If your favorite BBQ spot doesn’t have chickens in the alley, you ain’t nowhere. If your BBQ spot doesn’t have a twisted black smoker rig in an adjacent lot, you ain’t nowhere. So, let me put it like this, Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que is the best spot in Tampa.
They have been for a long time. They never fell off. They never stopped walloping taste buds. And they never stopped serving exactly what the name says.
Tennessee family barbecue
Al’s barbecue is messy. Ribs are dry-rubbed and slow smoked over wood until they fall off the bone. The sauce is tomato-based and the right amount of tangy. You will like it. You will put your saucy fingers in your mouth like a tiny baby.
The reason why Al’s BBQ is simple and delicious is because it is home-cooking. Just look at some of the names of items on the menu: Uncle John’s Smoked Sausage, Terrence’s Chopped Beef, Uncle Arvie’s Daily Lunch Special, Sparky’s Pulled Pork, Aunt Nita’s Black Eyed Peas, and Mazie’s Serve-It-Up Yellow Rice and Chicken.
The food is rooted in family (when we stopped by Al was there to ring us up) and it knows what it wants to be: meat-focused, Tennessee traditional barbecue. You may be go to other barbecue joints in the area that steal a little from one style or locale, but Al’s does not. This spot is a love song to the Volunteer State’s obsession with perfectly smoked pork.
Al’s also just opened a new soul food spot
All that to say, Al’s is far from being light on accolades. The spot has won best BBQ in the city multiple times and been recognized on the national stage as a must-try spot in Florida. And, good news, Al and his crew have just opened up a new soul food shop a few months ago. Al’s Finger Licking Good Soul Food is at 2302 E. 7th Avenue.
We highly suggest you get to either one of these spots and don’t forget to grab a pie on your way out.
Al’s Finger Licking Bar-B-Que is located at 1609 Angel Oliva Sr St – one block south of Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor City. The restaurant is closed from Sunday to Tuesday, open Wednesday and Thursday 11:30am to 4:30pm, and Friday to Saturday they are open 11:30am to 9pm.