Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dixie Bones Barbecue (6/10) 13440 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191

My time in Washington DC came to a close, so I mapped a route back to Atlanta that would allow me to try five to six new barbecue joints from DC, throughout eastern Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina that I had been excited about trying.  The impending snow storm that was threatening to dump a couple feet of snow in the area however led me to revise my journey to the most direct route back to Atlanta.  The only barbecue stop that was salvaged from being deleted from the trip was Dixie Bones, located a unimpressive 20 miles south of the District.  Although I knew very little about Dixie Bones and Woodbridge, Virginia, I was excited about the idea of getting off the congested freeway known as I-95 for a few miles.  

In an inconspicuous manner, I entered the restaurant and took a seat at one of the four chairs at the counter.  Unbeknownst to me, my burnt orange UT cap grasped the attention of the staff who all individually approached me solely to say "Roll Tide".   I had just entered the dangerous waters of a Bama barbecue restaurant.  Dixie Bones = Alabama Barbecue Joint... it made too much sense.  The owner of the restaurant, Nelson Head - a relocated Alabama native, took a seat next to me and talked about barbecue and the upcoming BCS Championship Game for approximately 20 minutes.  Nelson couldn't have been nicer and down to earth.  He expressed his ultimate desire to expand his barbecue empire, but acknowledged that he was weary whether his following would falter once his joint would become a chain.  In the barbecue world, stand-alone restaurants typically reign supreme.  Only a few exceptions come to mind -- Rudy's Barbecue and Cooper's Barbecue (both joints in Texas).

Like other Alabama barbecue joints, Dixie Bones offered stuffed barbecue potatoes and white barbecue sauce.  Nelson had great pride in his food and told me that I couldn't go wrong with whatever meats I decided to order.  I decided to go with the three meats I enjoy the most:  brisket, pork, and ribs.  I dove into the brisket first and was intrigued by both the look and feel of the meat.  The brisket was very soft and moist, but looked like it had been stewed rather than smoked.  The taste echoed my impression, and I hoped for a stronger smoke flavor in the meat.  The pork was executed a lot better.  A stronger smoky flavor penetrated the pork and Dixie Bone's spiciest of sauces complemented the flavor very well.  I ate all my pork at the expense of filling up on the brisket.
The ribs were cooked well (neither under/overcooked) but lacked a great flavor that I had anticipated after speaking to Nelson over the previous 20+ minutes.  I honestly wanted to love the food but nothing I ate truly excited me.  In retrospect, I can only state one Alabama barbecue location that I have loved (The Brick Pit in Mobile) over the past 6 months.  Perhaps I'm just biased against the way Alabamans prepare their barbecue. 

Dixie Bones on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I would like to go to eat there, those meat there looks so delicious, that makes me feel so hungry right now.


Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.