Barbecue, bourbon fill bellies at Brick City

Any local looking to wash down some barbecue with bourbon in downtown Ocala need look no further than Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar.

Located in the heart of downtown at 10 S Magnolia Ave, the restaurant, which is part of eight locations in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, and Lakeland, has the largest collection of whiskey, and perhaps alcoholic beverages in general, in all of Ocala. The bar has so many varieties of bourbon and other alcohols that to navigate the top rows, bartenders at Brick City use a ladder.

The restaurant offers Happy Hour specials on all of their speciality drinks
In addition to whiskey, Brick City Southern Kitchen has a variety of specialty mixed drinks and other classics

Although bourbon is the American variety of whiskey, we should mention that Brick City also offers a variety of scotch, which is whiskey crafted in Scotland. Scotch is made mostly from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn. The restaurant also offers around a dozen speciality drinks and hosts happy hour specials daily.

The spacious and the lofted ceilings allow for smells to travel from the kitchen and bar throughout the venue, creating a soulful southern aroma that greets every visitor that walks through the door.

For those who are more interested in food than drink, Brick City stands out as the only dedicated barbecue restaurant in downtown Ocala. The menu is packed with savory creations that will satisfy any and every pallet, including appetizers that are generous in size and flavor profiles. Appetizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, Kansas City burnt ends, and disco fries, which are similar to poutine but made with a lighter gravy and cheese instead of cheese curds. The fries, which were a popular dish in the 60s after young adults returned home from a night of drinking and clubbing, are named for the era in which they were created and come in a very large portion.

Disco fries at Brick City Southern Kitchen
Disco fries at Brick City Southern Kitchen

Although the appetizers are delicious and filling, including the wings which are smoked and then fried to order, the main show at Brick City is the barbecue and the sauces that accompany it.

Wings at Brick City Southern Kitchen
The wings at Brick City Southern Kitchen are smoked and then fried to order

The restaurant offers classic variations of brisket, pork, and chicken. Meats can be purchased separately with sides, or combined in any variety. The restaurant also features the meats in a variety of sandwiches. The Nashville Hot Chicken is made fresh with a crispy fried chicken breast basted in spices and topped with pickle-back slaw.

The Nashville chicken sandwich is one of many sandwich offerings at Brick City Southern Kitchen
The Nashville chicken sandwich is one of many sandwich offerings at Brick City Southern Kitchen

No meat or sandwich is complete without one of the restaurant’s half a dozen sauces, each with its own distinct flavor. From the Alabama White, a mayonnaise and vinegar based sauce, to thick Chipotle and Mojo sauces, most patrons can’t decide on one and end up mixing a variety of sauces on a plate.

All of the sides at Brick City are homemade and as rich and hearty as their entree counterparts. They include southern favorites like collard greens, mac & cheese, sweet potato mash, and black-eyed peas, in addition to specials like Frito pie, Brunswick stew, and Texas Chili.

The restaurant is open on Sunday to Wednesday from 11a.m. to 10 p.m., on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

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