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Found 65 results

  1. This took me by surprise as this news was highly anticipated for anybody who had grown to love his work at DCity Smokehouse, but it hadn't received much press. Rob Sonderman's new barbecue joint opens this Friday on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan. The article discusses some limitations he had to accept with the equipment allowed in the new space, as well as some recipes he had to leave behind in his split with DCity.
  2. You have a high-end chef trying to lay low in Laurel -- dishing up barbecue that is very worth the drive to U.S. 1. You'll know them because it'll be the only hole-in-the-wall dining room that shows the Food Network. You'll also know them for the food. Smokey, seared spare ribs, light corn bread, and the best collard greens that I remember eating. That was my first platter, and it only suggests more good things to find on that menu. RG's BBQ Cafe is a new restaurant in the U.S. 1 building that used to be the Bar-B-Que House. It's the same casual spot with counter service and a small dining room. But it's a new operation. It's an operation run by Robert Gadsby -- former executive chef at the Biltmore Hotel in LA and a 2007 contestant on Iron Chef America. I had noticed the new signs, but Gadsby seems to be running a low-key operation with a Groupon, but no new Web site. He's not going low on the food. My $14 platter centered on spare ribs -- meaty ribs with a firm bite and smokey flavor. It was a huge half rack, but the side dishes were the real shock. Generous portions of special food. Corn bread with full flavor and the lightest texture. Collard greens cooked to perfect tenderness and an earthy tone. If you're honest, you'll admit that the best part of many collard greens is the meat. I'll dig around good greens to find a burnt end or some other pork. But RG's greens may be vegetarian. At least, I didn't see any meat. I just forked up greens. It takes real talent to make something that simple taste so delicious. I ate dinner watching Chopped on the television, and I'm sure that my meal beat everything in the show. I'm excited to eat more at RG's BBQ Cafe. An acquaintance stopped there yesterday and got a special bacon-wrapped quail. He loved it. This is on my way home, so I'll work through the pulled pork, the baby back ribs, maybe the burger. There are hot dogs, which I would normally skip but might be special if they're done like the collard greens. Gadsby is the chef who appears to be taking over the Venegas Prime Filet in Fulton.
  3. I grabbed lunch to go from the Laurel location. Based on Hunter's review, I ordered the "moist" brisket as part of my 2 meat combo. I enjoy cooking brisket at home, but don't tend to order it out anymore because it's rarely anything but boring and bland. This meat was delicious however. I will happily order it again. My experience pretty much lined up with Hunter's experiences. Pulled pork was good, but probably nothing to write home about - heavily seasoned, a little on the dry side. I remember having potato salad (that I really liked) as a side when I had it at the catered event - they seem to have replaced it (seasonally) with what they call baked cheesy potatoes. Good, especially with a touch of salt, but I missed the advertised golden brown crust. Cole slaw was good. Corn bread is meh, very soft and crumbly with dried out pieces of corn. They had 6 sauces available, none particularly traditional in my inexperienced opinion. I found a good number, including the spicy one had a touch of sweetness that I could do without. I ended up using the KC Classic the most, and adding some of the smoky sauce (one that had a touch of sweetness) mixed with the classic to the pulled pork. Staff was very friendly, my food was prepared efficiently and the place was rocking for a brand new location. I will definitely be back - I support what they're doing and I liked everything I had enough to want to try more.
  4. The popular NYC BBQ joint is coming to a 13,000 sq ft space two blocks from the Verizon Center. Anyone eaten there in NY? More mediocre barbecue in the District, or is this reason for hope?
  5. A trip to Houston last week led to a trip to Killen's Barbecue in Pearland. By way of background, Chef Ronnie Killen had been running a barbecue pop-up out of his steakhouse in Pearland for a while, with waits that routinely stretched into two hours on the weekend. Earlier this year, he opened Killen's Barbecue and already they have gotten buzz that is putting it in the same breath of Lockhart's finest barbecue joints. We arrived at about 10:30am on a Tuesday. The restaurant opens at 11. We were about the fifteenth folks in line, but by opening there were probably another 40 people behind us. The line moves slooooow. I wanted to try nearly everything, and came close: Brisket was a little tougher than I would care for, but I blame myself for ordering an end cut. While it was still better than most brisket I've had, it was still missing the deep beef flavor that I've found in the brisket at Kreuz Market in Lockhart. Still, it's probably the best brisket is going to find outside of Central Texas. Beef rib was practically a dinosaur bone. Flavorful, juicy, and pretty fatty but that should be expected. I took a large portion home and this actually tasted better the second day. Pork belly (on the bone) is a unique dish to Killen's. It's smoked pork belly so it's hard to see how it wouldn't be great. A roughly one-inch thick slab of bacon that had been smoked for hours. It lived up to my expectations. Creamed corn was the surprise of the day. It was fantastic. It shouldn't be surprising since the Chef owns a steakhouse, but it's clear some thought goes into the homemade sides. Potato salad was the consistency of smashed potatoes, with a deep yellow color and a heavy flavor of mustard -- the perfect flavor to punch through all the animal fat that was being consumed. I loved it. Banana Pudding was obviously homemade with vanilla pudding, chucks of banana and Nila wafers. I wanted more, but was forced to share with my two young sons. Damn kids... Overall I'd say Killen's is already one of Texas' finest barbecue joints, but I think still has some work to get to the consistency of the places in Central Texas. Their brisket falls short of the best, but their sides are already world's better than anything you'll find at another barbecue joint. I have not tried Franklin's in Austin yet because I'm not willing to endure a three-hour line, but I'd gladly wait 30 to 45 minutes to get more of Ronnie Killen's barbecue.
  6. Barbecue

    I've always been partial to Bills Barbecue but I'll willingly try someone else..and the two are somewhat close...Bills is farther out Broad..
  7. Any update on the opening up of Overwood in Old Town? It's taking the place of Ecco and the opening has been pushed back a number of times so far in 2006, or that's what a City of Alexandria site has had listed. Thanks.
  8. Well! My thoughtful assistant has brought me two pounds of brisket and one sausage link, all pre-cooked in the pit, from Smitty's Market - has anyone tried this before? It was just delivered from Texas, cooked yesterday I believe, and will be reheated perhaps tonight. She went to college in Austin, and says it's her favorite brisket - she's still quite young, but is also a hardcore food-hound. (Allow me to get a plug in for Operation Honor our Heroes.)
  9. Anybody have information about the new management team and renovations underway at Kenny's? Additional context from a Craigslist ad: "KENNYS SMOKE HOUSE is currently under new ownership is undergoing complete renovations including menu changes to better serve our community with authenticate quality BBQ and smoked meats. We are planning to relaunch an entirely new experience and look before July 4th with redesigned interior\exterior, menu enhancements, beer garden and craft beers. Must be able to start mid June."
  10. I can't believe I haven't started a thread for Pinkerton's yet. We've eaten here a half-dozen times by now, and find new things to love with each visit. Up until now, we haven't hit a major line situation, though with them making the latest Texas Monthly Top 50, that may change. Unlike most Central Texas BBQ places Pinkerton's not only serves beer (with $1 beer Thursdays), but has a full bar which stays open late even if they've sold out of meat. The brisket here is a solid rendition, and an order I never go without when we're here. I've never had a dry piece, though there was one time it was tender to the point of mushiness. Haven't had anything similar before or since, so it must have been an aberration. The pork ribs here are certainly tender, though they are a bit too sweet for my tastes. Others (in my own family) disagree. The beef rib I had on our last visit was massive and excellent. No reason it wouldn't hold its own with the big boys in Taylor, TX. Sides are standard, elevated by an extra mustardy potato salad and the ultra-rich duck and sausage jambalaya. The vibe here is friendly and low-key, with communal tables inside, and corn hole boards and picnic tables outside.
  11. Urban BBQ in Rockville opend back up on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The place has expanded, there are now tables and chairs instead of just the stools. They now serve sodas from the fountain (don't worry, they still have the great root beer), have a beer and wine license, and have three TVs. When I was in there one was on the Food Network, one on CNN, and one on the game. The food is just as good as ever. (I just had to get some of the dirty wings, I'd been jonesing for them ever since they closed for renovation.) Stop by, I'm sure Lee and Dave would be glad to see you.
  12. Washingtonian is reporting that Andrew Evans, of Inn at Easton fame and owner of The BBQ Joint in Easton and Pasadena has signed a lease with Union Market. Sounds like the bbq will be counter service and the meat is being smoked at the Pasadena location and brought over to Union Market. Fair warning. December-ish opening. It's starting to get smokey around here.
  13. I've only been to this Korean restaurant twice. It is in a small strip mall on Rhode Island Ave just a few blocks north of the intersection with Rt. 1 in Beltsville. Seoulia seems to specialize in soups and casseroles. There are some tables that have inset grills for bbq, but most of the other diners seem to chose dishes that involve tabletop burners with bubbling pots of stew/soup/casserole. On the first visit, I had the soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew), which was spicy and pretty flavorful. On the second trip, we had both the seafood and kimchi pancakes and also some bulgogi. The bulgogi was pretty standard, but the pancakes were both quite good, containing various forms of squid, shrimp, and such. I definitely intend to come back and try some of the casserole/stew dishes that seem most popular with the Korean clientele.
  14. Former Hill Country pitmaster opened up his own place in Bloomingdale. Overall, I think it's very welcome addition to DC's mostly weak bbq scene. Hill Country style prices - not a $20 slab kind of place. But the meat delivered on my first visit. The brisket was delicious (requested the fattier side) and the pork ribs were very good. The meat stood on its own, all the better since the sauces (served on the side) were underwhelming. Baked beans were so so. Hush puppies were really good. Be prepared to wait while they get the operation humming. I went shortly after opening when it was empty and it took almost ten minutes to get my food. And I've heard they get really backed up during peak hours. It's primarily carryout but they have four stools for eating there. All in all, good bbq and worthy of a return visit. "Chopped Brisket and Pork Ribs at DCity Smokehouse, Now Open in Bloomingdale" (with menu) by Jessica Sidman on washingtoncitypaper.com
  15. Porcupine disagrees, but if you haven't tried Chubby's you won't believe how good it is. Pulled Pork, Beef Briskit, Baby Backs, Chicken, world class Chili, best Cream of Crab soup I've ever had, incredible sides, etc. It's a drive, 55min from Chevy Chase Circle, but WELL worth the hike. You will become a regular, or my name ain't Pick Temple.
  16. A recent visit for lunch put The Pit Room into contention among the best barbecue in the Houston area. Starting with the standards: the brisket was moderately to heavily smoky, with a great peppery bark, and well-rendered fat. Sliced in front of you as you order, I asked for half moist, half lean. Both were fantastic, though I'm a sucker for the fattier cuts. Pork ribs had a similar peppery bite and were tender without being mushy. I'd have a hard time choosing between these and the ribs at Gatlin's when they're firing on all cylinders. Of the three house-made sausages, I went with the venison. Taste-wise, this was a hit, though I prefer a little looser of a link. These are very dense. I'll opt for the jalapeƱo on my next trip. The meats are served with a piquant sauce that, while not at all necessary, made for a nice addition on every few bites. There are a few non-canon twists to the menu here that really identify this joint as a Houston restaurant, rather than a generic Texas barbecue place. One of these is an appetizer of freshly fried chicharrones drizzled with a house hot sauce (like e a slightly more vinegary and spicy Cholula). If you're with a group of 4 or more, go for these for sure. For just 2, the serving size was just too much. It'd be nice to be able to order a half-size order of these. The option for Elote and charro beans as sides (among the standard cole slaw and a nicely done mustardy potato salad) also makes this place feel like home. The tacos served on freshly made flour tortillas made from rendered brisket fat have been highly touted, but I couldn't fit anything else in on this trip. There are a number of local brews on tap and in cans and bottles, and a accoutrements bar with pickles, escabeche, and salsas. FYI, by 12:30, the place was full with a growing line out the door, but it seemed to move pretty quickly.
  17. After reading a few recommendations about this place from Chowhound (Link), I decided to give this place a visit before fighting the hordes at the College Park Ikea. Its located in the Safeway Shopping Center on Fairwood Pkwy and reasonably accessible from 495 (~30 mins from rockville). Its in a fairly new stripmall, similar to Urban BBQ, with about 10 small tables and brisk takeout business. Very clean, including the bathrooms, with very helpful and friendly staff. They were almost empty on a Saturday for lunch at 1PM, so it seems to be a great place to go on the weekends for a hearty meal. Here's a link to their website: KBQ Website with directions and their menu in PDF format. Like most BBQ places, they focus on a few meats, along with a nice selection of sides and 2 choices for dessert(if you have room that is). I've been craving some good ribs, so went with the Half-Slab platter, which was more than enough for two people and maybe enough for 3 with the 2 included sides. I had the Broccoli salad which went very nice with the bbq, and the Mac N Cheese which was ok but nothing special. My friend went with the same platter but with Cole Slaw(good) and Potato Salad(egg and potato really, but also good). We both chose the Jalapeno Cornbread topped with a few shreds of melted cheddar. The bread was fluffy and had a nice balance of jalapeno and cornbread flavors but was a tad dry. I bought a slice of key lime(i'm a bit of an aficionado), and tried a bit at home. Good, not too heavy, but not as good as the one at Ray's the Classics (which I consider to be pretty decent). The star of the show here is the meat, and this is indeed some darn good bbq. A nice amount of dry rub flavors the meat along with the help of slow smoking to give the rib that characteristic flavor and color that comes from traditional southern bbq. The portions are enormous, including the rib proper and the end meat including the rib tips, expertly sliced and ready to enjoy with one of their two house-made sauces. The original was a smoky tangy barbeque sauce while the Sweet and spicy was just that; both were delicious and didn't overpower the pork flavors but enhanced them when used. And these ribs were moist and flavorful enough to enjoy all on their own without being baked to blandness or charred bone dry, an all too common occurrence in most restaurants. This is by far the best barbeque I've had in the area, and with the ridiculously low prices for the quality and quantity of food, this is now on my must-visit list whenever remotely in the area and highly recommended for anyone craving some good ol' BBQ. Be warned, visits likely to cause some form of food coma.
  18. Who has tried all the Texas BBQ around DC? Hill Country, DCity Smokehouse, Texas Jack (Arlington), Smokehouse Live (Leesburg), and The BBQ Joint (is it Texas BBQ?). I don't think I've tried DCity since it changed chef and moved. Iv'e never been to Texas Jack or Smokehouse Live. Just wondering if one is consistently better than the others?
  19. Has anyone ever been to a Mission BBQ? One just opened in Richmond in a not very ideal location, but near a bunch of highways and the train station at least. It's across the street from a Famous Dave's and a few miles down Broad St from Buz and Ned's second location. Based on pure speculation, I'm sure the food rates somewhere in the middle of the two.
  20. I am currently taking orders for the 4th of July. Brisket, Ribs, and Pulled pork. I will be delivering from July 1st thru the 3rd. Email me for more details. I can provide sides also. ronjohnson0819@gmail.com
  21. Ron Johnson, aka "Smokin' Jarhead" is a former marine, now offering some of the best barbecue I've ever eaten, and absolutely some of the very best barbecue you can find in the Washington, DC area. A couple months ago, I bought three Full Racks of Ribs ($24) from Ron, and he delivered them to my front door, where they were waiting when I got home. Between me and my son, one of them didn't survive the evening; the second didn't last the week, and the third is still in my freezer, waiting for Matt to come home from college in a couple of days - the ribs freeze, reheat, and are 90% as good even after being frozen and reheated - all the more reason to stock up. Ron doesn't have a brick and mortar location, and he doesn't have a "food truck" in the traditional sense of the word; he has this huge smoker that he puts on a trailer, and brings over to catered functions anywhere in the DMV - extra delivery charges begin after 40 miles, which easily covers all of DC and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Ron will smoke anything from ribs, to brisket, to pulled pork, and just about anything else, and he'll bring the food to your door with a minimum order. Let me emphasize again: These are as good as any ribs I've ever had in the DC area, and that includes places like Johnny Boy's, Buz & Ned's, Chubby's, and The Pit Stop - in other words, the Best of the Best. It's unusual for me to be raving about a place that doesn't have a brick and mortar shop, but I did the same thing about Pupatella, eventually going on to declare them the best pizza in the area, which they were for a time - it's the same thing with Smokin' Jarhead: Just because there's no storefront means nothing when he'll bring your order to your door for you. If you're having a Memorial Day cookout, or a 4th of July barbecue, or any other type of house party, he'll arrive at your house with his smoker in tow, and everything will be cooked right there - no grocery store, no cooking, no cleanup - everything is done for you, and his prices are rock-bottom low. I really don't know what else to say: On short notice - one, perhaps two days, you can have the best barbecue in the area delivered right to your home. Call on a Tuesday for a Friday delivery, and the ribs will be waiting on your doorstep when you get home from a long week at work (this is exactly what I did; I've never actually met Ron - I paid him through PayPal, and the ribs were on my front porch when I got home the next day). If you're having guests over for a party, get him and his smoker over there too. I recommended this to one of our members once, who has since turned into a repeat customer, and this is a quote from him: All you need to do is write Ron on his Facebook page or contact him via his business card (below), and tell him what your needs are, regardless of the size of your order. He'll give you a quote that's reasonable enough that you'll wonder why you waited so long to do this. Ron should be in constant demand, and have a two-month backlog - that is how good his product is. Here are some facts about his meats: As a rule, he uses inexpensive cuts because the true flavor comes from his dry rub and the smoking process, but he will use whatever meats you request, so if you have a favorite butcher who makes a special cut of ribeye, or a favorite fishmonger who sells wonderful oysters, (I'm making an assumption here) he'll go there, purchase them, and smoke them for you - either at your premises or at his, followed by a delivery or drop-off. Things like hams, chickens, sausages, and turkeys are no problem, and he'll be more than happy to cater to vegetarians as well - the smoker has obviously seen meats in it before, so it would be impossible to keep kosher-vegan, but that's about it in terms of limitations. Some more factual information from Ron himself: The only other thing I want to emphasize is that supporting Smokin' Jarhead will be supporting a former Marine who was placed in harm's way to help defend our country - if you're looking to support our nation's veterans, then getting your event catered by Smokin' Jarhead is a win-win for all involved. One last thing: This is Ron's full-time job; not some hobby he does on the side. He's a professional in every sense of the word, and will bend over backwards so that you're happy. If you trust me as a food critic, I'm happy to put my reputation on the line by recommending Ron Johnson - it will be one of the safest things I've done. Support this great man - email him him right now while it's on your mind, even if you're not ready to place an order. Look at this smoker! <--- This could (and should) be your backyard at your next party! And what emerges from that smoker? Have a look: I'm proud to have a chance to support our country's veterans like Ron Johnson, but you can rest assured that if I didn't believe in his product, I wouldn't be writing this review, which is obviously a rave - that's why I included the pictures, so you can see for yourselves that I'm not just, erm, blowing smoke. Here's Ron's business card - I urge you to give him a try, even if it's just for a single rack of ribs (get dry rub - there are pictures on his Facebook page of pre-sauced ribs, and I got my order of sauce on the side so I could use exactly how much I wanted, when I wanted. It's really good sauce, too, but you don't want your ribs pre-sauced - whatever he uses in his rub is fantastic). PS - Ron, I have a suggestion: Like food trucks do, use Twitter to announce which days of the week you'll be making deliveries in which parts of the DMV. Tuesday can be Montgomery Country, Wednesday can be Arlington, etc. I'm not sure how you'd handle the specifics, but it's a thought, and one that may have some merit. That way, you won't have to run around all over town like a yo-yo. Maybe contact the owner of Food Truck Fiesta - feel free to tell him I referred you. You're also welcome to use this website to announce your deliveries (just try and keep it to "about twice a month," which is the standard we use for all businesses). Who knows? You might come up with something like this as a regular thing as your business grows. I really hope people don't simply read this post and forget about it six hours later - we have a diamond in the rough, and suitable occasions come up *all the time* (think about how many times *all you want* is some decent food in front of you, without having to trudge out to get it) - the fact that drop-off service is available is invaluable, and the fact that your meats freeze and reheat so well is also crucial. Next time I order from you (which reminds me ...), I'm going to buy in bulk like I did before, except given my track record of not having *anything* in my fridge, I may order even more next time. I hope your dry-rub is a success - that's how you'll acquire real wealth, but we're all benefiting from this early stage of your career (I have no idea how long you've been doing this, but if you play your cards right, you could be a rich man one day; it won't come from running around town dropping off orders of smoked meat). I look at this phase as a necessary evil to develop your name and brand, and something that everyone should be taking advantage of while it's still available. Keep grinding it out, but think *BIG* while you're doing it. Fall, 2016 picnic, anyone? One final word: It's not too late to remember Operation Honor Our Heroes this Memorial Day weekend - they *desperately* need both money and volunteers), Contact Christi-Ana Crews (my personal assistant) and help however you can. *Please read that post*!
  22. I checked all over the Dining Guide and couldn't find this little gem. While visiting someone at Suburban Hospital, I saw it about a block away and it beckoned. So today, I grabbed carry-out for about a dozen people. The community store and deli is nothing special. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and such in a small Montgomery County historic site. But a few months ago, a mobile BBQ stand called BCS BBQ arrived next door, and it's turning out some really good BBQ. We had a pulled pork sandwich, spicy and mild chicken, and spicy and mild ribs, along with sides of potato salad and cole slaw. This is genuinely good grub, with red oak being the wood of choice for the grillmaster. The ribs are thick and meaty, fall-off-the-bone tender, with the right combination of smoke, rub and sauce. The chicken was tender, juicy and flavorful. The pulled pork was excellent, but the sandwich bun was nothing special. The cole slaw was genuine, and the potato salad had good flavor, but both were on the slightly dry side. All in all, this is a place I would return to whenever I'm in the area. Very finger-licking good.
  23. Met up with some friends on Friday night to try Smokehouse Live in Leesburg. No better way I can think of to describe this place than suburban Hill Country - same system, same basic theme, very similar menus. The good - The bar area here is bright and very open with friendly service, a limited bar menu and good happy hour prices. Nice selection of bourbons, some cocktails during happy hour for $5 and a tap selection that goes beyond the Shiner limitations of HC downtown. But then... The rest - Hill Country (normally I would say so many comparisons to HC would be unfair, but they don't seem to even be trying to hide the imitation, so...) somehow manages to pull off sticking a room full of bench tables together and have it not seem totally cold and impersonal. Smokehouse Live can't say the same - plywood walls, disjointed floor plan and an oddly cramped 'market' ordering area made me miss some cheap and tacky kitsch and finished hardwood. But hey, you're here for the barbeque, right? The pulled pork was ok - not awesome, but not bad - wished it had more bbq flavor. I will admit - I order lean brisket - and am used to this being a bit more on the dry side than the 'wet' orders, but this was so dry it was crumbling apart. The beef shoulder (crod) is just a hard cut to work with - even after trimming visible tough areas I still had trouble chewing (not sure this is as much the restaurants fault as just a tough cut). Texas Chainsaw sauce was ok, though could have used more heat for being the 'spicy' version; eastern carolina was a little close to being straight vinegar for me. Please, for the love of God, if you only read one sentence in this write up, read this one: A 16oz portion of collard greens will cost you $14.25. Just to make sure we didn't miss anyone there - A 16oz portion of greens will cost you $14.25. Now to be fair, your little order card does list the price for each side in tiny little numbers inside the bubbles. Generally being a person who is not so concerned with price that I thought a side order of collard greens for two people might break me, I didn't really pay attention - after all, its a side of greens and some turkey that was left over from the day before. I would love to see their food cost for this. Or for the $14.25 portion of macaroni and cheese. Or for the $14.25 portion of lima beans and corn. But moving on... It was our server's first day, or at least appeared to be, so I hold her completely blameless but when you are half way through your meal and still do not have someone take your drink order, AND when you have flagged down three different staff members begging for drinks and then a manager, AND when you give you drink order to all three of these staff members never to see said drinks, it gets old. I'll still never understand why, when the new server finally appeared, she made an Arnold Palmer using Mountain Dew, but at this point I was beyond questioning. Bottom line - would totally go back for happy hour at the bar and listen to some music, but the dinner experience was approaching 'one-and-done' levels of not good. P.s. didn't want to start a new topic for a restaurant so far out that wasn't good, but please feel free to move as needed
  24. It's clear on the other side of town (and then some) and I have no idea how many of the plasmas hanging over the bar will be tuned to March Madness, but when I'm in Baltimore, I often end up pigging out on the baby back ribs at the Corner Stable in Cockeysville. They're extraordinary...possibly the best baby backs I've had anywhere, although I have yet to explore Nashville. The "Texas sauce" is quite good, but the meat is the real attraction as they exclusively use ribs imported from Denmark, where the pigs are slaughtered at a more tender age.