Entries tagged with “Pork Barrel BBQ”.
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Fri 18 Jan 2013
It’s that time again – for the fourth straight year, Meat Week beckons DC’s barbecue lovers with eight great reasons to celebrate low-and-slow cooking. And this year, our host restaurants have come up with some of the biggest and best specials we’ve ever seen. I can’t even begin to imagine someone making it to all eight this year…and I don’t know that I want to see the results if anyone does!
If you’ve joined us over the past three years, you know that your DC Meat Week Team is committed to bringing something new to the picnic table each year. We’ve rotated our leadership again – David Gootzit (the Bacon Terrorist) is now our Captain, and Jenelle Dennis (Babeque) joins me as First Mate. This year, we’ve expanded Meat Week in TWO big ways – adding a Food Truck Face-Off to determine which of four local food trucks serves the best barbecue in town and helping one of our hosts introduce a new extreme eating challenge.
Let’s start with that second bit of news. As they have in the past, Pork Barrel BBQ is using Meat Week to launch something new. This year, it’s the “High on the Hog” Eating Challenge. Entrants have 45 minutes to eat ALL of the following:
- 1 Smackin’ Big Daddy Sandwich (the Smackin’ Big Daddy is an oversized sandwich with ½ pound of pulled pork and a Texas Brisket Sausage, topped with Monster Cheese Sauce, Cole Slaw and BBQ Sauce.
- 1 Slab of Ribs
- 2 Texas Brisket Sausages
- 1 Side of Monster Mac & Cheese
- 1 Side of Baked Beans
- 1 Side of Cole Slaw
Finish them all in time, and you will be covered with glory (and barbecue sauce). You will receive a t-shirt, a $50 Pork Barrel BBQ gift card, and your name in the “High on the Hog Challenge” Hall of Fame. Fall short, and you’re on the hook for $49.95. The guys at Pork Barrel have said that they’ll open the challenge to as many people as want to try it on Thursday, January 31, but they need everyone’s name no later than Tuesday, January 29 to make sure they prepare enough food. Email us or contact the restaurant directly if interested.
Generally speaking, Meat Week is meant to be a casual, come-as-you-are festival that will take place this year from Sunday, January 27th to Sunday, February 3rd. Want to see what we’re doing each day? Check out the calendar after the jump.
Wed 1 Feb 2012
Posted by capitalspice under Food for Thought
We have to hand it to the guys at Pork Barrel – they really embraced the spirit of Meat Week last night. From the warm welcome they showed Meat Weekers to their generous special, they wanted to make it clear that they speak Meat Week. Co-owner Heath Hall even bought one of our Meat Week t-shirts!
If you didn’t make it out to join us last night, you can still stop in any night this week and enjoy that same $20.12 Meat Week platter they served us last night. It includes 1/4 pound of pulled pork, 1/4 pound of chopped brisket, one brisket sausage link, 3 pork spare ribs and 1/4 smoked chicken plus any two sides. It’s easily enough for two people (or one hungry Meat Weeker).
The other thing you missed last night was a great Meat Quiz created by Hall and administered to unsuspecting Meat Weekers throughout the evening. It includes some fun questions and some real head-scratchers. To our knowledge, this is the first time Meat Week has included a trivia component, and it makes us wonder…how could we have overlooked this?!?
The quiz can be found in its entirety in the following three images. We took the liberty of blacking out the answers, but the rest of the document (including the sauce stains) are original.
Enjoy, and we hope to see you at the rest of our Meat Week events between now and Sunday!
Thu 26 Jan 2012
Can you imagine a Super Bowl watch party that doesn’t involve massive quantities of beef, pork or chicken? Crazy talk, I know. But if you make it through eight days of Meat Week, you may not just imagine it…you might actively crave it.
For the third year in a row, Washington will be celebrating “the holiday that time forgot” with a tour-de-carnivore that will highlight some of the best barbecue the area has to offer. Beginning at Urban Bar-B-Que’s newest location on Sunday night and ending at long-time favorite Rocklands the following Sunday, we’re taking it to the next level for this year’s Meat Week. We’ve got so much new talent on the DC barbecue scene, we just had to add an eighth day (finally bringing us in line with the national organizers’ recommendation). And with one of those shiny new logos that plays off the DC flag, you know we’re ready.
If you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know that we started DC’s Meat Week chapter after an introduction to the event by the Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman. I’m pleased to report that our Meat Week team from last year is back together again this year, with Jenelle Dennis (aka Babeque) as our Captain and David Gootzit as First Mate. Both are KCBS-Certified Barbecue Judges, and they’re quick to extol the virtues of crisp bark and a well-defined smoke ring in quality ‘cue. I asked each a few key questions about Meat Week and will be posting their answers tomorrow.
As befits a celebration of the best of the area’s barbecue offerings, we’ll be returning to several of our most popular venues from last year. In addition to the two I mentioned above, we’ll be hitting up the PORC crew for a second response-requested buffet at Wilson’s in Shaw) and Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish for another round of parking lot barbecue.
We’re also proud to finally be able to visit the guys from Pork Barrel BBQ in their own space after two consecutive Meat Weeks featuring “coming soon” sneak peeks. They’re rolling out the red carpet, with a Meat Week sampler special and the first official taste of their new Carolina Vinegar sauce. It’s been a long time coming, but good barbecue is all about taking the time to get it right.
The rest of our Meat Week slots this year are given over to ‘cue joints that didn’t exist when Meat Week 2011 rolled around:
Hill Country’s DC outpost has been winning rave reviews since they opened, and their all-you-can-eat Monday night special seemed like the perfect way to welcome them to the lineup. As it turns out, this Monday Hill Country offers a chance to do some good with your meal: they’re holding a charity concert to benefit the victims of the recent Texas wildfires. Tickets are $20 and the restaurant is also donating 20% of their food and beverage sales for the night to the relief efforts, as well. If you’re thinking about coming out Monday night, please consider making a donation.
Smoke & Barrel knows how to draw a crowd with their combination of barbecue and beverages (most notably bourbon). Due to their limited size – at least until expansion is complete – they’re participating in Meat Week with a reservations-required. That’s the good news. The bad news? Reservations are already completely booked. If you’re not already on board, you’ll have to check them out another night.
Finally, Memphis Barbeque in Crystal City is doing its namesake city proud, smoking everything from pork to salmon (not to mention a few sides) in a massive sit-down space on 23rd Street. What better way to celebrate the Friday night of Meat Week? We had the privilege of taking a First Look when they were ready to open.
The official website features the schedule, addresses and special offers that will be available each night. While you’re on the site, take a look around at some of the photos from last year and check out the Meat Week Hype that we’ve created for this year, too. Like that flag logo? You’re in luck – t-shirts will be available for sale each night (just find the Captain or First Mates).
Except where noted above, all events are come-as-you-are and everyone is free to order whatever they please.
Tue 29 Nov 2011
In September of 2009, we reached out to a couple of guys named Heath and Brett whose locally-made barbecue sauce had earned them a chance to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank. Since then, we’ve worked with the Pork Barrel BBQ team to participate in two DC Meat Weeks, each time offering attendees a taste of what they could expect at the “soon-to-open” restaurant in Del Ray. And they’ve been more than a little busy themselves, winning the Perdue National Chicken Championship and taking the title of Grand Champion at the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in June.
But the wait ends tonight.
Pork Barrel BBQ officially opens its doors at 5 PM, and when we took a look around this weekend the restaurant gave every indication of being worth the wait. As Heath Hall put it, “This is barbecue. We wanted to make sure everything was just right. You can’t rush good barbecue, no matter how much you might want to.” With five smoked meats and more than half a dozen sides on offer, that meant a lot of testing and retesting of recipes while the restaurant space was finished to everyone’s satisfaction.
All the dirty details on the smoker, the sides and the space after the jump. (more…)
Mon 24 Jan 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to hit the salad bar, Meat Week comes roaring back into Washington ready for round two. Last year, Snowmageddon forced the cancellation of the final two Meat Week events in our area, leaving hungry carnivores unable to enjoy scheduled outings to Branded ’72 in Rockville and Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish on Rhode Island Avenue. Some folks might have taken that as a sign, a warning from on high to repent and change their ways.
This Sunday, DC Meat Week will once again provide carnivores with seven nights of barbecued deliciousness at some of the area’s best ‘cue joints. And for the second year in a row, Meat Week will be one of your first opportunities to check out a highly-anticipated newcomer to the DC BBQ scene. Some of the venues have stayed the same (we HAD to kick things off at Urban Bar-B-Que again, and you know we wanted take a second run at Mr. P’s), and a couple of recent additions have been added to the list as well.
Perhaps the biggest change in DC’s Meat Week chapter is who’s running the show. I’ve passed the Captain’s hat to Jenelle Dennis, aka BabeBQ, though I’ll be staying on as First Mate along with David Gootzit. Jenelle brings an impressive barbecue pedigree to the role – she’s a KCBS Certified Barbecue Judge and one of the architects of the Snackadium. Seriously impressive.
Check out the full line-up of venues for this year’s Meat Week after the jump, and pay special attention to Tuesday and Wednesday nights: they’re RSVP-required sneak-peeks at two of the best things that are about to happen to the DC barbecue scene. (more…)
Wed 3 Feb 2010
When planning the schedule for Meat Week, I had a few really tough choices to make. In some cases, it was a question of how far afield people would be willing to go for the inaugural edition of Meat Week DC. In other cases, the decision came down to what kind of impact a particular establishment has on the DC barbecue scene.
After opening Meat Week at Urban Bar-B-Que, one of the most widely praised among the newer ‘cue joints in the area, it was on to two of the veterans in the field. Both Rocklands and Red Hot & Blue have been serving up smoked meats in Washington for more than twenty years. In the process, they’ve expanded to several locations each around the DC area. To me, they embody (in very different ways) the “all cues to all people” mindset that tries to serve up a taste of home to ‘cue lovers from all traditions.
So how do they stack up against some of the newcomers? Check out some photos, some thoughts and a reminder about tonight’s big Pork Barrel BBQ event after the jump. (more…)
Thu 28 Jan 2010
Image by Mike Licht, www.notionscapital.com
One week ago, we announced the arrival of Meat Week to Washington, DC. Since that time, we’ve been blown away by the amount of attention that this celebration of all things barbecue has received. Not surprisingly, Tim Carman was the first to give us a shout-out over at the City Paper, but his nod seems to have triggered an avalanche of additional coverage: Zagat Buzz, UrbanDaddy, Brightest Young Things, DC MetroMix, Notions Capital…even Modern Domestic!
The word is clearly getting around: Meat Week is Real. But we’ve gotten more than a few emails asking about the finer points of what this is all about.
And we’ve had A LOT of people asking about our Meat Week Special Sneak Preview of Pork Barrel BBQ on Wednesday night at Mango Mike’s in Alexandria.
All your questions answered – and the details on the Pork Barrel preview – after the jump.
Sun 13 Sep 2009
Pork. Here in Washington, it’s one of those four letter words that you just don’t use in polite company. Since the time of the Civil War, politicians have decried the wasteful “pork barrel spending” that sends money to their opponents’ districts for pet projects…all the while defending the necessary and important projects they’re fighting for.
With all this talk of pork, you’d think someone would be cooking up good barbecue within sight of the Capitol dome…but you already know our thoughts on that. Maybe it’s only fitting, then, that the newest entry onto Washington’s barbecue scene has its roots on the Hill.
Back in 2006, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson were staffers for Senator Jim Talent of Missouri. During the many long hours that went into that year’s budget debate, the two men found themselves lamenting the lack of flavor among barbecue options in the area (a common conversation among staffers from all barbecue regions). With all the talk of spending flying around, they started joking that they should team up to bring home the bacon, so to speak, and so they coined the name “Pork Barrel BBQ.”
That could have been the end of it – how many great ideas are hatched in late-night brainstorming sessions and never acted upon? But Senator Talent’s defeat in the 2006 elections soon gave Brett and Heath more free time to focus on their idea. By February of 2008, they were ready to make the jump into the barbecue seasoning business, and they incorporated Pork Barrel BBQ. As Heath puts it, “Thankfully, both of us are lawyers, so we were able to wade through all the un-fun stuff you need to do to set up a business.”
Both men knew what they thought barbecue should taste like, but they wanted to make sure that they had a product that would appeal to a broader audience. So they assembled their Kitchen Cabinet (yeah…the government references fly fast and furious with these guys) and taste-tested five spice blends. Of course the best way to taste-test a rub is to use it on an actual pork shoulder, so you can imagine how much fun that was to do. The results were split – there were positive comments about distinctly different aspects of two of the choices. Brett and Heath did some tinkering and came up with a blend that combined the best parts of both, and they knew they had their All American Spice Rub.
From concept to contests, ABC’s Shark Tank and restaurant after the jump. (more…)