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B.B. King's Blues Club at Pointe Orlando

Don’t go to B.B. King’s Blues Club expecting to see the music legend on the stage. Chances are he’s off in some other part of the world with Lucille, his famed guitar. But you can still expect to be entertained by some terrific musicians, if not one of the special acts booked at the club throughout the year then by the very able house band, a group of 10 singers and instrumentalists who get the place jumping every night.

And you can expect to chow down on Southern comfort foods, signature items from Memphis, the Mississippi delta and the bayous of Louisiana.

Well, OK, not all of it is authentically Southern, such as the nachos, unless you’re talking south of the border. My guest and I had put ourselves in the hands of the chef who sent out this massive mound of chips and cheese and other accouterments, including pulled pork. The chips were surprisingly crispy, and there were plenty of toppings.

However, I preferred the platter of fried dill pickles, smallish but crisp, and the meaty barbecued ribs with a sweetish sauce.

Better still was the bowl of gumbo ya ya, with smoked chicken, andouille sausage, crawfish and peppers in a roux as dark as the bayou.

For my entree I had the chicken fried chicken, a meaty breast with a jacket of buttermilk breading topped with pan gravy and accompanied by macaroni and cheese.

My friend had the Carolina bbq salmon, grilled and served on corn with shrimp in a creamy sauce, topped with shredded “tobacco” fries.

For dessert there was a decadently dense and rich chocolate brownie and a banana bread pudding with a firm texture that was a lot lighter than it looked.

The club is a huge warehouse like space with a high stage as the focal point. Tabletops are painted in the manner of folk art. The atmosphere is appropriately rustic and downright grungy -- you wouldn’t expect anything else from a blues club.

B.B. King's is at Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive; 407-370-4550.

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Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

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