As the Punchline State, Florida rarely gets credit for doing anything good. A swampy, muggy, buggy stew of meth-addled miscreants, alligators, and the elderly, it doesn’t have much going for it. And that’s before you factor in the fact that it’s sinking into the Atlantic. But for most Floridians I’ve met, Florida has one big attraction—the local chain restaurant Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill.
Flanigan’s is a Florida institution, a bastion of calm in a chaotic state. Chloe Herring writes:
Flanigan’s acts as sort of a town square. When hurricanes strike in this part of the country, Flanigan’s seems to be among the earliest to re-open. Owning one of the restaurant’s signature green tumblers is a Miami rite of passage—and a staple in the cabinet of many area twentysomethings.
Not being a Floridian myself, I don’t quite “get” the magnetic pull the chain holds over my FL-born-and-raised-husband and his family. Like palm trees at Christmas, or rooting for the Dolphins, I’ve had to accept it’s just one of those things I’ll never fully understand.
Paul’s favorite Flanigan’s dish is the maligned Joe’s Rockin’ Rib Roll. A crispy fried egg roll, stuffed with BBQ pork, onions, and melted cheese, it’s comfort food at its finest. Greasy, salty, sweet, and cheesy, the dish translates across state lines. That’s why I decided to bring my rendition home to VA
This dish really sings with homemade pulled pork. An effortless way to cook pulled pork is to put 1-2 lbs pork shoulder in a slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours with 2 cans of soda (Pepsi Max, or cherry coke for sweetness). Drain most of the soda, leaving a half inch in the crockpot and add the BBQ sauce of your choosing. We like to combine classic Jack Daniels with a BBQ sauce that has heat (like a habanero BBQ). Combine pork, soda, and sauce and put on low for another hour. Or for a quick fix, use a prepared BBQ pork, like Jack Daniel’s or Lloyd’s. Prepackaged pork keeps this a weeknight friendly meal.
A cheesy, pork-filled roll perfect for parties, or for munching by yourself while watching football.