Editors' pick

Urban Bar-B-Que Company

American, Barbecue
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

2005 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, October 16, 2005

In spite of its name and its suburban setting, the Urban Bar-B-Que Company comes off as being in the country. The welcoming howdy from whoever's at the counter fuels a laidback spirit, as does the intentionally scruffy interior. "Spitting is positively prohibited" warns a weathered sign. A shelf of cookbooks includes The Joy of Cooking -- and Biker Billy Cooks With Fire. Then there's the real reason for your visit: meaty (and hot!) chicken wings, zippy chili, vinegary pulled pork and soothing side dishes such as macaroni and cheese and baked beans. Beef brisket was shamefully citified -- boring -- on one of my recent pit stops there, and collard greens lacked punch. Yet "Dave's Almost Famous Crab Cake" came as a happy surprise (co-owner David Calkins shouldn't be so modest), and Key lime pie had pitch-perfect tang. Fans used to have to rush for an available stool, but Urban recently added 28 more seats -- and beer and wine -- to its list of draws.