Jump to content




Photo

Pork Barrel BBQ, Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray - From The Owners of Mango Mike's

Alexandria Del Ray Barbecue Mike Anderson

  • Please log in to reply
61 replies to this topic

#1 dcaCRL

dcaCRL

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts

Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:25 AM

ETA - kind of interesting that Mango Mike's is participating, even though they're located nowhere near Del Ray Posted Image

Mango Mike's owners are opening a new place (supposedly bbq?) in that former gas station/now construction site next to the Dairy Godmother. I guess they're participating to generate some buzz/goodwill in the new neighborhood.

#2 Sthitch

Sthitch

    Qui Nihil Sum

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,128 posts

Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:17 PM

Mango Mike's owners are opening a new place (supposedly bbq?) in that former gas station/now construction site next to the Dairy Godmother. I guess they're participating to generate some buzz/goodwill in the new neighborhood.

Apparently the place is going to be called "Hog Thaid." It looks like a train wreck in the making, from what this article says it will be "divided into three sections — barbecue, Asian fusion and sushi." Oh, and apparently Del Rayians don't like the smell of burning smoke.

#3 mdt

mdt

    @#$%#^&*!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,016 posts

Posted 10 May 2010 - 03:38 PM

Oh, and apparently Del Rayians don't like the smell of buring smoke.

In that neighborhood it does not shock me one bit. Too bad.

#4 Josh Radigan

Josh Radigan

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:38 AM

In that neighborhood it does not shock me one bit. Too bad.

and so the beat goes on for DelRay, a neighborhood in which I live in, and try to support. problem is that many of the retail places that I visit say the same thing 'what looks to be a perfect little world is far from it' As many of the retail shops that are not food-oriented are suffering. I have always said that the neighborhood needs a 'bar' Not just one attached to a restaurant, but a 'bar'. I need that the guys who own La Strada have taken over the old pest control shop right next to their establishment and someone is opening a pizza place which used to be West Title company and juxtapose, corner of Mount Vernon and Delray I believe. need a bar! still looking.

The 4 greatest words "Pitchers and catchers report....."


#5 plunk

plunk

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:52 AM

Weird. I thought this was supposed to be the Pork Barrell BBQ location. Anybody know if this three-part concept was the idea from the beginning?

#6 xdcx

xdcx

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 200 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:01 AM

In that neighborhood it does not shock me one bit. Too bad.


can you think of any neighborhood that would want it 24/7? especially given how close housing is to the location?

#7 JimCo

JimCo

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:41 AM

I was initially looking forward to a new barbecue joint in the neighborhood, but that changed with the news that it would be a BBQ/Sushi/Asian Wok restaurant. It's just a Sbarro's away from being a mall food court. No thanks.

#8 porcupine

porcupine

    ill-tempered sea bass

  • Forum Host
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,698 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 11:37 AM

Weird. I thought this was supposed to be the Pork Barrell BBQ location. Anybody know if this three-part concept was the idea from the beginning?

The notice attached to the construction fencing does indeed read "Pork Barrel BBQ", but I can't answer your other question.

Elizabeth Miller
fast cars, slow food


#9 goldenticket

goldenticket

    Oompa Loompa

  • Membership Director
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,927 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 11:52 AM

Weird. I thought this was supposed to be the Pork Barrell BBQ location. Anybody know if this three-part concept was the idea from the beginning?

It is the same thing - the Pork Barrel BBQ guys are partnering with (Mango) Mike and someone else. Not sure if the current plan was what they were looking at doing when the project got started.

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#10 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:07 PM

I was initially looking forward to a new barbecue joint in the neighborhood, but that changed with the news that it would be a BBQ/Sushi/Asian Wok restaurant. It's just a Sbarro's away from being a mall food court. No thanks.

BBQ, sushi, fusion - this isn't a new concept - see SEI, Zengo, Masa 14, etc. It just so happens those joints use Asian BBQ. I have no interest in any of them (don't like BBQ, don't care for fusion, and I don't eat sushi rolls) but I don't see why Hog Thaid wouldn't work. :lol:

I'm just kidding - sounds like a trainwreck.

#11 ktmoomau

ktmoomau

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,785 posts

Posted 13 May 2010 - 04:15 PM

It is the same thing - the Pork Barrel BBQ guys are partnering with (Mango) Mike and someone else. Not sure if the current plan was what they were looking at doing when the project got started.

I talked with them months ago at a Chamber Event and they said BBQ joint with no mention of fusion. But we didn't go on and on about it.

But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#12 monavano

monavano

    leviathan

  • The Blog Keeper
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,245 posts

Posted 02 October 2010 - 03:05 PM

Pork Barrel BBQ- it's promising.
Although not expected to open until late November, PBB was selling sandwich platters today at Del Ray's Art on the Avenue. I had the pulled pork sandwich with their original sauce, and Mr. MV had the brisket (tasting notes were "good, smokey and could be a little jucier"). The sandwiches came with coleslaw and beans (I remember the mention of rum in the sauce).
I'm encouraged with the pulled pork. It was quite smokey, juicy (not dependent on sauce for moisture) and tender. Nice topped with fresh slaw that was more vinegar than creamy, which I think compliments the meat better, at least to my tasters.
Plus, the platters were $6 and delightful when enjoyed sitting in the shade listening to live music :(

#13 goodeats

goodeats

    Certified geek.

  • Calendar Girl
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,660 posts

Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:42 PM

Pork Barrel BBQ has a really cute logo that is up on the windows already.

Although the site states Spring 2010, obviously permit & inspections or construction delays have created a nice obstacle that barred them from opening (but appears on track for monavano's prediction above). I think it will be a nice addition to the Del Ray community, and of course, another excuse for me to make the Evening Star-Planet Wine-Cheesetique-Dairy Godmother glutton circle.

Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

Am not a fan of finding out that I started a new topic...

Oh ply me with barley,
Or ply me with rye,
Just don't expect to hear
A coherent goodbye.

Twitter


#14 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,684 posts

Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:30 AM

Mango Mike's owners are opening a new place (supposedly bbq?) in that former gas station/now construction site next to the Dairy Godmother. I guess they're participating to generate some buzz/goodwill in the new neighborhood.

Two and a half years later, Pork Barrel BBQ has not yet opened - any idea when this is supposed to come to fruition?

(Not that I really care, mind you (other than for people's well-being), but I'm always daunted when these projects string out over months and years.)

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#15 Josh Radigan

Josh Radigan

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts

Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:53 AM

Two and a half years later, Pork Barrel BBQ has not yet opened - any idea when this is supposed to come to fruition?

(Not that I really care, mind you (other than for people's well-being), but I'm always daunted when these projects string out over months and years.)

I live up the street and see Mike in there from time to time. Not sure as to what the hold up is, but anticipation is leading to flat out frustration. More restaurants is what the neighborhood needs, but at this rate........

The 4 greatest words "Pitchers and catchers report....."


#16 lperry

lperry

    leviathan

  • Calendar Girl
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,609 posts

Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:33 AM

I live up the street and see Mike in there from time to time. Not sure as to what the hold up is, but anticipation is leading to flat out frustration. More restaurants is what the neighborhood needs, but at this rate........

Agreed. We are also eagerly anticipating the opening of The Happy Tart bakery, but it seems to be creeping along as well. I know Alexandria can be slow sometimes - when Atlantis expanded in the Bradlee shopping center, it took months to get the permitting, and they already existed. (I know, not fine dining, but a neighborhood fixture nonetheless.)

#17 zoramargolis

zoramargolis

    leviathan

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,596 posts

Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:52 AM

All three restaurants in the space must be completed before they can get inspected. The other two were much less close to ready than the BBQ space when I was given a tour in July.

#18 Fishinnards

Fishinnards

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 379 posts

Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:59 AM

Chef Will Artley, formerly of The Evening Star, has been hanging out in there all weekend. Looks to be cooking and tasting with the Pork Barrel guys. Hopefully good news for the food when the place finally opens in 2013.

Speaking of The Evening Star, their renovation seems to be almost through. I am excited by the new beer program and the many new taps. I saw numerous kegs being loaded in on Saturday.

#19 porcupine

porcupine

    ill-tempered sea bass

  • Forum Host
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,698 posts

Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:36 PM

Staff training was happening today. Open to the public this coming Tuesday.

Elizabeth Miller
fast cars, slow food


#20 Free Wilma

Free Wilma

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 167 posts

Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:36 PM

Looks like they're open tonight from 5-10 to the public! Pork Barrel BBQ

Laura Marshall


#21 lperry

lperry

    leviathan

  • Calendar Girl
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,609 posts

Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:04 PM

Looks like they're open tonight from 5-10 to the public! Pork Barrel BBQ

We drove by and saw happy looking people in there last night... Mr. lperry will give them a couple of weeks to get things running smoothly before he'll try it, however, anyone else, please do report!

#22 JuneBacon

JuneBacon

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 312 posts

Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

Went by opening night and they had ran out of food. Reported 800 customers in 3.5 hours. I believe we were the first people to be refused food, so Mango Mike actually bought us a round of beers, which was very nice. The bar was packed, but the tables were not. I was disheartened with the beer selection.

From memory only 6 drafts: Starr Hill, Port City Monumental, Fat Tire, and something called Buffalo Sweat. Don't remember the rest.

I was very confused because the entire time I thought this was going to be a sit down restaurant. There are no servers, only bartenders. There is a take-out counter in the rear. All of the seating is first-come first-serve fend-for-yourselves. The food was served on a large aluminum cookie trays lined with paper. I am really unsure how this is going to work in the bar area, as space is a premium. I also don't know if you can order food through the bar tenders or you have to snag a seat at the bar, get up and get your food and make sure someone doesn't swipe your seat in the meantime.

Anyways, I think the form factor is going to hurt them. People aren't going to like other people buzzing over them in line while they sit in eat. The line kind of winds through the table seating area. The decor is very nice though, they spent a lot of time on it.

I was pleased with the menu selection. Sausage, ribs, chicken, pork, brisket. Sides looked yummy, smoked veggies, beans, cole slaw, mac and cheese, etc. You can order any of the meat or sides by the pound for a party or whatever. They also have a 1 lb. sandwich for $18. I was intrigued.

I am happy that it is so conducive to take out, but they are almost promoting it. It will be so unpredictable at a busy time that going there with a larger group of people will be a crap shoot and not ideal.

I hope to try the food soon. .

#23 monavano

monavano

    leviathan

  • The Blog Keeper
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,245 posts

Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:58 PM

So do you snag a table, decide, then go up and order? Or, go to the take out counter, order, then find a table? :blink:

#24 JuneBacon

JuneBacon

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 312 posts

Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:48 PM

So do you snag a table, decide, then go up and order? Or, go to the take out counter, order, then find a table? :blink:

That's the unfortunate dilemma.

People are going to have people save a table while they order for them, consecutively people who don't have tables that just ordered are going to get enraged at people sitting at an empty tables without food.

Meanwhile I'll be across the street at a picnic bench not drinking one of their beers.

#25 KMango

KMango

    Mischieftain

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,157 posts

Posted 11 December 2011 - 07:21 PM

So do you snag a table, decide, then go up and order? Or, go to the take out counter, order, then find a table? Posted Image


We arrived shortly after opening today (3PM), and easily scored a couple of seats at the bar. Our strategy was to, ahem, hydrate first, order food later.

That approach paid off well. “When expected to attack, fortify” -Sun Tzu

And if the bar is full, snag a table anyway, and send someone up to the bar to order drinks. Tasty alcohol is bartender-provided, while all food and the wussy stuff (including an impressive selection of interesting bottled sodas) is ordered at a separate counter.

Because I was warned about the ordering process from Parwkster's post, I soon found the self-serve model both refreshing and laid back. Freedom arose in the form of sitting as long as we wanted without a "turn table" agenda. We relished the ability to step up and order more food when the mood struck, not when the table happened to be visited by a server grappling with other busy tables. The contrast of carrying my own roomy silver tray with brown paper lining felt like welcomed self-sufficiency in a town filled with countless doting service options.

Disclaimer: I could be happy in a centrifuge.

On to the food.

The simple menu appeals, the ingredients intuitive. Texas Caviar might be the most unfamiliar item, while other sides and meats offer straighforward understanding. We tried both the pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches, rich with smoky outer char, and pulled to order. My dining companion hails from Texas and just about wept with joy when he saw that, rather than the mass-market “pile it up first thing in the morning” method. Ordering by the pound, either eat in or take out, would be a boon for a crowd-pleasing meal.

I assumed the bun would be at best, lackluster, at worst, an afterthought, but the soft dough and welcoming bite far exceeded both standards. Try both barbecue sauces. Watch out, the darkest one in the squeeze bottle might change your life. Whether it’s some wonky preservative, elfin magic, or unholy spirits in that sauce, I don’t care, it’s hopelessly amazing, especially with the beef.

Collards (which included pulled pork) and slow cooked bbq beans were our initial sides, flavorful and memorable renditions. A later order of cole slaw was touted as “creamy”, seemed more salad-y, but touted orange bell pepper and a freshly appealing taste.

The uncomplicated menu somehow seems to appeal to every demographic. Craft beers and wine selections appear alongside PBR at the bar. Gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are noted alongside locally raised meat-based options.

Other initial impressions:
  • We asked about the 3PM open time on weekends, and learned that was due to the 8+ hour low and slow cooking process started each morning. Opening earlier would mean cooking overnight, which might be in the cards sometime, not yet.
  • Only open a few weeks and already 11 tips on FourSquare, mostly positive.
  • Dyson Airblade in the house! I nearly broke into song when I saw that in the tidy bathroom.
  • It turns out that cole slaw and contempt make a fine pairing. I kept in check my strong urge to throw several other bar patrons through the broad glass windows. People kept jostling my shoulder to reach over, order, and retrieve their beverages, even though the bar was not crowded. Maybe I had a "bump me" sign on my back from an Alexandria prankster, who knows. But a mere "excuse me" warning would have prevented both the disturbance and the ill will. Future patrons, take note.
  • Several staff appeared to be new to the restaurant industry, or at least new to this ordering format. We had to repeat our menu order twice, and then clarify again at the end due to apparent unfamiliarly with how the register reflected the menu. One of the bartenders poured glass after glass of wine nearly to the rim, and then served it to each patron by grasping at the rim (ick).
  • Yes, black bar napkins (looks better)! Yes2, brown meal napkins (which may mean unbleached paper)! A small but important touch for both aesthetics and the environment, well plaid played.
  • Different groups kept arguing with the lead bartender, asserting they knew more than he did about the original concept of the restaurant. "This was supposed to be a sports bar, you know" and "Originally this was going to be just like the such-and-such-restaurant ordering format" and a bunch of other stories. The bartender took it all graciously in stride, while hustling to continue good service for all, a friendly and adaptable presence.
In Summary: My Pork Barrel spending will continue.

-KMango

"Everyone expects me to do certain things. It puts a ceiling on your progress. You’re blocked by your pride. To get good, you have to throw your board around and fall."  -Rodney Mullen

 

 


#26 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:29 AM

So. All those words meant you liked it? Was the BBQ moist or dry. Was it sauced before being put on the bun or served "dry" and then you added your own sauce? How is it cooked? Over wood? Gas? Methane? Were the collards chewy and elastic or cooked lifeless (note: I like my collards well cooked, you may not)? What was the (approximate) cost for what you ate and do you feel that is was good value for the money spent?

We had to make a decision yesterday afternoon where to eat lunch/dinner as well. We drove past Pork Barrel BBQ to go to Los Tios. We were waited on by a waiter who brought us everything, we didn't have to carry our own food or bus our table or get up to get extra napkins, everything was done for us. It's an interesting concept. Sounds like the best time to go to Pork Barrel BBQ is 10 minutes after they open so you don't have to kung-fu someone to get a table :).

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#27 KMango

KMango

    Mischieftain

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,157 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:41 AM

So. All those words meant you liked it? Was the BBQ moist or dry. Was it sauced before being put on the bun or served "dry" and then you added your own sauce? How is it cooked? Over wood? Gas? Methane? Were the collards chewy and elastic or cooked lifeless (note: I like my collards well cooked, you may not)? What was the (approximate) cost for what you ate and do you feel that is was good value for the money spent?

We had to make a decision yesterday afternoon where to eat lunch/dinner as well. We drove past Pork Barrel BBQ to go to Los Tios. We were waited on by a waiter who brought us everything, we didn't have to carry our own food or bus our table or get up to get extra napkins, everything was done for us. It's an interesting concept. Sounds like the best time to go to Pork Barrel BBQ is 10 minutes after they open so you don't have to kung-fu someone to get a table :).

Yes.
Dry.
Not sure.
Chewy.
Prices.

-KMango

"Everyone expects me to do certain things. It puts a ceiling on your progress. You’re blocked by your pride. To get good, you have to throw your board around and fall."  -Rodney Mullen

 

 


#28 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:29 AM

Yes.
Dry.
Not sure.
Chewy.
Prices.


I had to take a guess that the "DRY" above referred to being served without BBQ sauce and you add your own. (Unless you really meant the BBQ itself was dry, which isn't a good thing). I was really more interested in what the total bill ended up being (or an approximation, either would suffice), I've already looked at their on-line menu and pricing but wonder whether you felt it was good value for the money you spent.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#29 JuneBacon

JuneBacon

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 312 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:40 PM

I have to say the my brisket was absolutley terrible. I will be back, and I am hoping it was a bad batch, or too many burnt ends, I dunno. It was just dry and chewy and flavorless. It should be more like butta.

I do like the sauces and the sides.

I still don't like the format. I don't want to have to have a "strategy" when going to eat dinner when I could be waited on hand and foot up the street. Nor do I want to have to post up at the bar at 3pm.

But that's just me. If my brisket was more than 2/10 I might have a different view of this place.

#30 monavano

monavano

    leviathan

  • The Blog Keeper
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,245 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:50 PM

I have to say the my brisket was absolutley terrible. I will be back, and I am hoping it was a bad batch, or too many burnt ends, I dunno. It was just dry and chewy and flavorless. It should be more like butta.

I do like the sauces and the sides.

I still don't like the format. I don't want to have to have a "strategy" when going to eat dinner when I could be waited on hand and foot up the street. Nor do I want to have to post up at the bar at 3pm.

But that's just me. If my brisket was more than 2/10 I might have a different view of this place.


I'm sure Mr. MV and I will check out this place soon, but the set up has surprised me. I don't want to have to hope I get a table and/or be hovered over. I really wonder what made the owners choose this unusual strategy. I love Dixie Bones. Once seated, you're eating in like 5 minutes and the servers are always so nice, quick on the refills and they check you out with a POS machine on their hip.

#31 Pat

Pat

    clownfish

  • Membership Director
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,853 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:00 PM

I'm sure Mr. MV and I will check out this place soon, but the set up has surprised me. I don't want to have to hope I get a table and/or be hovered over. I really wonder what made the owners choose this unusual strategy. I love Dixie Bones. Once seated, you're eating in like 5 minutes and the servers are always so nice, quick on the refills and they check you out with a POS machine on their hip.


This sounds to me a lot like the Hill Country system, which is modeled on Texas barbeque joints. I found the Hill Country system annoying. My experiences in Texas have been much more like going through a cafeteria line. The hybrid system seems to up the chances for chaos.

The most recent Texas BBQ I got was at Franklin's and that was a cafeteria line. We wanted some more of something once we'd sat down and eaten and someone from our party was able to go up to the register and get more. I don't see the Hill Country/Pork Barrel system accommodating things like that.

#32 JuneBacon

JuneBacon

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 312 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:54 PM

I forgot to mention that there wasn't a single seat once we got our food. We could have shared a table with another couple, which is almost a must when it is busy. I wasn't in the mood to clean up someone's trash (who left it at the available table) in order to eat my food while dining with a stranger.

There are stand-up options by the windows and bar, but again, not standing up to eat my bbq.

I am sure the owners are loving the set-up. Hell they sell food when there isn't a free seat in the place. The only staff they are paying are the bartenders and people behind the counters. No other servers.

#33 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:52 PM

I am sure the owners are loving the set-up. Hell they sell food when there isn't a free seat in the place. The only staff they are paying are the bartenders and people behind the counters. No other servers.


Well, I guess I won't get to try Pork Barrel until some weekend when we've been hanging out at home on a Sunday and decide at 2:50 that we're hungry and want to combine lunch and dinner. Just seems easier to go to Los Tios or Evening Star or one of the many other places on Mt. Vernon Ave. and be served. (Sounds like the McDonalds method to me. All of this started when McD's decided to make everyone bus their own tables and serve their own food. Damn you, Ray Kroc!)

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#34 JuneBacon

JuneBacon

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 312 posts

Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:22 AM

Went back in last night, there was a hand written sign saying that they will now be offering food service at the bar ! They must have heard the gripes of the social media-ers.

I had heard rave reviews of the Texas beef sausage. I tried the sandwich with the mac and cheese and potato salad. For $10 it was a lot of food and a good deal. The sausage was really flavorful, and the texture was nice minus the skin which was a bit hard to chomp through. I think it had two whole split sausages on a bun. A lot of food.

My only gripe that there is nothing else to on the sandwich except meat. I always like some cole slaw on my brisket or pulled pork to even out the fattiness. I would like to see them be a little more inventive with the sandwiches, offering some direct compliments to the meat. Pickled red onion, pickled jalapenos, cole slaw, tomato... something.

Maybe thats just not how a traditional bbq joint is run, but I think the sandwiches would benefit from it.

#35 oldenhoo

oldenhoo

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:55 PM

I am in pure Yankee land. I've heard enough about being served. It's a new concept for up here but not different from many BBQ places that I have grown up going to in the South. They do a great job smoking the pork and we order one side of slaw to throw on our sandwiches. The mac is good and so arethe collards and beans.

I don't know what you people are looking for but if smoked pork BBQ is what your looking for, this is a good place to go. If you are from any place north of Richmond, you'll have to get used to serving yourself in a great family atmosphere. This is not Eve or Citronele. It's a BBQ place in the neighborhood that is trying to fill a void in Alexandria. Don't over think it, just go and enjoy.

#36 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,684 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 01:23 AM

I am in pure Yankee land. I've heard enough about being served. It's a new concept for up here but not different from many BBQ places that I have grown up going to in the South. They do a great job smoking the pork and we order one side of slaw to throw on our sandwiches. The mac is good and so arethe collards and beans.

I don't know what you people are looking for but if smoked pork BBQ is what your looking for, this is a good place to go. If you are from any place north of Richmond, you'll have to get used to serving yourself in a great family atmosphere. This is not Eve or Citronele. It's a BBQ place in the neighborhood that is trying to fill a void in Alexandria. Don't over think it, just go and enjoy.


I'm down with southern barbecue (theoretically, simple smoked meat), beans (theoretically, simple long-cooked legumes with pork), and collards (theoretically, simple vegetables simmered with pork) - all wonderful products when done well; mac & cheese (and several others including cole slaw drenched with garbage mayonnaise, sweet, gummy sauces thickened and sweetened with corn syrup, frozen french fries done in old oil), much less so. Yes, I can understand and forgive dried elbow pasta for the macaroni, but the cheese itself is far too often skanky (I don't want powder (although I don't mind milk or cream), I don't want American or Colby, I don't want fake cheese), so quality of cheese matters quite a bit to me. So often, a typical order for me is ribs, collards, beans, and once again, there's a theoretical, ingredient-based reason for this (and yes, I know, beans are often flavored with molasses and corn syrup, collards often have lard dumped in, biscuits can smell like nasty Crisco, and cheap, frozen, industrially processed meats are often boiled and finished on the grill, but at least with these items - and several others (including vinegar-based cole slaw, theoretically, marinated cabbage) - there's a chance). Mac & Cheese is almost never anything but disgusting when broken down to its components in roadside barbecue joints. Hell, even Oohhs & Aahhs, whose Mac & Cheese scooped up from the baking pan (especially the crispy, tahdig-like edges, scraped from the sides and bottom of the pan, and the top which danced tête-à-tête with the heat source), tastes like it was concocted by Formaggio, Ancient Roman God Of Cheese Awesomeness, makes me cringe when I really think about what it might be (garbage cheese cut with milk and dusted with bread crumbs, perhaps).

I'm half-buzzed and somewhat brainstorming here, so I may delete this post tomorrow morning because I'm not convinced of its general merit or even its accuracy, but despite its flaws and my hedgings, it does reflect my basic thought process, and I'd really enjoy reading people's responses, even if they begin with, "Don, you ignorant slut ...." Spirited rebuttals would mean much more to me than radio silence; it's deflating to write a post you poured your heart and soul into, only to find zero replies a day later. I might not have spent a lot of time writing this (20 intense minutes, maybe?), but I did really try to write from the heart.

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#37 jparrott

jparrott

    A stew called New Orleans

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,889 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:52 AM

Molasses isn't corn syrup. It is a by-product of cane sugar refining (occasionally, the word is used to denote heavily-reduced syrups of sweet sources, such as pomegranate).

Barbecue, especially ribs, is really hard to hold for service. The finished product of well-made BBQ is essentially the same as that of a braise, but there is no braising liquid in which to rest the meat and provide some hope for liquid equilibrium between the meat and its immediate surroundings. So it dries out. At the same time, the gelatin in the meat (from all of the collagen that has broken down) is cooling and getting firmer and redistributing in the meat (or the meat is being held under steam which may be causing too many of the meat fibers to stay twisted or continue to twist). Same for the fat--either congealing or being melted away by steam.

So it may be that barbecue is not the culprit, but rather the modern day barbecue restaurant, that tries to do 10 kinds of meat with 8 kinds of sauce and be all things to all people. As a counterexample, consider Lexington #1 in Lexington, NC. Shoulders only. And chopped to order from shoulders that just came out of their pits (remember to order extra browns!). Night and day.

Jake Parrott
Haus Alpenz
Importers to the trade, serving the adventurous palate
Follow me on twitter: @jakehparrott
Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#38 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,684 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:06 AM

Molasses isn't corn syrup. It is a by-product of cane sugar refining (occasionally, the word is used to denote heavily-reduced syrups of sweet sources, such as pomegranate).


My apologies for this - ever since I was a kid, I thought Karo - which we occasionally had in the cupboard - was marked "molasses" (you can see how much I cook) as well as "corn syrup," but I cannot find a single incidence of the word on their FAQ page; I guess I invented the memory in my own mind. I'm embarrassed to say I guess I never really knew what molasses was.

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#39 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:29 AM

As a counterexample, consider Lexington #1 in Lexington, NC. Shoulders only. And chopped to order from shoulders that just came out of their pits (remember to order extra browns!). Night and day.


Amen. Lexington #1 is the epitome of central NC BBQ. (I'm also fond of Luella's in Asheville for western NC BBQ). Ordered sitting down at a table amply supplied with a paper towel roll, a continuous supply of ice tea, and served by ladies of indiscriminate age with a certain amount of BBQ pudginess around the middle and a "hiya, sweetheart, what kin I getcha" attitude. (Kind of like the long gone and long lamented Armentrout's in Concord, where you order at the front counter and go sit down and some nice person brings your food or the present day Short Sugar's in Reidsville, NC where you can wipe out the memory of all the fast food joints in Danville with real BBQ.)

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#40 jparrott

jparrott

    A stew called New Orleans

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,889 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

But the key point in my screed above is--the BBQ at Lexington is freshly chopped--it doesn't have time to stand around, re-twist, congeal, or any of the other flaws of steam-table Q.

Jake Parrott
Haus Alpenz
Importers to the trade, serving the adventurous palate
Follow me on twitter: @jakehparrott
Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#41 Cook&Bottlewasher

Cook&Bottlewasher

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:51 AM

Mostly,having Pork Barrel on the Ave just reminds me that I want to eat at Dixie Bones or drive to Lexington for BBQ.I was so sad to see that The Smokey Pig in Ashburn has closed after 37 years. I blame my self for not eating there enough. www.smokeypig.com.

I think the thing that I want most is authentic vibe. I want that more than meat. I want it more than collards.The fact that this place is half cocktail bar full of yuppies helps not. You can forgive a lot at a place that feels real.

#42 porcupine

porcupine

    ill-tempered sea bass

  • Forum Host
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,698 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

the present day Short Sugar's in Reidsville, NC where you can wipe out the memory of all the fast food joints in Danville with real BBQ.)


OT, I know, but please tell me: is the SS in Reidsville significantly better than the one in Danville? Worth the drive if you're staying near Danville?

Elizabeth Miller
fast cars, slow food


#43 oldenhoo

oldenhoo

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:08 AM

Leviathan, whoa. Talk about being a little buzzed. I probably should have waited to post until this morning considering our outing last night. I could have been a little more tactful and given a little more depth in my comment.

Here is the thing, I so desperately want a good BBQ place in the DC area. I don't want fusion. I just want good smoked BBQ. They have a state of the art smoking machine (whose exhaust is odorless but that is a conversation for another time) and do well on their smoking times. I have seen a few briskets come out a little dry but the pork is good. They could spend more time pulling the que but otherwise fine. The best thing is they are here in Alexandria.

Their problem, as you pointed out, are the sides. Collards need more heat, a little more vinegar, and seasoning. The mac and cheese has gone through three distinctive recipe changes that I can identify. The current form is okay but mac and cheese shouldn't necessarily be shells and it should be baked. The slaw gets absorbed into BBQ sauce and pork but from prior tastings, I think it's fine.

Business seems to be good but adding servers adds overhead. I've waited for over two years for this place to open, I'd hate for them to get in trouble adding to their operational cost because a few people complained about going to the bar for their drinks. Maybe if it was a bit crummier inside, people might not expect service but that isn't the case. They did well with their space. I can see how people can get annoyed if they are sitting at the central tables near where the line forms but that's neither here nor there about the food itself. The solution we came up with is to just sit at the bar to tie food and drink together.

If Bill and Co. lurk around the dr.com, they'll pick up some good insight here. My head still hurts a bit from last night but I think I got something cogent here. Thanks.

#44 oldenhoo

oldenhoo

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:13 AM

Mostly,having Pork Barrel on the Ave just reminds me that I want to eat at Dixie Bones or drive to Lexington for BBQ.I was so sad to see that The Smokey Pig in Ashburn has closed after 37 years. I blame my self for not eating there enough. www.smokeypig.com.

I think the thing that I want most is authentic vibe. I want that more than meat. I want it more than collards.The fact that this place is half cocktail bar full of yuppies helps not. You can forgive a lot at a place that feels real.


The Smokey Pig was great. Even though I went to HSC, that is one thing in Ashland I could support. It's too bad they couldn't find a buyer to save that place. Dixie bones is about as good as I've gotten up here. Hmmm...sounds like I'm heading to Woodbridge for lunch.

#45 monavano

monavano

    leviathan

  • The Blog Keeper
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,245 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:20 AM

To the points above, this is why I too, love Dixie Bones. I love the feel; it's homey and makes no apologies for the tchotchke. Like Richmond, once you go south the river (rivah), a distinct shift occurs that tells you, if you didn't know already, that you are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The intermittent machine-gun like blasts of chop chop chop bang bang bang that emanate from the kitchen tells you that the pork is coming straight to your plate.

That said, I still plan on giving Pork Barrel a try. Early.

#46 yfunk3

yfunk3

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 108 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 12:04 PM

I think the thing that I want most is authentic vibe. I want that more than meat. I want it more than collards.The fact that this place is half cocktail bar full of yuppies helps not. You can forgive a lot at a place that feels real.


I think, for anywhere that wants to be really popular and cater to people with actual money to spend on the food (esp. in Del Ray or anywhere near Arlandria), it'd be damn near impossible to have a successful non-Hispanic-food business that has that kind of vibe that will also be profitable. This just is not the area for that, period. If the vibe was more "authentic", as it were, you'll probably have a bunch of people crying about how "dirty everything looks", how it could be more upscale, how they should offer a better variety of quality drinks, blah blah blah. The owners knew what they were doing, especially in the Del Ray area (and the more affluent areas of the DMV in general). I'm sure the thing they most regret is not being able to afford a place closer to a Metro stop or with a bigger parking lot.

#47 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

But the key point in my screed above is--the BBQ at Lexington is freshly chopped--it doesn't have time to stand around, re-twist, congeal, or any of the other flaws of steam-table Q.

True, I just use the mentioned places as my gauge for BBQ. It has to be at least as good as one of those. From what I've read so far, Pork Barrel might be on the way but isn't quite there yet.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#48 Escoffier

Escoffier

    Old, grouchy and hungry.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,743 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:26 PM

OT, I know, but please tell me: is the SS in Reidsville significantly better than the one in Danville? Worth the drive if you're staying near Danville?


I prefer the Danville location. Reidsville was the original but Danville seems to be fresher and better.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#49 thistle

thistle

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,207 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

I'll agree with many of the above points-good BBQ is essentially home-cooked, doesn't hold particularly well, I would think hard to profit off of low & slow, very focused menu, w/ proponents being extremely opinionated about what constitutes good BBQ-I'd narrow it down to pork (I'm from NC), slaw (vinegar based), iced tea, & although not entirely traditional, cornbread (beans & Mac n cheese are extras). Opening a restaurant is ridiculously difficult, opening a successful BBQ restaurant probably more so...

#50 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:59 PM

I had lunch there right before Xmas. Counter service in a very nicely decorated restaurant just seem incongruous. It's even weirder that the line to order food snakes right by dining tables. If you're gonna do counter service, you should have a separate order area from the dining room like Hill Country or McDonald's, right? I only tried the brisket and sausage, and some collard greens. I enjoyed everything other than the sandwich bun that the brisket came in. Not a big fan of BBQ in general though (and clueless to boot), but I think I prefer Hill Country - more choices and they bring drinks.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Alexandria, Del Ray, Barbecue, Mike Anderson

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users