June 30, 2009

Meat, Sauce, and Fire: The Beauty of BBQ

BBQ, barbecue, or bar-b-cue--no matter how you spell it, it's one of the best parts about having moved down South. Maybe the best part. No, it isn't healthy ("I'm really trying to take it easy, guys. I'll just have three deep-fried hush puppies and two pulled pork sandwiches."). But given how infrequently I eat it (buying 'cue alone is the equivalent of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for one on the pathetic scale), I don't beat myself up for indulging when I do have the chance to eat barbecue.

While certainly not the mecca of 'cue, the Richmond area is actually a great place for barbecue. Need proof? Not so long ago, Bruce "Buz" Grossberg, a Richmond barbecue master, schooled Bobby Flay on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Given my love for Bobby Flay, I had to check out Buz and Ned's just to be sure that it was as good as I'd heard. It is.

Of all the places I've tried in Richmond, no one does barbecue better. I'm a convert. I normally go for pulled pork when I eat barbecue, but the ribs at Buz and Ned's looked so good that I went caveman style and never looked back.

That said, one of the worst things about barbecue in Richmond is the coleslaw. It's loaded with mayonnaise, and it tastes like an old cafeteria lady with a facial wart made it. Which brings me to tomorrow's trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., where the Lexington-style barbecue offers me both amazing pulled pork and amazing coleslaw, with a vinegar base that makes my tastebuds sing. Really, they sing: Babe, I got 'cue babe.

Look for another post on my barbecue bonanza in the next few days--once I've recovered from my food coma, of course.

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