Florida: America's Next Regional Barbecue?

By Kelly Snowden Posted April 11, 2011

© Courtesy TrésKoi PR

Orlando cuisine in my experience has been chain restaurants and fast-food spots, peppered with theme-park snacks. But John Rivers (left) has opened up something entirely different in nearby Winter Park: a barbecue joint. The Floridian married a Texan and became infatuated with brisket; he began smoking his own about 20 years ago and later started selling it at fundraisers to help victims of childhood cancer. The brisket drew such huge crowds that in the fall of 2009, Rivers opened up a brick-and-mortar spot: 4 Rivers Smokehouse. The lines start early and don't let up during the day, so Rivers just opened a second location across town in Winter Garden to keep up with demand and will likely open more in the future. Those not in Florida can now buy his sauce and rubs online, too.
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