Mason-Dixon Cafe, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Nancy and I went to the Pottery Barn Outlet in Fredericksburg in search of a low price on some furniture. The place turned out to be mainly an outlet for returned furniture — returned for good reason. We left empty handed and started looking for a place to eat lunch. My barbecue research not having turned up any place that cooks exclusively with wood, we … Continue reading Mason-Dixon Cafe, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Smokehouse BBQ Shack, Mechanicsville, Maryland

Mechanicsville is no bigger than a minute, but it can claim both the Surgeon General of the United States and the House Majority Leader as native sons.  Pretty tall cotton — or tobacco.  That’s what they used to grow in Southern Maryland.  Now the tobacco is gone and the farmers are growing subdivisions.  But Mechanicsville is largely untouched by the Washington excrescence.  It’s still just … Continue reading Smokehouse BBQ Shack, Mechanicsville, Maryland

Recipe: Nancy Tanner’s Crab Cakes

We’ve been spending a lot of time on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, and Nancy has been looking for the best crab cakes around.  She also has been inspired to cook crab cakes herself, and has found and customized an excellent crab cake recipe she found here. This is an unusual (for me) recipe in that each element save one, about which more below, is … Continue reading Recipe: Nancy Tanner’s Crab Cakes

Michael Boyd’s Shrimpburgers

When I recapped the 2020 World Shrimpburger Competition, there was a voice of dissent. No less than John Shelton Reed, author of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, and co-founder of the Campaign for Real Barbecue, offered up the Shrimp Shack on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. In a comment, reader Ron Garner pointed me to a NY Times article touting the … Continue reading Michael Boyd’s Shrimpburgers

A Great Loss: Mike Wilson of SAW’s Barbecue

Mike Wilson, the genius behind SAW’s BBQ, SAW’s Soul Kitchen, and SAW’s Juke Joint, died over the Labor Day weekend, of all the weekends of the year. Mike opened SAW’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama, in 2009. The first time I went there, back in 2014, I posted that “SAW’s Barbecue in Homewood, Alabama, serves what may well be the moistest, most tender barbecue in the … Continue reading A Great Loss: Mike Wilson of SAW’s Barbecue

Rosemary Bistro and Cafe, Washington, DC

I walked straight down to Rosemary Bistro and Cafe for lunch the last time I was in town. It had excited a little controversy on the neighborhood listserve, with views pro and con, and I wanted to see for myself. I’d planned to go there the week before, but a malign fate took me across the street to Muchas Gracias. This time I stuck with … Continue reading Rosemary Bistro and Cafe, Washington, DC

Wilson County Barbecue, Portland, Maine

Some time back, as I was contemplating a future trip to Maine, I saw something about a place called Wilson County Barbecue in Portland, Maine. Or maybe I started thinking about a future trip to Maine after I saw about Wilson County Barbecue. My first question was, which Wilson County were they evoking?  There are three, one each in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. I … Continue reading Wilson County Barbecue, Portland, Maine

The Captain’s Kitchen Special Sauce Recipe Revealed!

Regular readers know that the Captain’s Kitchen has won the crown for the World’s Best Shrimpburger for the last three years, an unprecedented feat. There are many reasons for the Captain’s Kitchen’s ascendancy, and you can read the details of their 2019 triumph here. One key to the Captain’s Kitchen’s continuing success is that they never rest on their laurels. There’s always something new. For … Continue reading The Captain’s Kitchen Special Sauce Recipe Revealed!

How to Make Perfect Barbecue — And More!

Labor Day is fast approaching, and it’s best to start getting ready now.  It’s a great day to invite over a few friends — up to but not exceeding the legal limit — to relax, and to celebrate the day with you in a socially responsible manner. The key to a Labor Day celebration is, of course, barbecue.  By barbecue I mean pork butts or shoulders … Continue reading How to Make Perfect Barbecue — And More!