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DCity Smokehouse - Barbecue by Pitmaster Shawn McWhirter who Replaces Rob Sonderman


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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
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Picked up my carry out in their immaculate storefront, very cool look inside even if the surrounding businesses aren't as inviting.

BBQ Sampler (out of ribs at 7pm, so pork tips instead; plus my choice to try pork belly and brisket) with a side of braised greens, house pickles, and TX toast ($18), 24 wings ($19), green chili cheese grits, crispy brussel sprouts, and smokey brisket chili (each side $3).

This is adult BBQ, not sure if anything I tasted is appropriate for kids as it is aggressively seasoned. The smoked wings are outstanding. The brisket isn't as moist as what I recall at Hill Co., but flavorful. Pork belly is 50/50 meat/fat, super soft with just a bit of char.

Brussel sprouts didn't work for me, the braised greens cooked with pork was better at balancing this rich platter.

I shall return.

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My spice-timid child loves the meaty Palmer, hold the aoili and the hush puppies. I frequently gravitate towards the chopped pork sandwich, but we often get a bunch of sandwiches and a meat platter to share. This is a wonderful addition, the only caveat is that you have to plan a bit early, at least for us on Friday nights, which is when this seems like a perfect option, as the doors close at 8.

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My spice-timid child loves the meaty Palmer, hold the aoili and the hush puppies. I frequently gravitate towards the chopped pork sandwich, but we often get a bunch of sandwiches and a meat platter to share. This is a wonderful addition, the only caveat is that you have to plan a bit early, at least for us on Friday nights, which is when this seems like a perfect option, as the doors close at 8.

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I Opted for the meaty palmer sandwich this time - a smoked turkey and pork belly sandwich with avocado and aioli. Delicious.

My spice-timid child loves the meaty Palmer

So this sandwich carries street cred in my neighborhood so I tried it. Was very optimistic going in, poultry here is outstanding especially the wings and smoked turkey. Could pork belly possibly detract? No. Avocado and jalapeí±o aioli neither. What Eatdceat doesn't mention is a heavily buttered Texas toast on which this sandwich is built. OMG.

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Only 7 posts here after nearly 11 months of operation, but this place may be getting it's due. Tim Carman profiled the place last week, and the lines have been out the door since.

And deservedly so. Arriving at 1p on Saturday, we apparently just missed the lines from when they opened at noon, and they were (at least temporarily) completely out of ribs. No worry - we went with the Brisket Champ Sandwich (Sliced brisket with crispy fried onions and house made pickles on Texas toast) and one I don't see on their online menu, a half-smoke sausage topped with brisket chili. Also sides of hushpuppies and fried brussels sprouts.

This is the real deal. I'd previous been a fan of the ribs at both Urban BBQ (inconsistent) and KBQ (haven't been since the re-opening, but have not heard good things). And, though we didn't get to try the ribs here, the brisket is enough to make me forget about all the rest. No other BBQ place in the area is playing in this league. Close your eyes and you're in central Texas - the brisket is that good.

I'd say go now, but it's 11:30pm on a Sunday, and they are closed on Monday. But you should go on Tuesday.

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I'd noticed their storefront several times on my drive down North Cap and wondered what was inside, Friday dinner at Nationals Park consisted of their Big Beef sandwich. OMG - rich and flavorful. This is much better than anything in the Park. I asked for the coleslaw on the slide to keep the sandwich as neat as possible, but next time I'll be sure to have papertowels on hand. Maybe it'll be the sliced brisket sandwich next time...

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Went last week for the first time and had a great Brisket Champ sandwich (Sliced Brisket with Crispy Fried Onions and House Made pickles on Texas Toast) - really succulent meat on heavily buttered bread.  Good eats. I was less impressed with the hush puppies - tasted very doughy and too salty and IMHO I didn't think dipping them in the maple syrup that came with them added anything but stickiness.  I will definitely go back for more meat, but next time try some other sides. I should have listened to the counterguy who recommened the crispy brussel sprouts.

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We had catering from DCity for a party a couple weeks ago. Certainly not cheap (at $200 for 10 lbs of meat I don't know how that compares to other places), but it was all really good. We had chopped pork, brisket, and turkey, and almost none leftover at the end of the night. Came with BBQ sauce and pickles if I recall. We didn't do any sides, but I want to go and try a sandwich with sides some time soon.

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We had catering from DCity for a party a couple weeks ago. Certainly not cheap (at $200 for 10 lbs of meat I don't know how that compares to other places), but it was all really good. We had chopped pork, brisket, and turkey, and almost none leftover at the end of the night. Came with BBQ sauce and pickles if I recall. We didn't do any sides, but I want to go and try a sandwich with sides some time soon.

How many people were fed?

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Went tonight and was completely disappointed. Everything was over salted or over seasoned- brisket, Brussels sprouts, beans. The brisket was dried out. This was after waiting 30 minutes to get our food. Maybe they were having a bad night, but we won't be going out of our way for this place.

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Went tonight and was completely disappointed. Everything was over salted or over seasoned- brisket, Brussels sprouts, beans. The brisket was dried out. This was after waiting 30 minutes to get our food. Maybe they were having a bad night, but we won't be going out of our way for this place.

Wow! This has been on my list for a month or two but hadn't made it yet. Should have tonight but plans got mixed up and we ended up at Beucherts instead (see that thread). Was this the unicorn-like "off day" or is this place in decline already?

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Wow! This has been on my list for a month or two but hadn't made it yet. Should have tonight but plans got mixed up and we ended up at Beucherts instead (see that thread). Was this the unicorn-like "off day" or is this place in decline already?

I've had two good experiences at weekday lunch this month.  The brisket was deserving of every superlative on both occasions, and the ribs were very good.  I would have liked less aioli on the Meaty Palmer, but the smoked turkey in the sandwich was outstanding -- smokey and moist and full of flavor.  I haven't enjoyed the sides, though, except for the pickles.

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Opening day and Womens' NBA Hoops semis tonight so...BBQ! (with full admiration and respect for all Easter Celebrants, which we celebrated with brunch earlier).

Finally and belatedly crossed a spot off of our "to try" list by ordering some 'Q for a smaller battalion from DCity. I was a little hesitant to do this given the higher stakes today and recently more-mixed reviews.

In three words though, Glad. We. Did.

We took home ribs, brisket, collards, beans and fried onion rings. Here's the rundown.

Ribs. A savory dry rub applied generously to larger, spare ribs yielded nice flavor even without sauce. Good balance of fat to meat yet very meaty and thoroughly moist. Maybe a tad too much salt but really nitpicking to say that.

Brisket. Like the ribs, thumbs up on flavor/smoke, marbling and moisture. Very nice. Someone upthread called the meats, or all dishes here, "adult bbq" and "aggressively seasoned". Definitely agree and thought fine with one exception explained below.

Collards. Bit of a miss only due to the liberal application of red chile powder or flake. Still, the flavors apart from the spice were very good and tasted of slow braising.

Pinto baked beans. OK but maybe too thin and, like the collards, chile powder? This tasted more like a meatless thin chili than a side of baked beans.

Fried onion strings. Very good and easily recrisped at home with 20 minutes in the oven.

For us, this seems one of the better BBQ spots in the District. Not to the level of Andrew Evans at Union Market nearby but very good. I like spice and heat in many cuisines but not so much in collards and baked beans sides. Still, the meats here were very nicely done. Staff all very nice.

...

This is the real deal. I'd previous been a fan of the ribs at both Urban BBQ (inconsistent) and KBQ (haven't been since the re-opening, but have not heard good things). And, though we didn't get to try the ribs here, the brisket is enough to make me forget about all the rest. No other BBQ place in the area is playing in this league. ...

BBQ places are more challenged than most types of restaurants to ensure consistency but, that qualifier aside, not sure if you've been able to try Andrew Evans' Q at Union Market (aka "The BBQ Joint"), Daniel? If not, you should.
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The Brisket Champ may very well be the best takeout sandwich in the District right now.  Only caution is that you will need a nap 30 minutes after consuming it and a side of cumin fries.

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Opening day and Womens' NBA Hoops semis tonight so...BBQ! (with full admiration and respect for all Easter Celebrants, which we celebrated with brunch earlier).

Finally and belatedly crossed a spot off of our "to try" list by ordering some 'Q for a smaller battalion from DCity. I was a little hesitant to do this given the higher stakes today and recently more-mixed reviews.

In three words though, Glad. We. Did.

We took home ribs, brisket, collards, beans and fried onion rings. Here's the rundown.

Ribs. A savory dry rub applied generously to larger, spare ribs yielded nice flavor even without sauce. Good balance of fat to meat yet very meaty and thoroughly moist. Maybe a tad too much salt but really nitpicking to say that.

Brisket. Like the ribs, thumbs up on flavor/smoke, marbling and moisture. Very nice. Someone upthread called the meats, or all dishes here, "adult bbq" and "aggressively seasoned". Definitely agree and thought fine with one exception explained below.

Collards. Bit of a miss only due to the liberal application of red chile powder or flake. Still, the flavors apart from the spice were very good and tasted of slow braising.

Pinto baked beans. OK but maybe too thin and, like the collards, chile powder? This tasted more like a meatless thin chili than a side of baked beans.

Fried onion strings. Very good and easily recrisped at home with 20 minutes in the oven.

For us, this seems one of the better BBQ spots in the District. Not to the level of Andrew Evans at Union Market nearby but very good. I like spice and heat in many cuisines but not so much in collards and baked beans sides. Still, the meats here were very nicely done. Staff all very nice.

BBQ places are more challenged than most types of restaurants to ensure consistency but, that qualifier aside, not sure if you've been able to try Andrew Evans' Q at Union Market (aka "The BBQ Joint"), Daniel? If not, you should.

I've got to tell you Andrew Evans' reheated barbecue is nowhere close to being as good as DCity Smokehouse's offerings. I'm willing to write some of that off to the logistical challenges, but very little given the prices.

More than once, I've driven out of my way to go to DCity, and I've found parking spots after long searches. I've even dodged some of the locals who were less than welcoming. On the other hand, I've been to UM on a regular basis, and after my first experience, I've never felt the need to return.

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I've got to tell you Andrew Evans' reheated barbecue is nowhere close to being as good as DCity Smokehouse's offerings. I'm willing to write some of that off to the logistical challenges, but very little given the prices.

More than once, I've driven out of my way to go to DCity, and I've found parking spots after long searches. I've even dodged some of the locals who were less than welcoming. On the other hand, I've been to UM on a regular basis, and after my first experience, I've never felt the need to return.

A few thoughts for you.

First, these are opinions, right? Mine is that the Evans' BBQ, which I've had three times, is somewhat better than DCity, which so far I've had just once. More visits to both could change that view but not sure they will for me. Not every post on this thread has been a rave. Rare for any place. All good.

Second, have to react a bit to your use of "reheated" in your 'critique' (putting it nicely) of the 'q at The BBQ Joint/UM. My DCity ribs didn't come straight off a grill or from a smoker. I know because I saw where they were pulled from....ready for it? A warming cabinet. I have zero doubt, knowing where Chef Evans' BBQ comes from (because I talked to him about it) that on any given day and time, the food one has at UM or at DCity could be the fresher one. For reference, Pasadena, MD is about 30-40 min from Union Market.

Third, resume obviously matters much less than what's on the plate but, as I understand it, the excellent (as I posted) DCity is helmed by a former Hill Country pitmaster. Chef Evans, of course, is a trained and accomplished fine-dining chef who has been obsessed with improving and perfecting his BBQ for many years. Did you know he has been competing--and winning--BBQ competitions, on the national circuit, for about ten years; since graduating from the CIA more than 20 years ago? Again, maybe training, experience, wins or even passion don't so much matter to you but they're at least explanatory for me. By that I mean, they help to explain or lend context to what I'm tasting. Many chefs in America are over hyped. In my humblest of opinions, Chef Evans isn't one of them. If at all interested to learn more, can check this out.

Fourth and finally, I of course respect any opinion or preference, even if different from mine. And, if you review my original post with which you took issue, you'll note two things. I really enjoyed DCity. I'm a fan. That said, a main driver of my preference for The BBQ Joint/UM was what I felt was DCity's fairly assertive seasoning on most dishes ordered.

I'll be back to both of these spots more in the future. I think we're lucky to have both in DC. You should, of course, "write off" whatever you like and go where you like.

P.S., Wondering if something is off with your posts or what undisclosed offline loyalties you may have since you've said you only "felt the need" to try the Evans 'q once (just a couple of months ago) and, on that thread, you posted you only had the sausage. So, no brisket? No ribs? Seems an obvious point but pretty tough to compare if you aren't at least trying similar things. If you're going to slam a BBQ place, on two threads, might be cool to support that view with more than a few assertions. That you persevered more for parking by DCity, and heroically "dodged locals," seems a little disconnected from the broad and unsupported assertion made about the cuisine. And, if your food critique is seriously based only on a single link of sausage from the BBQ Joint/UM, may need to do a bit more "research" if the goal is to form a balanced and informed opinion of any kind.

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A few thoughts for you.

First, these are opinions, right? Mine is that the Evans' BBQ, which I've had three times, is somewhat better than DCity, which so far I've had just once. More visits to both could change that view but not sure they will for me. Not every post on this thread has been a rave. Rare for any place. All good.

Second, have to react a bit to your use of "reheated" in your 'critique' (putting it nicely) of the 'q at The BBQ Joint/UM. My DCity ribs didn't come straight off a grill or from a smoker. I know because I saw where they were pulled from....ready for it? A warming cabinet. I have zero doubt, knowing where Chef Evans' BBQ comes from (because I talked to him about it) that on any given day and time, the food one has at UM or at DCity could be the fresher one. For reference, Pasadena, MD is about 30-40 min from Union Market.

Third, resume obviously matters much less than what's on the plate but, as I understand it, the excellent (as I posted) DCity is helmed by a former Hill Country pitmaster. Chef Evans, of course, is a trained and accomplished fine-dining chef who has been obsessed with improving and perfecting his BBQ for many years. Did you know he has been competing--and winning--BBQ competitions, on the national circuit, for about ten years; since graduating from the CIA more than 20 years ago? Again, maybe training, experience, wins or even passion don't so much matter to you but they're at least explanatory for me. By that I mean, they help to explain or lend context to what I'm tasting. Many chefs in America are over hyped. In my humblest of opinions, Chef Evans isn't one of them. If at all interested to learn more, can check this out.

Fourth and finally, I of course respect any opinion or preference, even if different from mine. And, if you review my original post with which you took issue, you'll note two things. I really enjoyed DCity. I'm a fan. That said, a main driver of my preference for The BBQ Joint/UM was what I felt was DCity's fairly assertive seasoning on most dishes ordered.

I'll be back to both of these spots more in the future. I think we're lucky to have both in DC. You should, of course, "write off" whatever you like and go where you like.

P.S., Wondering if something is off with your posts or what undisclosed offline loyalties you may have since you've said you only "felt the need" to try the Evans 'q once (just a couple of months ago) and, on that thread, you posted you only had the sausage. So, no brisket? No ribs? Seems an obvious point but pretty tough to compare if you aren't at least trying similar things. If you're going to slam a BBQ place, on two threads, might be cool to support that view with more than a few assertions. That you persevered more for parking by DCity, and heroically "dodged locals," seems a little disconnected from the broad and unsupported assertion made about the cuisine. And, if your food critique is seriously based only on a single link of sausage from the BBQ Joint/UM, may need to do a bit more "research" if the goal is to form a balanced and informed opinion of any kind.

I didn't intend to take issue with your observations; I was merely adding my own opinion. Your point that my comments were based on one visit is well taken, so I will give them another go at some point. If I remember correctly, I had eaten something else at UM, and wanted a smaller portion of something, and the sausage seemed to be the logical choice at the time.

Offline loyalties? I'm not quite sure what you mean. I'm admittedly a bit selective about the quality of barbecue, and I'm not bound to any regional variations, and I really don't care much about the background of a cook/chef/pitmaster. I'm certainly a bit biased because I lived in the Austin area for more than 12 years (all pre-Franklin), and I've driven my family a bit crazy with road trips to places like Cooper's in Llano and Kreuz's, Black's, and Smitty's in Lockhart. To my disappointment, great barbecue in this area is tough to find. In addition to DCity, I'm a fan of Hill Country, despite the DC prices. I've tried Willard's a few times, and didn't find enough to like to make me drive out of my way to get food there.

As for "feeling the need" to return, I mean that I have a handful of personal favorites which seem to take priority when I'm at UM. If the BBQ Joint was close to Fairfax, I might be a regular. (My favorites are the Maketto pop-up, Red Apron, Rappahannock, and District Fishwife, not necessarily in order.)

My "dodging the locals" comment was my attempt to convey my opinion that DCity is in a part of town that is less than comfortable for many. During one visit, a rather large "gentleman" followed me down the alley briefly and shouted at me asking for money. (His female companion convinced him to let it go).  Parking is also hard to come by. In short, it's more challenging than UM, in my opinion.

Finally, I've eaten at DCity four times, and found everything to be delicious. I highly recommend the Meaty Palmer, one of the best bbq sandwiches I've ever had, as well as the brisket champ, the pork ribs, and the wings. The pickles are delicious as well.

I love to cook, grill, barbecue, and smoke (on my Big Green Egg, that is), but I'm not a chef, and I'm certainly not affiliated with DCity.

Thanks for your comments.

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I didn't intend to take issue with your observations; I was merely adding my own opinion. Your point that my comments were based on one visit is well taken, so I will give them another go at some point. If I remember correctly, I had eaten something else at UM, and wanted a smaller portion of something, and the sausage seemed to be the logical choice at the time.

Offline loyalties? I'm not quite sure what you mean. I'm admittedly a bit selective about the quality of barbecue, and I'm not bound to any regional variations, and I really don't care much about the background of a cook/chef/pitmaster. I'm certainly a bit biased because I lived in the Austin area for more than 12 years (all pre-Franklin), and I've driven my family a bit crazy with road trips to places like Cooper's in Llano and Kreuz's, Black's, and Smitty's in Lockhart. To my disappointment, great barbecue in this area is tough to find. In addition to DCity, I'm a fan of Hill Country, despite the DC prices. I've tried Willard's a few times, and didn't find enough to like to make me drive out of my way to get food there.

As for "feeling the need" to return, I mean that I have a handful of personal favorites which seem to take priority when I'm at UM. If the BBQ Joint was close to Fairfax, I might be a regular. (My favorites are the Maketto pop-up, Red Apron, Rappahannock, and District Fishwife, not necessarily in order.) 

My "dodging the locals" comment was my attempt to convey my opinion that DCity is in a part of town that is less than comfortable for many. During one visit, a rather large "gentleman" followed me down the alley briefly and shouted at me asking for money. (His female companion convinced him to let it go).  Parking is also hard to come by. In short, it's more challenging than UM, in my opinion.

Finally, I've eaten at DCity four times, and found everything to be delicious. I highly recommend the Meaty Palmer, one of the best bbq sandwiches I've ever had, as well as the brisket champ, the pork ribs, and the wings. The pickles are delicious as well.

I love to cook, grill, barbecue, and smoke (on my Big Green Egg, that is), but I'm not a chef, and I'm certainly not affiliated with DCity.

Thanks for your comments.

All good here, reedm.  Reacted as I did because when you read a review on any website (especially yelp) that is very brief, unsupported and very negative, it often indicates a commenter with an ax to grind.  When you wrote "nowhere close to being as good" and "reheated" as you did, that's how it came across to me given the lack of other detail in both posts, here and on the BBQ Joint/UM thread.  That was my "offline loyalties" speculation and I'll apologize for that since I surely don't know that and very happy to take your word on it.

As for the rest, we have similar faves at UM apart from the possible BBQ Joint difference.  And, I too have spent several years in the Texas area where I got to know and love that region's BBQ.  FWIW, I liked another BBQ place, just half a mile down from Franklin's in Austin, whose name I can't recall, a bit better than Franklin's. This place was based in a motor home and food truck as I recall with one being the smoker; opposite side of the same street from Frankiln's and with a big grassy area where you could eat.  Of course, nowhere near the crazy lines at Franklin's everyday.  Been to Kreuz's also and big thumbs up.  That said, you know that area's 'q better than I do.

We're both fans of DCity.  We may have a different view on Andrew Evans but we'll see if you give it a more serious try. Either way, of course fine.

Thanks for your comments.

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[Nobody here needs to worry about policing the website - Pat screens members for authenticity, and I'm on constant patrol, as well as on a first-name basis with the vast majority of our active members. If there are ever any doubts, simply report the post, and we'll look into it even more carefully, but to summarize: people can read here with a great deal of confidence.]

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I finally made it to DCity BBQ for lunch this weekend. I got "The Show Stopper" which had 1/2 lb of pork ribs (2 ribs), 6 pit smoked wings (a mix of drumettes and wingettes, not 6 whole wings like I imagined), choice of 1/2 lb of any meat (I got brisket which was 3 pieces), choice of 2 small sides (I got the green chile cheddar grits and crispy brussels sprouts), and 1 single slice of toast cut in half. It was also suppose to come with homemade pickles, but I didn't realize they forgot to give them to me until after I got home. All this was $29 which I thought was not that great of a deal. I certainly expected more food than I got. Everything pretty much fit in a 5"x7" take out container. Keep in mind this food was suppose to feed two people and they managed to put everything into a medium sized take out box with room to spare. Definitely skimpy on the food. I mean, 1 single piece of toast for 2 people?

I can get over the amount of food given if the BBQ was spectacular. However, the BBQ was pretty mediocre. The pork rib was relatively tender, not pull off the bone tender but not tough either. There was a good amount of smoke flavor, but the smoke ring was minimal. One of the biggest complaints not just for the ribs but most of the meal was that everything was way too salty. The smoked wings were quite salty as was the brisket. Salty to the point of almost inedible. As for the sides, the grits had good flavor but it was super watery. Think drinkable yogurt. Finally the brussels sprouts. These were deep fried to the point of burnt and way oversalted just like every other part of the meal. Overall the meal was pretty mediocre even when not factoring in the cost of the meal. I don't think I will be coming back here again.

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One of the biggest complaints not just for the ribs but most of the meal was that everything was way too salty. The smoked wings were quite salty as was the brisket. Salty to the point of almost inedible.

Finally the brussels sprouts. These were deep fried to the point of burnt and way oversalted just like every other part of the meal. Overall the meal was pretty mediocre even when not factoring in the cost of the meal.

Sadly, I've had these exact same issues the last two times I went... I'm a salt fiend, and both visits (the first of which included brisket and wings, the second of which was ribs and the brussels sprouts) were just a salt overload. Hopefully these are just anomalies, as I've also had transcendent BBQ experiences here. Just not recently.

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Sadly, I've had these exact same issues the last two times I went... I'm a salt fiend, and both visits (the first of which included brisket and wings, the second of which was ribs and the brussels sprouts) were just a salt overload. Hopefully these are just anomalies, as I've also had transcendent BBQ experiences here. Just not recently.

Argh! I sadly have to "third" this.  I picked up a Showstopper combo tonight (rib tips subbed in for ribs without warning which annoyed), and found the wings and rib tips to be way, way, way too aggressively salted.  I'm a salt guy.  I'm a Texas, salt and pepper bbq guy.  But damn man, this was too much.  My wife (also an ex-Texan) strongly suggested we stick with Hill Country to satisfy future cravings.  (The brisket was ok...not too salty, but kind of grainy and falling apart, without much of a bark.)

I've loved this place for a while now, but it seems from recent reports, and tonight's experience that quality control may be lacking.

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Overall the meal was pretty mediocre even when not factoring in the cost of the meal. I don't think I will be coming back here again.

Sadly, I've had these exact same issues the last two times I went... I'm a salt fiend, and both visits (the first of which included brisket and wings, the second of which was ribs and the brussels sprouts) were just a salt overload. Hopefully these are just anomalies, as I've also had transcendent BBQ experiences here. Just not recently.

I've loved this place for a while now, but it seems from recent reports, and tonight's experience that quality control may be lacking.

I take no joy in saying this, but you three have established a pattern. Don't apologize - I monitor what people write here, I know who everyone is, and I know that you are an entirely credible trio - you're doing the restaurant a long-term favor, and are also doing the public a short-term service. Rob Sonderman knows what he's doing, and he will correct this situation.

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If anyone has an answer for gibmrm, I'd appreciate it very much - I don't know the answer myself.

As mentioned upthread, they are operating as a pop-up. I haven't been to the location, but I had lunch delivered from them via UberEats.

The menu on UberEats is somewhat limited, but they offer a few sandwiches as well as meats by the pound.

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Good post, although I'd take issue with characterizing the Truxton Circle/Bloomingdale neighborhood that the new DCity is in as "god awful".  I've lived in DC for the last 14 years, 6 of those in Bloomingdale, and it has been my favorite place in the city to live.  The location would certainly not be a reason not to visit the restaurant, as it's located a stone's throw away from the popular Anxo Pintxos and a couple short blocks away from one of the city's best restaurants in Red Hen.

I haven't made it to DCity yet because of the reasons you listed about the quality falling off of a cliff after Rob left, but will take this as a prompt to give this new location a try very soon.

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I will offer a counter theory:  It usually takes a while for a chef to figure out their BBQ equipment, much like it usually takes a while for a chef to figure out the hot spots and proper temperature settings for a wood fired pizza oven.  Assuming the DCity folks are using the same equipment from their old location (I have no idea if they are or not), they probably have a better understanding about how their smokers work.  The Federalist Pig folks are "breaking in" their new equipment as well as playing around with the type of wood they are using, so I'm not surprised that the quality at Federalist is (perhaps, maybe) not up to snuff quite yet.  It takes time to learn Q. 

I've been to neither place, so what do I know?   

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1 hour ago, Thad said:

But the new DCity is was, way better.  First of all the chicken wings.  Which I always thought were the secret star of DCity Smokehouse are back in all their glory.  Huge, meaty, delicious, perfectly cooked.  Rob's are overseasoned, drier, and way less meat.  So far every meat I've had at the new DCity has been as good or better than the version at Federalist Pig. 

And the crispy kale side is the bomb.  

So maybe... just maybe... Sean was the genius all along.  And Rob rightfully got the attention because he was in charge and maybe also because he was the friendly white guy vs. the black ex-con behind the scenes.  But do me a favor and try both and tell me now whose barbecue you prefer.  You will be surprised. 

Are you comparing the restaurants based on their wings?

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Finally had a chance to check out their new location today. (Beware, their mobile site still directs you to 203 Florida) I placed a to-go order, knowing that I would eat the barbecue that evening. 

The new space, while much larger than the original, is still small  most of the seating is located at the bar, and there are a couple of small tables, but that's it.

i ordered the Rib and Wing combo, which consisted of 1/2 pound of ribs (2 large + a small end rib in my case), five wing sections, and a side each of pickles and fried Brussels sprouts. They also included two small sides of BBQ sauce and a roll.

in a word? Tremendous.  The ribs were perfectly cooked. Great smoky flavor with a great chew. The ribs really didn't need any sauce, but the sauce that accompanied the order was perfect for my tastes. Tomato sauce/ketchup based sauce with plenty pepper, mustard, vinegar, and some sugar would be my best guess.

The wings, as mentioned up thread, or notable as well. There are perfectly seasoned, moist, and smoky. Some of the best I've had in recent memory.

The brussels sprouts were fantastic, even with a quick microwave reheating. The pickles tasted the same as before, i.e. tangy and delicious. Even the roll was great.  

Welcome back DCity. 

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I ate lunch at the new DCity for the first time yesterday. My last experience there was when they were serving out of Wicked Bloom and it was terrible - super fatty brisket (and not good melt in your mouth kind of fatty) and bone dry ribs. Had heard pretty good things about the new place, so decided I'd give it another chance. I ordered 1/4 pound pulled pork, 1/4 pound of brisket and half a rack of ribs

First, the good: Brisket was excellent, a little tight but moist and a nice peppery rub. The ribs were also a vast improvement over last time. Really liked the rub and cooked to be bite-through but not falling off the bone, with good smoke. Neither had sauce and it was not needed, and thankfully I didn't put any on them before tasting the side of sauce that came with, because...

The bad: That side of sauce was so heavy on cumin it tasted like somebody mixed Old El Paso taco seasoning with ketchup. Just not at all appetizing. The pulled pork was also incredibly disappointing. As dry as sawdust with a sauce that tasted of off-brand white vinegar. I only ate a couple bites of the pork and left the rest.

Given the quality of the brisket and ribs, I'll probably be back. I want to try the smoked wings as well. Pics attached.

 

ribs.jpg

brisket.jpg

full meal.jpg

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I have visited the new DCity Smokehouse three times now and have come away disappointed.  The quality has dropped.  Even my beloved wings are not the same anymore.  Yes, they are juicy but that smoky goodness is no longer there in any of the meats and on one night got straight up cold chili.  The new space is nice.  Ample room for diners. It is a shame.  For me at least it has lost the luster that made it one of the best BBQ spots in the area.

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