Texas-style barbecue has finally made its way to South Florida by way of....Buffalo? You read that correctly. Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie teamed up with pitmaster Mel Rodriguez to bring La Traila BBQ to Miami Lakes. So what makes a football player open a BBQ joint?
"Mel, to be honest," says McKenzie. "I didn't know much about barbecue, but Mel came into my life through a good friend of mine...I found out he knew how to cook so the next step was to see if everyone else liked it, not just me."
Rodriguez has 20 years of experience in the kitchen. He says the relationship started out over sports talk, and eventually ended up with the opening of La Traila. South Florida native, McKenzie was ready to open up right away, but the pandemic slowed them down.
"There were so many things we had to learn, and thankfully we got to do that as a pop-up," says Rodriguez.
The menu offers barbecue platters, sides like mac and cheese and cornbread, and some great sandwiches like La Barbecue Stack, which comes with sliced brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage, pickles, onions, and their homemade sauce.
Although McKenzie will be headed to training camp soon, he wants everyone to feel at home when they visit La Traila. You can visit the Miami Lakes location at 8030 NW 154th st, and view their whole menu online at https://www.latrailabbq.com/