think? What’s your favorite chain BBQ joint?