I was in Central Florida for a few days, and had to make my rounds to see what places I could discover during my time here. I was actually in Austin not too long ago, but didn’t have time to make it to a BBQ joint (I know, I know…but I did have some awesome Mexican food and desserts. Happy now?). So, I figured, let’s make up for that and visit 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park, Central Florida.
This quick-serve BBQ restaurant has every base covered from their pulled pork, to brisket, and loads of sides. And the friendly, casual environment really makes it a welcoming place to be in too. Open space and lots of natural light really brighten up the room full of extra large wooden benches and southern style decor on the walls (such as the cattle above).
The homestyle sides were where it was at for me, and I went for their Smokehouse Corn, Mac and Cheese, Fried Okra and Collards. These were all really great. The corn had a really nice spiced and buttery flavor with crisp kernels. The mac and cheese was creamy, light and the noodles were perfectly tender. I really liked the fried okra, the batter wasn’t super greasy like most fried foods, it was a thicker corn coating, giving it a really nice texture. The collards were awesome too with great flavor, mixed in with thick chunks of ham.
And you have to go for a sweet homestyle side like their Bread Pudding. It had a great consistency, creamy, but not excessively, and a really nice, rich cinnamon flavor and raisins for a little mix of texture and sweetness.
Name: 4 Rivers Smokehouse
Location: 1600 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, FL
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, I was pretty obsessed with the side. I only got five and they have sixteen there…sixteen!
Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s great for a quick bite, or, just a low-key, casual sit down with plenty of options to choose from.