Virginia

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Smokehouse BBQ
Hwy 220 South
Roanoke, Va

Meat  2
Sides  3
Sauce  3
Service  5
Atmosphere  3

Overall  3

Reviewer's Comments:  I was heading home from Roanoke Virginia today and stopped off at a place called Smokehouse BBQ. I was just across a creek by bridge in a small town south of Roanoke. The owner may eve frequent this list, but I am not sure... Didn't get to speak with him. I ordered the regular plate and got a sandwich and 2 sides. Took the mild sauce. Hot was MUCH better, wasn't hot either. I kept hearing a small whirring sound coming from the back... Shortly my plate came up with the onion rings and BBQ beans as my sides... First off, the onion rings were beer battered and were absolutely GREAT! The beans were way to sharp and oniony... The sandwich came out piled high and was a mouth full... The whirring sound was the food processor cutting up the meat for shopped BBQ. Nice ring. Was actually smoked with wood. BUT! It had a real off taste. I couldn't figure out why till I got to see the pit. It was a mobile job, box like construction, 3 3" stacks with offset firebox. It was cold too. Walked by the window and saw they were chopping the meat then nuking it. That was where the off flavor was coming from. More about this shortly.. The onion rings are worth a stop. If they are cooking the que and its fresh, it'd be worth a second chance with their hot sauce on it. Otherwise, I recommend their burgers. Now, my observation here and would like input from the rest of you on this. To me and my taste buds. Pork Que that has been cooked/smoked indirectly in an offset or other contraption, cooled and chilled, seems not to reheat well and comes out tasting funky. On the other hand, if it has been qued directly over live coals, it'll reheat with less than fresh flavor,but taste essentially the same. Has anyone else observed this???

Reviewed By:  Rocky Hurley ( rhurley@carbon.cudenver.edu ) on 11-14-97.

Short Sugar's BBQ
2215 Riverside Dr.
Danville, Va
804-793-4800

Meat  4
Sides  4
Sauce  5
Service  4.5
Atmosphere  3

Overall  4

Reviewer's Comments:  Hi Yall....I am here in Danville, Va. Right across from my hotel is Short Sugar's BBQ Resturant. I went there last night. The BBQ was a tad dry, but the sauce made up for it. I am going to buy a bottle of the sauce as I can't even begin to tell you what all is in it... Its different and good! Kinda sweet and an oh so slight twang. I hope to go back for their ribs tomorrow, and their Brunswick stew is simply awesome! They are located on Hwy 58 east across from the Hampton Inn in Danville, Va.

Reviewed By:  Rocky Hurley ( rhurley@carbon.cudenver.edu ) on 11-17-97.

Rib Rack
Route 1 - Hybla Valley
Alexandria, VA

Meat  4
Sides  4.5
Sauce  3
Service  4.5
Atmosphere  3

Overall  4

Reviewer's Comments:  We had the dry ribs... they were very good.. just a tad on the overdone side, but excellent flavor.  The cole slaw was excellent and the beans were good...  We did not try the sauce.  One of the group had the pulled pork... nice smoky flavor but mild...tender, also.  Children enjoyed their meals...  This place is well worth trying out... we will go again when in the DC Metropolitan area.

Reviewed By:  Leanne ( JLNSGE@aol.com ) on Nov.25, 1997.

Cowling's Pit Cooked BBQ
Rt 460, about 6 miles west of Wakefield
Wakefield, VA

Meat 4.5
Sides 3
Sauce 3.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 3

Overall 4

Reviewer's Comments: My one and only sandwich (so far). Lots of outside meat. Some of it was actually a bit crispy. Excellent smoke flavor. Meat not quite as tender as Lexington #1 in NC but the flavor was outstanding. Unless this was a fluke, you will LOVE it!

Reviewed By: Tom Kelly (tomk@visi.net) on 9 April 1998.

Pierce's
Williamsburg, VA

Meat: 4
Sides: 3
Sauce: 4
Service: 3
Atmosphere: 2.5

Overall: 3.5

Reviewer's comments: This restaurant is a big local favorite and gets lots of publicity. It has a big new building, with formica floors, and is always packed. Very mildly smoked but decent barbecue pork sandwiches. Very delicately sauced.  Although Williamsburg is pretty close to North Carolina, this is not Carolina- style barbecue.  Worth a stop if you're on I-64, but not worth a detour.

Reviewed by: Doug Herbert (dherbert@ix.netcom.com) 12/2/98

Rocklands
Intersection of Quincy and Fairfax
Arlington, VA

Meat: 4.5
Sides: 4
Sauce: 4.5
Service: 2
Atmosphere: 3.5

Overall: 4

Reviewer's comments: If you're in the DC area (Arlington is a suburb) and hungry for barbecue, this is your best choice. Heavily smoked, high quality meat with an excellent tangy tomato-based sauce. The food is in a singles-bar with pool tables, and is generally packed on weekend nights. Excellent beer selection too.

Reviewed by: Doug Herbert (dherbert@ix.netcom.com) on 12/2/98

Three Pigs BBQ
1394 Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA

Meat: 1
Sauce: 1.5
Sides: 1.5
Service: 2
Atmosphere: 1

Overall: 1.5

Reviewer's Comments:  I was hungry, it was getting late, and it looked like the snow was about to start. BUT, things werent real promising. Drove around the place twice thinking I must have missed the wood pile the first time, but I didnt, it werent there. I had the 'barbecue Pork, minced platter' for $6.99 and a jumbo tea ($1.20). The platter was a minced pork sandwich with slaw served with slaw and beans. The pork had no smoke ring, no smoke flavor and was a touch mushy. The slaw was cabbage, very little carrots, lots of mayo and celery seed (tasted like mayo). The beans were pork and beans with some minced pork tossed in, and maybe a touch of thier sauce (more later). The tea was good... The sauce reminded me of Bears Bastardized W. NC sauce, but with more catsup. I should have read the menu before I ordered. I would have walked! I quote "In addition to our original tomato base style of barbecue, we also offer East Carolina barbecue". I asked about this (another mistake, dont ask the question if you cant handle the answer). They meant the sauce. Seems they think the sauce is what makes the meat bbq... Forgive them for they know not what they do...

Reviewed By: Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson ( circlef@zebra.net) on 2/23/99

Ben's Whole Hog Barbecue
7422 Old Centreville Road
Manassas, VA
703/331-5980

Meat: 4.5
Sauce: 4
Sides: 4.5
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 3

Overall: 4

Reviewer's Comments: Common knowledge is that you can't find decent barbecue in Northern Virginia. Local restaurant critics rave about Rocklands and other places that `que connoisseurs recognize as bogus pretenders to the throne. That's why the appearance of Ben's Whole Hog Barbecue, a true wood-burning operation, is such a major cause for celebration among barbecue fanatics. If there's a better barbecue joint this side of the North Carolina line, I sure wish someone would tell me about it! But until then, I'll dig in happily at Ben's, where the meat (pork, chicken, turkey, and brisket) is slow-cooked over split wood in an indoor brick pit constructed by the owner himself. The ribs ($6.95 for a heaping plate that includes two side orders and a slab of cornbread) are the best I've ever tasted, bar none! And the pulled pork rivals Carolina's best. Ben makes his own sauces, too. While the North Carolina sauce (which must be requested at the counter) is very good, the real news is the house sauce. Thick and fiery orange in color, it's a variant on the South Carolina mustard-based style. Great for ribs! Plus, if you're a soul food fan, you might want to try Ben's chitlins and pig's feet. I can't neglect to mention the extensive side orders available, of which I tried the collard greens and the hash. The latter is not to be confused with corned beef hash; it's a South Carolina delicacy - rarely seen outside of that state - that's a byproduct of the barbecue process. Served over rice, its unique salty flavor will tickle your tastebuds.

A modest but roomy cabin-styled building set off busy Rt. 28 on Old Centreville Road in Manassas, Ben's is a haven for diehard barbecue enthusiasts who have been disappointed time and again by what passes for `cue in the upper half of the state. No true fan of Carolina-style barbecue should pass up the opportunity to dig into the real deal at Ben's. You'll thank me for sending you!

Reviewed By: Paul Harless ( killgore@mindspring.com ) on 02/27/99.

BBQ Country
Danor Plaza
Vienna, VA
(703) 319-8746

Meat: 3.5
Sauce: 2.5
Sides: 3
Service: 2
Atmosphere: 3

Overall: 3

Reviewer's Comments:  I go to the DC area about once a month on business. I have tried many of the so called BBQ Joints in the area and have yet to find one that was edible, much less passable. I stumbled on this place back in March and have eaten there 4 times since then. The food is cooked over an open pit that is about 4 deep, 4' high and 10' long. The grates are about 30" above the coals. The brisket is pretty good, but has been dry from being cut too long before serving. The pork is very good. The cole slaw is average, but the tater salad is very good. The spicy sauce has been from very mild to pretty hot so you have to take your chances if you dont like the hotter sauces. They have peanuts on the table, and self service drinks. Until finding Ben's Whole Hog, this was my favorite place in VA and it's close to the hotel I always stay in. Even now, I go there when I dont feel like driving out to Mannassas.

Reviewed By: Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson ( circlef@zebra.net ) on Apr 13, 1999.

Ben's Whole Hog
7422 Old Centreville Road
Manassas, VA
(703) 331-5980

Meat: 4
Sauce: 3
Sides: 3
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 3.5

Overall: 4

Reviewer's Comments:  Ben's is a pretty good drive from DC if you try to make it during rush hours. But, it is worth the trip if you have the time! Ben is a very nice guy, and has a real nice set up. I had heard how good it was by serveral list members and decided to check it out for myself. The pork was real good, as were the ribs.  The sauce was good. The cole slaw needs some work, not a lot of flavor. The beans were very good. If your in the area, and have the time, make the drive out to Manassas and get some Ben's BBQ! Plan on some extra time and see the site of the 1st battle site of the War of Northern Aggression (where us Rebs put a whippin on the yanks, TWICE)! A nice battle field to tour with very knowledgable and helpfull rangers. After your tour, stop back by Ben's for another round of Q! You wont be dissapointed!  Ben's is, by far, the best BBQ Joint in Northern VA!!!

Reviewed By: Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson ( circlef@zebra.net ) on Apr 15, 1999.

Smoky Pig
Ashland, VA

Meat: 5
Sauce: 4.5
Sides: 5
Service: 4.5
Atmosphere: 5

Overall: 5

Reviewer's Comments:  Smokey Pig is an excellent BBQ joint. I have eaten at about two dozen joints and this one is the best so far. The prices are unbeatable and the food is great. The reasturant is an old hoses and it is decerated with all kinds of pig merchandise.  or directions feel free email me.

Reviewed By: Robert Kelly ( wrobertk@hotmail.com ) on 5/2/99.

Dixie Bones
13440 Occoquan Road
Woodbridge, VA
(703) 492 - 2205

Meat: 4.5
Sauce: 4
Sides: 3
Service: 5
Atmosphere: 3

Overall: 4

Reviewer's Comments:  Outstanding BBQ! Ribs, Chicken, Pork, Beef...awesome! This restaurant provided some of the best service my family and I have had in quite some time. Never an empty glass of sweetened iced tea on the table. The service and selection made for an enjoyable and delectible evening of some of the finest BBQ south of the Mason Dixon line. All meats are (truely) BBQ by definition for 12-14 hours. If you're a BBQ fanatic this is the place. And by the way, don't forget to top off your meal with a slice of homemade pies. PS. Let's not forget to mention their sauce (3 types) of Carolina heaven.

Reviewed By:  Timothy Farnham ( timothy@farnham.net ) on 25 June 1999.

Pepper's Texas Bar-B-Q
1810 Michael Faraday Dr.
Reston, VA
(xxx) 435-9696

Meat: 1
Sauce: 2
Sides: 2
Service: 2.5
Atmosphere: 2.5

Overall: 1.5

Reviewer's Comments:  With a name like this you would expect good q, WRONG! I was suspect when I first got there, pretty crowded, but mostly a 'yuppie' crowd. When I was walking in I never smelled smoke or q. Got in line and started looking around and found the pit/oven. Close inspection revealed a BBQ King oven, that was not on/operational. Now this was 11am or so and most places are cooking up a storm at this time. Decided to be cautious and got a pulled pork sammich special (samich, chips, slaw). They started off good, got the bun and slapped the slaw on the bun, ALL RIGHT! Then it went down hill quick! He put a huge glob of "pulled pork" on the sammich. This stuff looked like someones idea of a joke! You think some places put a lot of sauce in their chopped beef? Most peoples stuff is dry in comparison!!! I reminded the guy I wanted pulled pork not a sloppy joe. I got "the look" and was told this is pulled pork. Uhuh, sure it is, Lexington style right? Then he proceded to dump a big laddle full of sauce on top of all this! Well, the chips were good anyway... The slaw tasted sour like it had been out too long. The sloppy joe pulled pork was well Im bing very generous with a 1! No flavor other than sauce, no smoke unless the guy that mixed it up dropped ashes from whatever drugs they were on (pulled pork!) into it. This place is a must avoid!

Reviewed By:  Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson ( circlef@zebra.net ) on 6-24-99.

Smoky Pig
Ashland, VA


Meat: 2.5
Sauce: 2
Sides: 3
Service: 3
Atmosphere: 2
Overall: 2

Reviewer's Comments:  A popular but very average barbecue place. Worth a stop if you're hungry on I-95 between DC and Richmond, but don't get your hopes too high. Uptown decor.

Reviewed By:  Doug Herbert ( dherbert@ix.netcom.com ) on 5/8/2000

Name: Smokin Joes
Address:
City: Hampton
State: VA
Phone:
Meat: 4.5
Sauce: 4.5
Sides: 3
Service: 3
Atmosphere: 4
Overall: 4.5
Date: May 2002
User: Dave Mariniak
Email: mariniak@cox.net
Date: 5/20/2002
Time: 10:45:50 PM

Comments

The best Que I have ever had in Virginia by far. I am a eastern style NC BBQ fan and have never had anything that resembled BBQ in VA until now. This is right up there with the best I have ever had anywhere. Good side dish's and great Iced tea and very nice "firefighter" decor.

Name: Smokin' Joes
Address: 1312 East Pembroke Avenue
City: Hampton
State: VA
Phone: 757-723-1444
Meat: 5
Sauce: 4.5
Sides: 2
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 4.5
Overall: 4
Date: 02/15/03
User: Matt Albright
Email: fyrepup1@excite.com
Date: 2/16/2003
Time: 11:40:13 PM

Comments

I've always heard that the best cue is found in places that are not known for ambiance. Smokin' Joes is such a place. When we (Wife and I) pulled into the parking lot, we were unsure if this was worth the 45 minute ride. As I opened the door to the restaurant, I knew it was going to be worth the trip. The smell of smoked meat was heavenly. We were greeted by the waitress who took our order at the counter. I had the Baby Back Full Slab Combo which came with 2 sides (I chose fries and collard greens) and my wife ordered the 1 pound beef rib special, also with 2 sides (beans and potato salad). My ribs were as the menu promised, "falling off the bone." The smoke ring was present with just the right amount of flavor. My wife's meal consisted of one bone... One huge bone! She stated it looked mre like a brontasaurus rib instead of a cow. She said it was a good thing we ate inside because if we had eaten in the car it would have flipped over ala The Flintstones." As big and thick as her rib was, it was remarkably tender with a nice smoke ring. There were 6 different sauces to choose from. Mild, House, Cajun (mustard-based) Hot, Carolina-style and Sweet. All were good in their own ways. The sides left a little something to be desired except the beans (with lots of cue meat in them) and the fries which were just the way I like them... Fried, Died and laid to the side!

I had sweet tea (excellent) and the wife had coke.

Just as we were finishing up, a couple of "good 'ol boys came in and handed a couple of freshly killed geese to the owner who was going to smoke them the next day. They stayed for about a half hour and we all basically stood around and shot the bull. Everyone made us feel like we were old friends. Upon request, the owner gave me a tour of the kitchen as well as his "pride and joy," the 24 thousand dollar smoker.

As a Firefighter, the motiff (all Firefighter nostalgia) brought back a lot of memories.

We look forward to coming back many more times.

Name: Formy's Pit Barbecue
Address: 34446 Lankford Highway
City: Painter
State: va
Phone: 757-442-2426
Meat: 4
Sauce: 5
Sides: 4
Service: 4.5
Atmosphere: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
Date: 10-11-03
User: Tom Schwartz
Email: schwartz@visi.net
Date: 10/11/2003
Time: 10:55:40 PM

Comments

I liked the sauce's, the smoked chicken was great, the pulled pork was super and the country setting was like going back 30 years ago, great service. I went to Formy's on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon and liked so much I bought the business....

 

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