Best barbecue photo
(Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post)

Best barbecue

The Washington Post Staff  |  Updated 02/24/2011

At these joints, the meat is what matters.

 

Urban Bar-B-Que Company

Rockville, MD

With Formica-topped tables and bumper-stickered walls, the original location in Rockville is a homey spot to dig into the moist, lightly crusted pork ribs, peppery pork sausage and juicy pulled pork studded with bits of char. The potato salad has the perfect consistency, the coleslaw bursts with freshness, and the sauces balance sweet and spice.

 

Smokeshack Ribs BBQ Restaurant

Fort Washington, MD

At this takeout joint, an honest-to-God pitman tends the hickory-flaming grill-cum-smoker. The ribs are a magnificent combination of grill, smoke and crispy succulence. The pulled pork zings with tart, peppery flavor. Alas: The sides are middling; the sauces undistinguished. But, man, that meat!

 

KBQ Real Barbecue

Bowie, MD

When you ask for brisket from the fatty end, the counter worker at this unadorned eatery responds, "It's the best part." Her knowledge is reflected in KBQ's expertly cooked meat, which also includes toothsome chopped pork and pleasingly chewy ribs. The mac and cheese is yummy and crusty, the mustardy potato salad has a just-right texture, and the sweet tea is freshly brewed.

 

Carolina Brothers

Ashburn, VA

The country-store ambiance of this wood-planked eatery sets the perfect tone for down-home hickory-smoked barbecue. The pulled pork is luscious; its sauce, zingy. The richly glazed pork ribs slip off the bone. The sweet baked beans and refreshing coleslaw are house-made, and you can purchase bottles of the spot-on sauces.

 

Dixie Bones BBQ

Woodbridge, VA

The spotless family restaurant seems too, well, spotless. But the hickory-smoked, lightly sauced, specially trimmed spare ribs and the 10-hour unseasoned chopped pork beat back your fears. Not convinced? Try the cornmeal-encrusted fried catfish, wonderful skillet-baked corn bread and a red sauce handed down to the Alabama-native owner from his mother.

 

Mr. P's

Washington, DC

Place your order at the window of the converted school bus in the Safeway parking lot, put everything atop the trunk of your car and go crazy. The meaty, smartly seasoned pork ribs are cooked to a beautiful chewiness. The big beef ribs are smoked to a withering fare-thee-well. The tart minced pork keeps you shoving forkfuls in your mouth. A longtime pitman, Mr. P (real name: Fate Pittman -- perfect or what?) is around Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Get there early before he runs out of something.

 

Go Out Lists
A fun way to save and share your favorites

These are Post writers' picks, but what are yours? Make your own list to show others what you recommend. Here's how to get started.

 
 
 
 
 
What You've Recently Viewed On Going Out Guide

E-mail This List to a Friend

Best barbecue

(Enter the e-mail address of the recipient(s), separated by commas. Please limit to 10 recipients. )

chars typed
 
Submit
 
 
 
 
Cancel
 
 
 
 
 

Save to Go Out List

You must be signed in to complete this action. Sign In or Register

Editors' Picks: Best barbecue
Expand
What is this toolbar at the bottom of my screen?
It's a new way to save your ideas about places to go and shows to see in Washington, and it can help you find things to do with your friends.
See something interesting?
Click on the I want to go button to add it to your Want to go list. The number on the button shows how many people want to go. If you're signed in with a Facebook account, your friends can see where you'd like to go.
Already been there?
If you have been to a place or event already, click the I've been there button to add it to your Been there list. The number shows how many people have been there. If you're signed in with a Facebook account, your friends can see where you've been.
Where are my lists?
The things you add to your Want to go and Been there lists will be saved for you. Click on your username anytime to view your list and see all those ideas.
When you want to keep your plans private, turn off the sharing toggle. You'll be able to save items to your lists without sharing them on Facebook.
Why should I sign in with Facebook?
It can help you make plans with friends for things to do together. When you share your Want to go and Been there lists with your Facebook friends, it's easy to see when you and your friends want to go to the same place.
Close
For a better experience, Please login with Facebook
What are the benefits of connecting with Facebook?
Sharing your ideas about places to go and things to see just got easier. Share your Want to go and Been there lists with Facebook friends and see where your friends want to go or where they've been and make plans together.
Ready to get started?
Log in to Facebook
Close