Sonny’s BBQ in Gainesville invited us to celebrate National Brisket Day on May 28 and try the items on its new Smoke & Fire Menu. Featuring five new smoky dishes, the menu is available until Aug. 4. 

Here’s what to expect:

Loaded Hot Tots

Victoria Vargas

This mountain of tater tots is topped with your choice of meat, crispy onion straws, queso and drizzled with Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce. I had it with pulled pork, but you can also order pulled chicken or chopped brisket. The tater tots were perfectly crisp, and the queso made this dish one of my favorites. These tots could easily be enjoyed as an appetizer between four or five people.

Spoon Fact: Sonny’s BBQ smokes its meat fresh every day. Kathy Cordrey, marketing director at Bar-B-Que Management, Inc., said the smoker at Sonny's BBQ restaurants is almost never off.

Brisket & Mac Egg Rolls

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Sonny’s took wontons and loaded them with slow-cooked brisket, mac and cheese, pepper jack cheese and that brilliant Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce. Served with a side of the Smokin’ Ranch dip, these egg rolls are a savory dream. The wonton crunches perfectly without falling apart. The dip adds a smooth flavor, but the egg rolls are yummy enough to be eaten alone.

Hot Link & Pimento Cheese Burger

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What makes this burger shine is the smoked pimento cheese. Pitmaster Shannon Snell explained the cheese is smoked with oak wood. For this tasting, my friend Kayla joined me and said the pimento tasted like the child of BBQ sauce and cheese. The burger is also topped with jalapeno cheddar hot links and banana peppers. This was the spiciest item on the menu because of the hot links. Nonetheless, a solid burger.

Spoon Fact: The original Sonny’s BBQ opened in Waldo, Florida, just 20 minutes outside of Gainesville. The founder, Sonny Tillman, still lives in the area!

Brisket Grilled Cheese

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If there was a grandfather of all grilled cheeses, this would be it. Chopped brisket, queso and cheddar cheese are sandwiched between two toasted pieces of garlic bread. You can't go wrong with some classic garlic bread. The sandwich quite literally melted in my mouth. Although fairly simple, the flavors were strong. The sandwich is served alone, but it truly needs nothing else. 

Sweet & Spicy Wings

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Sonny’s wings are completely underrated. My favorite item on this menu were these wings. Pitmaster Snell explained the wings are first smoked for about an hour, finished on the grill and then tossed in the Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce. This process gives the wings those beautiful grill marks and ensures the chicken is super juicy and tender. The sauce hits you on the first bite. It has a bit of heat, but the sweetness ultimately prevails. The spicy and sweet completely complement one another.  


The Sonny BBQ's new Smoke & Fire Menu is a great way to kick off summertime. Although I had the opportunity to try all of these items, you won't go wrong choosing just one to enjoy. Highlighting the sweet, spicy and smoky flavors in the dishes, Sonny's BBQ Smoke & Fire Menu is perfectly sweet, smoky and spicy. Enjoy your meal with a glass of Sonny's sweet tea, and you'll truly be living your best BBQ life. Sonny's BBQ new Smoke & Fire Menu is available for a limited time until Aug. 4.