Rodman’s Bar-B-Que, Chesapeake, Virginia

I got a line on Rodman’s Bar-B-Que from the Dean of Virginia Barbecue, Joe Haynes. Joe has written a book on Virginia barbecue and is a driving force in the revival of traditional Virginia pork barbecue. He spends hours and hours recreating old recipes. And he told me to try Rodman’s Bar-B-Que in Chesapeake. So I did. It turns out that Rodman’s has been around … Continue reading Rodman’s Bar-B-Que, Chesapeake, Virginia

Ten Best Barbecue Places in Virginia

There was a time when candidates for office in Virginia wooed Virginia voters with barbecue, beer, and brandy. The voters wisely elected people like Washington, Madison, and Monroe. But where are the barbecues of yesteryear? By the late 20th century, when I moved to Washington, what little “barbecue” there was seemed to be cooked in ovens or crock pots, hardly a diet for another generation … Continue reading Ten Best Barbecue Places in Virginia

Paulie’s Pig Out, Afton, Virginia

You may not have been to Afton, Virginia, or even heard of it. Afton is off the beaten path, a bit south of Waynesboro, but it turns out to be worth a trip. I’d heard from Virginia barbecue scholar Joe Payne that Paulie’s Pig Out cooks barbecue with wood and wood alone, so I went to check as part of my responsibilities with the Campaign … Continue reading Paulie’s Pig Out, Afton, Virginia

Redemption BBQ, Henrico, Virginia

There’s been a lot of backsliding among barbecue places all over the country. Scores of places, seduced by set-and-forget smokers that offer a life of ease, have strayed from the great tradition of cooking with wood. But there is hope for Redemption, and it’s just outside Richmond. Virginia barbecue guru Joe Haynes alerted me to Redemption BBQ back when it was just a food truck. … Continue reading Redemption BBQ, Henrico, Virginia

County Smoak, Lynchburg, Virginia

After Allman’s and the Woodruff Cafe, I rushed down toward Lynchburg to County Smoak to determined whether it cooks only with wood and, more important, to meet with Mike Powers, a dedicated Road Fooder. Mike had driven down from Charlottesville to meet me, and while snow prevented a connection at the Woodruff Cafe, we did catch our fallback at County Smoak. It’s a smallish place … Continue reading County Smoak, Lynchburg, Virginia

Woodruff Cafe and Pie Shop, Monroe, Virginia

After an excellent lunch at Allman’s, I wandered over to Monroe, Virginia, to the Woodruff Cafe and Pie Shop. The Woodruff Cafe is a true destination restaurant. Not a lot of people just happen to be in Monroe, Virginia. It’s unincorporated, not even a Census Data Place. If you’ve heard of Monroe it’s because of either the Wreck on the Old 97 or the Woodruff … Continue reading Woodruff Cafe and Pie Shop, Monroe, Virginia

Allman’s Bar-B-Q, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Stop the presses! Big News! Well, some of it’s news. The Washington Post noticed Allman’s in their annual Top Ten list a couple of days ago, but the Post missed the really big story. (I’m saving the best news for last.) As you can tell, I’m excited! First, Allman’s is back — and about to get better! Allman’s Bar-B-Q has been a community institution in … Continue reading Allman’s Bar-B-Q, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Ruthie’s All Day, Arlington, Virginia

I made a special trip to Ruthie’s All Day, one of several trips I made preparatory to doing an article for The Smoke Sheet on the best barbecue places in the Washington area. I’d been there before, and had written it up once when Nancy and I went there for an excellent brunch (see here). I hadn’t been for a while, though, and I wanted … Continue reading Ruthie’s All Day, Arlington, Virginia

Alamo Barbecue, Richmond, Virginia

It used to be that barbecue quality dropped off the table as soon as you crossed into Virginia from North Carolina. No more. Places like ZZQ, Sloppy Mama’s, Ronnie’s, and Northern Neck can hold their heads up anywhere in the country, and it has been an unalloyed pleasure verifying places that cook exclusively with wood in my capacity as Smoke Detector for the Washington area … Continue reading Alamo Barbecue, Richmond, Virginia