[Editor’s note: After our Salt Lick review and now this one, we are only reviewing barbecue restaurants at which we eat from this point in time forward. Sadly, this will force us to revisit some of our favorite spots ever, but that’s just the life of a barbecue blogger…]
Name: Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue
Location: 1119 North Boulevard W, Richmond, VA, 23230
Order: Monk: Pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies, Route 11 chips, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion; Speedy: Pulled pork sandwich, beef rib, cinnamon apples, hush puppies, Buz and Ned’s amber ale (link to menu)
Bill: Monk: ~$15 (with a beer); Speedy: ~$20
Monk: Inspired by this GQ article and the restaurant’s claim to be “the only real barbecue for 100 miles,” I suggested we make a stop in Richmond on our way to Washington, DC a few weeks back. Thankfully, everyone was game (not that it mattered, since I was driving and we were going regardless). Buz and Ned’s claim to being the “only real barbecue for 100 miles” is actually kind of funny, since it seemed to be specifically sticking it to Bill’s Barbecue, which has been in existence over 60 years longer and which we passed on the way to Buz and Ned’s.
Speedy: It actually became a great joke of the weekend, as we envisioned ourselves going into Bill’s yelling about the fake barbecue, overturning tables and yelling “Buz and Ned said you can GIT OUT” in a real southern twang. Trust me – it was funny in the moment. Anyhoo, the atmosphere at Buz and Ned’s is pretty interesting. There’s quite a bit of indoor seating, but also a small fenced off area out front under a giant tailgate tent with fake grass and a few picnic tables. Since it was a pleasant afternoon, this is where we chose to sit.
Monk: At Buz and Ned’s, you walk up to the window to place your order and then sit down and wait for your name to be called. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies, and “Route 11 chips.” A few minutes later, my name was called and I brought my food out to the covered patio – a nice option on this aforementioned pleasant afternoon. The pulled pork sandwich was covered in a thick, sweet barbecue sauce, which wasn’t quite what I had expected. Still, it had good flavor even if its not the type of barbecue sandwich I would prefer to eat. The hush puppies were actually really good and the best part of the meal. I thought the chips might be house baked chips as opposed to pre-packaged chips, so I made a mistake there by not ordering a classic barbecue side item in the first place.
Monk (hanging head in shame): Yea…
Speedy: Like a boss, I ordered two jumbo beef ribs to go with my sandwich and sides. Beef ribs aren’t generally my jam, but you could order these guys by the bone, so I had to try. And when I say jumbo beef ribs, I mean JUMBO BEEF RIBS. These guys were big, slathered in sauce, and delicious. They definitely could have been a bit more tender, but all in all, they were pretty good.
Monk: The ribs sure looked good, but you know, I have a tiny tummy…
Speedy: Yes, Monk, this is well-worn territory. Anyways, the sandwich was a little disappointing, especially since I SPECIFICALLY ASKED IF THE SLAW WAS VINEGAR BASED AND MY SANDWICH STILL HAD SOME NASTY MAYO BASED COLE SLAW ON TOP OF IT. Fortunately, it wasn’t too runny, so I was able to scrape it off and eat the pulled pork with a fork. Like Monk mentioned, the pulled pork itself was pretty good. Not my favorite style of sauce, but tasty none the less. The hush puppies were awesome, and the cinnamon apples were decent. All in all, a solid meal.
Monk: So we both weren’t displeased with our meals, but what’s our overall verdict? Do we consider this “real barbecue” that would cause us to vandalize Bill’s down the street in the name of the almighty Buz and Ned?
Speedy: Yeah, right. And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass when he hopped.
Monk: Speedy, that was a haiku. Excellent!
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – N/A
Sausage – N/A
Ribs (beef) – 3 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs