Miami finally has a new Texas-inspired BBQ restaurant

La Traila Barbecue opens Memorial Day weekend in Miami Lakes

La Platter by La Traila Barbecue. Photo Credit: Andrea Greico. (Courtesy of Marel Hinners (BCPR) / La Traila Barbecue)

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. – If there’s one type of cuisine that isn’t quintessential to Miami, it’s good, juicy, old-school, Texas-style BBQ.

However, an unlikely duo is planning to change that.

Meet La Traila Barbecue, a new joint set to become Miami’s first genuine Texas-style craft barbecue pit spot in Miami Lakes. They’re set to open their first brick ‘n’ mortar location on Saturday, May 29, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Founded by Austin native and pit master Mel Rodriguez and fifth-year Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who is a Miami native, the barbecue pit spot has been a long time coming — and has been highly anticipated due to its cult following on Instagram.

Mel Rodriguez and former Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Isaiah McKenzie of La Traila Barbecue. (Courtesy of Marel Hinners (BCPR) / La Traila Barbecue)

Rodriguez, who has over 20 years of experience as a Barbecue Pit Master, started in Elgin, Texas, learning the basics from an “old school breed” of pit masters. He describes himself as a traditional oak wood burner, also known as “craft barbecue,” since his pits are unassisted and rely solely on the pit master’s touch and wood as their heat source.

After moving to Miami in 2017, he missed the flavors of Texas, which led him to Isaiah McKenzie. According to their website, “Isaiah’s favorite kind of sweats are the meat sweats,” so it’s safe to say they truly found each other. Since partnering, they’ve made it their duty to conceptualize and execute their restaurant.

Mel Rodriguez of La Traila Barbecue. Photo Credit: Andrea Greico. (Courtesy of Marel Hinners (BCPR) / La Traila Barbecue)

So far, La Traila Barbecue has only existed as a first come, first served style pop-up; a holy grail for local barbecue enthusiasts in South Florida, if you will.

However, starting Saturday, local BBQ enthusiasts will finally get their permanent fix.

At the brick and mortar location, guests can expect menu items like the Brisket Sundae, a mac and cheese base then layered with baked beans and cream corn then topped with smoked brisket, cotija cheese, crema and house sauce, as well as La Barbecue Stack with sliced brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage, topped with house-made sauce, pickles, and onions.

Platters and meat by the half-pound will also be on the menu, such as their Slow Smoked Prime Brisket, Beef Dino Ribs, Smoked Pulled Pork, Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage, Pork Spare Ribs, and Garlic Pork Sausage.

Platter at La Traila Barbecue. Photo Credit: Andrea Greico. (Courtesy of Marel Hinners (BCPR) / La Traila Barbecue)

Plus, if you’re wondering if Tex-Mex will be on the menu, it sure will be. Expect to see items like Brisket y Queso Empanadas made to order, and the Texas Classic Frito Pie with Fritos layered with brisket chili, queso, chopped onions, jalapeños slices, and sour cream.

Sides at La Traila Barbecue include Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Baked Beans, Homestyle Potato Salad, Truffle Fries, Cowboy Queso, and more.

As a nod to Mel’s Mexican heritage, La Traila Barbecue will also be offering breakfast tacos Tuesday through Saturday. Tacos include the Brisket or Sausage Egg and Cheese; Migas, Chorizo and Cheese; Bacon, Potato, Egg and Cheese; or Brisket Guisada and Cheese.

Beer and wine selections, as well as takeout, will also be available. Catering options are offered upon request.

Mel Rodriguez of La Traila Barbecue. Photo Credit: Andrea Greico (Courtesy of Marel Hinners (BCPR) / La Traila Barbecue)

La Traila Barbecue is located at 8030 NW 154th Street in Miami Lakes, Florida. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit or follow them on Instagram.