Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Urban Bar-B-Que Company Food Review

It may not look like much from the outside; but Urban Bar-B-Que Company knocks your socks off once you step inside. The Rockville favorite (just off the Pike) is the closest thing in Maryland to North Carolina barbecue... without the five-hour drive.

Time was, there weren't many barbecue restaurants to choose from in the DMV; and while there are some good ones (DCity Smokehouse, Hill Country) most look and taste like pretenders. Not so at Urban. It's casual and cozy with zero (I repeat, zero) pretension. You come here to sit, relax and eat like a king... Nothing more.

Where else can you find Dominion Root Beer... on tap? Or a generous portion of Corn Bread with real corn kernels and a crusty exterior... FREE with each BBQ plate or sampler. Speaking of, I ordered the 2-Meat BBQ Sampler Plate (your choice of 2 meats, 1 side and bread... choose the corn bread, end of story.) It's a steal at $12.99, but that's $1.50 more than it was back in December '13 (word's out... this place rocks.)

Beef Brisket & Pit Sausage

I settled on Beef Brisket and Pit Sausage with a side of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy... No easy task, considering all the choices (click here to see the full menu.) The atmosphere here is ├╝ber-casual: There was literally a sign that read, "We Are Not Your Mama. Please Clean Up After Yourself" at my table. At least they said please. Complimentary peanuts in a shell too... plus FREE Fireballs (clever, original.)

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Inside, there's a constant flux of customers coming in and out (most for take-away) even before noon, which creates an exciting buzz. It's clean (by no means immaculate) with miles and miles of charm; and the staff is polite, but not overwhelming (i.e. fake) about it. You can tell, they're here for the food as well: Let it do the talking. I couldn't agree more.

Corn Bread

Service is fast, but there are things to work on. For example, the mash (I always eat potatoes first) was ice cold with lukewarm gravy. What a shame, because it was still incredibly tasty: Imagine if it were hot? Both the brisket and sausage was on the fatty side; but the former was incredibly moist and delicious, while the sausage packed unrivaled heat. Sauces are available to add (I strongly recommend Corey Joe) but truth be told, you could devour both meats without anything extra. For me, that's saying a mouthful.

Complimentary Peanuts

Portion sizes are perfect. Including the peanuts beforehand, the amount of food is deceivingly plentiful. Good barbecue should fill you, and Urban's does. I only wish I had room for one more chunk of corn bread... or some UBQ Wings with Yella BBQ sauce, 7 for $7.99. Other items on the menu don't sound nearly as appetizing (i.e. Redneck Fondue... seriously, what were they thinking?)

This was my third visit, and each time Urban Bar-B-Que seems to outdo itself (not to mention the competition.) Cold mash is inexcusable; but it's hard to stay angry (or even a tiny bit upset) when you're basking in barbecue glory. Who says you need to dress up to "get down" with great brisket (and corn bread?)