Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Que is a hidden treasure tucked away so remotely that most people would never even know it existed unless they’re local to the Umatilla or Lake County, Florida area. It is, however, worth the 45-minute drive it takes us to get there.
Plain and simple… They do barbecue right.
And sides. And desserts.
Ribs are my favorite, at Old Crow. They’re seasoned and full of rich smoke flavor, but they aren’t over-seasoned. Some restaurants, especially chains, try way too hard. They add so much seasoning (especially salt) on their food that you get to a point where you just can’t take it anymore – so that’s why you stop eating.
Not so, at Old Crow. You get to enjoy the meat, just the right amount of seasoning, and all of that natural wood smoke flavor. My full stomach is the only reason I have to stop – which means they know exactly what they’re doing out at the smoker. They’re consistent, too. We’ve visited countless times over the years, and rib quality is always superb.
On our first visit, I was confused about dinner sizes. Ribs dinners are available in 3-rib or 4-rib sizes. Really? Three or four ribs? That’s all? Then the plate arrived. The ribs are large, so three satisfies and four fills me up. Now I understand.
The sides and desserts are delicious, especially the peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top, so make sure you save room for it.
This is not a large, fancy, commercialized establishment (which is a good thing). It’s a local mom and pop restaurant with a very small dining area and take-out room that stays pretty busy. It’s where the locals go, because they know how good it is.
We learned to call ahead and make sure they’re open. It’s a family-run restaurant, and they do take an occasional vacation.
Day Trip Idea!
We first discovered Old Crow by reading an article in the Orlando Sentinel about day trips. It described a morning trek from Orlando to Crescent City, stopping for breakfast and other sites along the way. At Crescent City, however, they headed you west to the Fort Gates Ferry. It’s a small two-car ferry that crosses the St. Johns River.
What a fun experience, especially if the whole family is along for the ride. The article then described stopping for lunch at Old Crow after taking several miles of forest roads (sand, but passable by car) to Highway 19, then south to Umatilla. There are more direct routes to Old Crow, but this one is great if you’re looking to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
Old Crow is one of the best examples of southern smoked barbecue I’ve ever found. They’re doing it right. Go have some ribs, then let me know what you think by adding a comment below.
Old Crow Bar-B-Que
41100 Florida 19
Umatilla, FL 32784
Too Far to Drive?
If Old Crow is too far to drive, yet your mouth is still watering for great barbecue, you may want to give Pig of the Month a try. They deliver delicious ribs and other favorites right to your door – one order at a time, or as part of their Pig of the Month program. Click the image below to learn more: