My wife and I had lunch at A-Train BBQ in Lakeland recently. Neither of us had ever been there; their logo looks familiar, I think they may have catered a work lunch at a former employer of mine, and if that’s the case, the food at that time was excellent. They are not the easiest place to find, tucked away between a barber shop and nail salon in a strip mall, but inside it’s homey and there are many toy trains and related decor, a nice touch.
Several different people waited on us and they were all really friendly and pleasant. We never had to wait long for anything. A-Train has a nice-looking breakfast menu (they open at 6AM, Monday through Saturday!), but we were there for lunch. The lunch menu has a lot of the standard barbecue meals, pork, turkey, brisket, ribs, and a tempting salmon offering. Most of the meat dishes are offered as lunch (1 side) or dinner (2 sides).
We started with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. Wonderful! The breading was crispy but the tomatoes were not over cooked. They came with a plentiful amount of ranch dressing for dipping.
My wife ordered smoked turkey with mac and cheese. We could even smell the smokey flavor of the turkey when they brought it to the table. The turkey was thinly sliced with plenty of flavor. My wife said the mac and cheese was some of the best she has had, very cheesy and it didn’t taste packaged.
I ordered pulled pork with fried pickles. The pork had a lot of flavor but was very tender. The pickles were pickle spears, rather than slices, and these were also delicious, with just the right amount of breading. We had a tomato-based barbecue sauce to complement our meals – a vinegar-based sauce is also available.
With tip, our total was only about $29 (that includes coffee and iced tea for drinks – my wife said she wasn’t wild about the coffee, that was the only weak point). A great deal! We look forward to returning, and especially to trying out their breakfast menu sometime. A-Train BBQ is in the Highlands Plaza shopping center at the corner of Lakeland Highlands Road and Edgewood Drive South. Enjoy!