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Backyard Barbecue, Michael and AnneMarie Schmidt on Sycamore Street in North Arlington - Closed

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Just had an event catered by Backyard Barbecue which is located just north of East Falls Church metro. Pulled pork and coleslaw was the limit of the order, but what BB delivered was spot on. I am kind of surprised, there are so many poor to mediocre barbecue joints inside the beltway, I didn't think BBQ could survive around here. The sauce was nicely spicy, with a hint of vinegar and a smoky background flavor that I think might have been cumin. I am not a huge fan of cumin, but it seemed to work here. Buns were basic, but the slaw was crispy and pretty tasty as well. Definitely a neighborhood cafe/caterer that I hope will succeed.

Their website is www.backyardbbqcompany.com.

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I couldn't find the address on the website, but the owner Anne Marie sent it to me.

I'm looking forward to trying it soon!

the physical address of the store is

2910 North Sycamore Street, Arl Va 22207

703-534-2510

it’s the Williamsburg Shopping Center – sort of the intersection of Sycamore/Williamsburg/ Little Falls

Hours:

open 11:30am – 8:00pm ( closed Mondays )

they opened about 7 weeks ago –

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Tip: Call ahead with your order to make sure they are not sold out. I called at noon for a pick-up at 5:00pm. They reserved my ribs and thought that was a good idea.

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Their website just talks about their catering business. Can you just walk in and buy an individual order? Do they have seating at the store?

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Their website just talks about their catering business. Can you just walk in and buy an individual order?

Yes. The menu is a bit more limited than what you find on the catering menu. They told me the babyback ribs were on "special" one Sunday, and are not on the everyday menu. I do not know if that has changed. Again, call ahead to find out what is available and place your order early. They said they are trying to keep things fresh and items do sell out. I find the 8pm closing time to be too early.

Do they have seating at the store?

Very limited seating. It is more of a carry-out place.

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They told me the babyback ribs were on "special" one Sunday, and are not on the everyday menu. I do not know if that has changed.

I'm not sure it has changed, but a half rack was available tonight for $15. The macaroni and cheese at a glance looked exactly like the ones served at Boston Market, as in, I believe they used rotini instead of macaroni, and it was really tasty. A stop in here was requested by gebaby, who asked for "meat" when asked what he wanted for dinner. I thought this place was pretty meaty (as there was none in the fridge at home) and good, as evinced by the almost finished Pulled Pork sandwich for $5.99 (comes with coleslaw). Except for the fact that gebaby wanted to construct his own sandwich of a little bite of bun + pulled pork + macaroni all on one bite. I really like the assortment of hot sauces and condiments available, and I hope to talk to Anne-Marie more, as she is really nice and friendly.

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I had a good carryout dinner from Backyard Barbecue last night. On weekends they serve ribs, and I ordered a Rack of Pork Ribs ($25, full-rack), Macaroni and Cheese ($2.50, half-pint), Cole Slaw ($2.50, half-pint), Baked Beans ($5.00, pint), and Jalapeño Cornbread ($1.95). After three visits to Backyard Barbecue, I have yet to try anything I didn't like. This is not a crosstown destination, and for rib-hounds, there are better ribs in the area, but if you're anywhere near East Falls Church Metro, it's just a mile up Sycamore St. and worth a detour.

More importantly, Anne-Marie and Michael Schmidt come across as exactly the type of people you want to succeed: genuine, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folks. I asked Anne-Marie if Jane Touzalin's October 14th. "Good To Go" column (proudly displayed on their counter) gave them a bump in business. She told me that it did, and that the increase in business continued all the way up until Thanksgiving - it looks like area residents are recognizing Backyard Barbecue for the solid neighborhood restaurant that it is.

Their website just talks about their catering business. Can you just walk in and buy an individual order? Do they have seating at the store?

Their website is www.backyardbbqcompany.com. You can definitely eat there (in fact, they have a tray full of hot sauces), but it's very much of a stool-and-counter setup.

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Solid pulled barbeque pork sandwich for lunch today. I was a little concerned when they fiipped open the lid at the counter that the pork looked a little dry, but that was not the case at all. It was an ample portion with relatively large pieces that were moist and succulent. Like many other places, it was served on a hamburger bun, this one topped with sesame seeds. It held up fairly well to the challenge, although the bottom did get a bit soggy. I understand that white hamburger buns may be traditional for barbeque sandwiches, but frankly any other type of roll would taste better. I really do not even like white hamburger buns for hamburgers. I wish more places would think out of the box on this front. Then again, maybe that is one of the reasons this sandwich rings up at a reasonable $5.99.

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Solid pulled barbeque pork sandwich for lunch today. I was a little concerned when they fiipped open the lid at the counter that the pork looked a little dry, but that was not the case at all. It was an ample portion with relatively large pieces that were moist and succulent. Like many other places, it was served on a hamburger bun, this one topped with sesame seeds. It held up fairly well to the challenge, although the bottom did get a bit soggy. I understand that white hamburger buns may be traditional for barbeque sandwiches, but frankly any other type of roll would taste better. I really do not even like white hamburger buns for hamburgers. I wish more places would think out of the box on this front. Then again, maybe that is one of the reasons this sandwich rings up at a reasonable $5.99.

The bbq pork sandwich we got a couple months ago also had large pieces but they were so dry that even generous dousing with sauce didn't help. The brisket though is top notch. We also got the jerk salmon which was a very nicely cooked piece of fish, although not much in the way of jerk flavor. The combination with the mango salsa did make it pretty tasty and the mildness made it suitable for our kids.

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The bbq pork sandwich we got a couple months ago also had large pieces but they were so dry that even generous dousing with sauce didn't help. The brisket though is top notch. We also got the jerk salmon which was a very nicely cooked piece of fish, although not much in the way of jerk flavor. The combination with the mango salsa did make it pretty tasty and the mildness made it suitable for our kids.

I've been here numerous times, and I agree that the brisket (by the pound) is the best thing to get. If you call ahead, it's ready in ten minutes.

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This Saturday (for the third time, it turns out), Backyard Barbecue is serving sandwiches made from a whole roast pig (this week's is 62 pounds), right off the grill, out in front of the restaurant.

"You should do this every day!" I chirped.

He gave me the Hairy Eyeball and said something about sleep.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Backyard Barbecue is closed as of this week.  Bad news.  They were great neighbors.  But their location will be taken over by the owners of Alexandria's Smoking Kow.  Good news! 

Place will be dark for a while  during the transition. (Meanwhile, get your ribs at Peking Pavilion next door.)

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11 minutes ago, Peachyboy1 said:

Backyard Barbecue is closed as of this week.  Bad news.  They were great neighbors.  But their location will be taken over by the owners of Alexandria's Smoking Kow.  Good news! 

Place will be dark for a while  during the transition. (Meanwhile, get your ribs at Peking Pavilion next door.)

This makes me sad: Michael and AnneMarie were *so nice* to me when my mom passed away - I'll never forget the Shepherd's Pie they made for me (the best Shepherd's Pie I've ever had, btw). I moved awhile back, and have been negligent in getting back there. You never know what you're going to miss until it's gone. :(

I'm retiring Backyard Barbecue in Italic - this is what you want a neighborhood business to be.

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