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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Prompted by JPW's complaint about too few postings this weekend, I thought I'd share my meal at one of the region's smallest eateries. The Mighty Midget in Leesburg is a little metal shack (made from the fusilage of on old plane?) with several picnic tables around it. It is becoming my go-to spot for a pre-errand or post-golf weekend lunch. Pulled pork with just a little less sauce and smoky flavor than I'd prefer is still very good. An unadorned half-smoke comes alive with a sweet, tangy mustard relish. And jenrus is a fan of their fried fish sandwich - big and crisp and flaky. You can order your burgers rare if you choose and they have that "charred on an open grill" taste you can't seem to get anywhere. The fries are flavorful, if a little flabby. I haven't tried the ribs yet, as they're only available occasionally but most reports are that they are the best thing on the menu. But this weekend I was reminded that two good things combined can be more than the sum of their parts. One variety of their burger comes topped with a mound of the pulled pork. I'd shied away before as I'm not ususally a big fan of "fusion" food. But the visiting momrus ordered it and the two bites I had have me ready for next Saturday's visit. The char and the smoke and the sauce all come together and make it sing. The Midget may not be turning out the best food in the area, but if you're out that way its worth a stop.
  4. I really wish I'd stumbled into Smoke and Barrel at the beginning of an evening out rather than at the end, when, famished and a little tipsy, I devoured my pulled pork sandwich at approximately the speed of light. I can't, therefore, provide thoughtful details much beyond "yum!" The smoked meat is piled on a respectable bun with a scoop of good cole slaw, with the surprisingly spicy sauce on the side. And I don't think anything has ever tasted better after a night of beers with friends. A side of sweet potato home fries was excellent.
  5. I second what Dean said. I started to eat the worst sausage I have ever put in my mouth at the Columbia location. It reminded me why I have said many times that, just because someone knows how to smoke meat it does not mean they know how to make sausage. The skill-sets have nothing in common, yet more often than not the barbecue places that say they make their own sausage almost always disappoint. (I'm looking at you, Monk's BBQ).
  6. So I stumbled on the website for this BBQ joint and I can't find any threads about it on DR. Anyone been to Black Hog?
  7. I go through reservation websites all the time, hoping to find a new restaurant with outdoor dining. That's how I found Ruthie's All-day on Opentable. And then I read a piece on the restaurant by Eater. They also have free parking - that clinched the deal. So I ordered Wood Grilled Oysters with yuzu kosho butter. I had no idea what yuzu kosho butter is but what the heck! It turned out to be delicious - I only wish the oysters were bigger. The Wood Grilled Striploin with chimichurri was less magnificent (not a great piece of meat compared to the ribeye I've been buying at Balducci's). But a good selection of sides. I chose broccolini and braised greens just to make sure I got enough fiber. It's priced to be a neighborhood joint so there were families with babies and young children.
  8. 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.
  9. Stopped by Smoking Kow for a late lunch today. They opened earlier this week. The place is pretty small, with about four picnic tables to eat at inside. They didn't have wings, tacos or ribs today, which was too bad. I ordered the two-meat platter with pulled pork and brisket, along with barbecue beans and mac and cheese. I also tried all of their sauces. I believe they were: original, vinegar, mumbo, chipotle, and gold. I thought the pulled pork and the brisket were both good, though they didn't provide a lot of it for a platter. I also thought it strange that the brisket only comes chopped. It made me suspicious that they're trying to cover up something, because that's why I do when my brisket turns out dry. Of the sauces, I enjoyed the chipotle the most, especially with the brisket. I really enjoyed their barbecue beans. They're red and white beans with a vinegary sauce that has a lot of interesting flavor to it. Can't wait to try that again. The mac and cheese was creamy, fine, nothing to really write home about. Overall, I'll definitely give this place another chance. I think the transition from food truck to restaurant will probably give them some growing pains. The menus (and meat portions) seem more geared toward sandwiches, which makes sense for a food truck. Hopefully they'll have brisket slices and ribs in the near future.
  10. [posted on eGullet 2003-2004] It's over, call off the dogs and come home from the hunt: Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue is the answer to any problem you can possibly have. Lack confidence when performing a pancreaticoduodenectomy? The glazed chicken skewer will set your nerves at rest. Finding it a challenge unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity? Try the pulled pork mounded on a bun with cole slaw and hot sauce. Trouble solving the halting problem? The beef brisket and sour-cream redskin potato salad will do it for you. Feeling like Sisyphus trying to balance the boulder? Let it roll and order a full rack of baby back pork ribs. Visualizing dark matter proving elusive? The homemade chocolate chip brownie brings it within reach of the eye. At the intersection of Broad Street and The Boulevard in Richmond (1119 N. Boulevard), Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue is everything you need to achieve enlightenment. Last night, Buz's brother (a good friend of mine) stopped in with a care-basket full of goodies, and I gorged like a tick on what may just be the best barbecue I've ever eaten. Is it always this good? He says it is, and he's one of my most trusted food friends. Based on what I had last night, this is worth a special trip to Richmond. Cheers, Rocks.
  11. 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.
  12. I always thought Johnny Boys was good but not great, benefitting as much from its location as from the quality of its meat. I eat it gladly, but have gotten better 'cue from other places along the 301 corridor.
  13. 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..
  14. 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.
  15. Thanks for the tip on whether mutton BBQ is driving out of the way for (notwithstanding your completely off-base take on Popeyes 😉).
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. Liberty Barbecue, the newest enterprise of the Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social folks, had its Grand opening last night in Falls Church. Located In the space most recently occupied by Famous Daves on Broad Street. The schedule for the rest of December is unclear, but they say in January they will be serving both lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Full bar with a small but adequate wine list, and, of course, a nice selection of beer. Wi-Fi is also provided. I had a quarter slab of ribs which were very meaty, perfectly cooked, but could have used a touch more smoke. The sauces need some work -- appeared to be commercial rather than house made. They had a band, but I didn't stick around to hear the music (I arrived at 5 when the doors opened, and the music wasn't starting til 9 -- call me a light-weight, but I had to go home). The place is totally concrete so if you're sensitive to noise, better bring ear-plugs. All-in-all this is a welcome addition to central Falls Church, and I expect they will have as much success as their other ventures have enjoyed. Wishing the best of luck in the New Year!
  19. Was jonesing for Korean so I loaded up the kids and we went to Tosokchon for a late Sunday Lunch. We all thought is was Fantastic. Seafood Pancake was top notch and not too greasy. I didn't get the dumplings since I hesitated and the kids killed them. Bibimbap was pretty standard the noo roong ji crispy rice element was well developed in it, the Soondae Guk was a wonderful broth and the requisite blood sausage and other offal bits in it were worth the gout flare up potential. The Noodle Soup with Clams was a delicious soup with wellmade, chewy noodles and way too many clams for the price. The star of the meal was the Gamja Tang. The soup was so well developed; spicy, sweet, robust with julienne vegetables and an abundance of beautifully cooked pork, a few carrots and a chunk of potato. So good, I really am looking forward to being a little under the weather and letting this stew cure me sometime this winter. There was some banchan, kimchi was delightful. My wife didn't quite understand the toasted rice water/tea they served us throughout but we all grew to find it quite refreshing. 2beers, 2 apps 4 entrees $71 before tip. I may go back for Gamja Tang tomorrow
  20. Spark is a restaurant located on the border of NE and NW DC. I don't know what neighborhood it's in, but it's in a gentrifying neighborhood. You have to hunt for street parking, which was plentiful at least in the morning, before the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. I ordered some jerk brisket ($17) and some smoked bone marrow ($16). I'm not sure how the brisket was "jerked," but it was moist and well seasoned (but definitely not spicy-hot). It's a change of pace from Texas BBQ brisket (but not a superior product to Hill Country/Texas Jack). I don't know why I keep ordering bone marrow. I've never been a fan of bone marrow, and I don't need the fat (it is 84% fat). In this case, an order consists of 3 halves of bones and 3 pieces of grilled bread. Something to cut through the fat probably would've helped. I should've ordered some fried bread instead. And I wish they have salt fish.
  21. I was surprised there wasn't a thread on Sweet Fire Donna's. Website: www.sweetfiredonnas.com/ Hours: Walk-up Counter: Sunday - Saturday 11am - 10pm Bar: Sunday - Thursday 11am - 12am Friday & Saturday 11:00am - 1:00am Late Night Bar Menu: Sunday - Saturday 10:00pm - close Online Ordering Available. This place was humming for lunch with lots of take-out and eat in orders, luckily tables opened up quickly as it isn't huge inside. I had the Carolina chopped pork sandwich with coleslaw. I thought it was pretty good for NC pulled pork. Vinegar sauce was good, pork was chopped, but still had some texture. Hubby might even find it acceptable, it was good enough I would take him to try it. I also had a free side (note the word of the day on FB or Twitter) of skin on potato salad that I thought was good, it had a little pepper in it and wasn't too heavily dressed, although definitely there. Anyway, parking over in that area isn't the easiest, but I got a street space not too far away during lunch hour, so I was happy with myself.
  22. I've been to Fat Pete's twice in the past month. It's not far from one of the office buildings I work at, and I wanted to give it a try. You don't have to, because I did. Obligatory catering truck is usually parked across the street from the 18th St location, which is located almost next door to Taberna del Alabardero. From its splash page: "We are not Texas and not North Carolina nor Memphis or Atlanta, we are 'life is short, so we make it the best you possibly can so you never forget it' kind of BBQ." Yes, you can never forget it. But "best" it is definitely not. I have had the pulled pork (tasteless and dry), the ribs (chewy and forgettable), and the brisket (tough and dry). What look to be homemade sauces in squeeze bottles are only somewhat of a palliative, or at least they add some moisture and flavor. The sides are at least edible, with the vinegar cole slaw and the collard greens standing out. The cucumber salad is watery. No alcohol, which makes matters even worse. Enjoy your Pepsi products with the District's most mediocre BBQ.
  23. From driving by over the weekend, it looks like O'Brien's is now named "Branded '72". Emphasis still appears to be on BBQ.
  24. 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
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