You know, many people come to me and they say "Hey, Jeffrey Scott Holland, what is the best BBQ on the gulf coast of Florida?" Okay, no one's actually asked me that, but if they ever do, I have my answer already prepared. It's Mr. Bones, located in Holmes Beach, FL on the ever-paradiscal Anna Maria Island.
This ain't no roadside dude with a rusty smoker and a bag of Big Lots wood pieces, nossir, this man is serious. There's a prominent sign up warning you not to ask for salt or pepper or ketchup, because his formula is such a pinnacle of barbecue achievement that it needs no doctoring up. And he's right.
Initially his stringent no-nonsense policy threw me off my game, because I'm one of those guys that likes his barbecue served naked so that I may dose it myself with various sauces provided on the table. But this isn't one of those places; there are no sauces on the table. You'll eat what he's cookin'.
Don't let the prominent "vegan - vegetarian" sign out front throw you off - most of Mr. Bones' wares are all meat, all the time. There are some veggie offerings on the menu for you sprout-biters, though. I'd love to tell you in copious detail all about his various exotic offerings, but fact is, I just keep going back for that BBQ Pork Plate again and again and again. Wowzers. Do it. And tell him I sent you by.
There's 60 varieties of beer in stock, and he keeps a coffin - that's right, a coffin - filled with ice and beer and soda up front. Why I didn't photograph it is a mystery even to myself. Next time...