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Urban Bar-B-Que Company - Owners David Calkins and Lee Howard Now In Numerous Baltimore-Washington Locations


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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.

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Hmm beer.

Since I have escaped from montgomery county, I rarely get to Rockville, where exactly is this place?  I have heard that it is off of Twinbrook Parkway, but where?

It is on Chapman Ave on the corner of Twinbrook Pkwy. one block from Rockville Pike. It is across the street from the Guitar Center.

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The ribs are fall off the bone good. The sides top notch. My favorite is the soul rolls. Everything is fresh and homemade. I am hooked on their key lime pie.

They catered a couple football parties last season and everyone was very happy.

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My favorite is the soul rolls.
You should try the soul rolls.

What is a soul roll?

(OT: I tried to smoke ribs myself in a Weber Bullet last weekend and 2-1/2 hours in, when I cracked the lid for the first time, I found I'd managed to flip the cooking grate and dump both racks into the viscid water pan below, where they were greyly simmering. My wife swears there were little tears of shame and fury in the corners of my eyes. I maintain it was pork fat spatter.)

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I stopped by for an order of soul rolls between errands on Saturday afternoon. One order is 4 pieces, two whole rolls cut in half. They're delicious but heavy as lead, and the dipping sauce (redneck fondue :lol: ) is superfluous. I ate two pieces, and was unable to eat for the rest of the day. The new space is cute, and boy they are just the nicest guys.

I'm meeting a friend there for lunch tomorrow and will report back.

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I stopped by for an order of soul rolls between errands on Saturday afternoon.  One order is 4 pieces, two whole rolls cut in half.  They're delicious but heavy as lead, and the dipping sauce (redneck fondue  :lol: ) is superfluous.  I ate two pieces, and was unable to eat for the rest of the day.  The new space is cute, and boy they are just the nicest guys.

I'm meeting a friend there for lunch tomorrow and will report back.

On the way out of Urban Bar-B-Que company yesterday, I said to Lee Howard, 'I am so thankful that I don't live any closer to this place.'

Because if I did, I'd weigh 975,000 pounds. A Two-Meat Combo Plate with pulled pork, beef brisket, fries, cole slaw and cornbread was one of the best scarfs I've had in a long time. A voracious, animalistic scarf - not unlike a hungry dog at his bowl - anyone getting between me and my food during the first five minutes would have lost a digit.

And the fire department is just up Rollins Avenue in case an ambulance is needed for transport!

Rocks.

p.s. the beer list could use one good lager

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I stopped by for my first time last night and had a great meal. The brisket was amazing, as was the pulled pork. My husband loved the baked beans, and I the macaroni and cheese. But, I was a little dissapointed in the ribs; they were very dry. Next time I will stick with the brisket and pulled pork (probably dont need ribs also anyways).

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I stopped by for an order of soul rolls between errands on Saturday afternoon.  One order is 4 pieces, two whole rolls cut in half.  They're delicious but heavy as lead, and the dipping sauce (redneck fondue  :lol: ) is superfluous.  I ate two pieces, and was unable to eat for the rest of the day.  The new space is cute, and boy they are just the nicest guys.

Went for the Soul Rolls tonight (to make up for not getting Acadiana Po'Boys at lunch). Mainly used 'cue sauce instead of fondue for the rolls. The nicest guys (Heather's term) noticed and slipped me a bag of chips to take home with the left over fondue...

Need to get back and tip heavy (was too surprised to do much more than say thanks) and, oh yeah, try the ribs.

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We got to Urban at 11:30 and the place was empty but for a few folks picking up carryout orders, and when we left at 12:30 it was standing room only, with table vultures hovering everywhere - great to see them doing so well right after their reopening. It's an island of good, honest food, made by owners clearly passionate about what they're doing, in a sea of corporate dining options that Rockville has so many of.

I got the rib combo with pulled chicken, with cole slaw, collard greens, and cornbread. My friend got the crabcake special with mac & cheese, and cornbread. We split an order of soul rolls just because she had never tried them.

We each managed one of the pieces of soul roll and dipped them in the red BBQ sauce. They don't suck. My only niggling complaint about the ribs is that I like mine a little more tender, otherwise they are flavorful with just a little sweet glaze. Pulled chicken is tasty but no reason to skip the pork. The cole slaw is chopped rather than shredded and tastes mostly of mayo. It could use a little more sugar and vinegar. Collard greens remain just the slightest bit toothsome and have a nice vinegary bite to compliment the smoky bacony bottom note. I tried a bite of the crabcake, it was good but again, no reason to skip the pork. Mac and cheese was respectable. And the cornbread was sweet and chewy with whole kernels.

The Georgia Peach unsweetened tea was fine but no match for the root beer on tap. The key lime pie sounded tempting but I needed to remain awake to pick up my kids this afternoon. We will be ordering carryout frequently.

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As much as we have discussed the soul rolls, my favorite things there are the dirty wings, the pulled pork, and the brisket. I love the ribs too, but they are not falling off the bone tender, but flavorful and meaty.

The dirty wings are marinaded overnight in a spicy sauce, and after being in the fryer, finished up on the grill. Love umm. They also make pretty good mashed potatos. The fries are only for eating there, they get cold too quickly if you get them to take out. They will put chili and cheese on them for you if you want.

The apple crisp is my favorite dessert and the root beer is out of this world, made in VA and sweetened with honey, not sugar or corn syrup.

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Do they offer the apple crisp a la mode?  And is the cornbread white or yellow?

Oh wow.  From what I've read, I might have to stop in and try it.  I've not had very good experiences with BBQ so I'm a bit wary of eating it.  However, y'all are making it sound quite tasty.

I'm sure they would offer the apple crisp a la mode since they have ice cream for root beer floats. I'd guess it would be a dollar more since that is how much more the float costs than rootbeer. The apple crisp it is really a small apple pie (they bake them themselves) that is big enough for dessert for two hungry people. Cornbread is yellow, made in house (in fact they brag that the only things they do not make in house are the hamburger buns and the corndogs) studded with kernels of corn, somewhat sweet. I always get it and take it home to have with butter and strawberry jam later in the evening.

You can buy platters that have your choice of two or three different meats, or a rib and whatever combo. The pulled pork is very good, as is the brisket. If you don't want one of the three sauces they make (red, yella, or Carolina) they have lots of bottles of sauce on the wall that you can use.

They have several types of beer, one of which is Yingling (did I spell that right?) on tap.

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Oh, yum. That apple crisp sounds good - even better now I know they have ice cream for it. (One cannot have crisp without vanilla ice cream!)

Hmm. Yellow cornbread? I must try that. I like the white cornbread at Flavors in VA. First time I had it, I ate 4 pieces in one day. (With a glass of milk...)

So, being the novice BBQ eater, what should I get? Personally, I like fatty meats but does the fatty in American BBQ get crisp (a la roast pork in Chinese cooking) or it is more uncutous?

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Oh, yum.  That apple crisp sounds good - even better now I know they have ice cream for it.  (One cannot have crisp without vanilla ice cream!)

Hmm.  Yellow cornbread?  I must try that.  I like the white cornbread at Flavors in VA.  First time I had it, I ate 4 pieces in one day.  (With a glass of milk...)

So, being the novice BBQ eater, what should I get?  Personally, I like fatty meats but does the fatty in American BBQ get crisp (a la roast pork in Chinese cooking) or it is more uncutous?

Pulled pork is probably most similar to what your palate is used to. I'd start with that, then try ribs (still somewhat similar to textures you'll find in some Chinese cuisines). When you've figured out the barbecue flavors, you'll be ready for brisket.

If anyone plans on going for lunch, let me know with some warning and I'll sneak out of work to join you as it's only about a 15 minute drive from my office.

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Stopped by for lunch today with DanielK.

I had pulled pork and slaw.

It was good, but a little chewy as it had been sitting in its bin on the kitchen steam table a little too long. The slaw was nice. The Carolina vinegar sauce was somewhat too vinegary and the meat needed a little more smoke taste.

Also had a piece of the sausage, which was probably the best of what I tried.

A good lunch, but I don't know how far out of my way I would go for it.

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Stopped by for lunch today with DanielK.

I had pulled pork and slaw.

It was good, but a little chewy as it had been sitting in its bin on the kitchen steam table a little too long. The slaw was nice. The Carolina vinegar sauce was somewhat too vinegary and the meat needed a little more smoke taste.

Also had a piece of the sausage, which was probably the best of what I tried.

A good lunch, but I don't know how far out of my way I would go for it.

I wonder if they're still getting the hang of being so busy. They had a much bigger crowd today than I've seen ever before. I'm going to wait a couple of weeks, and go again at an off hour. I definitely agree that the pulled pork was not the revelation that it was the last time I was there.

FWIW the BBQ beans and corn bread were still first class.

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So I was able to make it finally to Urban. It was much smaller of a place than I expected, but it was genuine, good, and everyone should visit.

Now for the nitty gritty!!

Rundown: I chose the three meat platter with potato salad as the side. Yuengling beer to wash it down. While waiting, a 5 year old boy and I cracked some peanuts they had there to eat, like Rocklands does.

Pulled Pork I would give an A+, was juicy, not stringy, not full of fake flavor or anything of the sort. The Brisket needs a little work, it was cooked a little too quickly in my opinion, no smoke ring on any of the pieces I had. A little dry too. The sausage was good kielbasa like, grilled nicely. The cornbread, excellent, came with plastic wrap to keep it moist.

Sauces, there were four or five. The Ketchup based one was nice, vinegar based needed more mustardy spice, but that's just the way I like it. The sauces were blanded a little bit, but most foods in this area are enjoyed by most people without the spicyness I prefer, I guess it's just a preference. Luckily there was a plethera of hot sauces to add the kick. The potato salad although looking nice, and was freshly made was missing something to make it Mmmm Mmmm good. The potato salad was delicious don't get me wrong though. Maybe some apple cider vinegar added? Bac on in it perhaps?

Didn't get a chance to have any soul rolls or Redneck Fondue or BBQ chicken, but there's always my next visit. :lol:

Edited by Dental_FlossTycoon
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Stopped by for dinner tonight, as I was hung-over from last night's corporate festivities and was craving BBQ. We got there at 8:15 and most of the tables were occupied. I had the pulled pork/pulled chicken combo platter with a side of collard greens. My g/f had the pulled chicken w/ mashed potatoes. I thought that both the pork and chicken were pretty good, however if I could find one fault it was the lack of smokiness of say an Andy Nelson's in the Baltimore area. The sauces were overall pretty good but the Carolina one could have used a little more kick to it. Overall, this is probably some of the best BBQ that I have had in the DC area, much better than Rocklands or Old Glory.

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My parents and I got take-out last night. Finally got a chance to taste the soul rolls, which are totally deserving of the hype. The "redneck fondue" is excellent as well -- next time I throw a party, I'm totally ordering a quart.

Ribs were quality as always. I agree that the sauces could use some kick, but presumably that's why there are hot sauces on the wall. Maybe I'll mix in some sambal for the leftovers.

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We had errands to run today along Rockville Pike, so I dragged the +1 to Urban BBQ for our first visit. He had the pulled pork sandwich, I had the pulled chicken. The pork was unusually wet, which made the bottom half of the bun disintegrate quickly. The pork was also a little chewy, so I suspect it sat in the steam pan for a little while too long (we got there just after the lunch rush). The flavor was very good, though, and my husband polished it off despite the collapsing bun. The pulled chicken had no such problems - it was juicy, tender, delicious, and gone very quickly. I had to try all four BBQ sauces available, with the yella edging out the spicy (which might be new - I hadn't seen it mentioned before). Yeah, we'll be back.

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We had errands to run today along Rockville Pike, so I dragged the +1 to Urban BBQ  for our first visit. He had the pulled pork sandwich, I had the pulled chicken. The pork was unusually wet, which made the bottom half of the bun disintegrate quickly. The pork was also a little chewy, so I suspect it sat in the steam pan for a little while too long (we got there just after the lunch rush). The flavor was very good, though, and my husband polished it off despite the collapsing bun. The pulled chicken had no such problems - it was juicy, tender, delicious, and gone very quickly. I had to try all four BBQ sauces available, with the yella edging out the spicy (which might be new - I hadn't seen it mentioned before). Yeah, we'll be back.

I've had the same problem with the pulled pork on two visits - wet and obviously steamed, only I was unable to detect any smoke or flavor whatsoever. :) I really cannot see the attraction of this place. Except maybe for the best darned beans I've had in years. But they're not worth wasting a visit, and I work five minutes from there.

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I've had the same problem with the pulled pork on two visits - wet and obviously steamed, only I was unable to detect any smoke or flavor whatsoever.  :) I really cannot see the attraction of this place. Except maybe for the best darned beans I've had in years. But they're not worth wasting a visit, and I work five minutes from there.

If you don't visit during weekday lunch rush, you're less likely to have this problem. I've been for lunch twice, and both times the pulled pork was clearly sitting on the steam table too long. However, I've been a bunch of times on weekends or for dinner, and have never run into this problem. Though I think the sausage and ribs are better than the pulled pork.

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I've had the same problem with the pulled pork on two visits - wet and obviously steamed, only I was unable to detect any smoke or flavor whatsoever.  :) I really cannot see the attraction of this place. Except maybe for the best darned beans I've had in years. But they're not worth wasting a visit, and I work five minutes from there.

The pulled pork is definitely best when UBBQ first opens, and eaten on the premises. But the attraction is the soul rolls with redneck fondue. Sublime junk food. As for the beans...? yuck. But that's just my opinion. You know there's a Rocklands opening up nearby?

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OK, I had to go over today for follow-up research. :)

We went over at 1pm, at the tail end of lunch time. They were busy, but not overwhelmed. Placed the order, and by the time we got a table, drinks, and ate a few peanuts, the food was ready. The kids and I shared the 1/2 rack and sausage, beans, and mac & cheese, and there were leftovers.

The ribs were sublime. Crusty on the outside, tender meat that pulls easily off the bone, but isn't so overcooked to be mushy. Smoky but not overwhelming, and just a taste of the offered sauces is perfect. I'm not a big fan of the "yella" mustardy sauce, but the slight cloying nature of the red sauce is easily balanced by a couple of shots from the wall of hot sauces available.

I have previously loved the sausage, but it wasn't all that today. Needed more time on the grill, and it didn't seem like the same smoky flavorful sausage it had been in the past.

The beans and mac & cheese were world class, and I love the cornbread. And the Dominion root beer on tap, at $2 for a bottomless cup, is definitely an attraction.

Next time, I'll re-examine the pulled pork!

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OK, I had to go over today for follow-up research.  :)

We went over at 1pm, at the tail end of lunch time. They were busy, but not overwhelmed. Placed the order, and by the time we got a table, drinks, and ate a few peanuts, the food was ready. The kids and I shared the 1/2 rack and sausage, beans, and mac & cheese, and there were leftovers.

The ribs were sublime. Crusty on the outside, tender meat that pulls easily off the bone, but isn't so overcooked to be mushy. Smoky but not overwhelming, and just a taste of the offered sauces is perfect. I'm not a big fan of the "yella" mustardy sauce, but the slight cloying nature of the red sauce is easily balanced by a couple of shots from the wall of hot sauces available.

I have previously loved the sausage, but it wasn't all that today. Needed more time on the grill, and it didn't seem like the same smoky flavorful sausage it had been in the past.

The beans and mac & cheese were world class, and I love the cornbread. And the Dominion root beer on tap, at $2 for a bottomless cup, is definitely an attraction.

Next time, I'll re-examine the pulled pork!

Try the wings, they are the best in the area. And believe it or not, the crabcake is excellent. If you haven't had the soul rolls, you should try those. But they are very filling.

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Try the wings, they are the best in the area.  And believe it or not, the crabcake is excellent.  If you haven't had the soul rolls, you should try those.  But they are very filling.

Haven't done the wings or crabcakes yet, but me and the soul rolls are old pals. They should come with a referral to a cardiologist, though.

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Try the wings, they are the best in the area.  And believe it or not, the crabcake is excellent.  If you haven't had the soul rolls, you should try those.  But they are very filling.

I had carryout tonight, a "light" meal of wings and fondue. It was my first time with the wings and you're right--they're terrific. The fondue is a guilty pleasure, aboslutley addicting. I did the whole order by myself and was scraping the sides of the container, trying to get just a little more.

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Haven't done the wings or crabcakes yet, but me and the soul rolls are old pals. They should come with a referral to a cardiologist, though.

My last cholesterol reading was 144. I'm going to have the soul rolls next time... and maybe some sausage slathered in the yella sauce.

Do we need to have a MontCo BBQ Comparo when the new Rocklands opens?

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I love the vibe of this place, and the sides are great (especially the collard greens and the cornbread), but the BBQ continues to disappoint. The pulled pork tastes like it's never seen a smoker or grill (I worked in NC for awhile, so I'm a big snob about pulled pork, though) and the brisket is pretty tough about 1 out of every 3 times (and doesn't seem to have seen much smoke either). Maybe I'll finally try the ribs next time...

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I love the vibe of this place, and the sides are great (especially the collard greens and the cornbread), but the BBQ continues to disappoint.  The pulled pork tastes like it's never seen a smoker or grill (I worked in NC for awhile, so I'm a big snob about pulled pork, though) and the brisket is pretty tough about 1 out of every 3 times (and doesn't seem to have seen much smoke either).  Maybe I'll finally try the ribs next time...

The pretty much lines up with my experiences there.

I want them to succeed (and they are and probably will continue to as the place is consistently packed for lunch) but I also want them to do better Q (esp. the pork).

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Urban BBQ ... Twinbrook Parkway and Chapman Street

Had the pork sandwich plus potato salad plus ice tea. The establishment was busy: service was efficient and

friendly.

So, what's not to like? Some sorry ass New York Southhampton consultant musta say "Cook everything real mild, so even

a pathetic New Jersey wuss won't complain. They can fix things up with bottled sauce." You [food consultants] make me sick.

So, where do they cook this stuff? No evidence of "aromatic advertising" ... for so many BBQ places in the

South, the wood smoke and barbeque aroma draws you in, even before you see the establishment itself.

Not so here ... nothing but Rockville Pike truck exhaust.

What about the potato salad? The Liz Crenshaw testing panel would probably rate it "equal to the stuff from

the Safeway store salad bar." Not terrible.

The ice tea tasted authentic, with a ton of sugar.

To make it worse, they had "World Cup Soccer" on the TV. Only two things should be on the TV in a

barbeque joint (if they have electric) ... 'Bama football or professional wrestling.

Maybe the next time I go there, I'll have one of those weird foreign beers, much as I hate to admit it.

(edited)

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Try the wings, they are the best in the area.
I agree those are really good wings. They're meaty, juicy, and nicely seasoned. When I first tried them, I was expecting buffalo style or bbq sauced wings (I hadn't read this thread or probably the menu carefully) so I was surprised when I tasted them. This week, I found myself with a sudden craving for them so I had to get more. :)
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On my last couple of visits, the soul rolls have remained fantastically addictive, but I can't say that I'm a fan of their ribs. Meaty, yes, but a couple hours short of fall-off-the-bone, and underspiced. Which I can't understand, because they have a pretty decent dry rub in the shaker on the condiment counter. Arguably not as good as the last time I tried Rocklands' ribs, and I wasn't a fan of those either.

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