Behind the Smoke

Washingtonian Magazine : Cheap Eats 2016

Perhaps the single best bite of barbecue we put in our mouths this year was something called Arkansas beef. Imagine hunks of brisket—meltingly fatty on the inside, ringed with a crusty bark on the outside, and submerged in a thick, crimson sauce that balances spicy, sweet, and tangy. It’s the strongest reason to visit these folksy Frederick-area joints, but not the only one: Finely chopped pork is properly vinegary, and barbecue chicken is infused with an assertive smokiness. And unlike at some barbecue spots, sides get as much attention as the meats: Potato salad, slaw, and collards are all made with care.

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