Jenkins Quality Barbecue - Southside2025 Emerson St
Jacksonville, FL 32207
User Ratings and Reviews:smokedpig
June 24, 2011, 7:27 p.m.
I've known of Jenkins Barbeque on Emerson Street from passing by many times over the last 15 years. The aroma of the wood smoke always caught my attention, but somehow it just never worked out to stop until a recent afternoon. Probably part of the reason is it has always looked a little outdated, and I had never seen more than a few cars in the parking lot.
Stepping inside didn't do too much to give me hope either- it was almost empty and obviously hasn't been updated for many years.
But you can't always judge food quality by the appearance, so I decided to give it a try anyway. At this place, you order and pick up your food from the counter. The menu looked pretty basic, so I chose the pork sandwich and potato salad, and my lunch partner ordered the chicken sandwich. The one lady at the counter wasn't necessarily unfriendly, but she seemed burdened to have to actually take an order, as if she had better things to do.
The lone cook slowly bagged our food, and we took it to one of the many empty tables. The one other customer we passed was deep into a barbecue sauce covered paper bag and didn't look up as we passed-a good sign for once.
My pork sandwich was standard barbecue fare-it had decent flavor but needed a good amount of the mustard based sauce to liven it up. The bun was fresh, the meat was moist and the sauce was actually quite good. There wasn't anything bad about it, but there wasn't anything great about it either.
The chicken sandwich was anything but typical. Expecting a light meal, we were surprised to see what was in the wrapper: a half chicken, bones and all, smothered in mustard sauce and stuffed between four slices of white bread. Of course you couldn't eat it like a sandwich, but the chicken fell right off the bone and all that bread was needed to mop up the sauce. Like the pork, the flavor wouldn't have been much without the sauce.
It wasn't a total letdown- we left satisfied but there is room for improvement. Try getting help that will at least smile, maybe freshen the place up a bit and spice the meat a little more, then you'd have something. To be fair, I have not tried either of their other two locations- maybe someday I will.
Originally posted on my blog at http://bbqreview.blogspot.com