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Dec 7, 2011 08:50 PM

New Bad to the Bone Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant in Gainesville, VA

Just wanted to update all you foodies on the new Bad to the Bone Smokehouse BBQ restaurant that recently opened in Gainesville, VA in October 2011. My family and I have eaten there several times and enjoyed the food, etc.

Bad to the Bone has smoked brisket, chopped and pulled pork, smoked wings, will smoke full turkeys, smoked sausages, and other great smoked meats including ribs. Two VA Tech grads and their family opened this great bbq restaurant in the same shopping center as the Wegmans Gainesville Stonewall Shops Square shopping center.

The restaurant makes its own homemade coleslaw, redskin potato salad, salads, bbq sauces, the best sweet and unsweet tea, and other sides. Homemade southern style pies too. No, I do not work for the store; but we are from GA and have been longing for real Southern style bbq and the "fixins".

You won't be disappointed. Also, they have beer and a bar with TV(s) for all you game watchers.

They also make Brunswick Stew and feature homemade soups, They will smoke you a turkey too.

Web site is below--enjoy!


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  1. how does this compare with sonny's?

    the owners posted on the most recent bbq thread, but it was removed…..

    1. Where were you last week? I was out at Manassas Battlefield Jonesin' for BBQ and the fair BBQ place on 29 was closed down. I will definitely check this place out, it would be great to have a rib joint nearby, but Brunswick Stew, too? That piques the imagination a bit. I used to make my own Brunswick Stew and it is a real cold weather dish.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ziv

        you lookin' to eat some squirrel, ziv? LOL

        ps, menmom1 also mentioned this place as a heads up in october. i know...i missed it too!

        1. re: alkapal

          Considering what my neighborhood squirrels did to my kayak last fall when I left it on my balcony, they ought to consider themselves LUCKY I don't prepare my Brunswick Stew with the old fashioned recipe! ;-)
          But I have to admit, at least they only chewed away holes in the top of my boat. It must have looked like Squirrel Marriott Suites when I left it out there...

      2. I'm at Wegmans at least once a week and never saw this place. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll have to look tomorrow when I"m there.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Manassas64

          Yes, Bad to the Bone is similar to Sonny's BBQ based in SE States (FL, GA, NC, and SC) areas. We like Bad to the Bone better.

          A local lady from Warrenton makes their pies. They rotate their soups/stews--just check their web site or FB page for details.

          I read elsewhere that Absolute BBQ was not that great either.

          Well worth the trip.


          1. re: menmom1

            homemade pies?????

            that alone should raise the bar!

            1. re: alkapal

              I'm going to day. The pies sold me.

              1. re: Manassas64

                yep. i was thinking, could i eat pie after the bbq sampler? homemade? yeah, sure i could!

                i looked it up -- 34 miles from my house, though. ;-(.

            2. re: menmom1

              Hi menmom -- I lived in Gainesville FL for a year and ate at Sonny's A LOT -- AYCE rib night mainly, given that I was a poor student at the time. I would consider Sonny's to be decent BBQ. Once you've eaten at a place like Sweatman's in SC, you know what really good barbecue is.

              So, I am going to be moderately optimistic about Bad to the Bone. Gainesville is about a 20-minute drive for us so we will give it a shot.

              1. re: Bob W

                i'd say sonny's various locations had somewhat different quality q. on the whole ist was pretty consistent though. of course, the best i've had was from my cousins' smoke q trailer.

          2. I went today on my way home from Wegmans and got some to go. If you all hadn't told me this was there and I was determined to look for it, I never would have found it. The sign blends in with the brick.

            As for the BBQ, don't go by me, I'm not a BBQ enthusiast, but I do enjoy it occasionally and make pulled pork at home in the crockpot when the mood hits me. I thought it had great taste (pre-sauce), it wasn't dry and not fatty at all. I ordered the kids pulled pork sandwich. It came with BBQ sauce and they have 2 sauces on the counter to choose from, a sweet whiskey and another one. Both good, on the sweet side (which I like).

            My sandwich came with one side, so I had sweet potato fries. The fries were good, but they do put cinnamon on them and the scent of the cinnamon is really strong at first, even though the taste on the fries is very subtle. It kind of put me off for a bit. So if you don't want cinnamon mixed with your BBQ, go for the regular fries or have them keep them very separate.

            For the pie, I'm sorry to say, it's a no go. This is my area of expertise and one bone I have to pick with pie is that is should not be refrigerated, especially if it's baked daily. Refrigeration makes the crust soggy :( And, cold pie is just not right. I brought mine to room temperature and it's good, but as I said, the crust lost its oomph for me. So if what you love about pie is the crust, don't drive out of your way for the pie. I ordered the pumpkin praline which was the special pie today.

            What I liked about the place was that they have good, fresh iced tea. Nothing ruins a good meal than old, nasty, been-sittin-all-week iced tea.

            I also like that it was clean and they were cleaning during the midday lull (it was 4:15, a couple of guys were in the bar area watching the big tv screen and another couple was in the dining area eating. And they were cleaning like it was closing. Nothing I love more than a place that does a deep clean more than once a day. They were cleaning under the booths and wiping down all the seats.

            I'll definitely go back and would love to get to the pie early in the day before it's spent the day on ice. Otherwise, I might just have to drive to Warrenton ;o)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Manassas64

              thanks manassas. cinnamon on fries? how bizarre!

              1. re: alkapal

                I always go for sweet potato fries if they are an option, this was the first time they had cinnamon.

                In Vermont, they serve sweet potato fries with maple syrup, but they serve everything with maple syrup there ;o)

            2. Do they cook over an open pit?

              7 Replies
              1. re: dcbbq


                We went back to Bad to the Bone today while Christmas shopping. Great food and service as usual.

                The bbq is cooked over an open pit and they use hickory wood too, I believe. Just check their web site for more info.

                  1. re: JRCann

                    hardly. It is a core question. "Barbecue" places in and around DC do not cook over an open pit. I believe there are environmental regs

                    1. re: dcbbq

                      how are you defining open pit?

                      1. re: xdcx

                        At minimum, cooked over wood and/or charcoal with wood smoke. It is best if the fire is low and direct so that the fat from the meat hits the coals and turns into smoke (rather than flames, as where the fire is too hot) and adds another layer to the flavor. An indirect fire also works, so long as there is plenty of wood smoke. No gas, no electricity.

                        1. re: dcbbq

                          Indeed. I've never understood why so many books tell you to douse the flare-ups with water. They add flavor, in fact if you have the right design in a gas grill, you get plenty of flavor from burning drippings.

                          I recently had some truly awesome pit beef and the best hamburger I've ever eaten at Roger's Grillin just east of Glen Rock, PA and Roger actually tosses in fatty scraps from his bottom round to add character--does it work? Well, that burger was literally the best I've ever had, and I could certainly see driving a couple of hours each way to have another.

                          3805 Sticks Road, Glen Rock PA 17327, 410-861-6830 (cell)
                          Call first since he's open variable hours Thu-Sun

                          ~ Kiran

                    2. re: JRCann

                      or if you're refering to the oxymoronic character of the name (there being no real bbq in DC (except what I make myself)) the name is an expression of hope. Man's reach must exceed his grasp....