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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

RICHMOND'S BUZ AND NED'S BARBECUE--WHEN ONLY THE BEST WILL DO!

Additional outdoor seating 
Some things are just meant to be, and for us it was a visit to Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue in Richmond, Virginia.  If you watch the Travel Channel, you know about the Barbecue Crawl.  Rob and I do our own when we travel, and I’ve written about many different delicious
barbecue places we’ve encountered.  If the place is really up to snuff, it is filled with locals we let get ahead of us on line as we try to make sense out of the menu and watch what other people are ordering.  It’s a mad game.  It’s never the same, and if we play it well, our taste buds get the rewards.  Barbecue is an art practiced by very individual artists.

Our encounter with Buz and Ned’s actually began as a takeout.  We were heading to Richmond to visit my cousins Rita and Bruce in Richmond, VA, and knowing our penchant for barbecue, Rita said she’d bring in takeout barbecue when we arrived.  As we sat eating the different BBQ offerings, we learned they came from Buz and Ned’s, Rita and Bruce’s favorite BBQ takeout. 

The name apparently lodged like a little bubble in my brain for several days later when we and our son Michael headed for the Movieland Cinema, we passed Buz and Ned’s.  I mentioned to Michael that we’d had glorious BBQ takeout from there.  He told us he had heard great things about Buz and Ned’s barbecue from Richmond friends but thus far had not gotten over here. 

VoilĂ ! The next day the three of us headed to Buz and Ned’s for lunch.
The menu and choices are a bit overwhelming
to us newcomers.

Buz and Ned’s was crowded!  Line up, place your order at the window, receive a number and wait until you’re called.  Simple if you know what you’re doing.  The menu is long and tempting, and we let quite a few people get ahead of us on line as we tried to choose.

The decor is simple.  Plain, high wooden tables and bar stool height seats.  Food is served in plastic baskets lined with paper.  Believe me, no one minds the informality.  The customers are there for barbecue.

Eat any size portion from appetizer size to small meals, to large meals, to full racks of ribs.  Choose from 14 different sides.  Dozens of beverages from fresh squeezed lemonade to single barrel bourbons!  What makes choosing more difficult is that everything that passed by us looked great!

Amazingly, if you REALLY yearned for it, you could buy Nathan’s hotdogs!  You could also choose as a side our very favorite, Rt. 11 Potato Chips!  So I also count Buz and Ned’s as a gourmet restaurant!!!!!

We three went for the SMALL complete meal (one sandwich as opposed to the Large’s two sandwiches).  These sandwiches were stuffed!  We tried the pulled pork and the beef brisket.  Each meal also included a choice of two sides like my two: hush puppies and baked beans.  There were also Cinnamon Bourbon Apples (sounded very tempting), Cuke & Onion Salad, and the usual-sounding but not necessarily usual cole slaw, potato salad, and french fries.  If these choices were not already overwhelming, for an additional $.99 we could choose Fresh Country Greens, Mac and 3 cheeses, Sweet Potato Fries (w/cinnamon and sugar) or some other tantalizing possibilities. 

We drank beer and did not try Buz and Ned’s Hard Lemonade. 

The general opinion: Buz and Ned’s deserves its reputation.  Had our visit to Richmond been longer, we would have returned to work on the rib menu—both pork and beef.  I wonder if Buz and Ned’s ever sells its desserts.  I don’t know how anyone could have room left!

Visit the website.  You’ll find out that yes, Ned is dead, but he left his barbecue secrets to Buz to pass down for us to enjoy.  The history is interesting, and it’s a good website to browse.  But honestly, eating here is believing.
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