16. Jack Homes: King of Opa-Locka Barbecue
New Times' Best of Miami 2014 issue arrives June 19. To celebrate, Short Order is paying tribute to Miami's culinary all-stars. These people forged our city's food scene into what it is today -- a thriving amalgam of tastes and cultures. Through their insight and talent, they've given the city a unique flavor and paved the way for bright new chefs and restaurateurs to follow their lead and take the Miami food scene into the future.
Courtesy of redroots-localgoodness Jack Homes (left)
At Mama Lucy's Homestyle Cooking it's all about the sauce. Excuse me. The "Soss is the Boss," as the sign on the Opa-Locka barbecue joint reads.
For nearly 20 years, owner Jack Homes has stood outside what quickly became a soul food standby, slathering whole racks of smoky ribs with sweet, smokey, fragrant sauce the way his grandmother Lucy taught him while he was growing up in Brunswick, Ga. You can find him five days out of the week somewhere inside the billowing plumes of sweet smoke that emerge from the blackened barrels in the parking lot
Inside the restaurant are signed jerseys of former University of Miami Hurricanes who have passed through the joint, probably why it's also become known as Mama Lucy's "All Pro Ribs." Ordering is done inside, drive through style. After a lengthy wait you can opt for a whole rack ($21), a half ($13) or the rib sandwich ($6). As it should, everything comes with a couple slices of stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth white bread.
Of course there are a range of sides to choose from -- mac and cheese, greens, and sweet cornbread muffins -- but don't forget to tie off a sweet rack of ribs with a cup of cinnamony peach cobbler.
Before opening Mama Lucy's, Homes was a Miami-Dade County bus driver for 25 years.
Let your voice be heard by voting in our Readers' Poll. Visit readerschoice.miaminewtimes.com by June 4. Then check out the 27th-annual Best of Miami issue, available online and in print Thursday, June 19, to see if your favorites won.