As a self-proclaimed barbecue taste tester, I can vouch that Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie also know a thing or two about BBQ. And, in my opinion, they could even go head-to-head with the traveling Carolina grill-masters. Once I figured out that “y’all” don’t marinate your meat in sauce — but instead let people choose their own sauces — the doors opened to full, rich, smoky flavor you’ve got to try.
You should know that Tillman’s offers an entire row of delectable sauces to choose from along one of their walls. It’s up to you to decide how much rich, tangy sauce you want to soak your sandwich in.
From the friendly staff to the rustic wooden booths, Tillman’s reminded me of good ole NC, and it’s great for a down-home meal.
As a Florida sun shower passed by rain poured down outside, we chowed down on catfish and smoked meat with sides of rich, creamy mac and crispy fries. And no matter which side of the political aisle you find yourself on, rest assured — Park Avenue’s tongue-in-cheek décor makes fun of everyone. From a sandwich called “The Dem Publican” to their “Extremist Sauce,” it’s all in good fun. We finished off our meal with sweet, sugary peanut butter pie drizzled with chocolate. If you stop into Park Avenue, take a moment to indulge your senses with their pie.
We sat down at Moonswiner’s first — a cute, quaint little place with a blackboard covered in chalk drawings hanging above the kitchen — Nadia told me all about the local legend.
Now, Dale’s and Moonswiner’s have nearly identical menus. Both even boast the same kind of fries, and similar specials. And truth be told, they’re both amazing.
But just based on my dining experience, it seems like a younger crowd goes for Moonswiner’s, while the older crowd heads for Dale’s.
Nadia, who grew up eating at Moonswiner’s and cherishes memories of eating there during high school, prefers Moonswiner’s coleslaw. She eats a bite between each bite of her sandwich. I also liked Moonswiner’s unique way of providing a hard-plastic carry-out drink cup with every meal. It was just begging you to take it home and use it again. And my mesquite chicken was perfectly delicious.
Regardless, if you really want to dine like a local, you need to choose a side — and that means you have to try them both! Both picks have incredible steak-cut fries, tasty sauces (that you can buy to take home), and mouthwatering appetizers and sides.
Miranda Jade Friel is a freelance business copywriter under the name JFCopy. As a resident of South Hutchinson Island, she enjoys long walks on the beach and sampling the native cuisine with her fiancee, Joel. You can often find her at the Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market or local festivals.