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Ernie's BBQ

There's a long history behind Ernie's BBQ, with its eclectic mix of Libertarian philosophy on the walls and funky decor. It usually leads to stories about Ernie Siebert, a good ole' Florida boy who just so happened to also be a part-time rumrunner. Popular lore estimates he once purchased $250,000 worth of booze and stored it in Bimini, and whenever the bar at Ernie's ran dry, Siebert would make a trip to the island, load up his boat, and replenish it -- no questions asked. Today, there's no shortage of liquor at this trendy downtown Fort Lauderdale smokehouse and sports bar. Casual and funky, it's become a favorite with customers who can't get enough of the oversized burgers, Cajun tuna steak sandwich, fried catfish fingers, homemade conch chowder, and fresh-baked Bimini bread (one of just a few places that still make it in these parts). The BBQ is tangy, with a rack of ribs that are more reminiscent of slow-cooked Italian short ribs than Southern soul food, despite being absolutely delicious. Regulars also revisit for the friendly staff, open-air upstairs patio, and Old Florida nostalgia.