Many better but OK.
Ribs smokey but almost always tuff. The sauce is rich tomatoe base and is very good. I like the hot one best. I say try Smoking Rib Shack in Largo or jumb the bridge to Rodney's BBQ in south Tampa for more tender ribs. Also Alex's BBQ in Tampa is worth the drive. If you want baby backs go to Smokey Bones in Clearwater. If you get to Kansas City, go to Big T, Arthur Bryants, Wabash, Oaklahoma Joe's, Holy Smokes, and Johnny's Hickory House. In Memphis it is Interstate BBQ.
We have been to bbq restaurants of famous pitmasters of Bob Lilly-Bob Gibsons BBQ, both locations of Mike Mills-17th Street Bar & Grill and Myron Mixon-Jacks Old South. We hunt have search out the best from Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina, and Texas. Big Tims BBQ is not anywhere near what you will find at the places mentioned above. But it's ok.
It doesn't look like a diamond but this is one gem from the good old days that still retains its luster. I searched out Big Tim's Bar-B-Q on a recent visit after a long absence from St. Pete and wasn't disappointed. Big Tim's is one of the few remaining independent local barbeque joints in Florida while many others have closed due to competition from major franchaises and changing demographics. Big Tim's keeps the integrity of the woodsmoke and sauce that defines southern barbeque. One bite of my bar-b-q pork sandwich and hot sauce took me back 25 years to my first taste of Big Tim's. Don't bring a credit card and don't expect table service. Some rare treats are still out there.
Smells like heaven.
But unfortunately doesn't deliver on taste. The side orders are boring and bland and the ribs have been overdone. I've been there a couple times, but only because they are in my neighborhood.
Big Tim's Disappoints....
I read the other reviews on Big Tim's and thought I'd give it a try. St. Pete is definitely lacking when it comes to good BBQ places, so I was excited.
Went in today around 3:30. Place was empty. Ordered a half a slab of ribs and onion rings. No onion rings. No problem. I ordered cole slaw instead.
Ribs came swimming in sauce. That's ok if you like sauce, but I prefer no sauce or lightly sauced so the BBQ can stand on it's own. The meat was tough and overdone. Don't know how you can accomplish that. Usually underdone ribs are tough, and overdone ribs are falling apart. The only way this could happen is by cooking them too hot and too fast. Anyway, they were't good. The cole slaw was tasteless.
I am a BBQ Judge for the Florida BBQ Assn and also for the Kansas City BBQ Society, so I know good BBQ from bad. I also cook pretty good BBQ myself. I guess I'll just keep searching for that good BBQ joint in St. Pete, because it isn't Big Tims.
Ribs and Pork.
If you want the best BBQ ribs or pork in the Tampa Bay area, or even the southeast, you have to try Big Tim's. I've been going there for over 25 years. Not only do they have the right combination of tang and spice, but they also seem to have the best quality meat. There is just something about eating at this shack, that makes my mouth water.
I started eating @ Big Tim's in the 1980's. The quality of his BBQ is great. I particularily enjoy his rib sandwiches. Don't forget to grab plenty of napkins-or just lick your fingers like all the locals do. It is very messy but you cannot beat the taste. The sides are very tasty also! Great food!
Best BBQ in St Pete.
Definitely the best BBQ I have had in St. Petersburg. The place is pretty much a shack (as most good BBQ restaurants are) but the food is great. I recomend the ribs in particular. Baked beans and the other sides I have had are good as well.