HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Bowie BBQ

I was just near the new Safeway off of 450 and a storefront said something about a KBQ coming soon. All I could find via Google was that they were looking to borrow $350K from some investors. Does anyone know anything about this place??

I could really use some good bbq near my office.



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Absolutely no clue, but my guess is it refers to a Korean BBQ place. Let us know.

    1. So this place is finally open. I didn't eat there, but I did pick up a menu. It's not Korean, just regular American bbq, which is more than fine with me.
      It says the website is www.KBQRealBarbecue.com but I don't think the site is up and running yet.
      KBQ is a normal bbq place with ribs, pork, brisket, chicken, etc, on sandwiches and platters. They have family size meals and also do catering.
      I can't wait to check it out. Has anyone else been?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Fuzzydave

        Was there any wood smoke coming out of the place? That would be the deal breaker for me.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          I was only in there long enough to pick up some take out menus, but there didn't seem to be much of a barbecue smell of any kind emanating from the back.
          I'll still give it a try. It's gotta be better than Famous Dave's, right?

          1. re: Fuzzydave

            Petsmart is better than Famous Dave's!

      2. Ok, Safeway off 450, what shopping center or crossing streets?
        450 goes a very long long way.
        Clue me in please.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RobertM

          12500B1 Fairwood Parkway
          Bowie, MD 20720

        2. Ok I got the location, above 193 on 450.
          Now, who has had some.......
          Whats up?

          1. Has anyone actually eaten here? Got a hankerin' for ribs and this isn't out of range, but I don't want to waste my dining dollar. Thanks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Sal Gee

              I drove by this place today to check it out. Awesome food!!!!
              They have the best ribs I have eaten in this area. That means PG, Arlington, Alexandria, DC, and Mont and Howard counties. Great selection of sides too.
              And yeah, they have a wood pile.

              1. re: RobertM

                Mrs. Gee and I tried KBQ Barbecue last night. The ribs were the meatiest I have ever had. The two of us were hungry so we ordered a rack and a half, four sides, and cornbread ($36). A half rack was enough for us to split and be satisfied. We devoured the rest today.

                The dry rub was delicious, complementing rather than overpowering the high quality meat on the bone. Sides were top notch. We tried the potato salad, black bean and corn salad, baked beans, and jalapeno cornbread. Baked beans were on the sweet side, which might not be to the liking of some.

                The locale is not much to look at, small and spare on the inside of a smallish storefront. Carry-out is the way to go here. Counter staff was friendly and efficient. Only complaint might be that there appears to be a small charge for extra sauce, if you like your ribs wet.

                1. re: Sal Gee

                  This prompted me to try KBQ today and I agree, the food is great! I had a plate of spare ribs and sausage with the sour cream-and-onion potato fries, and the meat was juicy, smoky, and tasted good even without the sauce. Though the place is a simple, fairly bare storefront with only about 6-7 small tables, everything seems to be tastefully thought-out and that carries over to the food.

                  I've been looking for good BBQ alternatives to Red Hot & Blue, and have ranged from PG County up to north of Baltimore. I liked this enough that I'll drive the 45 minutes to try it a second time.

                  As a reference point, I've had a decent experience at a couple of other places I found on Chowhounds, Kloby's and Pig Pickers, but this was better (the meat was more tender and flavorful, if salty). A caveat: I was disappointed with Andy Nelson's, which is often cited as the best ribs in Baltimore. I think it's mainly because the sauce was overwhelming while the ribs were very fatty. Also, I actually prefer baby backs but Barebones is inconsistent (though sometimes very good) and the Tony Roma's here served them up cold and dried out (I've had great ribs at Tony Roma's in Dallas and Vegas).

            2. I've been back a few times to KBQ Barbecue and it's worth traveling for. I like best the beef brisket and pulled pork, and as sides the broccoli salad and jalapeno cornbread. This has become my favorite BBQ place in the area. I'd call the style southern (not Carolina) with a smoky salt-rub flavor that seems to go all the way through.

              I was there Saturday night and there was a mini-rush sparked by a Maryland Gazette article. There was a steady stream of take-out customers and they'd run out of ribs. Service suffered a little bit but hopefully these customers will back once they've savored the food.

              1 Reply
              1. I've been twice and I must say that the food is top notch. Some of the best I've had. Portions are generous, ribs are very meaty. Staff was very courteous and helpful. I had a chance to talk with the owner who was very friendly and down to earth.

                The only bbq place near me is Dotsons in Glen Burnie and KBQ destroys them. I would definitely say it's worth the trip.

                4 Replies
                1. re: stangman327

                  Have you tried the bakery off of rt. 450? It opened about 1/2 year ago, and supposedly the pies are good, but pricey. The owner supposedly went to cornell.


                  They'll be competing with another bowie gem, the cakery.


                  1. re: Chownut

                    Not yet but I will be sure to give them a try.

                    1. re: Chownut

                      You can't beat the Cakery have been open for at least 12 years for a reason. They did my wedding cake(s), I told them to do what they wanted. And they did, and didn't disapoint either. I had a Hawiian Luau theme and the Cakery stuck right to it, with 4 different cakes. Different shapes and sizes too.

                      Now about Best Pie, there is a reason why their pies are over $20.00, because they don't use lard. And they hand cut their fresh fruit. They only use fruit that is in season, no canned fruit. For that reason alone, to me, the prices are worth it. They made a pie just for DH and I, a people pie, apple and peaches. We came in one Saturday morning, late summer time/early fall and asked for the pie, came back 90 minutes later it was ready for us! Loved it. Plus I love the Blueberry/Peach pie available in the summer.

                      And I will try KBQ, thanks for the rec!

                  2. I went tonight, and got a slab platter, with beans, potato salad, and the corn bread. The first rib or two was fine, but it wasn't long before I was in the mode of eating because I hate to see food go to waste, rather than really enjoying any of it.


                    1) Just isn't that good compared to Andy Nelson's or some of my Southern MD faves. I hope not, given the raves others have given.
                    2) I should have gotten the half slab. Possible - I do seem to be slowing down as I get older.
                    3) I hit them on an off night.
                    4) I've not gotten my appetite back, having just gotten over the flu.

                    I've got enough doubts about which of the four, or what combination, it is to leave it at that, but tonight at least, I really didn't enjoy dinner much.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Warthog

                      Has anyone else been lately? Hopefully the quality hasn't slacked off. With that said, I liked the brisket and pork better than the ribs.

                      I was just in Albuquerque, where I tried several BBQ houses, and the only one better than KBQ was a Texas-based chain called Rudy's.

                      1. re: 2stepper

                        I tried it for the first time a couple of Saturdays ago. I had the rib platter with beans. The ribs were okay, but slightly on the salty side. I like that they were not "falling off the bone" (that usually means they were boiled then grilled). The ribs were sliced and on a bun.

                        Next time I'll try the pulled pork or brisket sandwich.

                        I liked what I had, but I can do better at home with my Big Green Egg.

                        1. re: 2stepper

                          The hubster and I went yesterday evening. Here's our rundown:
                          We both ordered the 1/2 slab platter with baked beans and mac and cheese (we try to switch it up, but we couldn't help being in the mood for the same thing!) Hubster had the dinner roll while I had the cornbread.

                          The sides were great. The baked beans were amongst the best I've ever had, while the mac and cheese was quite tasty in comparison to most restaurant casserole versions.

                          The cornbread was a little too dry, not as flavorful as I'd prefer.

                          The ribs were tender, but not "fall-off-the-bone" boiled as another poster noted. They lacked any kind of complexity, however, and needed more of a rub at the very least. The texture lends me to think they're oven broiled. In either case they were certainly edible, and I thought both of the available sauces were great (though I wasn't happy to find that they charge extra for more sauce). They could also use a better beverage selection.

                          Overall, living in MoCo, i'd probably prefer to make the trip up there to KBQ before paying for Red Hot and Blue. Perhaps not over Urban BBQ in Rockville though. Next time I'll try different sides though. :)

                          1. re: enigmakairos

                            I've tried KBQ twice and was twice disappointed. I like ribs to be flavorful before I add the sauce. These ribs are not good and I refuse to go to a ribs place that has better sides than ribs. As for the pie place, I need butter/lard, flavor if I'm paying for a 20.00+ pie. The Cakery is worth is weight in butter!! Drive a few more miles on Thursday-Saturday and get ribs, cake and pie at the Upper Marlboro Amish Market. Take it home and pretend like you made it. Now that's good eating.

                            1. re: 2cooks5eaters

                              Well, to be honest I think we, BBQ hounds, need to get together and form a socially multi ethnic BBQ tasting crew. Really. This is a fact of Q life. In the DC metro area, reported good Q is a social group thing: Virginia types generally don't like Maryland grub, and MoCo types do not like PG grub. Recommendations from one group is no guarantee, and may be in indicator of disappointment when you, depending on your Q background, show up to Q down.
                              Some joints, Alabama, Big Bad Wolf, Andy Nelson, KBQ, The guy down in Richmond, maybe Willard s, can be considered standard benchmarks to veteran die hard Q eaters. But the music playing, the decor, was there a red carpet, etc are nice but do they really influence how good the Q was? To some here I guess yes, to me and I think other Q hounds, well no. Most legendary Q cookers worked in almost falling down shacks.
                              Here is an Idea, one guy has offered, to set up time and dates to arrive at some place and nosh and compare grub.
                              In the end we all can have a good lens to look thru when decaring Q gold discoveries.Beltwaybbq has made some steps in this direction. but I say open that up to other local Q noshers!!! Let's set up a DC area board of worthy Q standards. Those that like RHB/FD/etc life will go on as before.
                              Most Q folks will tell you it is an adventure and quest for quality, and consistency is short lived.
                              I think a lot of us will learn a thing or two in the process, and over all enjoy great Q.

                              1. re: 2cooks5eaters

                                Case in point:

                                I was close enough today (Upper Marlboro) at lunch time to check out KBQ and I'm glad I did. Excellent pulled pork sandwich, and my lunch companion had a rib sandwich. We couldn't figure out how to eat the sandwich other than to pull the meat off the ribs and put it on the bun (or, as he did, eat the ribs, and treat the bun like bread on the side) but he rated the ribs top notch. Good potato salad and cole slaw (slaw a bit out of the ordinary, but tasty). The Sweet and Spicy sauce truly complemented the meat rather than just moisten it or make it spicy. The bread pudding is fabulous.

                                The posters on the walls are cool, but the place just looks too clean. It's a storefront in a shopping center, and they do a lot of carry-out business. They need to get the building condemned. <g>

                                It's 35 miles from my house so I probably go there often, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to give it a try. Definitely worth a visit if it's convenient or you don't care how far you drive for good BBQ.

                                New Posts | Permalink | Report | Reply

                                MikeR Aug 15, 2008 07:17PM

                                1. re: RobertM

                                  I've found that the bread provided for "sandwiches" of this type (rib or fish even) is more about using it as a delivery vector for whatever sauce is provided (hot or bbq). No way in hell you're ever going to fit all that meat on Wonder Bread AND get it to your mouth without making a spectacle of yourself.

                                  I read in these threads that KBQs mac n cheese is excellent. Must give it a try next time. I've found the place an excellent stopover on trips back to DC from the beach or Annapolis. Well worth the detour.

                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                    Looks like they don't have a liquor license. Does anyone know if I could bring beer into the store to consume with my 'Q?

                        2. Wow I just had KBQ - I drove 30 minutes out of the way to get there, because people said DC Q was so bad.

                          So okay - I really don't know why people are saying it's so good, but it's the worst BBQ ribs I've *ever* had!

                          The ribs tasted like chinese food. Like the orange chicken they give out at malls. It looked like it too - you can go on google or yelp and see people who took pictures of the ribs (I wish I did that before going there) the ribs are just emaciated and tiny. They aren't the usual 1" high spare ribs, they are like a cm 'tall'.

                          I should have known it was horrible when there was no smell, no smoke, they clearly did not have a pit cooker (it appears they have some sort of special cooker in back, but it is definitely not a pit).

                          I really can't believe anyone would like this stuff.

                          On top of that, the green beans were tough, pale sick looking green, and horrible. It was like they were boiled 30 minutes too long, they had no flavor, and were tough! How can green beans be tough? I had to cut them with a knife. This isn't a joke at all - generic, grocery store brand canned beans are better. Green man green beans are better. Way better. They were obviously microwaved too, to be reheated.

                          Then the baked beans. Of all the food, they were edible. That's all I can really say about them. Very sweet, definitely a ton of brown sugar (which is okay, I don't mind lots of sugar). My biggest complaint about them were that they were obviously microwaved - they had that microwaved sort of flavor to them, that and they were clearly microwaved, being about 200* hot. I guess they were alright, but really, nothing better than canned beans.

                          I could not believe how much of a dissapointment this place was. The ribs were like chinese food, they literally tasted like chinese food, like orange pork at the mall. They were dry, had no flavor...

                          Even famous dave's is better. And famous dave's is... you know... famous dave's. Anyone who thinks this is good Q, clearly has never had real Q. Alamo in Richmond, M&M Catering in Knoxville, The BBQ Pit in Stafford. Not this. Nooo wayy.

                          Thus is the way of the BBQ though. The 'best' place in an area always gets rave reviews, because all BBQ is 'good', kind of like hots dogs or burgers. But man, this place? It really tasted like nasty chinese food, I think this is the first time I actually threw out the BBQ instead of at least ate it.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Belial88

                            Sorry about that there have been several reviews since 2008 commenting on KBQ decline

                            1. re: agarnett100

                              and no one updated it?

                              Seriously, this isn't a decline. This is a plane crash. I know BBQ no matter how bad it is, is still good, like pizza, like sex, like burgers... but this stuff was nasty. At best it's 2 minutes good like orange pork at the mall, and then you buy it after the sample and then stop eating halfway because it's gross. But how do you make green beans that are worse than canned? Can't they just tell it's worse than canned, and just go get canned? I mean really, I just ate some generic canned green beans (heh, my green man ones actually expired, it was last of like a 100 pack i bought in college) and they were way better, and cheaper.

                              1. re: Belial88

                                Here's one previous thread where the decline of KBQ is discussed. if you do a search, you'll find others.


                          2. I don't belive anyone has mentioned Smokey Bones in Bowie. BBQ/Sports bar style.

                            I've been a few times and it's hit or miss but overall not to bad for a chain. Granted it's not your "authentic rustic" style Q joint...just remember it's a CHAIN so enjoy it for what it is.

                            If you go try skillet cornbread and he smoked wings and tell me what you think.