Arlington is understood to be well behind D.C. in terms of fine dining restaurants and awards, but when it comes to barbecue it’s a closer contest.
Last week Washington Post food critic Tim Carman boosted the county’s ‘cue cred by naming two Arlington spots in his list of the top BBQ joints in the D.C. area.
The 2019 WaPo Best Barbecue list returns Texas Jack’s in Lyon Park (2761 Washington Blvd) to the top spot, praising it as being “as close to perfection, I dare say, as you’ll get in Washington barbecue circles.” The restaurant opened in 2015 and was recently the backdrop of a reality show filming in the area.
Sloppy Mama’s is No. 5 on the list, down from No. 3 last year, with Carman noting that “in the past few months, I’ve tasted the best that pitmaster Joe Neuman can produce (meltingly tender slices of moist brisket at Ballston), and I’ve observed the flaws in the system (spare ribs that had hardened into meat sticks, presumably from an extended stay in a holding unit at the Lee Highway shop).”
Award-winning BBQ pitmasters are planning to bring their first restaurant in Clarendon this spring.
Restaurant owners Marc “Red” Leone and Andrew Darneille are the team behind “Smokecraft Championship Barbecue.” The duo have won a plethora of BBQ competitions across the Mid-Atlantic, and will be at MetroCooking DC’s BBQ Bash next weekend.
Their upcoming restaurant plans to use a Southern Pride commercial smoker to prepare over 2,000 pounds of barbecue at any given time.
Anticipated menu offerings include “barbecue favorites,” plus unique dishes such as “smoked duck, chipotle maple cedar plank salmon, and smoked spaghetti squash.”
In addition to food, the 3,460-square-foot space will feature a full bar and late-night specials. Citizen Burger Bar closed in June after five years in business.
Lyon Park barbecue joint Texas Jack’s may be featured in a new reality TV show.
A crew of a new reality show about D.C. area young professionals visited the restaurant’s private dining room last month to film a conversation between one cast member and his father.
The restaurant’s Director of Operations, Remzi Yilmaz, told ARLnow that the cast member himself chose the restaurant as the location.
“This was one of his favorite places,” he said.
Yilmaz said he was not allowed to share details like the name of the show, citing a non-disclosure agreement, but said the crew might be spotted over the next four weeks filming at other area restaurants, as well as landmarks like the Washington Monument
The show is expected to air in January, though the network on which it is airing and other details are murky.
“I think they’re just giving insight into young professionals in this area, and how they live life, and what they go through,” he said.
A camera crew was also spotted last week at Pentagon Row, in Pentagon City, but it’s unclear if the crew was connected with the new reality series.
A new BBQ restaurant is planning to open next spring in Clarendon.
Smokecraft Modern Barbecue is coming to the former Citizen Burger Bar space at 1051 N. Highland Street, according to a press release.
The team behind the restaurant has been racking up honors at competitions around the Mid-Atlantic and plans to offer traditional barbecue favorites as well as “unique flavors and ingredients,” including smoked duck, salmon and spaghetti squash.
“Smokecraft is installing a pair of Southern Pride commercial smokers which will allow the team to simultaneously smoke over 2,000 pounds of meat while using an assortment of woods to create various smoked flavors,” the restaurant said in the press release.
Citizen Burger Bar closed in June after five years in business.
The full press release is below.
The award-winning team behind Smokecraft Championship BBQ is pleased to announce its first brick and mortar restaurant, Smokecraft Modern Barbecue, slated for a Spring 2020 opening in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood at 1051 N Highland Street. Smokecraft will offer a menu to satisfy every taste as well as outdoor dining, varied beverage options, and late-night specials. The space is located on the ground floor of a 10-story, LEED certified office building owned by KBS, one of the largest owners of premier commercial real estate in the country.
“It’s long been a dream to open our own restaurant, and we are excited to bring our award-winning barbecue to the Arlington community,” said Smokecraft Owner & Operating Partner Andrew Darneille. “Our goal is to continue to push the boundaries of what barbecue is and can be. This has driven our success, including our Turkey Smoke Grand Championship at this year’s Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle here in DC, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”
Smokecraft is installing a pair of Southern Pride commercial smokers which will allow the team to simultaneously smoke over 2,000 pounds of meat while using an assortment of woods to create various smoked flavors. Award-winning Pitmaster Marc “Red” Leone’s menu boasts modern takes on a variety of barbecue favorites, offering something for everyone. Pulling unique flavors and ingredients from around the country, potential options include a reverse-seared tri-tip sirloin, smoked duck, chipotle maple cedar plank salmon, and smoked spaghetti squash. Distinctive weekend brunch offerings include Smokecraft’s award-winning smoked Monte Cristo, slow-smoked pastrami hash, and pulled chicken & waffles. The expansive 30-foot bar will be the perfect backdrop to showcase Smokecraft’s diverse beverage program, featuring a seasonally rotating variety of handcrafted cocktails and 10 craft beers on tap to enjoy.
Award-winning DC-based firm Grizform Design Architects, led by Owner and Principal Griz Dwight, will transform the 3,460 square-foot restaurant into a modern barbecue destination. A dynamic seating layout will accommodate 95 diners with an additional 20 seats for outdoor dining. The design team will employ natural, organic elements like stained wood and veneers, brick, stone, metal, and warm lighting throughout the eatery. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Smokecraft Modern Barbecue to bring a modern design to the residents of Arlington, emphasizing the fundamental barbecue ingredients: wood, brick, fire, steel, and secret sauce,” said Griz Dwight.
According to KBS Senior VP and Asset Manager Stephen Close, 3003 Washington Boulevard is a prime location for Smokecraft’s very first restaurant. “This property is located in an urban walkable village approximately two miles from Washington D.C.,” says Close. “Based on this irreplaceable location, Smokecraft Modern Barbecue will benefit from built-in patronage from our building’s office tenants and employees, as well as the ability to quickly connect with the surrounding community. Just as Smokecraft continuously pushes the boundaries of an exceptional culinary experience, KBS is constantly innovating and delivering the very highest level of amenities to our properties throughout the US. These like-minded goals make Smokecraft an excellent match for this building.”
Williamsburg is losing one barbecue restaurant, but gaining another in short order.
Paul Tecchio, the new restaurant’s general manager, told ARLnow just signed a lease to move in a few days ago, and hopes to have it open for business by “the first or second week of April.”
Backyard BBQ announced plans to close the location after more than 10 years in the space in mid-February, serving up its last meals on Feb. 22.
The new BBQ restaurant moving in got its start as a food truck serving up smoked meats across the Northern Virginia area and D.C., Tecchio said. It’s backed by Dylan Kough (pronounced “cow”), a former financial consultant who decided to try and bring Kansas City-style BBQ to the D.C. area.
Kough opened his first brick-and-mortar location of Smoking Kow in Alexandria last year, and still operates two food trucks as well. He also worked with Tecchio, himself a “classically trained chef who has worked in kitchens around the DMV for almost 7 years,” to open the Alexandria location and will partner with him once more on this new restaurant.
“Dylan and I have poured a lot of heart and hard work into getting the first location to where it is today and we are very excited to be bringing our ‘que to Arlington,” Tecchio wrote in an email.
Smoking Kow’s menu includes a variety of BBQ staples like brisket, pulled pork and chicken and ribs, with a whole host of platters, sandwiches and even tacos on offer.
Photo 1 via @BackyardBBQ_Co
The truck will begin selling food to locals in late May or early June, said Bootheel Catering owner David Newton.
Newton is from Southeast Missouri, a location described as the “boot heel” of the state, which inspired the catering company’s name.
Newton said he wanted to open a food truck to make catering more convenient by having a mobile kitchen on hand for events.
“It makes our lives easier. It makes the food fresher,” he said. “I just want to get more of our stuff out to people, because people really like it.”
The food truck’s menu will include barbecue, brisket, pulled chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, grits, fried chicken and more. Prices will from $8 to $12, Newton said.
The truck will be traveling throughout Clarendon, Rosslyn, Crystal City and possibly Ballston. Newton said the truck may even go out to the Tyson’s Corner area.
Photo via Facebook/Bootheel Catering
Police to Hold Anti-DUI Event During Bar Crawl — The All American Bar Crawl will be taking place in Clarendon from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, and the Arlington County Police Department is planning some complementary programming. ACPD and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program are holding a “free interactive anti-drunk driving event” from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on N. Highland Street, in the heart of Clarendon. [Arlington County]
Local ‘Big Brother’ Houseguest Getting Attention — Matthew Clines, a 33-year-old renovation consultant and fitness buff from Arlington, is being mentioned as a frontrunner on the new season of CBS’ Big Brother. “Many ladies swooned over” him, US Weekly writes. Clines has suggested he “would rather have America love him… than actually win the game and the $500,000.” [Us Weekly, Reality TV World]
Woman Wanted for Hit and Run Near Columbia Pike — Arlington County Police are looking for a woman who struck a pedestrian on the 3400 block of 7th Street S., in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, Wednesday night. The suspect, described as a “white female in her mid-twenties to early thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall… wearing a white sweater,” fled the scene after the collision, which sent the victim to a local trauma center with significant but non-life-threatening injuries. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Bradley Teague
A press release yesterday from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit included an Arlington dateline, but only said that the new restaurant would be opening in “the state of Virginia.”
Asked for clarification, a company spokeswoman told ARLnow.com that the restaurant may open in Arlington.
“The exact location has not been decided yet, but they are looking at locations in Arlington and Alexandria,” said the spokeswoman.
The press release is below.
Arlington, VA — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be opening its tenth new location in the state of Virginia with a new store slated to begin serving delicious, Texas-style barbecue in 2017. The new store’s owner, Mario Aguilar, is excited to embark on this new adventure by opening his very first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in the community he grew up in.
“The Dickey family congratulates Mario Aguilar on opening his first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in Virginia,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is growing rapidly across the nation, and we are always proud when we have the opportunity to add a new Owner/Operator to the Dickey’s family.”
Born and raised in Virginia, Aguilar has been part of this community his entire life and is excited to serve Dickey’s Barbecue to the people whom he considers his family. Aguilar has been a business owner for the past 12 years, owning multiple AT&T locations throughout Virginia. When he decided it was time to get into the restaurant industry he knew Dickey’s was the right place for him because he loves the food and the 75-year-old brand.
“Dickey’s is a great brand that is well-known throughout the nation and I am excited to be a part of it,” says Aguilar. “Dickey’s will do well in this community because there is a large need for slow-smoked barbecue, and I am proud to be the one to provide it.”
A new barbecue restaurant and pub may replace the now-closed Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon.
The plans were revealed during a County Board review of a site plan amendment for A-Town (see below).
“We’re soon to take over Hard Times,” Mike Cordero, a partner in the restaurants, told the County Board. The new venture was described as “a really big barbecue restaurant or pub” that may be sports-oriented.
The restaurant could open as soon as next spring or summer, although a source says the deal to take over the Hard Times space has not been finalized.
Meanwhile, a fight prompted a big police response at A-Town (4100 Fairfax Drive) on Sunday night.
Rocklands Barbeque, at 3471 Washington Blvd, has some exotic meats on the menu this week for an annual event called “Grills Gone Wild.”
The four-day event is being held from Tuesday to Friday at the four Rocklands locations in the D.C. area, including Arlington.
The menu includes:
- Alligator Brunswick Stew served with a honey jalapeño cornbread square
- Camel Burgers topped w/pickles & onions served with French Fries
- Rabbit Sausage topped w/grilled peppers & onions served w/a side of whiskey mustard sauce & carrot sticks
- Wild Boar Barbeque Sliders (2) topped with coleslaw
The restaurant is encouraging customers to use the Twitter hashtag #grillsgonewild to suggest new “Grills Gone Wild” meat offerings for next year.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The crew behind the new Texas Jack’s Barbecue plans to start serving diners near Clarendon on Dec. 7, giving them a comfortable place to eat while going beyond expected barbecue standards.
The restaurant occupies the former home of Tallula and EatBar at 2761 Washington Blvd in Lyon Park.
The space now is unrecognizable, combining both locations to create a dining room and bar, partially separated by a wall with two doorways and three large, open windows. Both rooms are filled with reclaimed wood and other locally-sourced materials that make up the chairs, tables, bar and wall panels.
“We wanted to just make sure no matter when people come into the space, they feel comfortable being here and really enjoy themselves,” co-owner Steve Roberts said. “We also obviously wanted to focus on outstanding barbecue, making creative choices with top-quality meats.”
This choice meat comes from throughout the United States, including locally. Roberts said it’s all hormone- and antibiotic-free and spends three to four hours in one of two massive smokers.
“It’s what I’ve always been interested in cooking, and that’s what I mainly do,” he said. “My idea is to elevate the dishes you typically see at barbecue restaurants and give people what they aren’t expecting.”
While the meats — including brisket, pulled pork, sausage and pork and beef ribs — will be fairly straightforward, Lang is putting his own twist on Mexican-American fare to create separate dining room and bar menus, though guests can order from either in both areas.
He also had advice for how diners should approach the menu.
“I’d like to encourage guests to share and have them understand the best way to do this is get a plate of barbecue with whatever sides you want and share,” he said.
Platters and meals with barbecue meats cost between $12 and $20. The menu, though it’s not finalized, will also have appetizers and sandwiches, prices ranging from $8 to $16.
Other restaurant amenities include an open kitchen, ADA-friendly tables, accommodations for large parties or communal dining, a room that can be rented for private events, valet parking during peak hours, a bar equipped with outlets and USB ports, and both beer and wine on tap.
The space is also environmentally-friendly, reducing waste by installing all LED lighting fixtures and serving food on traditional enamelware, unlike many barbecue places that serve on paper plates and in cardboard boats.
“Many times, you’ll go into a barbecue place and there’s a lot of waste,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing throwaway about anything we have here, and we’re trying to be as sensitive as we can as far as sustainability and what we’re doing to the environment.”
Texas Jack’s plans to be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.