Fat Pete’s Barbecue: Burnt Ends

Burnt Ends

Ever waste valuable munch time poking at your platter of ‘cue looking for the fattiest, juiciest, smokiest flecks of meat? That’s BBQ blasphemy. Fortunately, DC’s newest smokehouse, Fat Pete’s Barbecue does all the work for you by serving up The Best Thing on the Menu: Burnt Ends. This Kansas City BBQ staple basically amounts to the fatty, charred points of brisket.

Andy

Why do you think Andy Reid has gotten even larger since he arrived in KC to coach Jamal Charles and the like?

Here’s the secret. Fat Pete’s brisket is smoked for 18 hours. This is awesome enough on its own, but the burnt ends are smoked even longer – four more hours to be exact. Be prepared to fight your friends for the last bite, because as with all precious commodities, the number of burnt end orders are limited. You’ll find them in the appetizer section, and even though they don’t need any sauce, this is a good opportunity to audition the restaurant’s six different sauces for your main course. We suppose if you’re desperate to try the burnt ends you can call ahead, and then get your BBQ-loving buns in a seat as fast as possible.

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Even if they’re out, all is not lost. Pete’s pretty much can do no wrong. Another can’t miss dish is the “ABTs,” also known as BBQ Crack. The pit master, Woody, stuffs jalapeños with cream cheese, tops them with little smokie sausages and wraps them with bacon before smoking them and drizzling them in balsamic. Also try the tasty brisket melt sandwich, St. Louis style ribs and locally-made pie for dessert.

Burnt ends not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Fat Pete’s Barbecue is located at 3407 Connecticut Ave., NW. 

DCity Smokehouse: Meat Platter

DCity Smokehouse

DC’s gearing up for a sweaty, smoky, artery-busting Meat Week 2014. One of the featured meat magicians is none other than BBQ newcomer DCity Smokehouse. This four-seat cubbyhole of heaven can be found right around where Florida Ave meets North Capitol Street NW. Use your nose to guide you the rest of the way.

As far as the Best Thing on the Menu, go all out and get the Smokehouse Meat Platter: 1/2lb of any sliced or chopped meat or combination of 2 meat with one side, house made pickles, & Texas toast. Select the hush puppies as your side if you know good food when it stares you in the face. We went with brisket and pulled pork, but there’s pork belly and turkey too.

You can trust Pit Mater Rob Sonderman with all your BBQ needs; he took the reigns at DCity Smokehouse after leaving Hill Country BBQ in Penn Quarter, and has really injected new life into the neighborhood.

Fried Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles

Those who prefer poultry also have a killer option: Crispy fried boneless chicken & red velvet waffle with bourbon syrup. A definite BTM runner up. This dish was a Revive Catering and Events original.

If you’re lazy when it comes to BBQ, not to worry. Rather than cruising down Florida Ave, just use your mouse to navigate to Seamless for delivery. Keep them in mind for Super Bowl orders!

Smokehouse Meat Platter not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

DC’s Top Food and Drink Trends 2013

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A food blogger’s log of top trends in our nation’s capital, based on too many meals to count. As Heidi would say, you’re either in or you’re out!

Chez Billy Saucisse Merguez

Chez Billy

1. Small plates: You either love them or you hate them, especially if you live and eat on 14th Street. But one thing’s for sure, small plate hate and continued complaining about them is in vogue. Good places to get full-size meals? Chez Billy, West End Bistro, Poste and Table.

Spraga's Brisket

Sbraga

2. Brisket is back. Done right, this cut of meat can steal the show. Where to get it in DC? Roses Luxury, DCity Smokehouse and Garden District. It is also the Best Thing on the Menu at Philly’s Sbraga.

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Del Campo

3. Fernet is having a renaissance. Try it and you’ll taste hints of eucalyptus, saffron, cardamom and chamomile. Most popular in Italy and Argentina, fernet is typically mixed with soda water or it can be used in cocktails as a form of bitters. In DC, you can try it at Del Campo and Urbana.

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4. New restaurants are forgoing traditional websites and are opting instead for robust Facebook pages. Or, restaurants are choosing to create a simple single page, meant solely to point you to their social media accounts. This is such a smart money saver. There’s no need to pay an IT company to build and maintain a website when Facebook has built-in infrastructure for diners to interact with their favorite restaurants. Our new favorite spot, Mockingbird Hill, is one example: Their simple web page vs. their Facebook page.

Shaw DC

5. Shaw has become THE neighborhood for new restaurants, including Eat the Rich, Dacha Beer Garden, Mockingbird Hill, Thally, Table and more.

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Casa Luca

6. More than a handful of restaurants are jumping on the charcuterie bandwagon. A trend many enjoy, but others skip due to the availability of fine meat and cheese selections at gourmet grocery stores. If you’re pro-charcuterie visit: Casa Luca, The Pig, Churchkey/Birch and Barley, Proof, Urbana, Vinoteca and Etto.

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Revive Catering

7. Waffles are crushing it, sorry cronuts. DC has some of the best waffles to offer the world including Revive Catering’s red velvet chicken and waffles, B TOO’s blood sausage stuffed waffle and Brasserie Beck’s gingerbread waffle.

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Petworth Citizen

8. Cosmos and appletinis are out. Prohibition era cocktails are in. Big name Founding Farmers has 11 different prohibition era inspired cocktails like a Sazerac and a New York Sour. Then there are places like The Gibson, PX, The Passenger/Columbia Room, Bar Charley and Petworth Citizen.

Oyamel Fried Egg

Oyamel

9. Remember being twelve years old and requesting breakfast for dinner for your birthday? Fortunately, you can relive this small joy by visiting several DC restaurants. Ted’s Bulletin serves breakfast all day long, Oyamel has a killer egg dish and DGS serves “Benedictberg” well into the night.

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Taylor Gourmet

10. Whether you’re curing a hangover, fueling your marathon (or 5K!) training, or just gearing up for a Sunday on the couch watching football, monster sandwiches are the answer. The arrival of spots like Duke’s Grocery and food trucks like SUNdeVICH plus the continued awesomeness of Taylor Gourmet and Stachowski Market & Deli means you’ll never be without a good sando in hando.

Got a trend you’d like to share? Let us hear it in the comments section! Plus, see where we ate in 2013.

Out of Town Edition: Sbraga (Philly)

Spraga's Brisket

We’re happy to bring you yet another Amtrak-trip worthy restaurant. Hop on the next train to Philly to try creative American fare at Sbraga. But make a reservation first because they just won Restaurant of the Year in the city of brotherly love.

The cuisine at Sbraga is a lot like melting-pot America. Chef Kevin Sbraga pulls from Africa with his piri piri sauce; Thailand with the unexpected herbs in his foie gras soup; the Middle East with his falafel, Japan with his miso ramen and Italy with his lamb rigatoni.

But for those looking for straight up ‘Merican, he also has meatloaf and The Best Thing on the Menu: Brisket with Choucroute, Pastrami Jus and Pickles. This three-bite brisket is memorable because of its salty, sour and creamy flavor profile. 

Spraga's Foie Gras Soup

You might remember the man behind this delectable foie gras soup – Chef Kevin Sbraga – as the most likable person to ever win Top Chef. But I remember him from when we both worked at a restaurant on the Main Line under Chef Georges Perrier. He was very likable back then too, generously sneaking me snacks from the kitchen. Remembering his awesome dishes from Top Chef and his winning personality at George’s, I had very high hopes for his namesake restaurant and those hopes were met and exceeded.

Spraga's Wagyu Carpaccio

The menu, including this melt-in-your-mouth wagyu carpaccio is made simple: Diners make their draft picks for four courses. The damage? An incredibly reasonable $49, with opportunities to supplement with delicacies here and there. By DC standards, this is a steal. Even with the price of your round-trip Amtrak train to Philly!

Spraga's Key Lime Dessert

Finish the evening with desserts that range from classy to kindergarten. We tried this refined take on key lime pie in addition to the dirt pudding, complete with homemade gummy worms. Here’s hoping Chef Sbraga makes his way to DC to open another cool spot.

Brisket not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section. Click here for more photos.

If you liked this, you might also like Zahav, B TOO or Kapnos.

Garden District: Summer Feast for Two

Garden District

As we embark on the last real month of summer, we thought we’d share the perfect summer feast for two at Garden District, formerly known as Standard. Although there’s a fresh new name paying homage to the previous tenant, we’re pleased to see the menu remains unchanged.  The American South meets Bavaria at this community-driven Logan Circle smokehouse. There’s really something special about drinking German beers from steins that goes all too well with American BBQ.

The platter making up The Best Thing on the Menu consists of the pulled pork sandwich, barbecue brisket sandwich, hush puppies and Mexican style grilled corn. The biggest benefit of this platter is that it draws influence from different regions.  The chef, Tad Curtz, is not a monogamist when it comes to his ‘cue. He’s got vinegar-based North Carolina BBQ in one corner of the menu and sloppy, saucy Texas style in another.

The only sin we committed (besides gluttony) was not calling ahead to order a head.  For $25 bucks the chef will present you and your team of hungry hungry hippos with a full pig head so you can go after the jowls, tongue and beyond. While some might call this omission an epic fail, we’ve chosen to look at it as a reason to go back to Garden District, and soon. Before we know it, the Redskins will be under the lights, the leaves will be on the sidewalk and we’ll be asking where summer went.

The gates open at 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon on the weekends. We tell you this because thanks to top-quality beer and BBQ and an onslaught of great press, they’re due to be packed.  Just this month Garden District was named on Parade’s list of best BBQ. In an era of competitive reservations on 14th Street, it is somewhat refreshing that Garden District doesn’t reserve seats. Instead, you’re encouraged to grab some bench next to strangers and enjoy the camaraderie of consuming summer together.

Oh, and don’t forget the donuts! They’ll be available for just a dollar this weekend as a part of the neighborhood’s Mid City Dog Days (Aug. 3-4, 2013).

Our perfect platter for two not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section. Oh, and do rub it in (with salt) if you remembered to order the pig head.

If you like this, you might also like: Lincoln, Teddy and Ben’s Chili Bowl.