Tillman’s Barbecue – Seaway Smokehouse
This little bit of Barbecue heaven is located on the northern edge of downtown Fort Pierce at the corner of Seaway Drive and Indian River Drive. A small place with an active drive through window. The decor is utilitarian and hits the right notes for a Southern Barbecue Joint. Wood booths, vinyl tile floors, country music playing in the background create the ambiance. The most important features are big squeeze bottles of secret recipe sauce on each table and an enormous black steel cooker oozing smoke sending the scent of cooking meat through the parking lot.
I think Tillman’s is Southern Barbecue, being raised in the Deep South on Barbecue and SEC football. Smoked chicken, brisket and pork appear as sandwiches, wraps and plates while pork ribs are also available. Sides are fairly typical BBQ fare; potato salad, cole slaw, mac and cheese and baked beans although collards are on the menu. According to the pit master on duty, meats are seasoned with a dry rub, then spend hours in the cooker outside. The signature sauce has a sweet, spicy base with just a hint of vinegar for contrast.
My lunch this Friday afternoon consisted of a pulled pork sandwich with a side of mac and cheese. The sandwich arrived on a metal lunch tray with a sheet of waxed paper over it. More points for BBQ joint ambiance. The quantity of meat generously spilling over the toasted soft bun, a perfect counterpoint to slightly crusty pulled pork. I added several dollops of sauce while making my way through the entire sandwich. The mac and cheese proved to be creamy, and cheesy while complementing the smoky pork.
My dining partner ordered the brisket sandwich, then settling on a side of baked beans. The brisket is served sliced and met with nods of approval. The baked beans, filled with sweet porky goodness, a wonderful accent to the sandwich.
The service, while friendly can be a bit scattered during the lunch hour as there is a lot going on. My opinion, the best Barbeque Joint on the Treasure Coast. I will be back.