BBQ in Maryland

Junior Burger
2008/06/28 20:10:51
So I don't know if The Corner Stable has gone downhill or if I just wasn't educated enough as to BBQ. But the last time I went in there, the ribs were clearly boiled, and while the sauce itself was tasty, the ribs themselves weren't bad, but extremely bland.

Now I'm looking for a new BBQ place. I live in the "Greater Baltimore Area".

I've actually got a few questions about a couple places that are nearby and convenient.

Kloby's Backyard BBQ
Famous Dave's
Andy Nelson's BBQ
Archie's BBQ

Also looking for any great hole-in-the-wall places that might be below notice.

Don't bother mentioning The Canopy. I went in there once, it was filthy and the pit was clearly long out of use. Never again.

Thanks in advance.
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/06/29 12:23:21
The only thing Famous about Dave's is how bad it is.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/06/30 16:21:50
Johnny Boy's in Waldorf on 301. Haven't been there for awhile, but for years it was the most authentic que in Southern MD.

Bonita Springs, FL
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/06/30 16:43:19
I've never had ribs at Andy Nelson's but their pulled pork is very good and their sauces are good. The ribs at Razorback's in the Dulaney shopping center used to be good but I haven't been there in a couple of years.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/07/01 18:08:22
I'm not big on the ribs at Andy Nelson's, but the pulled pork is good.

Try the Big Bad Wolf on Harford Road for ribs. They do great beef ribs, which are usually hard to find in Baltimore. The mac and cheese is really good there as well.
Junior Burger
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/08/19 23:27:54
I'm not a fan of Andy Nelson's at all.

I really do like KBQ in Bowie on 450, though.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/08/19 23:43:05
Originally posted by QFan
Johnny Boy's in Waldorf on 301. Haven't been there for awhile, but for years it was the most authentic que in Southern MD. QFan Bonita Springs, FL

QFan; Dearfolk,
Thanks for the tip. I may well have a pilgrimage -- quick up and back -- to Waldorf to pick up 2,500 junk 45 records. I ought to send Ted an e-mail to see what he thinks of the place, oughtn't I?
Pitifully Pitlessly, Ort. Carlton in All-Too-Gasburning Athens, Georgia.
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/08/20 17:39:20
Ort, if you come to Waldorf I'd love to meet up with you. I'll even buy the beer.

Junior Burger
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/09/01 02:14:25
Well, 2 months later I've been to most of these places.

Famous Dave's wasn't close to being awful, but it wasn't worth going back to when there's other BBQ in the area. I would buy their BBQ sauce by the pint though.

Kloby's... heartbreaking, the location I went to closed a month after I discovered it. They had two locations, one on the outskirts of Baltimore, the other down in Laurel. I didn't get a chance to try their ribs, but I had both the pulled pork and the brisket. The pulled pork was hands down better than any of the other places I've been to save maybe Hocutt's (back when it was at its West Virginia location), and the style was different anyway. Kloby's does their pork in tips/chunks. There's no hint of vinegar, and the meat is very lightly sauced - if you don't order sauce on the side, most of the meat just tastes like pork and smoke. I also tried their beef brisket twice. They shave it thin like deli meat. The first time was delicious, just the taste of meat and smoke. The second time was awful - there was so much fat in it that I had to take it back because a quarter of the way through the portion I'd discarded more fat than I'd eaten meat. However I chalk this up to either it being decided the location was going to close and phoning it in, going there at an off hour with two girls younger than me (I'm only in my mid 20s) in the kitchen who didn't know what they were doing, or a combination of the two.

The location they closed was in a strip mall. Despite this, they had real BBQ going on there, they had wood inside the dining room - but it was probably fated to close. I held off trying it for nearly a year because I didn't think a BBQ place in a strip mall could be decent. Their other location in Laurel was where their actual smokehouse was, and according to their website,, they just added a dining room to it. I'd strongly reccomend it, with the advice that you should ask how lean the brisket is before ordering it.

Andy Nelson's has a very, very heavy hand on the vinegar. I mean, everything has vinegar in it. Pork, greens, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw. But that isn't to say it isn't good, they put some tasty food on the table. Their pork is minced or shredded, sauced and put on a roll, and you can help yourself to horseradish, raw onions and two different bbq sauces, the carolina mustard sauce, and *sigh* another vinegar based sauce. Even their dry rub counts vinegar solids as an ingredient.

If this sounds negative, well, don't take it like that. I've been to Andy's half a dozen times since first going there and will go back again. The first bite is always esquisite, it's just that by the time I'm done I'm really wishing they had something totally devoid of vinegar on the menu. I usually get some mustard bbq sauce and some horseradish and alternate. A bite plain, a bite with mustard bbq, a bite with horseradish, repeat...

Went to the Big Bad Wolf just yesterday and had beef ribs for the first time in my life. Enjoyed them immensely after I fished all the meat out of the fat they came in. I didn't get the pork but I got to try some - they do the meat in big shreds and chunks. They do vinegar it some, but not as strongly as Andy's does. It's across town from where I live but I fully intend to go back, hopefully before they take the "blueberry rum" BBQ sauce off their menu...

Razorbacks is a different kettle of fish. It's a nice sit down restaurant and it doesn't do BBQ, it does bbq'ed ribs. It's also a bar that seriously knows its mixed drinks - they'll look down their nose at you if you ask for a list, but if you order something knowing what you want it'll come out good. As for the ribs, Razorbacks ribs themselves are good, but its their sauces that make them. Kentucky Bourbon sauce is delicious, a carribean mango sauce taught me that sweet =/= bad when it comes to bbq, and there's a few others I haven't tried, but Razorbacks is pricey.

I can't make it down to southern Maryland to try Johnny Boy's any time soon, but there's a couple things I want to get to down there, including Bear Creek Pit BBQ.

I don't own a digital camera at this time but I'm saving up for one, and I'll provide some pictures once I've got it.
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2008/09/02 01:29:50
McJeff, thanks for keeping us up to date.

I've been to Johnnie Boy's and I liked them.
Junior Burger
RE: BBQ in Maryland 2010/06/28 20:10:46
I also recommend Johnny Boy's.  It's south of La Plata MD on US 301 towards the bridge over the Potomac.  Worth a stop for lunch on your way South -- I go for the sliced pork sandwich.  If it's later, pick up a slab of ribs for dinner at home.  Remember to put some sauce (mild or hot) on your sandwich before driving away (they'll give you sauce to take out with the ribs if you ask).
Junior Burger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/09/13 14:27:33
I love Joints and Dives, BBQ Joints probably the most, although I can be convinced to go for Chili anywhere.
I took the family to Dicky's Barbecue Pit in Gambrils Maryland on Labor Day Sunday.  It is in a small strip center on the North side of Route 3 right after Davidsonville Road.
The family is used to the BBQ drill for new places, we get a plate each of the basics, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Brisket and everyone trys what they want.
Dicky's is a franchise operation, I was shocked when I walked in and it was setup like a fast food operation.  It was clean, but there wasn't a trace of smoke smell at all, how they managed that was beyond me.
The staff didn't no much about BBQ.  I asked what kind of ribs they served and they said pork.  Someone said they were long bone ribs, so I ordered them; they were Memphis cut spares.  You got three ribs, 2 sides, and a biscuit for $11.  Biscuits were to die for.  The ribs were painted with sauce toward the end of cooking and had some flavor, tenderness was good.  Flavor was just that of the sauce.  NOTHING in the restaurant had any smoke flavor.
The pulled pork plate had about 1/4 lb or so of pulled pork, two sides and a biscuit.  There was NO seasoning, sauce, or anything that had ever touched that pork.  It was rather tasteless.  Cooked well though.
The sausage plate also has the standard 2 sides and a biscuit, but this sausage was GOOOOOD.  Not much smoke flavor (I think the packer put a little in) but it was good.  Of course Smithfield is great when cooked at home too.  This is the best thing we had.
Brisket plate the same, 2 sides and a Biscuit.  Brisket was sliced about 1/4" thick and was a little underdone by competition standards, it was tender but again had no taste, none, nada.
The BBQ sauce (right from the pump) was wayyyy tooooo vinegry for a tomato bases sauce, it tasted like cider vinegar and just overpowered everything.
The potato salad was OK, but it was a lot more like mashed potato salad.  I am used to big chunks (or at least SOME chunks) of potato with the coating on them.  There was the occasional little piece of potato, but mostly mush.  This might be some form of potato salad with the only chunks being pickles and celery.
Cole slaw was good, I like mine shredded, theirs was chopped, nonetheless, the pulled porn needed SOMETHING.
The onion ring kind of things were really good.
The beans were also pretty good, nothing special but good.
The biscuits were excellent, the wife and son went back for more.  Great to make a brisket sandwich with.
Overall not high marks.  This is really not a BBQ joint as we know them in Maryland, really a franchise fast food establishment.  We were the only folks in there except occasionally folks would come in for take out (there were about three in the hour we were there).  I'm chalking this up to the labor day weekend, MAYBE.
I get the feeling the originators are trying NOT to offend anyone, but have given themselves a flat signature.  If you are only going to provide one sauce, make sure it is a good one.  If you stop here, bring a bottle of Cattleman's or other favorite and a shaker of rub to put some flavor into what you are served.
One star rating.
Junior Burger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/10/19 10:47:54
I eat at Andy Nelson's about 1-2 times a week. I am a transplanted southerner and love the pulled pork, brisket and ribs. Being a fan of NC and SC cooking I enjoy the vinegar  and mustard sauces. I only live about 8 miles away so that makes it easy. This summer I stopped in and Brooks Robinson was in line in front of me. Lots of old Colts and Orioles stop by for some great BBQ and to say hello to another great Colt, Andy, who still works everyday.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/10/19 11:15:23
atankersdad - If you haven't already joined andy Nelson's loyalty club (link below), it's well worth it.
I get a big postcard every month or two with $7.50 off an order, and I've gotten a free bottle of the Bama sauce.
Their pulled pork and brisket are my favorites, but I'm not a big fan of their sides. Bone dry cornbread.
post edited by eruby - 2010/10/19 13:22:37
Junior Burger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/10/28 17:49:14
I eat at Andy's semi-regularly.   Their pork tends to vary a bit depending on who's in the kitchen I guess.  Lately they've been serving it in bigger pieces.  Their ribs are my favorite, though - most places in Baltimore only do baby backribs.  And while Andy's sometimes gets their ribs dry, the ribs are always nice and meaty - great texture, great meat flavor.  I'm also a big fan of their "Yardbird" - bbqed chicken.  Either the white meat or dark meat is good, although the white may get too dry for some people's tastes.  And you can get a combo of white/dark if you ask.  The Beef BBQ and Turkey-Que, in my opinion, weren't worth ordering.  Not that they were bad, they were better than a lot of bbq I've had, but there's other, much better things on the menu.  Still haven't tried their pit beef.
Kloby's is thriving in their new location in Laurel.  They do whole smoked wings, their pulled pork is the best in town, and they've always got something new to try on the specials.  I was down there a couple weeks ago and it was "pork balls".  Imagine jalapeno poppers with pulled pork in them.  Beyond delicious.  They've also got homemade kielbasa and bratwurst for Oktoberfest.  They're also the only place outside of Alabama that I've heard of... having heard of white bbq sauce.  It's the default condiment for their smoked turkey.  Most of the sides are great.  The coleslaw and potato salad are "okay-ish", but everything else, even the green beans, are great.  They cook the green beans on the same griddle they do the meat on, so they're not really a vegetarian or health option.  The mac and cheese and the baked beans are the other two sides to get.  The cornbread is southern sweet-style cornbread, and most meals come free with it.  Their hushpuppies are high quality but they're the onion-flavored kind, not the sweet ones I prefer.
I'd also like to throw out a reccomendation for Chubby's BBQ.  It's up in Emmitsburg, or Emmitsville (forget which the town's called) northwest of Frederick.  Their brisket is consistently good which I can't say of any other BBQ place I've been to.  Their pork is lacking a bit of smoke flavor but the meat itself is tender and juicy and well flavored, and it's served in very big chunks, almost like pulled pork that you could pull yourself once it gets to you.  Their cream of crab soup is as good as the menu brags and the best I've had since Pebble's Pub went downhill a decade and a half ago.  Their sides, however, may be the best thing about them.  The greens and the baked beans have a lot of meat in them, so if you don't like that, be warned, if you do, be joyful.  Haven't tried the coleslaw.  The standout is their fried potatoes, which they apparently put on the meat griddle with a bit of onion and quite a bit of sausage.
Still haven't made it back to the Big Bad Wolf.
When I was down 301 last year Johnnie Boy's appeared to be closed.
I posted a fairly in-depth review of Bear Creek Pit BBQ.  Long story short I was extremely disappointed in it.
post edited by McJeff - 2010/10/28 17:54:05
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/10/28 18:30:31
Has anyone here patronized the pit beef trailer set-up across
from 84 Lumber in Hanover, Maryland (intersection of Dorsey [Rt. 176]
and Telegraph [Rt. 170] Roads just south of BWI Airport)?
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:BBQ in Maryland 2010/11/01 21:22:01
I'll take that as a "no." 
BBQ in Maryland - New place on the Eastern Shore 2011/02/20 13:57:09
There is a new place for BBQ in Easton, MD that is very good!  It is called The BBQ Joint  and is located on Dover Road and Aurora Street.
The Beef Brisket is my wife's favorite and the Pull Pork is mine.
Later this spring they will expand to the Queenstown Outlets at the Routes 50/301 split.
No relation here to the place other than as a very happy customer!
Junior Burger
Re:BBQ in Maryland - New place on the Eastern Shore 2011/03/07 12:25:32
There use to be an awesome place for BBQ Ribs in the Baltimore area. It was called the Dixie Pig. It was great. The Pit Master there was about 86 years old when I met him. He had been cooking ribs for about 80 of those years. They moved from the shack to a strip mall and was never the same! Too bad, it was the Best!
Fire Safety Admin
Re:BBQ in Maryland - New place on the Eastern Shore 2011/03/07 12:42:59
Maybe they were having a bad day when we stopped in, but neither cousin Johnny or I liked anything we ate at Andy Nelson's.  Too bad, because the people were very friendly and it does have nice atmosphere.