May 16, 2013

Everglades BBQ at Tropicana Field {Go Rays!}

Why I've never been to Everglades BBQ before, I am really not sure. When I visit the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trop, I usually stick with a classic hamburger from the concession stand. This is now going to change!

Recently I was invited to have dinner at Everglades BBQ. Everglades is the perfect compromise between rushing through dinner before a game and missing plays waiting in line for food during the game. You don't have to rush through anything at Everglades, because you can watch all of the action while you eat! We decided to eat at Everglades before a recent home game. We arrived around 6pm, and we enjoyed watching the pre-game warm ups from our dinner table. Imagine how great this view would be during the game!

Once we got settled in, it was time to decide what to eat! The menu at Everglades features all of your favorite BBQ staples, and some twists. All of the BBQ served at Everglades is smoked onsite daily. I knew it was going to be good!

The appetizers by themselves are a tough choice to choose from! The appetizer menu includes Pulled Pork Nachos, Beef Brisket Quesadillas, Pork Rinds, and Crispy Chicken Wings. Are you hungry yet?

Everglades has a full salad bar as well. The salad bar includes Parker House Rolls and Brunswick Stew. You can have the salad bar as a meal, or add it on as an appetizer or side when you order a sandwich or entree.

The sandwiches at Everglades would make my friend SandBookWich very proud! How does a Fried Georgia Trout BLT with Bacon Mayonnaise sound? Pretty awesome, right? We decided to try the classic Pulled Pork sandwich. All of the sandwiches at Everglades come with Ranch Potato Wedges, Vinegar Slaw, and Red JalapeƱos.

The smoked pulled pork was perfect. The fries weren't bad either. Perfectly crispy with the right amount of salt. Then came the Smoked Beef Brisket. With 2 sides. The brisket was extremely flavorful and tender. You can taste the freshness in the meat. I chose baked beans and mac and cheese for my side items. The baked beans were tangy and the mac and cheese was extra cheesy. 

Of course any great BBQ joint has their signature sauces. Everglades has 3 available - Smoky Original, Carolina Gold, and Citrus Chipotle. While the meat was so good I didn't even need BBQ sauce, I tried all 3. (For the sake of science. Right.) The original was my favorite - a good ol' mild BBQ sauce. The others were good and I recommend trying all 3 when you visit. Find the sauce that's perfect for your taste, and your entree. 

The portions at Everglades were very generous and well worth the price! The pulled pork sandwich is $12 and the brisket dinner is $14. I know that everyone thinks ballpark prices are outrageous, but we found Everglades to be very reasonable. For a few dollars more than a ballpark hamburger or hotdog, you can get a full plate of really good quality food at Everglades.

I barely had room left for dessert, but again decided I better give it a try for the sake of science. (I love food "science"!) The choice was hard - should I go for the Classic Sundae, a Pecan Pie Sundae, Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, or an old fashioned Root Beer Float? After serious deliberation and input from my server, I chose the peanut butter pie. It lived up to it's menu name of Extreme Peanut Butter Pie. 

The pie was just the right size for an after dinner treat. I loved the chocolate cookie crust and the smooth peanut butter filling. I loved the chocolate and caramel drizzle on top. It was perfect. Extremely perfect. Now I see where the name comes from!

I highly recommend visiting Everglades BBQ the next time you attend a Rays Home Game. There are several options for trying out Everglades food - the sit down restaurant (which I visited) at the Gate 1 Rotunda on the 2nd level, the 100 level seating bowl in the concession stand area, and inside Gate 1 at Right Field Street.

Dining spot at the Captain Morgan Deck

If you have a large group attending a Rays game, you can rent out the Captain Morgan Deck which is attached to Everglades. The best part is you can have Everglades cater the event. Your colleagues, business partners, vendors, friends, and family are sure to be impressed. I checked out the Captain Morgan deck for myself to experience the view and atmosphere. It's a great place to watch the game, and have access to some great food.

{Disclosure: Thank you to the Tampa Bay Rays for providing me with a complimentary visit to dine at this restaurant. All opinions expressed are my own.}


  1. Sounds like a great place to eat! I haven't been to a Rays game in so long. How sad. If by some chance I can make it to one soon, I'll have to try this place out. I love BBQ!

  2. Good lord! I was drooling at that sandwich description. I love the view from that restaurant. I usually go for the Cuban when I attend games; next time I'll head over to Everglades!!!

  3. I always eat the Everglades BBQ Nachos from the Everglades stands, but we have yet to go to the actual restaurant. We are going to have to check it out! :)