Best BBQ off Rte 95?
We're traveling from NYC to Savannah, Ga., via Route 95 in the next couple of weeks, with stops at DC, Richmond, Charleston, and Beaufort. What are some of the don't-miss places for barbecue that don't require a hundred-mile detour off the main drag?
THERE IS A PLACE CALLED SMOKEY PIG IN ASHLAND, VA JUST NORTH OF RICHMOND.
GREAT BBQ -VA STYLE - BUT THEY HAVE SOME NC VINEGAR SAUCE YOU CAN USE AS WELL (I LIKE VA)
HOWEVER THE BEST IS PIERCES OFF I-64 -EAST OF RICHMOND IN LIGHTFOOT VA -exit 234 (pierces.com). YOU'LL PROBABLY GO AROUND RICHMOND ON 295 SO JUST GET OFF 64 WEST AND IT'S ABOUT 35 MILES. WORTH THE TRIP. HAVE THE PORK BBQ AND BACK RIBS(THEY'RE THE BEST.
What do you mean by "VA Style"? I see this phrase get tossed around a lot on threads about Virginia barbecue, but I've never found Virginia to have a distinct style. All barbecue I've ever had in Virginia has either been eastern NC style or something imported, like a generic Kansas city style. Virginia does have barbecue beef in eastern NC sauce, but everywhere I've seen it, it's been offered alongside pork, not instead of it.
At the risk of starting a war, I feel Smokey Pig has slipped a bit and we used to eat there a lot. Their catering was fantastic, whole hog and the hushpuppies were unbelievable....were.
I would vote for Buz and Ned's (note 1 "z" in Buz) on the Boulevard in Richmond right at the 95/64 interchange. I prefer the pulled pork to the ribs, but they are both quite good and the baked beans are really excellent. Buz beat Bobby Flay ( I know, not too, too difficult) so I'm sure you could find lots of references to that online, plus "Flay Slayer" t-shirts at the shop.
Pierces is really good too, a bit tomato-y for some, but I love it. It is an hour each way out of your 95 path. Worth it, depends on how much time you have, but with Buz and Neds's right there it might be hard to justify the extra drive. Both can get crowded, Pierces insanely so on warm weather weekends, but they run pretty efficiently.
That's my Richmond area 2-cents; hope this helps!