Friday, April 19, 2013

4 Rivers Smokehouse in Longwood, FL

Everyone seems to love 4 Rivers Smokehouse. As much hype as the original location in Winter Park received, I didn't try 4 Rivers until they opened a location very close to where I live in Longwood. Since then, I've visited the restaurant several times and I do enjoy their food. I wouldn't necessarily say it's the hands down best barbecue around but they are pretty tasty with some interesting variations on the barbecue restaurant standards. 

Pulled Pork Sandwich: This was pretty standard pulled pork sandwich. Shredded pork with barbecue sauce sandwiched between two halves of a bun. A very boring sandwich compared to some of the other stuff on 4 River's menu.
BBQ Quesadilla: I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Pulled pork with melted cheese in a grilled tortilla. The smoked flavor of the meat and the barbecue sauce went really well with the cheese. Why does cheese rarely come on barbecue sandwiches? I liked it. Had a side of collards and macaroni & cheese.
Messy Pig: Basically the same pulled pork sandwich as above, only with the addition of coleslaw and jalapenos. The additional toppings definitely add dimension to an otherwise boring pork sandwich.
Six Shooter: This is one of the more interesting menu items that 4 Rivers has. It consists of baked cheese grits topped with pulled pork, coleslaw, jalapenos, and pickles. Cheese grits topped with anything is normally good, and this is no exception. Also note the bacon-wrapped smoked jalapenos that I choose as a side. Seemed like they should have had potential but the peppers were too soggy for my liking.
Burnt Ends: This sandwich was filled with 4 River's Burnt Ends which is a mixture of pork and brisket. Because the Burnt Ends were very saucy, much like the pulled pork, I didn't taste too much of a difference between the two sandwiches. The sauce was the dominant flavor on both so differences in the meat were somewhat buried. I was expecting to notice a bit more of a difference with the brisket in there, but I didn't. Fried okra and collards were my sides with this sandwich.
There we go. Those are the food pictures from my visits to 4 Rivers. The barbecue is good, but one thing that bothers me about this place is their serving methods. They just unceremoniously dump the food on wax paper over trays, half the time covering the order written on the same paper with a grease pencil. Whether those pencils are food-safe or not, I don't want to be eating that stuff with my burnt ends. I've also gone with people that have just ordered sides (on multiple occasions). Instead of giving them their own tray, they put their meal on the trays belonging to other people in our group who have ordered meats/sandwiches, resulting in us having to uncomfortably eat off of the same tray. We always seem to forget to ask for them to put the food on separate trays because we seem to assume that new person equals a new tray. Minor things really, and I seem to be one of the few people to be bothered by it judging by the following that 4 Rivers has. I'm not convinced to put a 4 Rivers bumper sticker on my car yet, but I'll definitely return for more barbecue at some point...

4 Rivers Smokehouse on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about eating off the wax paper ... After my first visit, I asked if my Six Shooter could be served in a bowl or dish and they acquiesced and provided me with a takeout container.

Liesel said...

Thanks for the pics! My office is ordering from them for lunch for the first time today and I kind of need to see the food before I can make some kind of decision. Everything looks delish! :)


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