One recent Saturday my wife and I were strolling through the Downtown Farmers Curb Market – the Market is a great opportunity to obtain produce, plants, jewelry, and craft products from local vendors – and decided to have lunch at the nearby Lakeland BBQ Company. We had been looking forward to Lakeland BBQ Company for a while – it’s a special location for us, as it used to be the be home of Tony’s Studio B, a place we went for several dates when they were open and always had a wonderful time.
Lakeland BBQ Company seems to emphasize catering and hosting special events at their location. They are currently only open for lunch Thursday through Saturday, 11AM – 2PM. It’s worth showing up for, though. They also have locations in Polk City and Dundee (with different hours). The Lakeland restaurant is in a beautifully restored older building and is decorated in a blend of contemporary and rustic. (It’s actually a 1920s building that was originally home to a Studebaker sales and repair business.) We were the only customers in the restaurant during our lunch – that may be because a lot of barbecue lovers were in Winter Haven for the annual Smoke on the Water event that day.
Our hostesses were cheerful and we enjoyed the quiet of having the restaurant to ourselves. The restaurant offers beef, chicken, and pork on their menu. My wife ordered the chopped beef brisket meal, which came with cornbread and a choice of 2 sides – she chose apple slaw and BBQ pit beans. I ordered a loaded baked potato – it included the choice of chicken or pulled pork (or beef brisket for a slight upcharge), and I requested pork – with a side of apple slaw. Two iced teas to drink.
The food was wonderful, everything fresh and flavorful. The meat was tender and cooked to perfection. The apple slaw was fresh and crispy and not saturated with mayonnaise. The hearty portion of cornbread was delicious. The barbecue beans had a nice smoky flavor. And the baked potato was one of the biggest potatoes I’ve ever seen, topped with generous amounts of cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, sour cream, barbecue sauce, and butter. We ended up taking some leftovers home thanks to the hearty portions.
Good show! We love barbecue, and this was exceptional. It’s not cheap – with tip, our total came to almost $32. But we enjoyed the service, the excellent food, and the cool historic building, where all of downtown Lakeland is right outside. The next time you are looking for barbecue, visit Lakeland BBQ Company. They are located on East Bay Street between North Kentucky Avenue and North Tennessee Avenue.
If we have inspired you to visit Lakeland BBQ Company, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!