Leaving the furniture business behind after 30 years, John Miller decided to pursue his true love — BBQ. A few months of planning and finding the perfect space, he opened Love Meat Tender August 4 in Miramar Beach, offering low and slow BBQ to go.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Miller said. “I’ve been competing in grilling competitions for years and even selling my own BBQ dry rub — so it’s been a long time coming.”
Miller wanted to start small, opening a “to go” place instead of a full-blown restaurant. He saw a need for something like it in the area.
“The idea came to me when I was driving around one night looking for something to take home for dinner,” Miller said. “There was nothing quick, easy and delicious. So that’s what I want to offer — homemade, fresh BBQ with all the fixings. Just pick up and go.”
At Love Meat Tender, the BBQ is cooked “low and slow” for 14 hours over apple wood and hickory. The menu offers pulled pork, pulled chicken, sliced brisket, smoked kielbasa and whole or half slab of ribs. Two smokers in the back do the heat-work, while Miller mixes up three different sauces — a Memphis tomato-based sauce, a Carolina white sauce and a mustard-based sauce. The sides consist of baked beans with pork and bacon, sweet creamy cole slaw, home-style baked potato salad, pasta salad, cranberry/pecan chicken salad and a smoke tuna dip.
“Everything we offer we make in-house,” Miller said. “All of our recipes are homemade, family recipes. The dry rub on the meats is my invention and I sell it in-store as well. ‘Low and slow’ is our motto and you can really taste the difference.”
Miller said he wants to keep his prices low and simple for his customers, with tax already included in the prices. He offers daily lunch specials, weekend specials, and has a weekly giveaway for those who drop off their business card.
Love Meat Tender is located in Fountain Plaza at 12671 Hwy 98, Unit 208, in Miramar Beach. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information, find them on Facebook or call 424-5355.