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Emerging Artist Exhibition 2018

The Best Thing You Can Do Today: Eat at Dr. BBQ

The wait is over, barbecue aficionados: Dr. BBQ opens today at 1101 First Ave. S. in St. Pete’s Edge District.

The new restaurant’s pedigree couldn’t be more drool-worthy. The good doctor is, of course, Ray Lampe, world-famous curator of ’cue, and his partners are Roger and Suzanne Perry, the team behind South Tampa’s beloved restaurant triumvirate, Datz, Dough and Roux. If Monday night’s sneak preview was any indication, it’s a match made in culinary heaven.

The vibe is, for want of a better word, Datz-y: big, rambling, friendly, rustic yet chic, industrial yet warm. And the food: verrrry tasty and full of surprises, like Mac-A-Phoni & Cheese, so named because it uses hominy instead of macaroni (and who knew Flamin’ Hot Cheetos would work as a garnish?). The Go-Chu-Jang Sticky Ribs were spicy, meaty and yes, sticky; the pastrami served on Texas toast had just the right balance of smoke and fat; the Belly & Buns (lamb belly in a bao bun) might give Anise a run for the money; and the two taco varieties were creatively stuffed with pork chorizo and “Magic Mushrooms” (sorry, no psilocybin, just a rich combo of portobellos and shiitakes).

I didn’t get to try the brisket sliders or the carved beef short rib (waaaah!), but never mind — I’ll definitely be back. And you should go there, too. Today, perhaps?

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