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On site BBQ for firm picnic!

I am charged with the task of finding a good catering service for our firm's 100+ person event this July. I've come to Chowhound in hopes of finding some informed advice from DC area BBQ connaisseurs.

The plan thus far is simply to have it be full service, BBQ, and within the DC area. I've had less luck finding services that actually bring a grill onsite and serve the food hot off the fire.

Any suggestions? I hear good things about Red, Hot & Blue and Urban Bar-B-Que. No idea where to begin with on-site grillers!

Please help!

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  1. If Urban BBQ would do that, they do a good job on BBQ, I think Carolina Brothers BBQ will come with the cooker and cook it there, they have a website, I know they do whole pig: http://www.carolinabrothers.com/
    I don't know if Mighty Midgets would do that or not, they moved into a knew space, so I don't know exactly what the deal is, but here is their new website: http://mightymidgetkitchen.com/cater....

      1. re: monavano

        +1 on dixie bones- excellent sides as well!
        Famous Daves and Red Hot Blue are excellent but i dunno if they send folks out to serve and cook for you.

        1. Barbecue is religion and you'll get a lot of answers on this Board. I recommend Willard's in Chantilly.


          1. I just checked all the websites you all have listed here, just for the fun of it, and not a single menu seems to include hush puppies. Does that seem weird to anybody else? (I know there are lots of other bbq threads here that I can search, and this isn't necessarily related to op's request... just couldn't help but notice.)

            8 Replies
            1. re: mselectra

              Hmm. When I think bbq, I think cornbread.

              1. re: monavano

                Yeah I think hush puppies with seafood, cornbread with bbq, although many places have hush puppies with bbq I guess.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  When I think BBQ, I think ribs, collard greens and crusty-baked mac'n'cheese. Cornbread is no good without collard greens to crumble it up in.

              2. re: mselectra

                I'm a big fan of hush puppies and wish they were offered more frequently in these parts. I believe Red, Hot and Blue still has them on their menu.

                And I'm not a fan of the sweet and cake like texture cornbread that is most often served here. I do recall liking the cornbread at Dixie Bones.

                1. re: EatOrGoToYourRoom

                  I agree about DB's corn bread. Oh....and their mac n cheese! I think they do a fantastic job with all the sides.

                  1. re: monavano

                    I have to respectfully disagree on the sides at DB, their pulled pork was so-so, but their ribs are good. I thought the mac and cheese was seperated and not creamy, the cole slaw really saucey and slaw not shredded well to the point there were huge pieces of cabbage, I make better at home, but the ribs were tasty.

                  2. re: EatOrGoToYourRoom

                    I'm only good for tangential and trivial answers: Reagan's Secretary of Treasury made excellent Hush Puppies...Brock?

                    I could swear RH+B does a rolling smoker (high marks) but not exactly my kinda BBQ, and that's a very personal definition (and it's good, just not what I would do).

                  3. re: mselectra

                    I'm not an obsessive or expert on bbq, but I used to live in North Carolina so I've eaten plenty and always with hush puppies there. If I remember, hush puppies came automatically (perhaps only with platters, not sandwiches) PLUS we'd get a choice of bread, including cornbread. As good as the pulled pork was, it's all that other stuff (plus the sides of fried okra, greens, etc) that I really miss.

                    My apologies to OP for taking this off-topic, though.

                  4. Red Hot and Blue does what you need. No two people agree on what constitutes good BBQ, but RH&B does the style they do well and nobody who likes barbecue at all will hate everything.

                    I'm pretty sure they have hush puppies on the menu, but they probably don't travel well and I doubt that they'd bring a fryer to make them fresh on site. You may have to settle for corn muffins.

                    1. We recently used Hog 'n Claw (www.hog-n-claw.com) and were very happy with them. They're based in Manassas but travel all around the area. I don't know that they do onsite cooking, though. But they will do onsite pig-pulling if you choose. And they do have hush puppies :-).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chriscatva

                        Did you work with Patricia? I've found her a little difficult to deal with and am experiencing some buyer's remorse after putting down a deposit for an pig roast I'm putting on in 5 months or so. We went and tasted the bbq and loved it, but I think I just need some reassurance that this is going to go well and she's not going to run off with my money.

                      2. My instinct would be to go w/ one of the local places like Urban vs. one of the chains if you can get them to do it and if someone can vouch for their ability to handle a large event (I've heard some horror stories of people using small local places to cater...). If you do want to go the "safe" route and stick w/ a chain, Famous Dave's does full-service BBQ catering (although I don't think they do onsite cooking) and they're better in my book than RH&B.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sweth

                          I have eaten Famous Daves catering at the U of R pig roast this year (they didn't let them hire their individual pig cookers as normal) it was ok and nothing special and certainly not cooked on site, it was preferable to R,H&B that I have had in restaurant though. I think who you can get to come depends also on the size of your group, Carolina Brothers normally only brings a cooker for 50+ and Dixie Bones only does full service catering which isn't on site cooking, but on site shredding for 100+ but you might be able to work something out with them. The smaller places might be more willing to bend towards your needs, and unlike other caterers BBQ is easy not to be short of since you can smoke before hand and the sides are all pretty easy (cole slaw, potato salad).

                        2. I haven't been in ages but you might want check out O'Briens Pit Barbeque

                          1. Many years ago my wife's job included planning & implementing the Company picnics.
                            For a number of years she hire Eagons or Eagans BBQ, located around germantown or Boyds IIRC. They did your basic chicken & ribs, Corn on Cob, Potato salad, etc. Nothing real fancy, but those ribs & chicken were superb.

                            1. I've havent experienced this company's food, but the idea is novel. They have converted two VW bugs into traveling grills. Looks like fun to me!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: OneSonTwoCats

                                I was just thinking of carbecue ... haven't eaten but they catered an event for repete jr.'s high school teachers. Looked and smelled pretty good, but could not finagle a taste.

                              2. www.smokeyglenfarm.com does great full service bbq catering both at their farm or on site

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: rheelee

                                  I've been there. It's great! They cook everything like chicken, ribs, ham, beef, pulled pig and now even brisket. It's so good. If you are familiar to the Montgomery County Area, a lot of schools in the area and out of the area go there, which is how I know about it. I've heard they can serve up to 4,000 people so it would be great for your 100+ picnic.

                                  1. re: rheelee

                                    These guys did our company BBQ on site. I don't remember much about the food, except that we didn't order enough, no complaints about the quality. I do remember coming in to work that morning at 8:30 and smelling all the food cooking. In fact, that's probably why more people came than expected - the smell was irresistible.

                                  2. Let me hook you up! KBQ in Bowie Maryland. Honey after eating their BBQ you will probably want to slap somebody it tastes so good. And the sides!! Shrimp potato salad, blackbean and roasted corn salad is the bomb. I used to drive from Lanham to Oxonhill for good bbq..then I discovered KBQ. Google it... Chowhound gave them a glowing review. Please let me know how you like it.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: veevee1

                                      Shrimp potato salad....black bean and roasted corn salad? I'm so there. Do they have a walk up location? I'm so there.

                                      1. re: OneSonTwoCats

                                        Here is the website: http://www.kbqrealbarbecue.com/cateri.... You will love it. Check out their menu. The breadpudding is to die for! The ribs are smoked to perfection. Where else can you go get a salad topped with smoked Talapia? Enjoy

                                    2. Willards in Chantilly is one of the best and most authentic. Excellent ribs, brisket, pork, chicken and sides. I was there yesterday and still regret not ordering the side of the day, mashed chili cheese potatoes. www.dcbbq.com
                                      And you will find the prices msot reasonable. Go there for a taste. You'll see the names of the bbq temples of the US on the wall, from skyline to Kreuz Market.

                                      1. If you're trying to decide between Urban BBQ and Red Hot and Blue, Urban BBQ is cheaper per head. I've seen them do the onsite grilling at a couple different gatherings, and have personally used their pick-up prepared food.
                                        I don't think any of them do onside grilling... I think they prep the food in the kitchen and heat it onsite. It's still tasty!

                                        1. I had Sardis catering cater a BBQ for my firm and it turned out great. They brought out the grills and cooked on the spot. They can be reached at 240-417-5333.