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“This is not anywhere near decent BBQ!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of 4Rivers Smokehouse

4Rivers Smokehouse
Ranked #17 of 566 Restaurants in Gainesville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget, Kids, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
109 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“This is not anywhere near decent BBQ!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

Poor choice for a quick bite. Drive-thru BBQ style. Yuck. The BBQ selection was like mush - everything seemed to be sitting out and tasted like 2nd day old food. The pork was dry and the sauces were disgusting. Just slapped the meat on a McDonald's type bun and be done? Not good choice 4R. Not recommending this place. I have had ample BBQ living in the South my entire life - this is not southern BBQ food. Sorry! We were not satisfied.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ProfessorCorrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    90
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    12
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lake City, Florida
Level Contributor
62 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Try the tri-tips!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2013

This is a bbq place, with good side dishes, and a LOT of wonderful looking desserts. It specializes in the brisket, but they also have pulled pork, chicken, ribs AND TRI TIP STEAK! I think most people get the brisket, which is available either moist or lean. The "moist" is good, and moist, but doesn't have a very "smoked" flavor. The bbq pork is also good. Lots of sides: sweet potato casserole, greens, bacon wrapped jalapenos, corn bread salad, corn, bbq beans, etc. But the tri tip steak sandwich is wonderful. It comes with some kind of a sauce, but have them put it on the side. Try it first, then see if you want the sauce (I didn't). There are not a lot of tables, so you might end up sitting at a long counter style table with bar stools. If there is a line it moves quickly, since it is cafeteria style. If it wasn't for the tri tip I would rate this restaurant average, but I know many people who like it a lot for the bbq meats.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank grn11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“"Texas style BBQ" is faux for this Texican”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013 via mobile

First off, I really wanted to like this place, there is always a line, it's in a nice setting, and of course if a BBQ joint says Texas anything, I gotta check it out. Upon first glance the line looks long but it moves fast because your ordering while in line. On our first visit I ordered the "Texas Destroyer" without provolone. I'm sorry, I love cheese but it does not belong on a BBQ sandwich. I noticed the brisket was precut which is a nogo in my book. Brisket dries out quickly if not kept covered and or in one piece till ordered. The wife ordered the "Messy Pig" which is a pulled pork sandwich. Our sides were corn, green beans, okra and greens. I did enjoy the corn and green beans, while the okra appeared to be the standard frozen variety, so nothing special. The wife liked the green beans but not the greens. Now for the meats, just as I expected, the brisket was dry, but did have a nice smokey flavor, while the missus stated her sandwich was "ok" at best. I do not rate sauces because they are a personal preference and I don't have to have sauce on my BBQ. I did give this place a second try by ordering the "Texas sausage" sandwich. This was NOT a Texas Sausage by any means. What I was served was a typical retail sausage you find in a grocery store. This was not the spicy smokey, possibly beef infused "hot link" type sausage from Texas. As a friendly reminder, the "Burnt Ends" sandwich is NOT burnt ends!! Burnt ends are the pointy end of the brisket that has extra charring due to the greater surface area as well as more juiceyness. Portion size is my last gripe, call me spoiled but "Texas Style" should mean Texas size portions, which they are not. Staff here is friendly and helpful but I am not an overall fan

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank George F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Humble, Texas
Level Contributor
56 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“BBQ for the masses”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2013

This is a typical college hang out catering to quantity not quality. The cafeteria style serving line did not lend it self to even lukewarm sides. The BBQ was mediocre at best. What was the worst situation is both myself and my coworker got sick. Won't be going back there again.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Carol J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
258 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Better BBQ in the heart of Gainesville, but there's better in Micanopy”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013

A reliable source at work informed me of the arrival in Gainesville of what he thought was the best BBQ around. He had not been to Pearl Country Store in Micanopy, so I was suspicious and, as it turned out, with justification. Still, dinner was mostly satisfying; here's how it went.

On a cold evening (41°F) before Thanksgiving we (wife, critical daughter and hypercritical son) made our way to the 4Rivers only to find that there were many like-minded people as the cafeteria style line snaked outside into the cold. We were inside within a few minutes and as we perused small menus, were served samples of the pulled pork with sauce; nice touch! (Moist meat overshadowed by tasty, tangy sauce.)

We ordered two classic dinner plates which includes the meat of your choice, 3 sides and a biscuit. We also opted to add a second meat for $2.50. For the meats we selected a half-rack of the St. Louis style ribs, Smokehouse Prime Rib, beef brisket and smoked turkey. For the sides we selected cornbread salad, mac & cheese, 4R BBQ beans, Smokehouse corn, Texas cornbread and bread pudding.

From the bottom up, the turkey was moist but lacking in smoke or the sense that we were eating turkey. The brisket can be ordered moist (more fatty) or dry (more lean). I was not asked which I prefer and can only suspect that we were given a dry cut. The beefy flavors were nice but there was little smoke and, as said, was dry. While enjoyable and, for those who enhance with sauce, capable of making a tasty sandwich, it pales compared to the brisket at the Micanopy Pearl Country Store. The St. Louis Style ribs were impressively sized. The meat was "push gently off the bone" rather than "slide off the bone" a la Micanopy PCS. The smokey flavors were nice but the meat dry compared to you know where. The Smokehouse Prime Rib was the table consensus: rare, beefy, smokey and tasty. It made for a nice sandwich, even without sauce.

As for the sides, the one most ignored was the cornbread salad. My daughter thought highly of the Texas cornbread...it was okay for cornbread. The 4R BBQ beans were sweeter than I preferred while the accompanying sauce tasted meaty and as if it were thickened with corn starch. The mac & cheese was standard fare. The most interesting side, though probably having more in common with dessert, was the bread pudding. It tasted like a Cinnabon in a cup. The most popular side was the Smokehouse corn; unique flavors with a touch of heat and a accented by a subtle seafood flavor.

We stopped at the sweet shop on the way out, picking up a double chocolate marshmallow cookie, 4R classic brownie, S'mores brownie and Almond Brownie. The massive cookie was good, better after microwaved but probably best when consumed fresh from the oven. The brownies were massive, as well. The "plain" 4R classic brownie was also just "good", suffering from being more cakey than I prefer. The S'mores brownie was dry and should not have been sold. OTOH, the Almond brownie, sort of like a German chocolate brownie with coconut and caramel; it was decadent and satisfying.

Overall the meal was good, though disappointing as we expected more. Still, I'll return for the Smokehouse Prime Rib and Smokehouse corn. The gooey Almond brownie was satisfying and enough to lure me back just for that. But, IMHO, the best BBQ nearby is still to be found at the Pearl Country Store in Micanopy. Still, on this cold Wednesday night, the restaurant was jumping. You should check it out.

Let me know what you think..

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank doctorbobster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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