TKA recently launched Let Your City Speak, a video documentary series about the artists, craftsmen and visionaries who make Richmond, Virginia such a unique and culturally vibrant place to work and live.
Let Your City Speak currently highlights the stories of eight inspiring Richmonders: Allan Coberly, Radio DJ at WRIR 97.3; Noah Scalin, award winning artist known for his Skull-A-Day project; Dustin Lee, freelance painter; Rob Sheley of Plan 9 Records; Eric Pfieiffer, illustrator and brain child behind the Kid Havoc comics; Fred Pinckard, Salvation Tattoo artist; Justin Tran, illustrator; and Phil Cunningham of the Rag and Bones Bicycle Co-op.
Each video represents a Richmond neighborhood or district, including Jackson Ward, the Fan, the Museum District, Carytown, Downtown, Northside, Scott’s Addition and VCU. The King Agency hopes to expand on the series in 2015 to feature additional prominent artists and small business owners in the Richmond area.
Let Your City Speak was produced by TKA intern Jane Taylor. For more information or to watch the documentaries, click here.
Walking into Extra Billy’s BBQ on Broad Street, with its low lighting and décor reminiscent of an old saloon, feels like stepping back in time. The side dining room features structures from an old-fashioned post office, including a wall of antique mail slots. Upon being seated, our server brought large mason jars filled with water to the table and took our orders, with no shortage of smiles or southern hospitality with every “what can I get you, sugar?”
Extra Billy’s definitely gives you more than enough bang for your buck, serving up lunch portions that rival many restaurants’ dinner plates. Each entrée comes with two sides, so we opted for pulled pork, brisket, ribs and sausage as well as just about every side dish they offer.
The pulled pork possessed a rich smoky flavor but lacked seasoning. Slathered up with some of their homemade BBQ sauce, it tasted juicy and a little sweet. Their ribs were moist but not exactly fall off the bone. As far as sides go, their steak fries had a nice seasoning to them, and the chunky apple sauce added a sweet balance to the place. My favorite part of the meal? Their fresh squeezed limeade, which lasted all of 60 seconds before I drank every last drop.
Overall, it was a decent meal, and unlike many BBQ restaurants in the area, it was easy on the wallet too. (Plus, they give you an Oreo at the end of your meal. Who says no to Oreos?)
TKA hit the road again last week, going on a little adventure to a distant land called “Midlothian” to taste test what Q Barbeque has to offer. The results? Q Barbecue is fine in our books.
Like many barbeque joints in the area, you place your order at the counter, and the food is brought to your table. At the table there are three sauce options to choose from: Sa-weet, HotZing and Original. The sauce choices were decent on their own, but I decided to mix things up a bit and use both HotZing and Original on my pulled pork. The pulled pork was moist and juicy, and with a little sauce, it tickled my taste buds.
As far as sides go, I sampled a little bit of everyone’s meals at the table. (I didn’t even have to sneak food off anyone’s plate. Thanks, guys!) The macaroni and cheese was by far the best side we had, reminiscent of something your grandmother might make. I also sampled the hush puppies as well as the onion rings. I enjoyed the hush puppies, but the onion rings lacked flavor.
Overall, I would say it’s a good eat but not necessarily somewhere I would tell someone, “Holy crap! You have to go there!” You get adequately sized portions, but it’s not cheap. For about $10 a meal, I would rather skip the counter service and go to a sit-down restaurant.
Meh. That about sums up how I feel after eating lunch at Bigs BBQ last week. We popped up the street during lunchtime to get our BBQ fix, but the empty restaurant at noon should have been a sign of what was to come.
Keeping a constant variable, I went with my standard pulled pork order with sweet potato fries on the side. The pork was chewy and bland and probably would have tasted better had it been seasoned with a dry rub. They serve it to you naked so you can dress it up with their vinegar or BBQ sauce, which was mediocre at best.
The beef brisket arrived to the table tough and tasteless, an unpalatable choice. The consistency resembled that of old shoe leather, as if it had been sitting in the back for a few days prior to our arrival.
I have a weakness for sweet potatoes, but I was not loving on their sweet potato fries. They tasted like something you would find in the frozen food section of a grocery store. The portions are huge; however, for what you get taste-wise, it’s not worth the price.
It seemed like your standard run-of-the-mill restaurant by day, college bar by night with sub-par bar food. I would probably enjoy playing pool and throwing back some brews there, but as far as their BBQ is concerned, I am not a fan. With all of the options available in Richmond, I would rather take my money to one of the other BBQ joints in town.
I think I’m in love… with a new BBQ place, that is.
TKA ventured out to the West End last week to try the newest BBQ chain in town – Mission BBQ. It opened a few weeks ago, and boy, did it kick ass. We arrived just in time to salute Old Glory while they played the National Anthem, a tradition every day at noon at Mission BBQ. It just doesn’t get more American than that!
At BBQ restaurants, I typically stick with my usual order of pulled pork; however, after sampling a few items from the menu, I was torn on what to order. A server let us try the sliced turkey as well as the jalapeno & cheese sausage (can you say, “YUM!”) I deliberated with the cashier about their made from scratch sides and ultimately ordered the pulled pork with a side of mac and cheese.
The pulled pork is slow smoked in a delicious dry rub, and they are not stingy on the portions either. On the tables, you’ll find a 6 pack of BBQ sauces from different states. I lathered my BBQ up with some Smokey Mountain, my favorite of the sauces, and dug in. Let’s just say that plate of food didn’t stand a chance.
I think we may have a strong contender for best BBQ joint in Richmond, but don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself, and let us know if you agree!
5432 Glenside Drive
Richmond, VA 23228
Last week TKA traveled to the West End to check out Buz and Ned’s new location on Broad Street. Having never been to that location, we thought we’d give it a try!
Buz and Ned’s has been serving Richmond great barbecue for over 20 years out of their small shop on Boulevard. Buz Grossberg, Virginia’s undisputed barbecue pit master according to many, hickory smokes his tender, juicy spare ribs. Buz and Ned’s secret family recipes have been passed down for over 150 years, and their spare ribs reaped national recognition from Food Network in 2007, defeating Bobby Flay’s recipe in a Throwdown.
So how was our experience? Delicious and satisfying. Hours of smoking delivered tender, juicy and flavorful barbecue, and the open, rustic barn atmosphere, complete with metal chicken and pig décor, really brings everything together. Buz and Ned’s knows how to deliver, and judging from the busy Wednesday lunch crowd, they’re here to stay.
Having visited and loved both Buz and Ned’s and Alamo BBQ, we’re torn. Which one is better?
There’s only one way to settle this dispute — a rib-off. Stay tuned…
Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue
8205 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23233
1119 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23221
Last week the TKA crew ventured to Alamo BBQ in Church Hill, and boy, was it delicious! Richmond is no stranger to good barbecue: Q Barbeque, Extra Billy’s, Famous Dave’s, Alamo BBQ and of course, Buz & Ned’s, which has garnered national recognition, appearing on both Food Network and the Travel Channel, to name a few. One need not wander far in Richmond to stumble across one of these gems.
Authentic Texas-style barbecue joint Alamo BBQ is located in the heart of historic Church Hill. Like Buz and Ned’s, Alamo BBQ is no stranger to media recognition, ranking as one of the 10 best spots for ribs in the country by Fox News last year. Award-winning brisket, jalapeño mac and cheese and hickory smoked spare ribs are just a few of the mouth-watering items on the menu. If you’re feeling ravenous, give the Texas Philly a try: BBQ, grilled onions, jalapeños and peppers piled on an amoroso roll and topped with cheese sauce. Mmm good!
Don’t believe us? Just look at their reviews, or better yet, give it a try! Your stomach will thank us.