VA BBQ that isn't Rocklands or Dixie Bones
Those are the only two off this list that I'm familiar with. Any folks had any experience with these? Worth a drive from downtown?
After reading that list, I'd be surprised if the author has actually eaten at many, or ANY, of these places that are being excessively praised. Some of them might actually be good, but that blog post smacks of compilation of comments pulled off the Internet and pasted together, possibly paid for with $ from those listed.
I've been to #'s 4, 6,9,11,14,15 and 16, and would recommend Rocklands, though it can be spotty, and the BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville, which is a nice, pretty drive from the city.
Buz and Ned's is very good for ribs and also mac n cheese, but I wouldn't get their chopped pork. It's been a long time since I've been, though.
I don't care for Pierce's, but again, it's been a while.
Hill Country is good, but is in DC. Hmmmm.
Some of the items at Harry's Smokehouse in Arlington (Pentagon City Mall) are good. There is also a new upscale BBQ place a couple of blocks away from it (behind the Costco) but I haven't tried it.
Carolina Brothers in Ashburn is good, although it doesn't have a huge selection.
Pork Barrel BBQ opened a restaurant in Alexandria. I haven't been there but have had their food at events and it is good.
You may want to check out Dizzy Pig BBQ's event calendar. They are a grilling supply store in Manassas and teach grilling classes and have a line of spice rubs but they als are a competitive grilling team--they compete in BBQ festivals, and those festivals may interest you.