Pig 'N Steak --Near Shenandoah Park
To show how clueless I am, I'm not sure if Madison, VA is "Mid-Atlantic" or South, but for us DC types driving to the Shenandoah Park/Skyline Drive, Pig N' Steak in Madison, VA, is worth the approx. 30 min detour south of Rte 211. (Check hours, they close at 7:30 pm on Sunday). Hubbie (while northern born, spent a couple of formative years in Nashville) declared his ribs the best ever. His whole rack was huge, smoky, meaty, fell off the bone, and lean (though in no way diet food). I was the only one to get the pulled pork (which other on-line reviewers seem to think is "the" item to order), which, matched to the excellent tangy and not too sweet cole slaw ,was excellent. There are three barbeque sauces m and ketchupy hot) and we liked mixing and matching them. Unlike the other on-line reviewers, I was not a fan of the Mac & Cheese -- which was essentially Kraft style -- but I could go on for pages about the baked beans. They were indeed the best ever -- so complex, you could use wine descriptions -- slightly sweet with an edge of fruit, etc. Didn't have room for desert. We ate in the back non-smoking rooms, which reminded me of an old-fashioned tea room. The front, smoking room is more biker-bar.
Pig N Steak is pretty good BBQ. Their sides generally suck (frozen fries, Sysco rolls, etc), but who goes to a BBQ joint for sides? Stick to the basics, they do it well.
Glad to hear the Pig 'n Steak is still going strong. I agree that the sides have never been special, except for the beans.
I have some clients in Cville, and I have stopped at Pig/Steak for lunch on the way home several times, always on a weekday. There is never more than one other table taken, and for good reason. The food is awful. Everything I have ever ordered, from pulled pork, to birisket, to chicken to burgers (never had a steak). It is always re-warmed c_ap. Cheap though...if you care about that.