Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Aug 9, 2007 03:25 PM

Anette's BBQ Heaven closed?

First I find out that Smokey Hollow is closing; now I'm driving in Landmark and notice that Anette's Barbecue Heaven (on Van Dorn St) is gone. Anyone know what happened to it?

Smokey Hollow BBQ Co
7500 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723

Anette's BBQ Heaven
279 S Van Dorn St, Alexandria, VA 22304

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Smokey Hollow - bad location #1, great ribs, everything else was not worth the drive.. Any Baltimore PIt Beef was better. Beef Hash, if you are old enough to remember that from the depression. The Ribs were the best by far I have had in the area though. Just tell em to keep the sauce to them selves. So good they dont need sauce. Great

    1 Reply
    1. re: RobertM

      Annette's has been closed for over a year. There was something on the Internet somewhere saying they lost their lease. I think there was some construction in that shopping center.

    2. Why oh why is it so hard to find good BBQ in the D.C. metro area. Ever since O'Briens closed in Springfield, it's been downhill for us in this area. O'Brien's Pit BBQ still has locations in Rockville and Sterling. Check their website. That is the BEST BBQ I've had in the D.C. area. They use closed pit BBQ method w/14-16 hrs of cooking time. OMG, it's good, and the prcies are very reasonable.

      There is a place in Burke called BBQ World. But it is just ok IMO, along the lines of Annettes.

      10 Replies
      1. re: eileend

        "Why oh why is it so hard to find good BBQ in the D.C. metro area. "

        That's just what the folks who started Red Hot and Blue asked when they came to town with whowever it was who came into office then. Hill staffers from the South who couldn't find good BBQ in the area. Lee Atwater was one of the original investors. RH&B was pretty good when they first opened, but like just about every other restaurant, it has a shelf life and after a couple of changes of ownership and a national expansion, it's still decent but not as good as it used to be. But then what is?

        You just have to learn how to like the kind of BBQ you can get here. It'd different wherever you go, so get used to it.

        1. re: MikeR

          I pretty much gave up on local barbecue years ago when I bought a good smoker and learned how to cook my own. I used to eat at Half Moon when I had a regular gig there, but that was because it was freefor me and my bandmates. I'll eat Red Hot & Blue if I really have a craving and don't want to spend the time it takes to cook real barbecue, but it's very rare for me to go out for barbecue.

          I'm still looking for a good place (besides Costco) for ribs. The ribs at Giant (and I guess other grocery stores) are enhanced with a salt solution and are horrible for barbecue.

          1. re: 4X4

            So when are you going to invite us all over and show us what real BBQ is?

            Some of the Cryovac-packed racks of ribs have a sort of brine packing. Those are usually the baby backs or St. Louis cut - in other words, ready to cook. If you get the slabs wrapped in the standard grocery store meat package, they're unadorned, straight off the pig. If you want a rack that's easier to eat, you have to trim them yourself, but as long as you're going to all the trouble, you might as well do a little knife work. Ribs from Shoppers are usually pretty cheap and cook just fine.

            1. re: MikeR

              I got some ribs from Costco yesterday and they were excellent. I have friends who compete in BBQ contests and they get their ribs from Costco.

              I do know how to trim ribs and how to remove the membrane. I have a bunch of leftover rib tips from yesterday - the only leftovers from that dinner.

            2. re: 4X4

              You can find good ribs (cooked and uncooked) at the Amish Markets (Burtonsville and Germantown).

              1. re: 4X4

                Since I started smoking my own, haven't had much use for the local chain stuff. Safeway will occasionally have good deals on full racks that didn't sell over the weekend. Avoid Ma Bessie's Ribs that come in 20lb boxes; they're imported from Denmark and they're all bone. Your best bet is the Asian markets: Grand Mart or Supermercado. Around $2 a pound and with a decent meat/fat ratio. The latter has full 12-14lb cryo beef briskets for $1.89 with a good fat cap.

                Supermercado La Colonia
                6969 Hechinger Dr, Springfield, VA 22151

                Lotte Plaza
                3250 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030

                Grand Mart
                6255 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312

              2. re: MikeR

                For me, Red Hot and Blue doesn't even count. Their BBQ sandwiches are like mush on a bun, and there's no way I want to get used to that. BBQ is different in different areas of the country because of the way it is cooked and served in different areas of the country, Memphis, Kansas City, Cincinatti, Texas, etc. There isn't "a D.C. style BBQ" so I don't understand the comment about getting used to what you can get here. What you get here is whatever style is imported by the people who are cooking the BBQ. I happen to like Texas style BBQ, and you can get that at O'Briens, but it is far to go all the way around the beltway to Rockville or to Sterling to get it, and I wish they had not closed their Springfield location.

                1. re: eileend

                  First off, why bother with BBQ sandwiches if you don't care for them? I've had a lot of sandwiches that taste like mush. I don't mind them at RH&B (most of my experience is at the Falls Church Express location, but eating in) and don't think they're mushy at all. If I order a sandwich, though, I usually eat it as if it were a chopped port platter rather than try to mush it all on a bun. I'm not a messy eater.

                  Now Annette's BBQ (which a few people miss) - that's a place where the sandwiches were always mushy, and for a simple reason. They chopped the meat early in the day and kept it warm in steam trays. It was just plain wet. I always thought that if I could squeeze out the hot water, it would taste pretty good.

                  The sliced brisket at RH&B has always had a good texture and smoky flavor, and the ribs are tasty and reasonably meaty. (I get them dry) Now I like Kansas City style ribs better than RH&B (I like Jack Stack's better than KC Masterpiece, and I've never had a KC shack-on-the-roadside BBQ that was as good as either), and when I was traveling to Memphis regularly, I liked Corky's ribs better than RH&B (that was their original model), but I'm content with what I can get right in my neighborhood. Dixie Bones is different, but it's half an hour or more away. I'm really not much of an expert on Texas BBQ. Maybe some day the Arlington Rocklands will finally open (they say October now) and I can remind myself of why I prefer RH&B to Rocklands when they used to be in the Car Pool in Clarendon.

                  There are lots of opportunities to eat respectable BBQ in this area. It's not snob BBQ, but for every favorite of a BBQ snob, there will be plenty of people who say some other place is better and wouldn't eat there.

                  DC style BBQ? It's whatever you can get in DC. Like most things (food and otherwise) around here, it's not pure or purist. If you don't like the taste, don't force yourself. But RH&B has been in business for a long time, so they must be making some people happy.

                  1. re: MikeR

                    Anette's wasn't great, but in my experience it wasn't that bad; I never actually had a sandwich as such there, though, always getting the meats as a platter with cornbread on the side. In retrospect, though, I probably did enjoy the sides more than the pulled pork. It's not so much that I miss it (since obviously I hadn't noticed it being closed until now) as that I was just surprised that it had closed; I used to live around the corner, and a decade ago it was one of the few reliable non-fast-food places in the area, and even three or four years ago, it seemed popular enough with neighborhood folks that it was doing good business while (for example) a succession of 6 or 7 Indian places cycled through the corner spot in the same plaza (including, sadly, an outpost of Ravi Kabob that I was apparently the only Landmarkian to appreciate).

                    1. re: sweth

                      Annette's did pretty well because it was the only place around there where you could get that kind of food. Most of the customers weren't very sophisticated BBQ hounds, they were just looking for a change from the usual.

                      That shopping center keeps churning - restaurants as well as other stores. My excuse for going there was a used computer store that no longer exists. And now that CompUSA has gone and I haven't found a restaurant of the current crop in that center that I care for, I don't bother looking for lunch around there any more.

            3. According to a web search there is an Annette's here:

              8503 Crossley Pl
              Alexandria, VA
              (703) 823-5393

              The map shows that in Fort Hunt though and looks like a neighborhood. Try the number and see what you find.

              1. We get ours at BJ's But ya'll gotta check this site out and decide for yourselves if you want to try this rub. Just read the comments..local guy, its a hobby. He gives good advice and has recomendations on what to use his rubs on. Enjoy!

                1. I tried Annette's once and thought it was pretty bad. So no loss in my view. I've never tried Dixie Bones but it seems to get good press. Also that Andy whatever guy north of Balto. I have however tried Willard's near the Capital Expo Center, near Dulles Aprt., and it's OK by DC area standards, but on the whole I agree it's tough to find decent BBQ in the DC area.

                  Now I live in NC, which sounds good but unfortunately far west NC and there is little or no good Q over here either. It's just a very local thing.