Recently I took the opportunity to visit this new (opened this spring) bbq place in a strip mall just across from UF. I came on a Monday afternoon during school break, so it was fairly quiet. In fact, they were about to close for the day (they close at 2PM on Mondays during summer), but I imagine it could be difficult to find a parking spot when students are in town, since it shares a parking lot with a bookstore and a couple other restaurants. From the outside, Kay Bros. looks like it has existed there for a long time. The inside has had a little more renovation and is roomy and comfortable.
You place your order at this counter and take a number. It is then brought to your table by one of the waitresses, whose apparent dress code is Daisy Dukes, tank tops and cowboy boots. I understand they are targeting the male college student demographic, but in my opinion, good barbecue shouldn't need a sideshow to attract a following.
According to their website, the brothers Darren and Steven grew up working in a barbecue restaurant, and after college traveled the country visiting the most famous barbecue meccas. From those experiences, they claim to bring together the best of many of the regional variations of 'cue. To test this assertion, I ordered a combo platter of pulled pork and brisket.
The brisket was chopped, not sliced. It was very tender with just a hint of smoke. The few bits of bark I got had a little more flavor, but overall it was lacking in taste from what I would expect great brisket to be. Don't get me wrong, it was among the best I've had, by since I usually stick with pork I don't have a lot to compare it to. The pork had a little more crust and more perceptible smoke, but still not quite enough for me. Like the beef, it was moist and tender. The flavor of both was improved by adding one of their choices from the sauce bar:
I tried the Texas style sauce on the brisket and Carolina mustard on my pork, and liked them both, though I can't say the flavor was as big as the pictures. The remainder of my meal- texas toast, sweet tea plus side dishes of mac and cheese and potato salad was all good. An unusual addition to the potato salad was corn, which added some texture contrast but wasn't enough to add to or take away from the flavor. The macaroni was a cheese lover's dream, creamy and smooth with extra cheese on top.
This place will probably stay busy because of it's location. Hopefully once they are more established they can kick the smoking up a notch and get a little closer to perfection. In the meantime, it's a good option if you're already in the area, but I wouldn't make a special trip to this location.
FOOD RATING: 3.5 OF 5OVERALL RATING: 3 OF 5