I have been forever spoiled for all other barbecues because of Pat’s Rib Place. I really wanted to like Sonny’s Barbecue in Lakeland, Fla. I really did. After protesting for years to go with my brother, I finally convinced my hubby and father-in-law to check it out after a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and before our drive back to Tampa.
During my teen years (well before I became a barbecue fan), I refused to eat anything barbecue. My brother still regrets not just going to the Sonny’s near Kissimmee and just having me fend for myself as a picky eater. Alas, we ended up – probably – at some chain restaurant for a generic hamburger or sandwich instead.
In some sort of repentance for my young naivety, I tried to make up for my misdeeds and check out this barbecue joint that has been on my brother’s wishlist for years. Sadly, I can’t say it would live up to the pedestal that he has placed it on. So let’s take a closer look…
Wooden booths line the restaurant, which has a country-kitchen type of feel with knickknacks on the walls and old photos in the frames.
Sonny’s has four different sauces – sweet, Sizzlin’ Sweet, Smokin’ and Mild. You can buy them online if you want to bring the taste home with you.
We started our meal off with the fried corn nuggets – creamed corn that is battered, then fried and served with a little powdered sugar on the side. These were okay but I was hoping for a little more from them. Once they started to get cold, there was no chance for redemption.
I opted for the slow-smoked pulled beef brisket with barbecue beans and corn bread. I don’t know what it is lately – but food just isn’t coming out piping hot anymore. I was much too tired and famished from a day of park hopping to even complain.
I’m so sad that this meal didn’t live up to my expectations (or those of my big brother’s). I really really wanted to like it, especially since so many other people seemed to be enjoying their meals. Even the service was lackluster.
Sigh. Maybe I just needed my big brother with me to enjoy it?