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Apr 18, 2007 01:56 PM

Dixie Bones

I was in Washington D.C. recently for the cherry blossom festival and thought I would dine at Dixie Bones being that I had heard such great reviews on A*L City Guide and because the Washingtonian has a write-up on them. I must say that the reviews were totally opposite my experience as the ribs were horrible, the greens had way too much vinnegar and the potato salad was too creamy. The one decent thing was the catfish. I would go running away from this place as it's bbq is not even average.

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  1. That's real southern style. You probably would have liked Red Hot and Blue better. They're both good but very different. BBQ is like that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeR

      Interesting... to each its own. I was raised by a grandmother who is from South Carolina and ate off of good southern/soul food from her and many other family members (and other great southern restaurants) and the horrible so-called southern food (if it can even be called that, esp. since NOVA is not the deep south) at Dixie Bones is just what it is (over-rated). I have eaten at Red Hot and Blue and it's horrible as well.

      1. re: Steve

        It's in Woodbridge, VA. I have a different opinion from those that commented above. My family and I love Dixie Bones. I'm not saying it is the best bbq ever, but in a bbq-starved area, it certainly does the trick. I am not particularly fond of the ribs but I stick to the chopped pork.
        As most Chowhounds know, there are as many kinds of "southern" bbq as there are opinions about bbq. For instance, when I had South Carolina bbq with the mustard based sauce--ACK! But there are those who love it that way.
        Everyone has their own vision of what southern food is. Dixie Bones serves home cooked simple food that certainly sticks to your ribs. They make everything from scratch. (This should be reason enough to go there.) I'm surprised that mrtracey said the greens were too vinegary, as all the greens I've ever gotten there arrive at the table vinegar-free and you add your own at the table.
        To call the food at Dixie Bones "so-called southern food" does Dixie Bones a great disservice. There are plenty of people I know from the South that eat at Dixie Bones that would disagree.
        Red Hot and Blue is white collar Southern food. ;) But I do like their redskin potato salad.

        1. re: Furgs

          Are there any other bbq places in the DC area that are above and beyond Dixie Bones? I can only hope that Dixie Bones does not set the standard for bbq ribs in the area, and in fact I would love know if there are other bbq places in the DC area that, specificatlly, have excellent ribs. On another note, my fiance had the catfish and she absolutely loved it, among the best she has ever eaten.

          1. re: mrtracey

            I went to Dixie Bones once, last summer. I was disappointed.

            For ribs, I suggest Rocklands.

            1. re: EatOrGoToYourRoom

              I went once last summer, too, and was disppointed. Maybe it's because the expectation was high from all I've read about it (it even made the Road Food book). Even the pies were just okay. I live pretty close to it and haven't made it back.

            2. re: mrtracey

              It is really hard to find great BBQ in places that aren't actually Southern. While DC has a lot of great restos, you need to go furthur south (at least North Carolina) to find what you might consider "above and beyond." The exceptions are very small mom-and-pop places in MD and VA, usually in more countrified settings (in the rural areas surrounding DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, Williamsburg, Richmond, Charlottesville, etc.).

              I lived in LA for a few years and tried all the places locals told me had 'excellent BBQ.' I realized that while I did not consider any of them excellent nor authentic, they were very tasty for what they were. I will say that I have yet to find Chinese or Vietnamese as good as what I got in LA.

              1. re: mrtracey

                I've not been to Dixie Bones, but the best I've had in the DC area is at Smokey Hollow in southern Howard County (MD). Good ribs and pulled pork, ok-to-good sides. I'm not thrilled with their sauce but it's ok.

                1. re: alopez

                  Capital Q is pretty good if you like Texas-style barbecue. It's in Chinatown, near intersection of H & 7th. (Gallery Place Metro) I've been to Dixie Bones & thought it was OK for this area but nowhere near N.C. quality. The best thing about it is they smoke their meats on site with real wood. This may seem a bit no-brainerish but a number of places play it fast & loose on this essential detail, so I think that speaks well for Dixie Bones.

                  1. re: dan f.

                    I like Capital Q a lot. It's a little dive-y in that there is limited seating. Their brisket is great, and the sausage looks good and very popular. Hope to try that the next time I'm there.
                    Also I remember enjoying Dixie Bones, although I haven't had it in a while. Their potatoes (not potato salad--some hot concoction of chunky skin-on potatoes, sour cream, cheese, and other stuff) are really tasty as well!

                  2. re: alopez

                    I agree that Smokey Hollow is pretty decent, even if they are in the most inconvenient location around. It's not as good as Andy Nelson's (which is near perfect in my book), but it's darn good. I like SH's gorilla sauce -- it's got a decent tang to it.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      I agree about Dixie Bones. It is really good, but nothing amazing. And one needs to figure out what type of BBQ they are after. Dixie Bones is NC style BBQ so they do pulled pork really well. Capital Q does TX BBQ pretty well. As someone that lived in Austin, TX for a while, I am having a hard time finding BBQ that is even close to what I got down there.

                      I am going to Johnny Boy's in La Plata tomorrow for Ribs on the way to a client meeting. Anyone been there before?

                      1. re: TXBBQFAN

                        We were big fans of Johnny Boy's when they were on Southern Avenue. Been to the La Plata location a few times but the last visits weren't as good. I understand it was sold or somehow the original owners are no longer directly involved. Ribs still better than most of what you get in the city.

                        1. re: TXBBQFAN

                          I would take it one step further because even in NC, you have to very different types of BBQ depending on whether you are from eastern or western NC....

                          As for BBQ in this area, there is a little shack on Rt 1 in Alexandria called North Carolina BBQ and they specialize in eastern NC BBQ. I quite like the place and my husband highly recommends it and he lived in eatern NC for seven years... If you are out that way, you might wanna give it a try. It's on the right hand side if you are driving south about a mile and half past the Wal Mart.