Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Andy Nelson, We Love You

by Erin & Xani

Last week Xani and I found ourselves outside the city in Baltimore County (gasp! the horror!) and we were HUNGRY. Our first thought was to hit up our beloved Suburban House, home of some of the best latkes in Maryland and site of Xani's law school graduation lunch, but then we remembered that it recently burned down! The Jewish restaurant community took a big hit. But we hear they are rebuilding and we will be back.

Instead, we went to legendary BBQ joint, Andy Nelson's Barbeque, where Xani had been before but Erin had only heard about. We were excited, to say the least.

The restaurant is unremarkable from the outside but inside it is homey and comfortable. There are also picnic tables outside but we were in the mood for air conditioning so we stayed inside.

Now let's get down to what really matters: the food. We ordered one of their platters to share. The platter came with a half-slab of ribs, two other meats, two sides, and corn bread. For the other meats we ordered pulled pork BBQ and smokehouse beef brisket. For our sides, we went traditional and got the cole slaw and red-skin potato salad. On our ribs, the cashier asked us if we wanted the ribs "Memphis dry" (with a dry rub) or "wet" (with BBQ sauce) - we went with the dry rub.

The food was outstanding. We hesitate to say it was the best BBQ we've ever had since we've been down south and had great BBQ (e.g., when EP went down to NC for some serious Carolina-style BBQ and hushpuppies at Wilbur's BBQ), but we'll go ahead and say it was the best BBQ in Maryland.

The pulled pork was pretty vinegar-y (aka awesome) and had lots of flavor. We think it would be best on a sandwich, versus just on a plate like we had it, since it was chopped, rather than shredded.

The brisket was SO good - it was very tender and fatty and sliced really thin, almost like pit beef. They had a couple types of BBQ sauce available and they were excellent on the brisket.

The best meat, however, was the ribs. I don't know if its just that we hadn't had ribs in a long time or what, but we were DYING over them! The rub was super-flavorful, and the ribs were juicy and fatty, but amazingly not too greasy. We devoured them.

As for the sides, the potato salad was really good, very down-home. The cole slaw had a lot of flavor from the celery seeds, but it needed salt and sugar. Ah well - I guess not everything can be absolutely fabulous!

The corn bread was also very good - crunchy on the outside (and it was a pretty thin piece, so it was mostly "outside") with bits of corn running throughout the bread. I only wish we had had more than one piece.

Think we liked it?

We finished everything and to be honest, we haven't stopped thinking about that meal. We will definitely be going back in the very near future - maybe when it cools off a little so we can eat outside without sweating to death? Yeah, that sounds good.

Happy lip-smacking BBQ!

E & X

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