4 Rivers Smokehouse – Still got it!

Since October of 2009, John Rivers and his team have been serving their guests some of the best BBQ around while also charitably serving their community. Their first location was a small 1400-square-foot space on Fairbanks Ave, previously home to a auto mechanics shop. This location was originally designed to be “BBQ Ministry” where Rivers and his small crew would prepare food for church events, schools, and other local charities. When they flipped the switch on the open sign, and prepared to start selling to the public, a line quickly formed out the door. Fast forward just 6 years later, and 4 Rivers is now 11 locations strong with one of the newest recently opened in Orlando’s City Hall late last year.

On several of the trips I’ve made to their various locations, my first impression is always that this is the cleanest BBQ place I’ve ever been to. Attention to detail on everything from the menu display to the dining area really set 4 Rivers apart from the vast majority of other local BBQ joints. Everything is well organized, the staff is friendly, and the whole operation runs like a well-oiled machine. It’s a good thing too, because the waiting line can be intimidating for first timers. Rest assured though, you’ll be eating that award winning BBQ in no time.

As you arrive at the cafeteria style assembly line to place you order, you’re presented with your meats and sides. The signature protein and the king of the menu is the Angus beef brisket, which is available in 2 styles depending on your preference (lean or juicy). This is a must try item, and is served up as a sandwich, a dinner plate, or in some of their signature stackers. Of the 16 sides that are available, I always recommend trying the baked beans (best I’ve ever had), smoked jalapenos (spicy and bacon wrapped), and bread pudding (warm and sweet) for first timers.

The Sweet Shop, a newer addition to the 4 Rivers family, is available at a handful of their locations. The selection of desserts and milk shakes made fresh in house is a sight to behold. Carrot Cake cupcakes and drop in milk shakes are a perfect way to cap off your visit.

With several locations around the I-4 corridor and beyond, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is a success story that started with a little faith and blossomed into a truly divine BBQ experience. Make sure to check out their website to learn more about their catering options for your next office party or event.