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Why You Should Be Here Already

We actually know what we're doing, promise!

Unlike most chain BBQ Restaurants, and for that matter a lot of "mom and pop" BBQ restaurants, Poppa's BBQ brings actual knowledge to the table. ​

Let the other restaurants tell you about when they won "best BBQ that one time 15 years ago" in a competition with OVER 5 of their relatives!

​We have competition skills dating back over 20 years ago to the famed Memphis in May BBQ Competition, as well as recent contest winnings in some of the largest BBQ contests in the world.

We can show you we know how to do it with one glance at our trophy shelf.

Tampa Bay barbecue is smokin' in sheds, shacks, secret smokehouses

By Tom Scherberger, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Thursday, March 10, 2011


If not for the lousy economy, Mike DeWeese might still be a purchaser for an electronics company. DeWeese, 57, grew up around barbecue in Memphis, where his dad was a VFW leader and always manned the smoker for events. DeWeese got into competitive barbecuing a few years ago and proudly displays his trophies on the front counter. Then he got laid off. "I took a year off and wondered, 'Hmmm, what am I gonna do?' I'd always wanted to do this anyway so I just decided to do it." He cooks over oak in a large black smoker parked in a shed in front of the restaurant in the middle of an industrial area off I-275. Split wood leans against the shed under the shade of a large oak tree. DeWeese keeps the menu simple: baby-back ribs, pulled pork and chicken, with beans, potato salad and cole slaw. His specialty is Memphis-style ribs, so they are cooked with a dry rub and served without sauce. You can get sauce on the side, but it's unnecessary. The ribs are tender and flavorful enough, with a glaze that has a hint of apple. "He's a competition guy, and it shows,'' Dr. BBQ says, holding up a rib. The color is golden brown, the meat perfectly tender, the flavor not too smoky. The setup is as simple as the menu: a counter and half a dozen two-top tables and a cooler with soft drinks. Poppa's opened in June and is limited to weekday lunch hours only, though DeWeese is thinking about opening on Saturdays so his weekday customers can bring their families.

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