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Mar 28, 2010 05:53 PM

BBQ recs on the way to Williamsburg, VA

Hounds -

The family and I are spending the week in WBurg VA and I'd like BBQ suggestions along the way and in/around the 'Burg proper. I've heard of Pierce's - is it worth the visit?

Thanks so much -

Cocinero Cubano

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  1. Buz and Ned's in Richmond is the only place I recommend (for the ribs - get the mac n cheese also). Do not go to the place in Ashland, Smokey Pig?

    1. Pierce's isn't my favorite BBQ place, but then I'm more of a fan of North Carolina-style BBQ, rather than the red sauce type. Pierce's is the red sauce BBQ-style. And for that, it's okay. Frankly, I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Especially given that the place is usually packed to the gills with tourists who heard it was a fantastic BBQ place. Especially for weekends, it can be super tough to find a table. Add on the time it takes to order and wait for them to call your number and eating there can be a lot more time-consuming than you'd think. During busy times, don't expect to cruise in, snag an immediate meal and easily score a table. I'll leave it to locals to say whether or not this place is really making its money off of tourists and families who saw the sign on I-64, but that's my guess. So far as red sauce-style goes, this is no different from any place you've been to with BBQ of that style. Unremarkable. Not bad, by any means. Just not above the rest. I will say that they offer more options than a lot of BBQ restaurants. Pork, beef and chicken. Plates with sides and sandwiches. But for that style of BBQ, the sauce really seems to be the deciding factor in what separates good from great. In my mind, it isn't great. It's good. I really do presume you can find better.

      Wish I could give you an alternative, but I'm not local to the area (being in C-ville, VA). I'll leave that to others.

      3 Replies
      1. re: CogitoErgoBibo


        Don't even think about going to Pierce's for BBQ. It is a very saucy mess where you don't even taste the meat. There is nothing else in that town. If your going through Richmond, only go to Buzz and Neds for ribs. The best if your right in town is Alamo's. It's take out but they do have tables outside. It's a little hard to find but worth it. They cook on wood and you can taste the smoke and the meat. Google it for the address.

        1. re: 1stump

          I was unimpressed with Pierce's as well. Do I understand correctly that the Alamo is in Richmond? I once got carryout from a place on a major road not all that far from the Coliseum, but I don't remember the name....

          1. re: Steve

            Hey Steve, the Alamo is in the middle of an old section of Richmond. As far as the city goes, it's not off a major road and a little distance from the Coliseum ~ 2miles. There are plenty of joints but beware! Not really but Richmond is not BBQ heaven! I work next door to the Coliseum and don't know of any place within walking distance that is worth it. My nose should smell it or read about it! I have to say though, there are some other places around the town that are say 25 mile riding trip places to visit.

      2. Pierce's is Tennessee-style BBQ--the sauce is heavy on the allspice. It's not about the meat but rather the sauce. If the weather's nice there's plenty of outdoor tables if you can't get one inside. No, it won't be the most awesome BBQ ever but it's fine for what it is and it's not a trip to the 'Burg without a trip to the Pitt.

        Buz & Ned's is HIGHLY overrated and has been since it got Food Network Disease. The best barbecue in Richmond is Benny's on Forest Hill Avenue. I live in Richmond and have tried most of the major barbecue places but Benny's consistently delivers.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MandalayVA

          I love to talk about BBQ so I'm just talking! All in good conversation. Beat me up afterwards!

          I don't understand, "it's about the sauce and not the meat" when you talk BBQ. A sauce can cover up a lot of problems with the whole low and slow process of making good BBQ. When you can make a good sauce for pasta that fits. There are only a few restaurants that are good in Williamsburg and many are better than Pierces so I think the original poster should explore other alternatives. BTW, that new BBQ place in Norge is terrible to me.

          I agree, Buz is really overrated. You live in Richmond, it's the same thing as Bottoms Up pizza to me. Benny's, I live a few miles from there but it's gas with some smoke added. Don't know if it's chunks, chips or whatever. I go there all the time. Your right, they are very consistent and very good comfort food! Great that they support Legend brewery as well. Can't remember who said it but when you don't use all or mostly all wood then "please, say it's a good sandwich but please don't call it BBQ". That's where I think Benny's is.

          I cook on a Weber bullet and it's really hard to keep one fire going and feed the meat while keeping the temp just right with the right amount of smoke. I like to stick to tradition at home and the places I feel should be rewarded for their efforts.

          My mouth is watering, I'm ready for a trip to Ayden, NC!

          1. re: 1stump

            I've never gotten anything other than a sandwich at Pierce's and it's been my experience that the majority that go there don't get anything other than sandwiches, hence my "sauce over meat" thing. I keep meaning to try PQ's as it's fairly near my house and I've heard consistent raves about it but Benny's is on my way home from work, LOL. If the OP is up to a drive there's always Cowlings on US 460, which is real pit Q (even the Kings' locations in Petersburg do gas and smoke).

            1. re: MandalayVA

              PQs is pressured cooked pork. Where did you read raves about it? Just wondering. Yep, the King's family has gone through some tough times I've heard and yes they now just finish the meat on wood after it's cooked. Kinda like a fast food place but a little better.

              I haven't been to Cowlings in a couple of years. I used to work with a guy in the family. Need to get there soon. However, I've never seen a stack of wood on the property.

              1. re: 1stump

                There's some threads on here where PQ's is mentioned, also a couple other sites. It's not a huge priority for me to get there.

                And maybe at Cowlings they hide the wood. ;)

        2. To all that visit Williamsburg. This is a great BBQ and family resturant if you like home cooking and down south style BBQ. My family and I have eat at every BBQ resturant between the local cities and can highly recommend this spot. Smokin Joes is also a good place to eat in Norge but is very small and looks not well kept but the food is good but not as good as Hog Wild. I can't say enough about how you should not eat at Pierce's BBQ unless you enjoy greasy fatty pork, even though many people eat there. Wild Hogs provides down home BBQ, slaw, baked beans and home made bisquits with each meal. Hope you enjoy your time in WMB.

          Hog Wild Smokehouse
          8864 Richmond Rd W, Toano, VA 23168