Cryderman’s Barbeque Ranked Among Top Space Coast Eateries, Features Locations in Cocoa, Melbourne
By Space Coast Daily // October 28, 2019
Drop-Off Catering and Full-Service Catering is Just a Phone Call Away
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – There is a reason Cryderman’s Barbecue is ranked by Tripadvisor in the top 10 among the more than 100 eateries in the Cocoa area, and it has to do with salt, pepper, good-quality meats, fire and a lot of patience in the cooking process.
A Tripadvisor reviewer gave Cryderman’s a five-star rating, but noted even that many were not enough to do justice to the fall-off-the-bones ribs.
South Brevard residents are also singing Cryderman’s praises, now that the restaurant has opened a second location in Melbourne.
It has been a whirlwind of barbecue for owners Amy and Chad Cryderman, who had done extensive research into the subtle points of the cuisine (translation: eaten a lot of different barbecues across the country) before opening their barbecue joint in 2017 on the site of a former gas station in Cocoa Village.
“We traveled to the Carolinas, to Georgia and to Texas to try out barbecue,” said Amy.
In the end, Central Texas took the prize and the couple fashioned their new restaurant’s recipes according to the tried-and-true barbecue style of the Lone Star State.
“The sauce is not big in Texas, so our recipes are not sauce-driven,” explained Amy.
“We offer the sauces, but they are there just to complement the meat.”
The Crydermans spent almost two years tweaking recipes before they felt they had mastered the art with enough proficiency to open their own place.
During this experimental periods, lots and lots of barbecue were consumed by friends and family, as well as by the customers to the catering business the couple had.
“We got some really great feedback, and we finally felt we had had enough practice,” said Amy.
As with all Central Texas barbecue places worth their salt, salt, together with pepper, is a big component in the rub that Cryderman’s depends on to lend the meat its unique flavor.
At Cryderman’s, as it is in those Texas midlands, beef brisket, rubbed with salt and pepper, rules. The Crydermans make it seem easy, but it is not.
“It is one of the most difficult meats to work with, but brisket is the star of our show,” said Amy.
Food, although not necessarily barbecue, has always been an important component for the family.
“I grew up in Florida in a family where Southern cooking is a part of life,” said Amy, who met Northern Michigan native Chad at Grills Riverside.
The couple began dating and dreaming about opening their own place. In less than two years’ time, now they own two. Long gone is the neighbor’s borrowed smoker that Chad once used to experiment with the meats.
“He had a smoker of his own built,” said Amy.
Location was as important as the recipes. The couple fell hard for one of the last of Cocoa Village’s 1930s-era gas stations, but the place went originally to another tenant.
“We were really upset,” said Amy.
Fortunately for Central Brevard barbecue lovers, the Crydermans must have been destined to be there, for the owner contacted them when the original deal fell through. The rest is barbecue history.
Hurricane Matthew provided Chad and Amy with plenty of dock wood and fence pickets to help them create reclaimed hurricane wood seating from the salvage.
“Chad built everything,” said Amy.
There are no frills in this fast-casual eatery.
“The format we used is what is used in Texas,” said Amy. “We wanted to keep it simple, so guests could see exactly what they were getting.”
The family-style dining approach also serves a purpose beyond simplicity.
“You get to meet somebody new,” said Amy. “It’s community-friendly and social.”
When guests comment on the high quality of the meats, as they often do, the Crydermans know they are on the right track.
“We call it hippie meat because we only choose all-natural meats with no growth hormones or antibiotics,” said Amy, referring to the brisket, turkey and Duroc pork that form the bulk of the menu.
All the “ancillaries,” the sauces, the salads and the mac and cheese, are made from scratch, as is the bread pudding.
“That recipe is from my Nana, so it carries big childhood memories for me,” said Amy.
Unlike many barbecues, Cryderman’s specializes in meats by the pound.
“That doesn’t mean you have to get a pound,” said Amy. “You can get as much or as little as you want and create your own platter.”
Prices range from $14.98 to $21 per pound. Sandwiches are also available, with six ounces of the preferred meat served on a freshly baked bun.
The new Melbourne location, which opened in April of this year, offers the same menu as its Cocoa Village big sister, but with expanded seating. Both serve beer and wine plus the signature Hawaiian sweet tea and Cheerwine.
“It’s the official drink of the Carolinas,” said Amy. “We have people who visit regularly for the Cheerwine.”
For parties, catering is available in several options. With a minimum order of $100 or five pounds of meat, customers can pre-order their preferences for pick-up. Drop-off catering and full-service catering is just a phone call away.
“There is no catering job too small or too large for us,” said Amy.
Cryderman’s Barbecue rapid rise in the highly competitive restaurant scene reflects its owners’ passion for excellence.
“Nothing in Florida compares,” said a delighted diner.
Cryderman’s Barbecue, with locations at 401 Florida Ave., Cocoa Village, and 401 E. New Haven Ave. in Melbourne, is open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. (or until they sell out, which often happens), from Wednesdays through Saturdays.
For more information, call 321-877-0796 or 321-914-0276 or visit crydermansbarbecue.com
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS