Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I chose powdered ancho chile because it has lots of chile flavor but isn't super spicy. I realize that it's kind of late for you, but my advice depends on the heat of the Penzey's product you are using: if it is super hot, you can eliminate the cayenne. My concern with chili powder substitutions, is that a product that has garlic powder, cumin and oregano in it will substantially change the flavor of my sauce. So will powdered chipotle, which is very spicy and also smoky. I'd prefer that any extra heat added comes from Sriracha.

The sauce was a bit too spicy (which I mitigated with agave) and this is probably due to the ingredients in the Chili 3000. I've ordered ancho powder and look forward to making your recipe as written.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sauce on some pork ribs last night B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sauce was a bit too spicy (which I mitigated with agave) and this is probably due to the ingredients in the Chili 3000. I've ordered ancho powder and look forward to making your recipe as written.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sauce on some pork ribs last night B)

The sauce does tend to mellow out after a few days in the fridge. Ancho chile can vary in heat level--I've just experienced a much spicier batch using differenct ancho powder than the previous ones I've made--it was lighter in color, too. But if you have a hard time with spiciness, I'd suggest leaving out the cayenne and substituting some sweet paprika for a portion of the ancho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody tried the que at Grey Goose Farms, at the intersection of Brookeville Rd and 108 west of Olney? It might be a lunchtime only operation...I'm not sure. I've driven past the sign for over a year now, but always at night when it's closed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove by the American Lube Oil Change facility today off of Route 50 and saw a sign for "Great BBQ" and this decent-sized smoker parked in their lot. Has anyone been or have further information? Was too close to my dinner plans for a taste, unfortunately, so can't report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I am in Columbia South Carolina last week enjoying some good local BBQ and thinking to myself, "Damn I miss Ben's" . Fast forward to today when I get an e-mail stating that there is a sign in front of the old Ben's Whole Hog BBQ location that states: "Ben's Whole Hog BBQ is coming back!"

If this is true this is potentially huge news. Bad news for my waistline. Good news for the relatively barren BBQ scene in Northern Virginia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New barbeque alert: on US 340 in Virginia, on the very wide turnout between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, The Kernel's BBQ sets up on weekends. Pulled pork, ribs, chicken, four different sauces, mac and cheese, coleslaw. I didn't have my smoke-ring calipers along so I can't give a useful report for afficionados. I thought the ribs had a nicely smokey flavor but were a little overcooked, but I was there late when he was getting ready to close down, so they'd probably been sitting awhile. Pulled pork, same thing. Chicken is not my favorite but he insisted on giving me a half chicken to try; the white meat was a little dry, the dark meat very moist, and there was a nice spicy (not hot) rub on the skin.

On Sundays when I'm coming home from the other hobby I tend to take Rt 7 through Virginia rather than Rt 340, largely because of the abominable traffic jam in the canyon, but also because the other route takes me to B'z in Paeonian Springs. I won't compare the two places yet, though. (Poor Mr P; yesterday he didn't want barbecue, we took Rt 340, and stopped for barbecue anyway.)

One of dr.com's barbeque experts comes this way fairly often; I look forward to his report. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inspired by Tim Carman's updated top-10 list, I embarked on a three location tour of some of his top-rated barbecue restaurants. On Saturday evening, I hit Federalist Pig, Sloppy Mama's at Solly's, and DCity Smokehouse. My rules were to stick with brisket and ribs, no sides, and only one beer per location.

Federalist Pig was stop one. I had eaten here once before and found the rib tips and the wings were the most memorable items. The rib tips were already sold out at 6pm, and this wasn't a wing expedition so we ordered a 1/2 lb of brisket and a half-rack of ribs. I found Carman's assessment to be correct. The barbecue was expertly made. The brisket was juicy and the ribs had just the right amount of pull. However, both were lacking in smoke. I also thought the rub on the ribs needs to be amplified in some way. It was good, but nothing stood out. I guess some could call it 'well-balanced' but I'd prefer something more memorable. Maybe a touch of heat.

59678cbf4c38f_FederalistPig.jpg.28aae13370e985c20113d492275031e9.jpg

Sloppy Mama's at Solly's was next. It's obviously a bar with a very young group of patrons. You have to order from the bartender and then a runner brings you your food. Despite advertising ribs (on the weekends) on their menu, there were no ribs that day. They weren't even mentioned on the menu. So we called an audible and went with pulled pork. They also don't serve meat by the pound; there are only platters. I ordered the brisket and pork platter from the bartender and told her we didn't want the sides. She insisted that it had to come with sides or the kitchen staff would yell at her. Ooookay. Pickles and fries, please. The good news is that the brisket was juicy though it was also falling apart. The pulled pork was disgustingly dry. I took one bite and knew I didn't have to waste any more calories there. (And despite the 'no sides' rule, a taste of the sweet and spicy pickles proved to be the best thing on the tray).

59678ce7cc315_SloppyMamas.jpg.438e4b347daefdd9291d95a14061b807.jpg

DCity Smokehouse was the final spot. I really liked their new location. It may be cramped in the winter, but in the summertime they have plenty of picnic tables set-up outside and they weren't very crowded at 7pm on Saturday. The brisket had really good flavor, a good bark, and great smoke. Unfortunately, it was a tad dry. A few hours earlier and I bet it would have been terrific. I was most impressed with their ribs. They're sweet at first but do have a little kick at the end. If I hadn't been to two other restaurants first, I could have easily polished off a half-rack.

59678cf54a4c8_DCitySmokehouse.jpg.6aedf560051540207389e0d0ad239063.jpg

So overall, I'm inclined to agree with most of Carman's assessment including that Hill Country is currently the best in the area. (I ate there in June and the pork belly was the best barbecue I've had this summer.) I'm not sure about Sloppy Mama's. Maybe we should have tried it at Union Market. I'm sure it would be better removed from its current environment and I would have liked to try their ribs. Of these three, I'd give the nod to DCity Smokehouse.

---

Lincoln's Bar-B-Que (ElGuapo)

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on recent posts to his Instagram and twitter feeds, it looks like Tim Carman is working on an interesting update to his Top 10 Barbecue list this year. Last weekend, he hosted Daniel Vaughn, the Texas Monthly Barbecue editor.

According to Vaughn's twitter feed, they visited six places. He gave a thumbs down to Hill Country, and Carman agreed saying it was a particularly bad day there. He praised Federalist Pig, saying they had excellent ribs, some of the best smoked wings he had ever had, and really good sausage and brisket. He was less kind about Texas Jack's, saying the ribs, brisket and sausage were all dry. 

He noted that wings and brussels sprouts seemed to be the common thread in DC barbecue. I would argue that brussels sprouts are just having a cultural moment, not sure that's a 'DC' thing. I'll be interested to read the list when it comes out. Carman was tweeting from Rodney Scott's whole hog bbq in Charleston today, so perhaps he's doing a 'compare and contrast' theme.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve read his article the last couple years, and the list seems to bounce around alot. Maybe this reflects the difficulty of maintaining consistent quality, but there also could be shifting criteria.  Last year’s emphasis was smoke, but I could never justify the praise for Hill Country.  I admit I hate their ordering system, so I may be biased.

I may also be biased in favor of Federalist Pig, I love it but it’s in my neighborhood. Generally positive experiences with all the things you mentioned, but no one ever mentions the turkey, which may be my favorite thing there.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been feeding a BBQ jones regularly, here are some quick impressions:

Texas Jacks was not very good. No smoke flavor, boring sauces, expensive. Ribs OK at best, pulled pork was dry, flavorless and the bark bits were soggy and flavorless and would not be permitted in many a county in Tennessee or NC. Brisket was completely without flavor.

Sloppy Mama's has some serious chops in the making the ribs tender department.  Maybe a touch to "fall off the bone" for me personally, but the meat did have a nice chew and a nice spice rub. No discernible crunch to the bark.  The biggest issue is the lack of strong smoky flavors and the price {$19 for 4 ribs, and a side of excellent beans} 

I will go back to explore some of the other meats.  But one of the best BBQ places inside the beltway I have been to in a long while.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're willing to go rather far outside the Beltway, I would recommend Dale's Smokehouse in Indian Head, MD.  The ribs are excellent.  They are smoky, tender, seasoned only with S&P.  The chicken is good too.  The sauce is ordinary and unnecessary.   

On the way back, stop off at Hovermale's for a malted milkshake.  Delicious.  If you go to Hovermale's, you will be intrigued by the sight of smoke coming from a barbeque restaurant nearby.  I went once.  I thought the ribs were underseasoned and tough.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I think there'd be a copyright issue there.  The principal theme, however, is that inconsistency is rampant.  Here's the Top 10:

10. Hammerdown Barbeque
9. Liberty Barbecue
8. Garden District
7. Monk’s BBQ
6. Rolling Rib Part II
5. Sloppy Mama’s
4. DCity Smokehouse
3. Hill Country Barbecue Market
2. Federalist Pig
1. Texas Jack’s

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have eaten at 4 of the top 5 and I would like my money back rather than heap praise. There was not a place where I felt like I got close to my money back and three just weren't good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you find yourself in the Sterling or Aldie area, Pit Stop BBQ does a great job with their ribs. Rib tips are excellent, too. Pulled pork is quite good as well. They only sell what they have, and close when they are out. It's tough to do everything well, and I can't recommend the brisket.

Hammerdown is ok at best based upon my visits. Brisket was inedible--mushy and soft. I live about 15 minutes away, and it's not a place I think about.

Hill Country may not be perfect (and it is quite expensive), but it has been true to central Texas BBQ every time I've been.

Sloppy Mama's food truck was one of my favorites when I worked in the Foggy Bottom area a couple of years ago, but I've never been to their brick and mortar spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2019 at 5:25 PM, deangold said:

I have eaten at 4 of the top 5 and I would like my money back rather than heap praise. There was not a place where I felt like I got close to my money back and three just weren't good. 

I'm still waiting for my first good ... *anything* at Texas Jack's

Not saying unicorns don't exist; only that I've never seen one.

On a marginally related topic, I went to Owensboro, KY two-years ago (famed for barbecue mutton, believe it or not) - two of the most esteemed institutions there (Moonlite and Old Hickory) were places I'd hardly drive down the street for, at least not once the novelty is over.

---

Federalist Pig (FranklinDubya)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to the Sloppy Mama's on Lee Highway for the first time yesterday. Brisket had good flavor but was far too dry. Had been to their Ballston Quarter stall before and remember it being a little better.

Liked the brisket at Monk's a couple months ago, but like every place the reviews are wildly inconsistent so I guess I caught them on a good day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DC BBQ has become slightly disappointing after our recent trip to Apex, North Carolina. 

We stopped at Big Mike's Brew N Que and that was some good bbq! 

I think the problem with local BBQ in the DC area is that it's just over done and not mouth-wateringly tender. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, lion said:

DC BBQ has become slightly disappointing after our recent trip to Apex, North Carolina. 

We stopped at Big Mike's Brew N Que and that was some good bbq! 

I think the problem with local BBQ in the DC area is that it's just over done and not mouth-wateringly tender. 

ALmost all the BBQ I have had is on Tim Carmen's list. I have had a fair amount dry and chewy Q. Other problems include fat not properly rendered leaving a blubbery feel. Burnt edges {not in a Yahtzee! delicious way.} Lack of smoke is a major problem. Old product even during the lunch rush.

Nothing I have had in DC begins to reach the level of great BBQ and none is superlative like my favorites {I can't vouch for the continued existence:

Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ {Still there} The menu is unchanged sine my first visit in 73 when I turned 16 and drove a beat up old Datsun 510, except the beef ribs +1 was something like 11.95 and Beef ribs +2 was 13.95. Last time I went, probably about 10 years ago, some of the waitresses were the same ones I fantasized about as a teen!

Woodley's Sunspot BBQ in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee.  Apparently closed in the 90's Here is their BBQ sauce recipe though I doubt it had that much butter if any at all!

Various BBQ houses in the surroundings of Austin Tx when I used to travel for national meetings of Whole Foods,

Various BBQ's in the Raleigh Durham Triangle area I used to visit when I oversaw purchasing for the stores in the area.

Mr D's Tennessee. Old pit master, Mr D himself used a stone built pit. He bought a truckload of hickory ends cut from broom handles before they were turned. He took us out to see the wood pile {a long wall of wood} and said he would retire when it was all gone. I hope he lived long enough to retire and enjoy himself.

There was a bbq in LA when I was growing up near/at the corner of Sunset and Highlend {although the blog post about it says crescent heights... could be it was a lot of years ago} I first went when I was 12 or so and friends and I would take the 81 bus to Hollywood and Highland and go to the freak stores and hang out wishing we could be hippies. I may or may not have had my first joint on one of these ventures} that had a bathtub w/shower head for washing up after your meal.  It was called Harry's Open Pit and it was rock 'n roll BBQ even winding up the name of a canned heat song. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People yearning for great barbecue may want to head over to Palisades, and order the grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops ($28.95 at dinner) at Bistro Aracosia. These are so good that they could be in "last meal before the electric chair" territory.

(I'm well aware of the difference between barbecue and grilling; I don't know of any barbecue I've ever enjoyed more than these.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My theory is:  Since the DC area doesn't really have a longstanding BBQ culture/history, no real defining style, the BBQ joints are trying to do too much.  Fat Pete's is definitely guilty of this.

Their menu includes NC chopped pork, St. Louis style ribs, brisket, burnt ends, in addition to the turkey, chicken, pork belly, and tofu.  Their sauces include Alabama White, NC Vinegar, Texas Mop, Memphis Sweet, South Carolina Mustard.  

It takes years to master one of those styles and their menu is all over the place.  And if you can't do one style, no way are you going to be able to pull off the rest.  

Just my two burnt ends.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DanielK said:

Nearly 20 years ago when they opened, they were the tops for cue in the area.

They have slipped, but more than that, the market just zoomed past them.

Urban Bar-B-Que opened in 2005, and I'm pretty sure that KBQ and Johnny Boy's were the best in the area then, followed by The Pit Stop shortly afterwards. (I'd make the case for Willard's and Chubby's also, but I only went to Urban Bar-B-Que a couple of times when it opened - I distinctly remember being repulsed by their Redneck Nachos, yuck.)

Now, it's Smoking Kow, and nothing else, from what I've seen (I've been about five times, but only at the Alexandria location). Their brisket and chicken are both terrific - you can buy them by the pound, and they reheat very well at home (make sure to get plenty of sauce).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...