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

The Original Ronnie’s, Henrico County, Virginia

There are things I don’t love about The Original Ronnie’s. Right now, they just have curbside service, so you can’t go inside and sit and eat and talk with the other customers. And, well, that’s about the only thing I don’t love about Ronnie’s. The rest of Ronnie’s is great. You drive up and see a low white building — there are some big cookers … Continue reading The Original Ronnie’s, Henrico County, Virginia

Bar-Q, Norfolk, Virginia

I finished the second day of my Eastern Virginia Campaign for Real Barbecue trip (checking and certifying places that cooked exclusively with wood) at Bar-Q on East Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk. Bar-Q is even easier to miss than Dave’s. There is no Bar-Q sign. The only external hint that there’s a barbecue place is a couple of big smokers that you can’t see from … Continue reading Bar-Q, Norfolk, Virginia

Redwood Smoke Shack, Norfolk, Virginia

After a day of meals at the excellent Northern Neck BBQ, Rudy’s Pizza and Barbecue, and the very good Old City Barbecue, I started Day 2 of my Eastern Virginia Campaign for Real Barbecue trip with an early lunch at the Redwood Smoke Shack in Norfolk. I’d seen it featured in Southern Grit Magazine as a top new place that cooked exclusively with wood, something … Continue reading Redwood Smoke Shack, Norfolk, Virginia

Old City Barbecue, Williamsburg, Virginia

After a truly great lunch at Northern Neck BBQ and a weird experience at Rudy’s, my Eastern Virginia Barbecue Tour on behalf of the Campaign for Real Barbecue took me to Williamsburg to check the all-wood cooking status of another place: Old City Barbecue. Old City is in the former location of the Yorkshire Steakhouse, the sort of upscale setting that can have a plonking … Continue reading Old City Barbecue, Williamsburg, Virginia

Rudy’s Pizza and BBQ, Topping, Virginia

I left Montross and the excellent Northern Neck BBQ, and continued to my next meal on my Campaign for Real Barbecue trip to check and verify that barbecue places cook the meat as they should — exclusively with wood. I’d had a tip about Rudy’s Pizza and BBQ, just across the Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock in Topping, a moderately wide place in the road … Continue reading Rudy’s Pizza and BBQ, Topping, Virginia

Northern Neck BBQ at the Barn in Montross, Virginia

What a good place! And you definitely should visit Westmoreland County, Virginia. We did years ago when Patrick and Liza were youngsters. We toured George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument and Stratford Hall, where the docents seemed ashamed of one of the three Lee brothers who wasn’t present to sign the Declaration of Independence. Both places are well worth a tour. There’s also James Monroe’s birthplace … Continue reading Northern Neck BBQ at the Barn in Montross, Virginia

Ace Biscuit and Barbecue, Charlottesville, Virginia

I got ahead of myself with that post on Edley’s in Nashville. I had mentioned earlier, in my post on The Avenue, that I was then just back from an eating trip to Virginia, to the detriment of my waistline. Let’s get back to that and restore some order to this Blog, beginning with a great place for both wood-cooked barbecue and breakfast. For my … Continue reading Ace Biscuit and Barbecue, Charlottesville, Virginia

Shaffer’s BBQ and Market, Middletown, Virginia

Joe Haynes, the Godfather of Virginia Barbecue and author of Virginia Barbecue: A History, has been a big help in my efforts to identify places that cook craft barbecue exclusively with wood and charcoal, rather than with gas or electric gadgets. Among other places, Joe pointed me to Shaffer’s BBQ and Market, and I owe him. Nancy and I drove the 90 minutes from our … Continue reading Shaffer’s BBQ and Market, Middletown, Virginia