We stopped by Fairmore's place in DC a month ago. For lunch, he recommended sushi and barbecue. Fairmore is from Tennessee. There was no question where we were going.
A few minutes later, we were parked in a small lot and strolled into the Rockville location of Urban Bar-B-Que Company.
Bug and I made our way to the register still debating what to order. The sticker-plastered counter and walls with humorous and snarky anecdotes distracted us from making our meal choice. I had a craving for a salad, as well as BBQ chicken and brisket. Bug wanted to try the brisket and pulled pork platter.
It made my choice easier when Bug ordered the beef brisket platter ($8.99). Their barbecue chicken tortilla salad ($8.99) sounded perfect.
We were lucky to find a table as it was around 12:30 when we arrived. The place was packed, however many of the customers ordered their food to-go. The music and the clamor of the kitchen amplified the brisk atmosphere. I felt like I was moving in slow motion.
Ten minutes later, our names were called. Bug retrieved our order and wandered over to the condiment station to grab some barbecue sauce.
Moist and tender, the seasoned grilled chicken was delicious, and the salad was freshly made with lettuce, tomatoes, corn, egg, and bacon. The portion was quite large, so I could only finish a third of my bowl. Bug took one for the team and compliantly gobbled up the remainder without a word.
Fairmore was emphatic that we try their corn bread and sides -- macaroni and cheese, collard greens, barbecue ranch beans, cole slaw, potato salad, fries, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes. There was no way I was leaving without trying their collard greens, barbecue ranch beans ($2.49 each), and corn bread ($1).
We loved the greens and beans. These were the best preparation of greens I had ever tasted; smoky and well seasoned without being an overcooked pile of salty mush. The barbecue ranch beans were tangy, spicy, sweet, peppery, and meaty. I could have easily eaten a vat of each.
I didn't get a chance to eat much of the corn bread. Bug and I shared a piece, but he ate most of it. The couple of bites I took were sweet, savory, and crumbly. Just don't try to whistle after a mouthful. This would go well with the barbecue beans.
While we were in line to order, Fairmore had pointed at the large wooden tap handle near the register and mentioned the root beer here was not to be missed, sweetened with Virginia honey (as advertised). I am a sucker for good root beer. Hell, I am a sucker for mediocre root beer. For $1.98, I made several trips to the draft spigot and guzzled the soda. It was a warm day, so the frothy drink hit the spot. Ahhh.
Famous Dave's has set the bar for beef brisket for me. The brisket at UBBQ had more textural definition and wasn't as smoky. I am not saying Famous Dave's brisket is a smoky beef pudding, nor am I saying UBBQ's brisket is tough! They are both good, but very different briskets. Bug enjoyed his brisket, which is all that mattered.
Fairmore ordered his usual, a pulled pork sandwich ($5.89), macaroni and cheese ($2.49), and corn bread ($1.00). I didn't want to be too weird by sticking my camera in his food, so I took only one picture. Of course, he merrily munched his meal.
When I got home and looked at UBBQ's menu online, I was disappointed to find out that in our haste, I missed the Urban Legend -- chopped brisket, sausage slices, and ranch style beans layered over Fritos, with cheese and onions sprinkled on top.
It sounds like a wonderful train wreck (minus the onions) that screams, "Eat me!!" Guess I'll try it the next time we are in DC.
Urban Bar-B-Que Company
2007 Chapman Ave
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (240) 290-4UBQ (4827)