"Family Platters"

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DawnT
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"Family Platters" - Mon, 11/2/09 11:55 AM
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Many years ago, BBQ restaurants offered a Family Platter as part of the menu down here. It was sort of the same plating wherever you went and you knew what to expect. Pretty creative arrangement now that I think of it for BBQ that must have originated somewhere.  It usually was a round serving platter that I'm guessing was 16"-18" with a pot of baked beans in the center, a sloping bed of french fries and sometimes corn bread hushpuppies mixed in surrounding the earthenware pot. On this bed of fries, Half of a chicken, about 5-6 ribs,two mounds of sliced pork and sliced beef were radially arranged in a fasion where the meat,chicken,and ribs met the top lip of the pot and sloped down the sides to the rim of the platter completely concealing the fries underneath. It was a rather impressive arrangement. I imagine rising prices during the early 70's made this impractical as most places still remaining in business dropped these from the menu by '71-'72. I don't know if this was a South and Central Fl thing or if this was common throught the states. We traveled quite a bit on weekends and holidays and I remember that you didn't seem to see this beyond Martin county b/c that was what my parents would generally order if they had it. In fact, seems like further north that you went, BBQ was served on plates and not tablecraft baskets and those heavy,pressed paper plates with wax paper. Oh yeah, something else that I've mentioned b4, sauce was usually served in syrup dispensers kept warm in hot water baths. Anyone else remember an arrangement like this?

RibDog
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Re:"Family Platters" - Mon, 11/2/09 12:30 PM
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Many chain and non-chain  BBQ places here in FL still provide this.  It may not be in the same presentation as you described but will be listed on the menu as a "family meal".  Most of the ones that I have seen are meant for 3-4 people.  Some even include drinks with them along with garlic bread.

If memory serves me right, Jimbo's in Tampa and Lakeland still keep their sauce containers in hot water baths until they are brought to the table.  Beyond that, I don't remember any others.

ces1948
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Re:"Family Platters" - Mon, 11/2/09 7:43 PM
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Don't mean to hijack the thread but Dawn I believe you asked about a bbq sauce that was orange in color and served in Florida years back. I ran across a sauce in publix the other day called Tom's "The original Florida style" bbq sauce. Definitely orange in color and I find it quite tasty. According to the bottle it was first made in 1978 which of course doesn't make it that old. Looks like they have a restaurant "Toms Place" on Federal hwy in Boca. That's only a couple of hours south of me so I might give it a try.  As for your question about platters I think Dale's pit BBQ which has 2 locations in Ft.Pierce may still do that. I will take a look when I go in there again which may be awhile. Last time I was there the portions were shockingly small.

DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Mon, 11/2/09 9:56 PM
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I just happen to have a bottle of that sauce in my fridge along with another called "Blue Front"! Neither has the taste as I remember, but both are heads above anything else sold in local supermarkets that are all mostly heavy in smoke and molasses taste. They are pretty good and the only two that I buy recently. For a while there was another interesting tasting sauce that had a corriander twist to the taste labeled as "Footy's" sold in all of the Publix's along with a Buffalo wing hot sauce of the same name. Haven't seen it locally for about 2 years, but it was one of the better sauces to come by recently. 

Thanks for remembering the older post.

Twinwillow
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 12:49 AM
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I have never seen the described "family platter" in Texas. But, it sure sounds terrific! What a great idea. I'm sure it would sell well for groups of four or more.
Or, two hungry fullbacks.

MiamiDon
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 6:45 AM
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Where did you get this, Dawn?

mhill95
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 9:16 AM
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Tom's Place relocated from Boca to West Palm a few years ago, was by there this week....it's now CLOSED!

Mike

ces1948
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 10:04 AM
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mhill95


Tom's Place relocated from Boca to West Palm a few years ago, was by there this week....it's now CLOSED!

Mike


Well so much for that plan.

mayor al
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 11:12 AM
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The closest I have seen to the platter you describe is on the menu at Famous Dave's the BBQ Chain....
   http://www.famousdaves.com/menuCategories/feasts/
 
BTW I looked up the local store price and the 'Feast' goes for $57.00.
<message edited by mayor al on Tue, 11/3/09 1:57 PM>

DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 11:21 AM
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Well Al, I think I've seen it all now. Plating on a garbage can lid? They must have holes in the table for the handles.

russ2304
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 12:10 PM
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DawnT


I just happen to have a bottle of that sauce in my fridge along with another called "Blue Front"! Neither has the taste as I remember, but both are heads above anything else sold in local supermarkets that are all mostly heavy in smoke and molasses taste. They are pretty good and the only two that I buy recently. For a while there was another interesting tasting sauce that had a corriander twist to the taste labeled as "Footy's" sold in all of the Publix's along with a Buffalo wing hot sauce of the same name. Haven't seen it locally for about 2 years, but it was one of the better sauces to come by recently. 

Thanks for remembering the older post.

 
For a really good Fla. BBQ sauce try Pat's Ho Made-----available at virtually all Publix in Fla.-----------Russ


DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 2:29 PM
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I bought a bottle of it about a year ago or so. Not bad. It's another tomato based sauce that's not so common around here anymore. Rare to find anything else unless you find an indie supermarket where there might be some other choices.

tcrouzer
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Re:"Family Platters" - Tue, 11/3/09 7:53 PM
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Living between eastern and western North Carolina BBQ, I have to say I have never seen BBQ platters in any place where I have eaten 'que. That includes Wilbur's, Stamey's, Hursey's, Lexington #1, BBQ Center, and probably others I've forgotten. I just can't imagine any of these places having the time to go to the trouble of arranging the BBQ just so. You can get fried - errr...Broasted chicken and BBQ on the same "combo" plate -- but only an amount for one person. And beef BBQ is not to be found in many places in NC.  Sorry, no sauce in a syrup dispenser kept warm in a hot water bath either. Interesting idea though.

cavandre
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Re:"Family Platters" - Wed, 11/4/09 11:25 AM
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  Tom Jenkins in Ft. Lauderdale (FL) serves one for $49.95

DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Wed, 11/4/09 12:57 PM
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Extra sauce on the side for extra cost. That speaks volumes of the operation. I don't doubt that they have decent Q, but seeing something like that is the deal breaker. I'm sure that Doc will disagree for good reason, but as a customer that's one of the few things that would cause me to drop the menu and leave.  

CCinNJ
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Re:"Family Platters" - Wed, 11/4/09 2:21 PM
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This sounds great!
 
I never experienced any BBQ in my youth. Would you say the set-up was like a Pu Pu platter without the heating element? Did the serving platter rotate like a Lazy Susan or was it stationary? When you got down to the fries were they BBQish with the sauce or coverings from the meats?
<message edited by CCinNJ on Wed, 11/4/09 2:22 PM>

DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Wed, 11/4/09 5:52 PM
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No CC, the platter didn't rotate. It was just a regular serving platter often covered with a sheet of deli paper. If you think about it, bringing a platter to a table with a couple of hungry people, the ribs and chicken are going to leave the platter almost as soon as served. The sliced meat is probably slower to uncover the potatoes. I really don't remember or paid attention to how the potatoes fared. I don't remember anyone complaining about the fries. Most places served thier Q in plastic Tablecraft baskets with the fries underneath anyways. The current obsession with crispy fries is more of a recent thing fueled by MickyD's rivalry with BK. Also keep in mind that back then, fries were generally those thick,crinkle cut institutional fries that didn't turn into limp spaghetti like the thin ones favored by fast food establishments nowadays. BBQ joints were never judged by their fries. Same places would deep fry soggy,greasy, biscuits out of the can. Another thought is the hygiene and PC relative to serving a platter of food meant to eaten by hand. Fourty years ago, nobody thought an issue of a group of people reaching into a common serving platter with bare hands and handling the food. Nowadays what would they do? Serve it with several pairs of tongs or gloves. Something else forgotten to history is that many BBQ joints served little finger bowls or paper bowls of hot water for rinsing the fingers.  

leethebard
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Re:"Family Platters" - Thu, 11/5/09 11:48 AM
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Famouis Dave's chain offers a family platter...not bad at all...plenty of food for four..and my kids love using all 4 barbecue sauces,,,even of their great fries...if you go, try Devil's Spit!!

brisketboy
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Re:"Family Platters" - Fri, 12/4/09 6:14 PM
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The Salt Lick in Round Rock Texas has sort of a "family platter" that you pay about 18 bucks a person and you get all manner of BBQ and sides. I have walked past tables that were partaking of this and seemed to be heartily enjoying all. I'm not sure 18 bucks a pop is worth it unless you can eat for a long time.  I personally want to try it but "She Who Must Be Obeyed" is reluctant.

DawnT
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Re:"Family Platters" - Fri, 01/21/11 8:11 PM
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OK, today's picture of the small crock of beans reminded me of these platters. I was in GFS buying supplies for the week and noticed that the round, plastic serving trays were labeled 12", 15" and so forth.
 
 Imagine this little bean crock that is about a serving for one person sitting in the middle of a what's now sold as a 15" serving tray full of BBQ baked beans, covered with a bed of crinkle cut fries and some small, 2" x 1" fried , nugget sized hushpuppies mixed in with the meat arranged as above. The highest point me the top of the bean crock and sloped down. The floor of the tray was lined with deli paper. This was what the "family platters" around these parts typically looked like up to the early 70's in a lot of places. Since most of our BBQ was directly influenced by Southern Ga. and referred to as "Savanah Style" in retrospect by food historians and post war old S. Fl was primarly settled by retired Ga. ex-pats, it would make sense that this might be a Ga. tradition. 

Scorereader
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Re:"Family Platters" - Mon, 01/24/11 6:02 PM
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Family dinning is common in Chinese and Italian restaurants. I haven't seen it in BBQ places, but why not? sounds like a good idea to me. I think, in this economy, economy-one-pricing meals would be a good selling gimmick.

plb
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Re:"Family Platters" - Mon, 01/24/11 6:12 PM
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Some of the Greek places in Chicago's Greektown offer family platters (but they are usually not on the menus).