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23 April 2014

BBQ restaurant brings southern flavor near campus

The Humongous BBQ Nachos at Brother Jimmy's meld Mexican with barbecue. The tortilla chips are topped with the traditional chili, cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, but they also come with BBQ beans and the choice of pulled pork or chicken. Lyssa Goldberg // Contributing Photographer

The Humongous BBQ Nachos at Brother Jimmy’s meld Mexican with barbecue. The tortilla chips are topped with the traditional chili, cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, but they also come with BBQ beans and the choice of pulled pork or chicken. Lyssa Goldberg // Contributing Photographer

The second Miami outpost of Brother Jimmy’s BBQ opened up at the Shops at Sunset Place this week. The barbecue chain already has a location in Miami’s Mary Brickell Village.

The timing may seem inopportune, given that it’s the end of the semester, but all this really means is that students should head over for a study break during reading days or take advantage of the new restaurant over the summer if they’re staying in town.

In fact, the grand opening festivities for the public will take place Friday and Saturday, featuring line dancing, mechanical bull riding and more.

The food and atmosphere is the perfect intermediary between the cheap eats you would find at a casual place like Shorty’s BBQ near Dadeland and the upscale barbecue fare offered at locations such as Swine Southern Table & Bar in downtown Coral Gables.

The focus of the menu at Brother Jimmy’s, a Carolina-style barbecue mini-chain that got its start in New York, is the meat – specifically the pork. This explains why their signature BBQ sauces (original, Carolina and chipotle) are all vinegar-based; they don’t overpower the flavors of the meats the way a thicker sauce would.

Everything from the chicken wings to the ribs receives careful attention. Whether the preparation involves smoking or slow roasting, the strategy is to bring out the boldest flavors and make the meat tender.

To start, get a basket of cornbread with sweet maple butter. Choose your entrée from the choices of platters, sandwiches and burgers. Think brisket, pulled pork or dry-rub ribs, and hope that your selection comes with more cornbread.

One of the more surprising items on the menu is the avocado and tomato salad, a refreshing side dish that you wouldn’t expect to find at a barbecue restaurant with such heavy meals.

Another option you won’t want to pass up is the fried Brussels sprouts. They’re salty and savory, definitely crispy but also crisp. This side dish is a great way to get your greens in, which can be hard to remember when plowing into a rack of ribs.

The Brother Jimmy’s in Mary Brickell Village has been a go-to bar for watching sporting events in the past. Now that we have our own South Miami location just blocks from campus, we can expect Hurricanes watch parties for Canes football games when we return in the fall.

Pro-tip: Brother Jimmy’s is part of the Shops at Sunset Place, but the street-level restaurant is right across from Buns and Buns facing Sunset Drive. You can get there more quickly by parking at the garage near Barceloneta than entering through the actual Sunset Place garage.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ is located at 5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami, Fla.