Wagyu vs. Prime at 2fifty Texas BBQ, Riverdale Park, Maryland

I finally managed to get back to 2fifty Texas BBQ, easily the best barbecue place in the Washington area. They’ve changed a lot since my first few visits. They’ve moved to their permanent location (which is really nice) and added a lot of outdoor seating. They’ve expanded their hours to include Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday, and are shooting to open Thursdays as well. The target date is October 15. Oh, you can arrange for a tour of their pit in action. And you should.

What 2fifty Texas hasn’t changed is the outstanding job they do smoking meats, especially their world-class brisket. Indeed, they’ve kicked things up a notch. It’s easier for them to get quality meat, and 2fifty now offers a choice of either wagyu or prime brisket. That left me with a tough choice: which to get.

I got both. And having both, I decided to do a comparison, a taste-test. Which would be better?

My choice to get both will not surprise regular readers, nor will the fact that I decided to get some sausage as well. Again, there was a choice: cheese and jalapeño or jalapeño and spice. Ever decisive, I got both. And some turkey for Nancy.

I know, I know. Those are lousy pictures even by my low standards. I should have taken time to arrange the meat, improve the lighting, and frame a nice shot. But I had just driven for an hour with the seductive aroma of the meat tantalizing meal every one of those minutes. There is a limit to what mortal flesh can bear. Go to the instagram account, 2fiftytexasbbq, for some really good pictures. Really good.

Back to the food. I’ll start by saying, as I have said before, that 2fifty’s smoked turkey is the best turkey in the area. And their sausages uniformly are great. I’m a big fan of the sausage and jalapeño, and I think the jalapeño and spices may be even better.

Now to the wagyu-prime comparison. The wagyu was a nice slice from the moist end of the brisket, while the prime was cut from the point of the lean end. The two cuts, of course, make for an apples and oranges comparison: it would be like comparing Eastern and Western North Carolina barbecue. The moist end of the brisket is much more tender and, well, moist than the lean end. In the vast majority of barbecue places, meat from the lean end of the brisket arrives dried out and unpalatable without lashings of sauce backed up by pickles, onions, and jalapeños. The moist end is much easier to cook, and almost invariably tastes better.

Which is better, wagyu or prime? To do a real comparison, I’ll have to judge comparable cuts side by side. That means going back for a slice of moist end from each, and going back again for a slice of lean end from each. Two more trips to 2fifty Texas. Heh, heh. Regular readers may have guessed that this would be the outcome.

You owe it to yourself to go to 2fifty Texas and get some great barbecue. You deserve it.

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