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“Huge drinks mediocre taste”
Review of Sonny's BBQ

Sonny's BBQ
Ranked #44 of 498 Restaurants in Ocala
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Takeout
Description: In 1968, we were just a local BBQ joint in Gainesville, Florida. Today, we're still a local BBQ joint. We just happen to be in a few more locations. But we still do things the same way Floyd "Sonny" Tillman and his wife, Lucille, did back then. We still slow-smoke over oak for up to 12 hours at a time. We still serve generous portions. And we still believe people should be able to go out to eat and feel right at home.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

I have never seen drinks bigger than the ones they give you here. Maybe it is so your waitress doesn't have to return as often. Considering that our waitress screwed up just about everything about our orders it is understandable that you wouldn't want her hanging around.

The wings were okay, nothing special and the salad bar is over priced for what it is. My husband had the BBQ and thought it was okay. The sauces are pretty interesting.

This is not ever going to be my favorite restaurant however, with all you can eat wings on Tuesdays I might just return for that and try a different flavor. This is a place where quantity wins over quality.

Just an example of how our waitress screwed up, when we left she asked if we wanted drinks to go. I said yes and my unsweetened tea became sweetened. Unacceptable. Luckily I noticed before we left the parking lot.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Zabelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonnysBBQ, Public Relations Manager at Sonny's BBQ, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

We are sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations, @Zabelle. Please email us at Social@SonnysBBQ.com so that we can better address the issues you encountered.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 - 155 of 181 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2013

Now my husband and I have been avid Sonny's customers for decades and have enjoyed their awesome smokey barbecue chicken, ribs and pulled pork. However, when we dined at this Ocala location over the weekend, we encountered our first disappointment with this chain.

First let me say that the pulled pork platter I ordered was okay. The pulled pork was tender and already sweet so it didn't need any of the assorted sauces that were on the table. My husband had a taste of it and said that it was cold. (Although it was not piping hot, I didn't think it was cold..) The sides of cole slaw and garlic bread were adequate. The baked beans, however, tasted like they had been sitting around for a while.

The main problem was with the bbq chicken that my husband ordered. Normally when we order chicken at a Sonny's restaurant, it comes out dark, smokey and fully cooked to the bone. At this location, the chicken was barely a golden color and when my husband cut into it, it was blood red near the bone. It also didn't have that smokey flavor that one usually associates with Sonny's. It almost tasted like it was baked in an oven. Our server told us that it was red because it was smoked. We didn't buy that for a minute but she had such a pleasant tableside manner that we just gave her a pass on the issue.

Oddly enough, we overheard a customer behind us tell our waitress that she also had to send a dish back on a previous visit because it was not done enough to her liking. That should have given us a clue.

I have contacted Sonny's and made them aware of our experience in the hopes that the kitchen will improve. As for the service, it was flawless. At least the front of the house is in good order.

NOTE: An HR representative of the parent company that now owns the Sonny's franchises contacted me and was very concerned about our experience and seemed eager to correct things. So there may be hope for this particular location yet!

1  Thank chakkuri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Good food, Great ribs, large portions, so my hubby and I split a plate and still walked out full. easy on the pocket as well. We would eat here again, no question, Thanks

Thank homecook57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

The food is worth the wait. I called ahead and ordered (with the help of the menus provided by the front desk staff at the Sleep Inn) and went through the drive-through to pick up the food. I should have gone inside b/c the drive-through took over 20 minutes! This is a very busy restaurant but worth it for good BBQ food!

Thank travelernot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We usually come here when we are running errands on this side of town. The immediate area includes a Zaxby's, Cracker Barrel, and a couple of other fast food restaurants near I-75 and 484.

My husband usually gets their salad bar and I go for one of their big deals, usually their pulled chicken. The drinks are large and the food is OK. For the most part the people who have waited on us have been real good.

Sonny's is a BBQ chain that has been around for years. There are two other locations in Ocala and the best of the three IMHO is the one on Silver Springs Blvd. It is not outstanding BBQ but the taste is consistent. If you go knowing this ahead of time, you won't feel cheated.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Elbea14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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