by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
Almost 10 years ago now, I started learning about BBQ and what it takes to make it great. I watched all the TV shows about it and started to experiment with it in my own backyard. I’m always up for a challenge, so after learning that beef brisket is considered the Mt Everest of BBQ meats and the most difficult to cook, I decided that’s where I would start. After many trials (and several failures), I finally figured out the winning formula. With as busy as I’ve become with all the restaurant reviews I do, it’s difficult to find the time needed to BBQ in my own backyard, so I often seek out local places to get my BBQ fix.
I’ve heard many great things in our Vero Beach Foodie group about Wes’s that I figured it was time to stop by and check them out. Located next to the Vero Beach High School stadium off of 16th St in what was once known as Heavenly Wings is now Wes’ Backyard BBQ & Grill. Owners, Wes and Michele Garcia completely revamped their new location a few years ago when they opened the restaurant. Wes creates and serves up some of the best Southern BBQ in this area, and he is not afraid to get creative too. Often times you will find a non-BBQ special on the menu to keep it fresh and the customers coming back for more. He recently started making his own Cuban bread for sandwiches. To keep up with what is going on the menu on a day by day basis, be sure to hit up the link below to their Facebook page and give it a like so you are up to date with all the latest specials.
Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!
We started out with the pulled and sliced pork platter. All BBQ platters come with your choice of two sides, we selected the baked beans and coleslaw. The pulled pork was tender, moist and had the right amount of smoke flavor. The sliced pork had been wrapped with bacon, so it has a little extra smoke flavor on it. The beans are some of the best around and his coleslaw is sweet and creamy.
Chicken thighs are my absolute favorite part of the chicken due to the additional flavor and fat. Wes first smokes them, then will fry them if you like. The coating on the fried chicken thigh is the same he uses on the fish, and it had a nice crunch when taking a bite.
I’m a HUGE fan of fish tacos so I was happy to see these brought out for us to try. A generous portion of lightly fried haddock is served in a flour tortilla and topped with Michele’s famous coleslaw, then garnished with sriracha and a sour cream & lime drizzle. The fish was perfectly fried and very moist. The coleslaw added a nice crunch and the sriracha added a little heat. They were delicious!
Ribs (Baby Back and Spares) are my second favorite BBQ meat so I was anxious to try these! This is a half-rack served with two sides. The ribs were very tender and the meat easily pulled away from the bone, which is just the way I like them. Falling off the bone to me is overcooked, so these were perfect!
While not made in house, Wes gets all of his desserts from a local bakery called Sweet Creations. This is their 100 Grand Candy Bar cheesecake! The three of us that attended the review were battling over the last few bites it was so good! If you would like more information about this local bakery, follow their Facebook page or email them at email@example.com.
I have very high expectations when it comes to BBQ and everything that I tasted on the night of the review was on point and quite delicious! Wes and Michele are also two of the hardest working, most down to earth people you would ever hope to meet. One thing I’ve also noticed about them is that they are very philanthropic when disaster strikes our neighboring communities. They are always one of the first to organize a food & supply drive to help others in need. We here at Vero Beach Foodie find that very admiral and believe that we should support small businesses that put others first. If you find yourself craving BBQ in the near future, then I highly recommend you check them out, I know you won’t be disappointed!
Address: 1430 16th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm