The Best Quarantine Dining: 2fifty Texas BBQ, Riverdale Park, Maryland

UPDATE:  Their new place is open at 4700 Riverdale Rd, Riverdale Park.  Try it!

What a great place to get barbecue!  I first went to 2fifty Texas as part of my duties with the Campaign for Real Barbecue to find places in the region that cook barbecue exclusively with wood or coals: no gas or electrical heat allowed.  As part of my duties, I ate some of their barbecue — quite a bit, actually — and examined the cooking operation before handing over the coveted True ‘Cue window sticker.  Always look for it.

I reviewed 2fifty Texas here.  I won’t repeat the background — the training under Aaron Franklin and the really interesting backgrounds of the Gonzalez family.  Let me just tell you that they are great people who do a lot for their community, and who make great barbecue.  Naturally, the very first place I went for carry-out during the lockdown was 2fifty Texas.  That’s especially remarkable because they’re only open Sunday afternoons, at least for now.

UPDATE:  You can buy vacuum packed meats at Dumm’s Corner, right by 2fifty Texas, Monday to Saturday.  They’re ready to eat or re-heat.  You can call their main restaurant phone number 301-277-2208 for an updated list of available meats  Give them a try!

Nancy and I are behaving well in the health crisis, and Nancy made me a couple of custom masks.

masks

We headed off to 2fifty Texas, and Doug Jacobson, the Kansas City Barbecue Maven, met us  there.

250 masks

Doug’s a good looking guy, isn’t he?

I had called ahead for a few things for Nancy and me.

250meat

Apologies for the picture.  Wrapped in foil is the pork, right next to it a chicken leg quarter, below that is a sausage, and below that is some brisket wrapped in paper.  On the right are some potato salad and slaw.

The food:  Great, great brisket.  Wonderful sausage.  Exceptional smoked chicken, and very good pork.  And Nancy enjoyed the potato salad and slaw while I focused on the meat.  If you want brisket, 2fifty Texas is easily worth a 100-mile drive.  I don’t know that you can find better within 1,000 miles.  Really.

Oh — a word about their sauce.  It’s really good.  I only use sauce on brisket in extremis,  and, consistent with modern science, I only use vinegar-heavy sauces on pork, so I hadn’t tasted it on my earlier trip.  It turns out to be very good, well seasoned and balanced.  It’s  the sort of sauce that complements the meat.

The next day, Nancy and I had Doug and Emily over for a glass of wine on our front porch, (which we’ve re-arranged so that we can sit 8 or 10 feet away from another couple).  Doug and Emily’s verdict was the same was mine, just with a slight change in superlatives.  They had pork, brisket, and sausage, and raved about all three.  The upshot was that we agreed to take turns driving out to Riverdale Park every Sunday to get more barbecue.

Oh — and 2fifty Texas just got the last permit for their permanent location, so they’ll be open full time when they get everything squared away.  That’s one more thing for which I really can’t wait.

I should add that the ordering and pickup was safe and seamless:  I paid by credit card upon ordering, and we all had masks and gloves and maintained social distance —  and that nice container can be recycled.  And the food was hot and ready to go at the appointed hour — and still nice and hot when we got home.

You really should support these people.  They elevate the area barbecue to a whole new level.  If you live in or anywhere near the DC area, you need to head to 2fifty Texas the first chance you get.

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And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the destination city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, often close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

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