2fifty, Riverdale Park, Maryland

UPDATE:  2fifty has moved into their permanent location, just around the corner.  Currently, they’re open Wednesday through Sunday, with some outside seating (and inside whenever the law allows).   There’s parking across the street.

2fifty has the best brisket in Maryland, possibly the best brisket this side of … possibly, the best this side of Texas.  I have more eating to do — I only had lean brisket at Sloppy Mama’s  UPDATE: Their moist brisket is very good but short of 2fifty’s — but this is genuinely great.   It’s better than Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina and right up there with ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue in Richmond.   That is, the brisket is sensational.

Nancy and I strolled in during the early days when 2fifty was just a Sunday pop-up in a Pizza parlor spac.  We, looked at the menu and ordered a quarter pound of everything — brisket, pork, ribs, and turkey — and a sausage link.

250 tx menu

We also got some potato salad, cole slaw, and caramelized pineapple.  I was there by the scale, and ok’d a little extra pork and brisket, a bit over a half pound of ribs,

250 tx weigh

and around an eighth of a pound of turkey, and a sausage.  Take a look.

250 tx tray

Let’s take them in order.  The brisket was startling.  It was very moist, very tender — plastic fork tender — and tasted delicious.  I was really surprised.  It exceeded expectations by miles.  It really was Texas good.   It beats Texas Jack’s like a red-headed stepchild.

The pork also was quite good, moist and tender with a nice bit of oak smoke and that great pork flavor.  And the ribs also were tender, just barely al dente, and flavored with smoke.  Nice.  The sausage, graced with some jalapeño, was outstanding.  It’s made to 2fifty Texas’ own recipe by a local company.  And Nancy said that the smoked turkey was the best she’d had.  I took a bite and agreed that it was good, but with pork, brisket, ribs, and sausage in front of me, how much attention do you think I’m going to pay to turkey.?  I mean, really, people.

Let’s go to the sides.  The slaw was good, if a touch over-dressed, as was the potato salad (and, say, 90 seconds overcooked?)  The pineapple was great.  I wouldn’t have ordered it, but Nancy wanted to try it.  Whoa!  I think of it as a side, but, this being up North, it should be a dessert, sweet pineapple seasoned with cinnamon.  Great.

So 2fifty Texas is a great place, the top barbecue place in the Washington area.  But there’s a catch.  2fifty Texas currently is only open on Sunday — for now.  Update:  Check new hours and location.  The Gonzalez family uses a pizza place on Sundays while they work on opening their own place two doors down.  As a public service, I’m asking the voters of  Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland to rise up and press their elected officials to get the applications expedited so that you and I can eat there more often.  (UPDATE:  They now have all permits, and ar fully open.)  Thank you all.

I like that 2fifty Texas is a family business.  The Gonzalez family consists of Fernando, his wife, Debby, and his brothers, Moses and Samuel.  Debby is at the cash register, and Fernando slices and weighs the meat.  After tasting the brisket, I asked Fernando if they were from Texas.  No, El Salvador, but Samuel went to Texas to learn.  To be precise, Samuel went not only to Texas but to Aaron Franklin’s school, and I tell you, he paid attention, much more attention that I ever paid in school.  And he must have shared every lesson with his brothers and Debby.  That — and some natural talent — is why they have Texas-worthy brisket, brisket that actually is very good by Texas standards.

They have a custom-make smoker.

250 tx cooker

And they cook exclusively with wood — oak, as is traditional in Texas — with no gas or electricity, just wood.  This is True ‘Cue, meat cooked the way it should be, and cooked with consummate skill.

Although it’s only been in its current quarter for a short time, 2fifty Texas already is part of the community.  Debby and Fernando call customers by name, and there’s a lot of chatter and laughter among the customers.  The Gonzalez family sets a warm atmosphere.  And they’re good people.  Lest I forget, this is a perfect restaurant for the hearing impaired.  I learned from a local outlet that Fernanado is fluent in ASL and has been helping deaf communities in El Salvador for years.  The family also has been in close touch with the local hearing impaired community while they’ve been preparing for their brick and mortar place.  They’re actively looking for ASL fluent employees.  Pass it on.

I definitely will go back to 250 Texas.  You really ought to try it, too.  You’ll thank me.  You’re welcome.


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8 thoughts on “2fifty, Riverdale Park, Maryland

  1. This is not the first I’ve heard of 2Fifty. At my work, four years ago, several employees mentioned good BBQ at 2Fifty. After being advised that they were open only on Sundays, I’ve had difficulty arranging my schedule to accommodate. I’m a night owl. This report confirms that I’ll have to make a more concerted effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They also are at the Thursday farmers market there with a limited menu. I don’t know if that helps a lot. It’s well worth the effort, though.
      Thanks for the comment! Keep ‘em coming!


  2. John, there are a couple of BBQ subjects on which I’d like you to comment. Should I enter them on your blog? Or, if you’d prefer, I can send them to your email. I don’t want them positioned relative to a restaurant review. One topic I’d like to address is the price of BBQ in today’s market. Let me know.
    Nick Mueller


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