Three Pigs Barbeque

$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

By Nancy Lewis
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Three Pigs Barbecue in McLean was once one of the region's best, at least for pulled pork, Carolina style. Today the strip mall restaurant looks tired and the staff seems uninterested. The day I was in, dirty dishes sat on several tables long after lunch, though there were at least three employees on hand.

There is no distinct smoky smell, and the pulled pork ($9.75 a pound) -- sliced and then chopped -- is uniformly gray in color. But it is meaty and juicy, with a strong pork flavor. It needs a sauce with some zing, but what passed for Carolina sauce is mild vinegar with scant red pepper.

The ribs ($12.99 a slab) are stringy, mushy and tough at the same time. The potato salad is mushy and bland. But the coleslaw! Someone here remembers how to make it! Finely chopped cabbage and carrot has just the right zing of vinegar and sweetness.