28001 S. Dixie Hwy.
Most of you might know this, but I grew up in the Florida Keys, which happens to be located just to the south of Miami. So I’ve actually spent a good amount of time in the Miami area, whether it was going to the mall (we didn’t have one of those in the Keys), or playing sports games against Miami area schools (I played them all – volleyball, basketball, softball and I was a cheerleader).
We would often play our arch rivals Princeton Christian School in Homestead, and when we did my dad would sometimes come up to watch the game and then take me to dinner at the nearby Shiver’s Bar-B-Q. I can still vividly remember sitting on the dark wooden benches of the picnic tables at the casual joint while devouring a half-rack of barbecue ribs and sipping sweet tea.
Those fond memories are what made Shiver’s sit among the top of my Miami restaurant wish list. I’ll admit I was hesitant when I returned back to the place with my husband last weekend, unsure if the place was still up to lip-smacking par. But after all, I read that Shiver’s was named “Best Barbecue” in the local alt-weekly, Miami New Times. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed.
Shiver’s is known for their smoked meat, and they’ve been in the barbecue business for over 50 years, so there’s no convincing they know their stuff. Kenny and I both ordered sandwich platters – pulled pork for him and beef brisket for me. He got the jumbo portion ($7.99) while I stuck with regular size ($7.99). It was no matter, because both came with two sides: We went for a variety to share including barbecue beans, collard greens, cheesy hash brown casserole and jalapeno cheese grits.
The jumbo size pulled pork sandwich boasted a slightly larger bun than the regular size and was filled with a decent amount of meat, which was juicy even without the spicy barbecue sauce he doused on top. The hash brown casserole offered a salty cheesy starch to the meal, while the collard greens were perhaps the best I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve had Southern food all over the south. They weren’t watered-down and they came with a nice punch of spice.
My beef brisket sandwich came packed with slices of juicy meat, and I especially enjoyed the crispy charred edges. Although the jalapeno grits were a specialty that day (only served on Saturday and Sunday), I’d have to pass on those next time, as they didn’t have much texture and were cold in the middle. The beans had a rich flavor but could have used a bit more meat and spice.
Shiver’s serves as a great neighborhood joint, with its down-home atmosphere and welcoming staff. There’s no doubt we’ll return soon, even if it means driving across town for some grub, and I can assure one thing: Next time I intend to get my hands and face messy while chowing down on a rack of ribs. Even if it’s just for old-times’ sake.