Shoup’s Savory Visits: Jenkins Quality Barbecue

Finally, what the world has been waiting for…another restaurant review from me.
This past Saturday morning I was at Goodyear downtown getting my wife’s car serviced. Starting to get hungry, I remember that a long time staple of Jacksonville is right next door, Jenkins. AS I walk there (located on Pearl Street between State and Union), I can smell the barbecue smoke in the air and it makes me even more hungry.

I have a hankering for some chicken. They offer a half smoked chicken “sandwich” for $7. I use the word sandwich lightly, as it is literally half of a smoked chicken still on the bone between to pieces of untoasted white bread. They have another option for a quarter smoked chicken with two sides for $7, but I prefer more chicken and less filler. When I ordered the half smoked chicken, I requested all white meat. Often when I have ordered this in other restaurants there is not a problem, but here the response I receive is that they have both white and dark meat. Also, I can not have only white meat. Strike one.

So I changed my order to a pork sandwich and an order of corn nuggets with a large soda. The response I got….$12.42. Ok, seems a bit high but it is what it is.

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I received my order within a couple of minutes, maybe to quickly (keep reading). The sandwich starts out hot and great, with a good vinegar-based sauce. As I got to the middle of the sandwich, it was cold. Strike two.

I finished the sandwich anyway, believing if I brought it to the attention of the folks in the store it might not have made a difference. I continued to the corn nuggets, which start out not bad. I was a little disappointed in having a package of ranch (after closer review it was low fat ranch. Who does low fat with corn nuggets? Giant oxymoron), as I prefer to dip. The ranch had a sour taste and I’m not sure if it was out of date as there was not a date on the package or if it was just because it was fat free, which I don’t usually get. I abandoned the ranch and use the side of barbecue sauce to dip the corn nuggets. Then, the corn nuggets started to fall apart. I have never seen this happen before. Strike three.

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Jenkins has been a Jacksonville staple for many many years. Maybe it was this location, maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe I got there too early (20 minutes after opening). I don’t know what it was but I can not recommend Jenkins. On the bright side the sauce and soda were good.

Where should I go next? Let me know on twitter @craigshoup …..

Jenkins Quality Barbecue has three locations: 830 N. Pearl St., 5945 New Kings Rd., and 2025 Emerson St. All three open at 11 a.m., and the downtown location is open Sundays. For more information, visit their website.