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Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue, Richmond - Buz Grossberg Now Open in Two Locations


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[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.

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On our way back from NC on Sunday, we stopped by Buz & Ned's for lunch. Delicious. The best pulled pork I've eaten. Ever. :)

The next time you are headed somewhere on 95, seriously consider timing your trip for when they are open. They're just a few minutes off the freeway and are easy to locate (exit 78, follow the signs to go south on N. Boulevard, past the minor league BB stadium, then look for the big Buz & Ned's sign on the left a few blocks down). Have lunch/dinner there and then order extra BBQ to take with you. You won't regret it. :)

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. They're just a few minutes off the freeway and are easy to locate (exit 78, follow the signs to go south on N. Boulevard, past the minor league BB stadium, then look for the big Buz & Ned's sign on the left a few blocks down).
Caveat. there is another BBQ restaurant just off that same exit a few blocks before you get to Buz and Ned's. Do not be confused! If you go there instead of Buz and Ned's you will be disappointed!
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Okay, I want full credit for putting my hush puppies on the chopping block early on calling this one.

About a month ago, I got the following Email from Buz's brother (member "Jim G" - reprinted with his permission):

Whoopee! My brother Buz is going to be on the Food Network. The network plans to feature him in a segment on his restaurant and catering company, Buz and Ned’s Real Barbeque, in an upcoming special on barbeque across America. The special probably will be aired in May. Best, Jim
And then yesterday, this:
It turns out that the Food Network’s representation to my brother that it was planning to feature him on a special about barbeque was a ruse. Instead, during the filming of the alleged segment, Bobby Flay showed up and challenged Buz to a rib cook-off for Flay’s show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” I’m pleased to report that Buz won the cook-off (according to the judging panel) hands-down. I will let you know when the show airs. Best, Jim P.S. Buz said Flay was great to deal with, a perfect gentleman notwithstanding the surprise appearance.

I'm in touch with Buz about a possible dr.com excursion. Is there enough interest to rent a bus and do a six-hour trip one weekend?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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We're in, if you pick a weekend that isn't already booked. I have a friend who just opened up a gelato place down there, too, if anyone is interested.

Bobby Flay's record (for episodes that have been shown) is 3 wins, 12 losses, one tie. That could say something about him, or something about how good the people he challenges are. Or it could be that they're rigged, so they don't screw over their unsuspecting victims and harm their business.

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Bobby Flay's record (for episodes that have been shown) is 3 wins, 12 losses, one tie. That could say something about him, or something about how good the people he challenges are. Or it could be that they're rigged, so they don't screw over their unsuspecting victims and harm their business.
I've seen one of the episodes where he won and it was against a bartender, not really the kind of situation where the results would cause someone not to patronize the bar. All of the episodes I've seen where he's gone up against an individual entrepreneur, he's lost.
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Is there enough interest to rent a bus and do a six-hour trip one weekend?
Sure, but if not, and ya'll want to carpool, my Toyota Sienna mommy-wagon holds seven, and the car already knows the way to Buz and Neds.

I am intrigued by the idea of a special event, which, I assume, means strictly fresh and special attention from the owner. Buz and Ned's is already everything you said, but if they want to give more, I'll take it.

Bobby Flay, by the way, used to work at Two Boots in New York, a pizza place owned by a family friend, and he was genuinely charming and personable to my kids when they were small, a long time ago. Very friendly, he's just got that New York thing going on that rubs some people the wrong way for some reason. I don't usually watch his shows but I like him. Will definitely watch this one.

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If it's genuine Richmond-style BBQ, chances are the sauce will be very close to Memphis style (although no dry ribs) -- spicy but with a higher molasses-to-tomato ratio than, say, a Kansas City-style sauce.

If it's Richmond style, I'm in. If it's that weird eastern NC stuff, I'm not. But the mention that pulled pork sandwiches with slaw on top is on the menu suggests true Richmond style.

The inclusion of beef, however, does throw me off a bit. That must be a sop to all the Texans and Oklahomans who experience no cognitive dissonance when the words "beef" and "barbecue" appear in the same sentence.

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Rocks likes to tease us once a year.......

Anyone sign up for the breadline tour? http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php?showt...mp;hl=breadline

Maybe Buz and Ned can cater the picnic, or maybe we should make a run the day before.

just kidding Don, I know how difficult it is to organize these events.

Sorry, I've been swamped. I'll look into this in a couple of days.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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On route to North Carolina I took a short side trip to Buz and Ned's for lunch...always a bonus when you have easy on/off to the I95.

I went with the pulled pork sandwich...mighty disappointing. The meat was flavorless...except for what tasted suspiciously like propane. The meat appeared to be pre-sauced. I had to add some hot sauce (bottles of Crystal on the table). It was a generous sandwich, but compared to the pulled pork I enjoy over the weekend in North Carolina, Buz and Ned's version wasn't doing it for me.

All in all a nice little place. Perhaps their other bbq options are better?

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On route to North Carolina I took a short side trip to Buz and Ned's for lunch...always a bonus when you have easy on/off to the I95.

I went with the pulled pork sandwich...mighty disappointing. The meat was flavorless...except for what tasted suspiciously like propane. The meat appeared to be pre-sauced. I had to add some hot sauce (bottles of Crystal on the table). It was a generous sandwich, but compared to the pulled pork I enjoy over the weekend in North Carolina, Buz and Ned's version wasn't doing it for me.

All in all a nice little place. Perhaps their other bbq options are better?

Interesting comments. I found the pulled pork (and side dishes) at another highly touted Virginia barbecue spot -- the Smoky Pig in Ashland -- to be utterly tasteless. :blink: My brother, who has not had the pleasure of trying much really great southern barbecue, still could tell that what he was served was inferior.

I always hold out for barbecue until I cross the NC state line. Now, there is one more spot I have not tried that does look promising: A little stand just off I-95 very close to the NC state line that touts its authentic NC barbecue and soul foods. The place always has a crowd -- they must be doing something right.

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Can never claim to be an expert and to each their own.

That said, did not care for the pulled pork sandwich or the sides BUT the smoked ribs are really great.

Have a kid at VCU so now every time we drop/pick her up we return with a couple of racks.

Also like the man's philosophy and dedication on his website. How he toured the country to check out all the bbq joints, learn the trade and his teaming up with his late late partner, great story!

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geez, i forgot to TIVO the food network throwdown. it must have been kind to buz and ned's because i went in to pick up some ribs last night at about 6pm and there were more than 20 customers in line. we'll try again tonight. it was a tad rainy in Richmond yesterday so perhaps the crowd was due to the home bbq'ers who didn't want to get wet in their backyard...or he beat up bobby!

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This is a good driving break. Off I-95 your landmarks are the Greyhound station on your right, The Diamond (home of the Richmond Braves) on the left, up and over the railroad tracks and then it's on the left behind a car wash.

Had the pulled pork (presauced), sweetpotato fries and coleslaw. The perfect, crispy fries glittered with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon. Better than Pierce's down the road in Williamsburg (which is also a good roadside stop). Maybe we should have also sampled the ribs, but wanted to compare with Pierces...

This might be OK as a sole reason roadtrip, but check the Diamond's schedule 'cuz they probably get slammed on Game Days. Their selection of Bourbons is interesting unless you're the designated driver.

There's a bench outside that notes "Ned is Dead" -- maybe Michael Landrum should have a similar one outside RTS state: "Hey, there is no Ray"

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Too bad that Ned is dead because what I had yesterday could sure have used some of his help. From this one, and likely last visit to Buz and Ned's I have to say that I will no longer consider Rocklands the most over-rated BBQ place in these parts, because that title now falls to Buz and Neds (still a distant second to the charcoal ribs at Memphis's own Rendevous). Why? Well lets start with the horrible service, the line pokes along and because they put some idiotic sign above the registered admonishing their "guests" that "this is not fast food" and that it moves "at BBQ speed" they can treat their customers as surely and inefficiently as they please. It is interesting that at Lexington #1 (which is mentioned on the wall of this place) serves their fine BBQ quickly and with charm and grace. But all of this could be forgiven if the food lived up to the ego (by the way, the Flay throw down is on a loop in the dinning room, and several "Flay Slayer" shirts are pinned to the walls), but alas it seems that Buz is more concerned with letting everyone know how wonderful he is than actually putting out good food.

So the food. We ordered a half rack of baby back ribs, and a small pork meal. The ribs had plenty of smoke in them, but I find that the uncured wood gives a rather rough smokey flavor, but the smoke was tough to find since the ribs were a gooey mess of out-of-balance sauce (all sweet with no sour complimenting it). This particular half rack would have been well served with another hour or so of slow cooking since the meat was unpleasantly chewy. As for the pulled pork, it was utterly devoid of any smoke or even pork flavor. Tweaked's comments are spot-on as it relates to this sandwich. The sides were equally as blah, the hush puppies were dense, dry, and lacking in any flavor, the fries were in need of some quality time with some Cialis, and the coleslaw tasted like... well... just cabbage with mayo on it.

There was one positive about Buz and Ned's, the beer was cold which is a plus since most of my favorite BBQ places don't sell any beer.

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Yesterday for lunch I had some beef brisket from Buz and Ned's, thanks to my parents - it was reheated and I ate it on a sandwich along with bacon, but it was quite tasty.

Just what I needed for the comedown from the Beef Festival!

My parents are incredibly hooked on Buz and Ned's now. Probably next time I go down there we'll be doing a full meal there.

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BUZ & NEDS certainly lives up to the hype around it. I have eaten there twice recently and have come out stuffed and amazed how good it is!

I had the pork spare ribs this past Friday with the sweet potato fries and cucumber relish. The meat was tender and juicy. The sauce is tangy,sweet, spicy, I can't place my finger on it, but it is definately the best I have ever had! The sides held their own with the venergary cukes and onions and the fries crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy inside. Buz coats them with a cinnamon/brown sugar dusitng. I saved my leftovers and ate them cold in the evening and they were still good.

Today I had the babybacks, they were delicious, but I don't know how Buz has done it, but I prefer his spare ribs! One of my sides today was the cinnamon bourbon apples...they are light on the cinnamon with a hint of bourbon and butter. They were great!

I have to issue a disclaimer, my son Robbie, works/worked at Buz and Neds.

BTW, Robbie is recovering well from his gunshot wound, thank you for all your kind phone calls! It has been an incredibly trying week, one that I would not wish upon my worst enemy...but only good will come out of this evil. I feel blessed that so many of you took time out of your days to call me and offer your prayers and wishes for my son. Thank you!(Don, feel free to move this part to whatever section you find it belongs in.)

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I just realized that I've never weighed in with my take on Buz and Ned's. I don't route myself through Richmond very often; we usually stick to US-29 when headed to Danville or Atlanta (the latter path just happening to pass through Lexington NC :rolleyes:) in part because of my aversion to using I-95 southbound...my first attempt to get to Buz and Ned's a couple of years ago ended in fiasco as traffic between the Beltway and Quantico averaged something like 5 mph. Fortunately, I've have more success on subsequent attempts to visit.

Stopped for lunch today and got a half-rack of babybacks. Good smoke ring, and nice level of smoke flavor. Cooked to a reasonable doneness, but well short of falling off the bone; some may prefer this level of chew. Initial impression of the sauce is that it's too sweet and not tangy enough, but by the third rib or so I didn't mind the level of sweet so much. Overall, I thought the ribs were good, but not to my liking enough to make my top tier.

Hushpuppies are of the medium-sized round variety. A little light on flavor, and a bit too dense and oily.

Brunswick stew, however, was delicious. I was in Savannah yesterday, so it seemed like a good opportunity to compare the Virginia and Georgia styles, the latter usually including smoked sausage and different beans which result in a more pasty consistency suitable for clinging to toast points. This version, in the Virginia style except that it used pork or beef instead of chicken or rabbit, was built around a stew base of carrots, peppers, onions, new potatoes, celery and lima beans. Only mildly spicy, and you eat it with a spoon. Delicious, and I'd order it again.

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The new Buz & Ned's location has the single largest ceiling fan I've ever seen, anywhere, in my life.

Don, what did you have? Since the rest of the posts on the thread are old, I'm trying to determine whether to get the pork or brisket (I doubt the chicken is the best option...)

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I've always wanted to visit Buz & Ned's, too, but when I head that way, I'm usually trying to zoom through Richmond. It's always sounded awesome, when I hear the reviews. My son is headed out this weekend to do a couple of college visits w/ his Dad. They're going to the Citadel in Charleston, NCSU, Chapel Hill, & Duke, & I gave them a list of the restaurants that I would want to eat in. Hope they both survive & don't wrangle too much...

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Don, what did you have? Since the rest of the posts on the thread are old, I'm trying to determine whether to get the pork or brisket (I doubt the chicken is the best option...)

None of the above - ribs are what you want here.

It was actually a couple months ago when I went to the new location (it's huge, clean, and very well-designed). Lunch (a splurge out on the patio) cost me something close to $20 for a half-rack and a couple of sides, but I remember it being worth it.

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