Red Cow is one of the newer Fort Lauderdale BBQ restaurants that’s taking traditional barbeque favorites and shaking them up to make some unique and tasty dishes. We found large portions, great BBQ flavor and really good service making Red Cow one of our favorite picks.
Red Cow is at the corner of Sunrise and US1. Some say this location is cursed, with a list of failed restaurants, but we think Red Cow will break the curse with ease. Suggestion – Make sure to drive southbound on Federal Highway so its an easy right turn into the shopping plaza. Walking in, you immediately are hit with the awesome wood/smoke aroma. To the back you can see the huge oven that was cooking whole chickens when we arrived. To the right is the large bar with lots of stools. To the left is the main dining area with a bunch if tables with bright red chairs and some high top tables. Large TV screens are set up, today showing some sports and old fashioned cartoons. It’s a neat looking place that isn’t overworked and we felt it was comfortable.
We were a bit early for dinner and had our pick of the seating. Our server greeted us and explained that the owner’s restaurant roster also includes Foxy Brown (Downtown Fort Lauderdale) and Coconuts (Fort Lauderdale Beach), both have incredible reputations. He went over the specials of the day and went off to get our drinks. It gave us some time to look over the menu.
This is a BBQ restaurant and all meats are smoked in house. They have your staples here, like pork spare ribs, baby-back, beef brisket, pulled pork and the like. They also have house made smoked sausage along with tasty sides like fried Brussel sprouts, Mac and cheese and baked beans. Our server came back with our drinks and even made some suggestions and let me tell you, this guy knew the menu really well. We placed our order and settled in, with our appetizer arriving fairly quickly.
‘JERK-CUTERIE’ PLATE ($12 regular price, $6 happy hour). This was more like a smaller platter and this was a huge serving perfect for sharing. Let’s see if we remember everything that was on this huge appetizer:
- House Made Jalapeño-Cheddar Smoked Sausage. We thought this was the star of the plate. Packed with a smoky punch, the jalapeño and cheddar was the perfect pairing that rally enhanced the taste. The sausage was grilled perfectly too with some crisp edges. We loved it.
- House smoked pimento cheese with sourdough toast. This was number two on out list of favorites. Smooth cheese with a little spice from the peppers, with a smokey finish. We fought over the last spoonful.
- House made pickles. Firm with a bright tang of vinegar helped cut through the richness of most of the meat. A really good pickle chip.
- Jalapeño corn bread. It was fresh and very moist and we liked the jalapeño that was found through the bread. It was large piece, almost too big.
- Smoked pork loin. It was tasty and was only subtle with smoke taste. It went really well with one of the three house naked BBQ sauces that are on the table.
- House made venison and beef jerky. We believe they use either a blueberry or pomegranate to infuse the flavor. I’m not a fan of jerky, but this was pretty good. Another suggestion – Since Jerky is naturally chewy, make sure to take the leftovers home to enjoy.
Our server kept our drinks filled and checked on us often without being bothersome. He timed our food perfectly as our entrees arrived maybe 10 minutes after we finished our appetizer.
Smoked Prime Rib with Fried Brussel Sprouts ($24). This dish is a special only offered on Friday and Saturday nights. When Jeff heard our server mention it, that’s all he needed to hear. When the dish was set down on the table, WOW! This prime rib was huge. It was one of the largest cuts we’ve seen on quite a while and he had a hard time deciding where to start.
The first bite delivered one of the most flavorful prime ribs we’ve ever had. The smoke process really adds layers to what can be a bland cut and he au jus really pulled it together. Perfectly medium in temperature, Jeff was quite happy with his choice. The serving size was so big he had to take half home. The fried Brussel sprouts were good, but really came alive with flavor when we used the pomegranate BBQ sauce lending a bit of sweetness.
Eat More Meat Combo with 2 Sides ($23). I chose pork spare ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket for my three meats. (They also have an option with two meats.) The brisket was sliced into three pieces that were thicker than expected. Tender and smoky, we liked it a lot. I only could finish one slice. The pork ribs had a nice pink smoke ring and had just enough chew. I liked the BBQ sauce and found they used just the right amount.
The pulled pork was also very good, infused with a nice smokiness. The fries were crinkle cut and reminded me of the fries Shake Shack used to have. There were a few rogue fries that were cold, probably part of an older batch. The portion was big enough to share too. The baked beans were probably the best I’ve had in a restaurant. Hey had chunks of pork and onions and the sweet flavor was not overpowering, balanced just right.
The portions here caught us by surprise, in a good way. We both had enough for another meal and he did a great job boxing it up for us. Plus you get HOT cloth towels at the end of the meal (nice touch). The service is really top notch and when you add in the awesome food, Red Cow has a winning BBQ Restaurant.
Red Cow is located at 1025 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL33304