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Branded '72, BBQ on East Gude Drive in Rockville, in the O'Brien's Space - Closed

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I'd like to publicly apologize to the people at Branded last night for interupting the peace and quiet of their shift. I had them scrambling to gather sauce and sides from various points all over the empty "chow line", and then when I asked for my order to go, we all had to move to a different cash register. Also, I wouldn't have ordered any meat that required chopping had I known that it would mean sending for another employee to wield the knife. I'll call ahead next time to let you know I'm coming.

Brisket-- dry, crumbly

Pulled pork-- not bad, though a little dry

Baked beans-- average

"Dirty" rice-- flavorless

Collard greens-- you were out. The only green substance behind the glass were some flaccid ancient-looking green beans.

BBQ Sauce-- I was told I was given 3 sauces which I took to mean 3 varieties. Unfortunately I received 3 containers of the sickly sweet variety I don't care much for.

Iced tea-- stale

Total-- about $16

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I had what may be my single worst take-home experience at Branded '72.

We called and ordered a bunch of food for pickup, about $150 worth of different, basic stuff. We added a $15 key lime pie - I think it was listed as a special on the website menu.

There was some issue with what we tried to accomlish with our order. We wanted BBQ sandwiches and ordered a few pounds of BBQ meat - then couldn't find a way to order rolls. I understand that maybe they want to sell the individual sandwiches - but those don't survive take-out too well. I eventually talked them into selling me a bag of rolls, scratching my head and wondering what I was missing in the conversation.

The kicker was the pie. When I arrived for pickup, there was a little scramble to get the pie. But it was added, covered with foil and I left.

When I got home, the pie was sliced into a normal 12 slices. 11 of the slices were a newish pie. The 12th slice was added to the pie from something that was key lime at one time, but had hardened on the top, was quite a bit darker with age, and so dry it had cracked and shrunk.

When we opened the pie we nearly lost it. We had no appetite for the rest of the pie - as the dead piece touched the rest of it. It was just gross, and in retrospect, was a decision to assemble that and sell it to us, not an accident.

To ice the cake (or pie)...I brought the pie back and showed them. They offered my money back...and then asked me to sign another credit card slip for $135, which was $15 off my original $150. "why am I giving you MORE money?!?!" "Well, we had to credit your card the whole order, but have no receipt for that. It will charge back to your card later tonight at closing. We're re-charging your whole bill from scratch, less the pie."

Was the rest of food good? I dunno, I don't remember. Why didn't they just tell me they only had "most" of a pie? To serve up something that's nearly rotted is bad - but to mix it in with fresher stuff is just insane.

They have a roomy facility. There, I said something nice.

But it was my worst take-out ever, second worst dining experience ever. Plus, I had to watch my checking account balances over the next few days just to see if I had paid $150, $135 or $285 for the fun ride! (The money did turn out OK, as promised. Still...)

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This place has gone down hill since the name/owner change. Their BBQ had been the closest I can find up here to what I am used to at home in Texas. Last time we got an order of a pound and a half of brisket and it was so fatty we threw out half of it. This included the chopped up fat included in the bottom of the container, even though we ordered sliced. Guess they started by scraping the leavings off the cutting board in to our container.

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