Today the restaurant remains a piece of South Florida’s glorious history, a nostalgic and delicious landmark next door to Datran Center Skyscrapers, and the southern end of MetroRail, all just a block from Dadeland shopping center, as well as four other locations throughout South Florida.

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A simple motto—“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”—has kept these family barbecue restaurants going strong for 50-plus years.

The Florida roadside barbecue tradition has largely been lost to time, but you can still get a taste of it at Shorty’s Bar-B-Q. E.L. “Shorty” Allen opened his first restaurant in 1951 on a stretch of U.S. 1, just south of Miami. After motorists complained that smoke from his pits obscured their vision, Allen was forced to install an anti-emission device in his chimney. In 1972, a spark from the device started a grease fire, and Shorty’s burned down. Allen rebuilt, though, and today diners still sit with strangers at communal tables and dig into plates of chicken and ribs with butter-drenched corn on the cob and pitchers of cold beer. 9200 South Dixie Highway; shortys.com

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