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Ok so I have a best friend from Memphis, and a boyfriend from Georgia. They crave BBQ from time to time. Now up front they know in their hearts of hearts they won't find anything as good as they have at home, but does anyone know of some good bbq places close to DC or NOVA? Red, Hot and Blue won't cut it, neither will Famous Daves or anything like that. Any suggestions?

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  1. If you find any, please let me know!

    1. Dixie Bones in Woodbridge. Check out the website and see if it might suit them.

      1. If you are looking for a chopped pork sandwich then go to Breadline on Fridays. They are open until 3pm I think. Order the bbq sandwich on a ciabatta. This is as good as it gets.

        1. I know it is in Maryland, but work with me.

          I was just at Urban BBQ in Rockville. It's pretty darn good.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Pool Boy

            I forgot to mention that I really like Urban BBQ's cole slaw. While not shredded, definitely not pureed either. Closed to shredded, but smaller bits. And there's clearly mustard in the base. Not 'wet' at all. Good stuff.


          2. Willard's in Chantilly near the Expo Center. Try the brisket or the KC burnt ends. Desserts are very good too.

            For a slightly longer drive but something unique, head to the Mighty Midget in Leesburg. Ribs and pulled pork are the specialties (ribs Friday and Saturday only, until they run out). You can call ahead and reserve a slab, I think.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bob W

              I'll second Willards. My dad drives over once a week from Springfield for their BBQ. In addition to their pulled pork, their Cuban sandwich is also pretty good. As is their sweet-tea.

              If you go during lunch, arrive early (or late) to get a table. Anytime between 1145 and 1 and you'll have to wait.

              1. re: SamFelis

                Your mention of the Cuban sandwich raises a good point. Willard's actually has a very large menu for a (good) barbecue joint and should always have something to please someone not interested in barbecue. For example, I tried a bowl of their gumbo and it was quite good -- rich and loaded with sausage and other stuff.

              2. re: Bob W

                Ok tried Might Midgets: Def more memphis/KC BBQ, but it was good. Pulled pork sandwhich has really juicy tender meat. Coleslaw not overly mayonnaisey and fries crispy. The BF said def not Georgia or NC style which he prefers but was quite happy to get some tender juicy pork. Plus the ambiance of the place is awesome. Thanks for the rec. I will be trying out other recs from this thread so if you have any new suggestions let me know. We didn't get any ribs which must be good since you can reserve them in advance and they run out. Will have to try that the mention of dry rub, cherry wood enticed me to go back another time.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  Since the friend who likes Memphis style is gone, take the boy friend to Dixie Bones. That's about the only place in the area that tries to do Southern style. BBQ.

              3. My husband and I like Capital Q, but it's Texas style BBQ. Located on H at 7th street in Chinatown.

                2 Replies
                1. re: KWynn

                  Yeah I can't even mention Texas BBQ to these two without getting smarmy looks and a that's not real BBQ, even though my undiscerning MD BBQ palate thinks it's pretty good. Will try Mighty Midgets sometime when we go to the outlets, and Urban BBQ and etc. Keep the suggestions coming... I keep thinking there must be a whole in the wall place somewhere in DC that is fantastic, but I haven't found it yet.

                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    And gets worse if you're actually FROM Texas, in which case Capital Q DEFINITELY doesn't cut the mustard.

                2. Well with one from Memphis and the other from Georgia, you won't please both of them with the same meal but Dixie Bones in Woodbridge does a pretty good job with ribs (Memphis) and they have a southern style sauce for their pulled pork that's pretty authentic.

                    1. Rocklands on Wisconsin Ave. Decent pulled pork. Get the sauce on the side. Beats driving all over the Metro area for something the boys will fight over anyway.
                      Not Lexington. Not Sweatman's. Satisfies a craving when you're jonesin'. Sort of.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MakingSense

                        There's also the Rocklands in Rockville, Alexandria, and a new one in Arlington. I much prefer them to Red Hot and Blue, who kinda go to town on the sweet sauce.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          The Rocklands in Arlington is not open yet. Rocklands has fallen pretty far from the heights they once acheived, particularly in Arlington where a wet lump of chopped pork would be taken from a drawer upon order and placed on a bun. The ribs could still have outstanding flavor upon occassion, and on Wisconsin Ave. you can still order a sliced pork sandwich, in which case a package of pre-sliced pork will be pulled from a fridge and put on the grill. This will be the closest in flavor to when Rocklands originally opened, as is a pretty good bbq sandwich despite the fact that it is 'leftovers.'

                      2. two places come to mind - Brown Sugar, recently reopened at 9th and Ust NW. And Red Line Grill, in Takoma, on the D.C. side, on Fourth St. about a block from the Takoma metro station. both places are pretty good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tjunedavis

                          It must all boil down to a matter of experience & taste. I tried the much ballyhood' Smoky Hollow BBQ up route 29: Ribs! Ok, better without the bad sauce. The rest in a word: tastless expensive slop.
                          The beef was more mushy pot roast hash, not sliced, or brisket. The pork: a mushy mess. Both beef and pork tastless. Spic and span joint.
                          Red Line Grill: I guess it all depends on when you go, twice now, and with friends just curious about it, food nothing special and just too darn sweet;

                          A great many folks here I think like a spick & span McDonalds type BBQ joint.
                          Folks if that is all you know, Ok, but good Q joints dont look like mall food courts.
                          And good is the problem word here.

                          If anyone can find a local BBQ place that is not someone college business plan with great stuff please post it.

                          Good to me meaning flavorful and tastey eatten without adding any sauce

                          Texas style Beef Brisket, or how about just good cooked sliced brisket period!!
                          Any kind of real Ribs, St Louis, Carolina, Memphis, not baby backs!
                          Sausage: Not hot dogs!!!
                          And they dont have to all be all at the same place.

                          Help here yall

                        2. So I was up in SS last night so I took the BF and his sister to Urban BBQ.

                          We started with the wings, then I had pork ribs with slaw and cornbread, the sis had pulled pork and the BF pulled pork sandwich.

                          I really liked this place. For me it was really good. I don't like that orange buffalo sauce on wings really as much, and these wings were awesome. I could have used a little hot sauce maybe, but they were huge meaty wings with some char and a good flavor.

                          I really liked my ribs, the cole slaw was actually really good I have a hard time finding that at some places (We went to Smithfield in NC their slaw and potato salad is horrid.). The cornbread was amazing. It was moist and sweet and fresh. BF's sis took her extra cornbread home with her.

                          BF wasn't crazy about his pulled pork, but after seeing what he likes I think he likes his really chopped and like an almost purely vineagar sauce (we definately do not have the same BBQ tastes his favorites are Slopes in GA, Pierce's in Lightfoot VA which actually will ship so I might get that for him for his Bday).

                          I definitely think they bring a good standard to SS. Their sides put most other places to shame and their ribs had great flavor (Didn't get ribs at Mighty Midgets wasn't hungry enough should have though wish I could compare hope they find a new place, but will compare chopped BBQ when I go back). Will have to try chopped BBQ so I can make a real comparison though. I like Pierce's in VA and this place called Carl's in West NC which is a little hole in the wall. I don't really like Smithfield at all it has no sauce and I don't really like adding Texas Pete I rather add sauce and their sauce is just almost purely vinegar.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            Sorry! It was the most horrible experience. The food was cold along with the cold draft from the door so i couldn't enjoy eating. Had better cornbread and the rack of ribs needed some serious work. Should have went across the street to Houston's instead.

                          2. I have not tried all of the BBQ places listed (e.g. Mighty Midget or Urban BBQ), but I have not found good BBQ anywhere in the DC area. I've tried Rocklands, Willards, and some Moon BBQ in Silver Spring. The Moon BBQ may have been ok -- I don't remember it being really disappointing like Rocklands and Willards. (I think Willards brisket tastes ok -- but I don't think it's BBQ.)

                            If they really like BBQ, I would not take them anywhere without trying it first -- odds are you will take them to a sub-standard BBQ place.

                            I really think the best bet is smoking some ribs yourself -- it will take less than a day and I bet will be leaps and bounds better than anything in the area.

                            Sorry to be so negative -- but I've been really disappointed with the BBQ here.

                            Just realized that this post is dead -- and now can't remove my reply.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: toddlikesfood

                              It's ok I just like to update people. I can't really BBQ myself as our condo building has strict rules although I have been able to find Memphis BBQ around the NC BBQ seems to be the hard one (I don't know what kind you are looking for) , but I can mail order it. I haven't liked Rocklands either. Mighty Midgets is closing, but it is my favorite sandwich in the driving vicinity so far. If you like ribs you should give Urban a try it is pretty packed and if nothing else the cornbread really is worth it. If you are big into NC BBQ though mailorder Pierce's the BF loves that.

                            2. The hands down best BBQ in the DC area is in Bowie Maryland at KBQ.
                              That is intended to mean any other place offering BBQ in Alexandria, Arlington, DC, Montgomery, Howard, Baltimore counties. Famous Dave's / Red Hot & Blue / Tony Roma / Smokey Bones - forget em all.

                              Just off route 450 going east past 193. You will see a new development and it is next to the Safeway and WoW Wings.

                              Take the drive, savor, I wont have to convince any real BBQ fan. These joints don't last forever so get it while the getting is good.

                              1. I've had pretty bad experiences at Rocklands. I recommend Urban BBQ or Famous Dave's.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Elissar

                                  ^^I agree. I don't know if they've changed hands or what but Rocklands has really gone down hill. Our last two meals the pork was chewy it was so overdone. Also their coleslaw has always bothered me. I don't want pea's in my coleslaw - I want traditional slaw (and cornbread).
                                  That being said we've had some decent bbq at Urban BBQ, the shredded pork was good and the coleslaw (just as important as the pork in a sandwich imo) was good too. The cornbread was fresh and soft - and I liked being about to choose my own sauce (in the back of the restaurant) to top it with.
                                  That being said there's no replacement that I've found for Buzz 'N Neds in Richmond (hands down East Coast winner imo) or for that matter Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse NY. But then again we take our BBQ pretty seriously!

                                  1. re: beauxgoris

                                    Is Buzz and Ned's the place that was on the BBQ show with Bobby Flay? Like Smackdown with Bobby Flay or something? I wanted to go to that place.

                                    1. re: ktmoomau

                                      ^^I don't know if it was on the show or not - but it's the BEST, truly that I've ever had. (Including bbq eaten in NC, SC, GA, LA, AL., etc. (although Dreamland in AL was pretty good!). Buzz 'n Neds is right of 95S exit (the boulevard exit) for Richmond about 2 hours south of here.

                                      1. re: beauxgoris

                                        Thanks we are down that stretch of road a couple times a year will stop next time.

                                2. We've always liked Ribster's in Annandale.

                                  1. Here is a thread on another board that has lots of BBQ wisdom for the area: http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/vi...

                                    1. Don't get to NOVA much (live in chicago) but anytime I'm there I make Allman's in Fredricksburg a priority. Best minced pork sandwich I've ever had. I think it's on US 1, but I don't really remember. I haven't found anything close to it in the midwest, makes me want to travel to VA more often!