I’m a huge BBQ fan. I love brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken and anything else that’s been cooked over an open fire. Unfortunately, in Northern Va., there aren’t a lot of good BBQ joints around.
The building itself looks like a BBQ place, since it’s made out of bricks and has a large smoker located at the entrance. The inside of the building is a little dingy and old, but there’s an adequate amount of seating and cute knickknacks on the windows.
Now onto the meatier part of the review: the food.
I went twice, to make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke, and tried to order different things on the menu. The first time I went, I ordered the pork BBQ plate with muddy spuds and mac & cheese.
The pork BBQ was cooked well. The plate came with a heaping portion of pork with two crisp pickles on top. Even though the pork was juicy, it lacked a little bit of flavor. With the help of their house-made BBQ sauces, I was on my way to BBQ heaven. Unfortunately, the two sides that come with a plate – I chose muddy spuds and mac & cheese – were not as good as the pork.
The muddy spuds are thinly cut potatoes with cheese on them. They don’t sound fancy and that’s because they aren’t. Unfortunately, they aren’t that good either. They taste like really bland French Fries, but look similar to mashed potatoes. Taste wise, I’d rather have Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries.
After eating the muddy spuds, my hopes for the mac & cheese weren’t high, but they were good. They’re easily the best side that I tasted. They were deliciously cheesy and the noodles were cooked well. I wasn’t a huge fan of the fact that they used flour, but the mac & cheese turned out pretty good and I would order some if I went back.
Since I’m not a fan of eating good food by myself, I brought my sister along and she got the beef BBQ (brisket) plate, which was delicious. The beef was succulent and tender with lots of flavor. Whereas the pork needed the BBQ sauce, the beef was plenty good on its own. The plate came with seven large pieces of brisket and was more than enough for one person to devour.
For sides, she got muddy spuds and coleslaw. I’m a huge fan of creamy coleslaw and Dixie Bone’s is very creamy. It’s seasoned well and it provides an appropriate amount of sweetness when paired with a bite of meat. My two sides for my next visit would be coleslaw and mac & cheese.
If you order the plate, you get a bun or you can pay an extra $0.45 for the cornbread. Since we got two plates and one bun, I decided to get a piece of cornbread. Now I’ve never had ‘real’ cornbread before, but I was told that this is ‘real’ cornbread. It’s very grainy and hearty, instead of being sweet and light. Since I’ve never had it, I would explain it as white bread vs. whole wheat bread. I wouldn’t say the cornbread is bad, just different. Would I order it if I went back? No. The bun is just that, a plain bun, which isn’t bad.
The second time I visited Dixie Bones, I got a “giant stuffed potato” with pork. When I usually see the word “giant” or anything similar to it, I automatically assume it will be small to average size. Maybe that’s a curse of dining in Washington, D.C., but when Dixie Bones says “giant”, they mean giant.
The potato was stacked high with umptious pork, cheese, butter and sour cream. It was soft in the middle while the outer edges were a little crispy. And boy was it huge. It could be a stand-alone meal itself.
Price: 7/10 Taste: 7/10 Overall: 7/10
Overall, I’m happy I found Dixie Bones. It’s a pretty good BBQ place that’s close to me. But it has quite a few downfalls. The first one is the price. For two plates of food and one drink, the price is approximately $35. Let’s say you want to save money, like I did on my second visit, one oversized-potato with meat will run you $9, plus $2 for iced tea. Which isn’t necessarily cheap.
Now I wouldn’t mind paying that much for good food, but it isn’t that good, which brings me to my second point: the food is average at best. The brisket was the best meat I had and the coleslaw was the best side I had, but they weren’t that good.
I’d definitely go back to Dixie Bones, but only when I have a craving for BBQ. It’s not the kind of place that makes you crave more, but a place that satiates your craving and nothing more. And I’m okay with that.