I was doing some web development for a client in DC, then off to the middle of southern Virginia. Much to my surprise I found myself sitting in a very hip booth at the Urban BBQ company in Ashburn, Virginia. It came up on my Zagat iphone app and I had to see for myself. I was in shock just sitting there. One, the place is brand spankin’ new looking. Two, it’s sort of a chain, but not.
For one, I’m a critic when it comes to the chain restaurants that do barbecue like Famous Dave’s. The shit you are getting inside Famous Dave’s is not the same shit that Dave himself would cook you. It just isn’t. It’s commercially produced SLOP.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Urban BBQ has it together. I got the ribs, sides and I was fat and happy. Ribs don’t taste commercially produced and I think they are wood smoked—deliciously melted in my mouth but I didn’t have to tug too hard.
Sides are smokin’ and they had a few locations when I went. Look for these guys to open more. A must have!
In 2010 I traveled for work to Massachusetts. I ended up looking all over carnation for good que. Turns out if you want it, you have to go to a chain restaurant and order whatever seemingly resembles BBQ a’ la’ carte. Most of the area which I visited, (up around New Bedford) was Portuguese community and their version of barbecue, is quite frankly, a shish ka bob grilled to death. I don’t get it. No pulled pork. No pulled beef. What gives?
Oh, I should give credit where credit is due. Boston baked beans are everywhere. It’s a staple. Not just in Boston.
I was up on the East Coast on business and it just so happened there was a Fair in town. If there is one thing I love besides a fair, it is fair food. So, I decided to check it out.
As I got there, the attracting aromas of fair food wafted across my nose and into my olfactory senses. There was real joy in the various smells and sights of basically anything fried, dipped in sugar and served on a stick or a paper plate. This time, however, something was decidedly different.
I saw a huge plume of smoke emanating into the air, and a large cohort of people lined up for something from where said smoke was rising. I had to know.
It was barbeque.
Admittedly, I have never considered barbeque at fairs because of the aforementioned comestibles, but something told me, my doctor, that I need to cut back on some of that or face a life of diabetes. So, I decided to give this place a shot.
What followed, once I got my sandwich, can only be described as euphoria, mixed with nirvana and served in a bun. The pulled pork, so named because it is pulled from the bones, was tender, juicy and covered with just enough sauce to create bliss in the mouth.
Once I recovered from the first bite, I found out the name of the establishment: Big Fat Daddy’s. Ironic, that such a place would exist at a fair of all places, but this proved to be a move well worthwhile.
There are other foods available at fairs, I have learned. Two great things about Big Fat Daddy’s sandwiches: 1. They are inexpensive for fair food; 2. They fill you up. Two great facts that make a huge difference for fair food as far as I am concerned and my doctor as well.
If you really want to get technical, the sandwich I purchased was actually a 6″ sub. So only one to fill you up for your time at the fair, helps reduce additional cravings for that unhealthy funnel cake.
I did some research after getting back to my room, and it’s no wonder there’s so uch mention of them on the web. The owner, Wayne Schafer was the one I saw grilling up my pork. Nice to know some companies are still owner operated.