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Urban BBQ in Olney/Sandy Spring: Is it me?

Dont get me wrong. I always thought Urban BBQ in Rockville was some of the best BBQ in the area (and am a big fan of Urban Burger). Ive now sampled the food at the new location in Olney/Sandy Spring and unfortunately havent had good experiences. The chili fries are good, but the BBQ chicken, ribs and brisket seem to be sub-par. The chicken almost seems to need more time in the smoker or grill, the ribs werent "fall off the bone", and the brisket is dry and not very flavorful. I also have to say that KFC makes better mashed potato's and coleslaw. I want to chalk it up to that the food doesnt transport well as take-out but Im not so sure........

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  1. The last time I went to the one in Rockville the pork was extremely soggy - it was really off putting. I find them to be pretty inconsistant.

    1. Does the Olney branch have a smoker? I love the ribs from UBQ in Rockville, mainly due to the smoker. I've never had "fall off the bone" ribs from Urban--not sure fall of the bone is a good thing in the rib world--but since they got their smoker, I've found the ribs and brisket to be far tastier than their New Hampshire Ave. equivalent.

      1. Question -- Does Urban BBQ do all of it smoking in Rockville and then ship to other outlets?

        1 Reply
        1. re: skipper

          I believe they bought a state-of-the-art smoker for the Olney location. Go figure.

          1. re: dinwiddie

            Ive now eaten at this location 4 times and it get worse and worse. If this is the "best" bbq in the area, we're in big trouble.

            1. re: ciaoda

              Then don't eat there. However, plenty of us find it to be wonderful.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  I think this area is filled with people that have never had good pizza, BBQ, deli, chinese food, etc. Any time a mediocre restaurant pops up, they review it like it's the second coming........

                  1. re: ciaoda

                    Yes, because only you know what's really good.

                      1. re: Mister Big

                        What's with the nastiness? Urban BBQ is fine, but it's hardly on par with the best places you'd find in Tennessee, Texas or Carolina. It's pretty good or close-to-DC BBQ... which means some people are going to like it and some aren't. Why jump down someone's throat with such disdain for not being a fan?

                        I do think the food at the Rockville branch is somewhat inconsistent. Still love those soul rolls, although I prefer to split an order with someone so i can have some ribs or something and not feel like a big old fatty. I tried their new-ish "dirty rib sandwich" last time I was there and really enjoyed it - reminded me a little of the rib tips I used to get in St. Louis.

                      2. re: ciaoda

                        I beg to differ. Manequan Pis is very good, Ricutti's wood burning stove pizza is good (love the carmelized onion, roasted pepper with gargonzola cheese)and it's desert pizza is unique and great. Its not 2 Amys or Pizza Paradiso but it isn't that far behind. The Olney Grill has outstanding crab bisque, Nawlins style bbq shrimp and fresh oysters and the rest of the bar food is good and sometimes very good and its a nice neighborhood restaurant.. Wassabi Zen has great sushi that can stand up to the best sushi I have had in DC. We have no deli any longer and I go to wheaton or rockville for chinese. And finally I know plenty of foodies who live here that you couldn't hold a candle to. Don't come to Olney to eat, we hate standing in lines.

                2. Tried the new place and liked it. That area needs more decent restaurants. If I recollect accurately, KFC puts a lot more salt in their potatos (and everything else), maybe that's what you like. I think Urbans slaw is very good.

                  1. Actually, if the ribs are "fall off the bone" they are overdone. They should be tender and meaty, but still on the bone.

                    I prefer my brisket to have more fat that Urban keeps on theirs (they smoke it properly, just trim it more than I like) but that is a matter of doing what most of thier customers want, not necessarily what they think is authentic. They have told me that they get complaints if there is much fat.

                    I've never been a big fan of BBQ chicken of any kind, so I have no opinion. I can't stand the mashed potatos at KFC so I disagree, and I like the slaw at Urban but wish it had more tang.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dinwiddie

                      I stopped by Urban BBQ in Sandy Spring to pick up dinner this evening. I hadn't been there in about a month and was jonesing for some ribs and the wonderful wings. They seemed to have tweeked the recipe for the ribs, and if anything they are better than ever. Lots of smoky goodness, tender yet not falling off the bone. Perfectly done. I like the way they have cut the ribs most of the way for you, you can just pull one off the rack. The wings were everything I could ask for, meaty, perfectly grilled, great blue cheese dressing to go with them. An order of the wings is a meal in itself. One thing I love about Urban is that I can get collard greens. I don't know anywhere else in the area that serves them. Love them, lighty sweet, lots of bits of pork infused in them, and so tender they melt in your mouth. The mac and cheese was creamy, just a bit of bite, and very good. And the cornbread, I dream about that cornbread. My son wanted the brisket, and it was perfect, tender, smoky, flavorful and a huge portion. I don't know that others don't like about this place, I think it is the best BBQ in the area.

                    2. I tried Old Hickory Grill in Burtonsville last weekend. I'd not been there in well over 5 years.
                      The Rib & Chicken combo was really good. Very flavorful, cooked just right. The redskin smashed taters were quite tasty as well.