I have lived in the Washington, D.C.-metro area for many years. And if there is one thing I really miss about having left the deep South, it would have to be barbecue.
Let me be more specific: I miss Memphis-style BBQ, which basically means pulled pork barbecue with plenty of slightly sweet, tomato based sauce on it.
As far as pork BBQ is concerned, Washington has been something of a wasteland. The chain Red Hot 'N Blue is perfectly okay, but the quality of its pork barbecue is inconsistent and it has never been as good as the BBQ I enjoyed in Arkansas during my years growing up there.
This past weekend, I finally got around to taking a roadtrip about 25 miles south of D.C. to Woodbridge, Va. I had been told by friends that I should try Dixie Bones, a BBQ eatery located in that town, only a few minutes off of I-95.
Well, as I approached Dixie Bones, I tried not to get my hopes up. But, as it turns out, the meal I had there was excellent. The pork barbecue was excellent, the cornbread was quite good, the BBQ beans were a B-, but the creamy cole slaw was an A-. The collard greens were also an A-.
I will definitely return to Dixie Bones. The food and service were very, very good. (You can eat in or take out.) My only complaint is that the BBQ is more inspired by Carolina traditions than Memphis. In other words, the sauce leans toward the vinegar side. I can appreciate the tanginess of a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, but I still prefer a thicker sauce with a hint of molasses in it.
I am told that Dixie Bones has tasty pies, but I didn't have any room left for one of them. Maybe next time.