Dave’s BBQ, Virginia Beach, Virginia

I toured around Norfolk a bit after a big lunch at Redwood Smoke Shack before wandering over to Dave’s BBQ in Virginia Beach. You have to pay close attention to find Dave’s. Ignore traffic and focus on the roadside. Ah, there it is!

That’s all the warning you get, and even after you turn in, you have to keep looking. Dave’s is in the back of the small Atlantic Electric Vehicles building. It may help to roll down the window and sniff the breeze.

Dave’s is pretty straightforward. There are the cookers outside, fueled only by wood, and there are some picnic tables that would be very pleasant on a dry day. Inside there’s a menu and a place to order.

If you’re creative, there’s a place for one person to sit. It’s a tiny space, enlivened by the fact that someone is always in line ordering and discussing food.

I ordered a pork plate with potato salad and some Chipotle slaw.

That’s some delicious pork — smoky and moist — and a lot of it. It was nice to get back to pork after a brisket place and before another for a third lunch/early dinner, and this pork is very good. Dave’s has three different sauces, and I tried some of the North Carolina sauce out of curiosity and a sense of duty. It was good but hardly necessary. The potato salad was good, a bit over-dressed, while the chipotle slaw was great. It had a wonderful flavor and bite, and the abundance of dressing turned out to be a feature rather than a bug, as we computer geeks like to say.

Dave Brown has had his place for four years. Here’s a news clip about it. In addition to the pork, Dave cooks ribs, two kinds of sausage, turkey, chicken (for smoked chicken salad), and brisket, all cooked exclusively with wood. Sides include baked beans, a creamy slaw, and banana pudding, which for some reason he lists as a dessert along with various brownies, cookies, and cakes. Everything except the soft drinks and potato chips is made in house.

I really enjoyed my lunch at Dave’s, and I expect it would be even better on a dry day when you can sit outside with others. You should go to Dave’s, and do try the pork.


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 city, state or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvreor 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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