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Restaurant review: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

How do you know you’re in a serious barbecue restaurant? That is, if you don’t see a smoker in the parking lot? That’s easy: when the tables are bedecked in blue-and-white-checked plastic tablecloths.

 

Another telltale sign is if, like at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a fine new eatery at Southpoint, there’s a prominent photo of one of America’s favorite “outlaws,” Waylon Jennings, along with another, of his weapon of choice, a Fender Telecaster, adorning the walls.

Dickey’s décor, which consists primarily of  barn wood and corrugated steel, promotes a very industrial, modern steakhouse look.  Adding to the functional vibe, the food comes out on heavy aluminum half sheet pans. (I love that touch!)

 Oh, and there’s lots and lots of signage—bright yellow, with bold black lettering—that recalls road-work advisories. Or those CAUTION: MEN WORKING signs.

Hey, even the disposable dishes and accoutrements have got text on them, like “I’m a napkin  ” or “I’m a side item  ” And their durable, plastic soft-drink “Big Yellow Cups” read: “I’m a souvenir. Don’t leave me. Take me home. I’m reusable, recyclable, dishwasher and microwave safe.” How about “waterproof” or “shock resistant” while we’re at it? I mean, as long as they’re tooting their own horn.

Everything is a little too wordy; it made me feel more than a little manipulated, as if I were being  herded down a cattle chute. I suppose they’re just being upfront about not simply selling single sandwiches here, but also  takeout, online and catering services, and even franchising opportunities.

 But with barbecue as good as theirs,  they don’t need the hard-sell. After a couple of mouthfuls, I was already imagining myself in my own barbecue shack, slinging sassy brisket and pulled pork to smiling passersby.

I say just let the product speak for itself: Take a cue from Texas Roadhouse, where they’ve learned to “speak softly and carry a big steak.”

So how good is the ’cue, on a scale of say, “lip-smacking” to “knee-slapping”? Well, Dickey’s is off-the-charts good, all the way to “nose-running,” in the way that the very best barbecue has of making you feel as if you haven’t taken a truly deep, honest breath in between your barbecue  fixes.

To be sure, their  ’cue needs some dressing up. And the  restaurant is only too happy to oblige, with three different sauces with mainly differing degrees of heat to distinguish them. There’s a sweet brown-sugar sauce, the “original” sauce and a hot-and-spicy sauce.

My wife had the Lil’ Hoagie with pulled pork on a toasted bun, along with a  pair of sides, potato salad and fried okra, which she called “sinful.” I went with  the Wednesday special, a pulled pork, Polish sausage and cheese sandwich, and a pair of sides the counterman recommended—mac and cheese, and  baked potato casserole. The mac and cheese tasted, if anything, a little too cheesy, and was a bit runny for my taste, but the scoop of baked potato casserole had a nice texture and was well-seasoned.

One image of Dickey’s really brought the spirit of ’cue home for me, but it wasn’t that black-and-white shot of honky-tonk hero Jennings. It was the sight of a fellow diner—a professional man in business-casual dress, seated at a table, his smartphone within easy reach and a big plate of barbecue in front of him.

He’d spread a pair of napkins  in his lap, one for each of his meaty thighs, to catch any drippings. Just a guy sitting down to some serious eats, knowing things  might get a little messy. CAUTION: MEN EATING.

What: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Address: 10008 Southpoint Parkway, Spotsylvania

Info: 540/710-0700; dickeys.com or find them on Facebook

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Prices: Sandwiches: $4–$7.25 (add two sides for $3); Meat plates: $7.95–$12.95; Kids menu: $4.95

The Scoop: New fast-casual  BBQ joint is conveniently located in front of American Family Fitness in Southpoint to help folks add back the calories they’ve just worked off.

Kurt Rabin:   540/374-5000 | krabin@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/entertainment/2014/03/26/take-your-cue-from-dickeys/

  • Action

    A very wordy story. I think the point whatever it was could have been made in far fewer words.

  • joe BBQ

    Best BBQ around north of the Carolinas

  • MCameron

    Haven’t been there ~ YET. But they gotta be DAMN GOOD to even get close to Famous Dave’s!!!

    But, I am open minded & am always willing to try new things… ;)

    • i1776

      Famous Daves is considered “good”? Ouch.

      • MCameron

        No, Famous Dave’s is the BEST!!

        & I have since had Dickey’s & have tried multiple things from their menu. (last time we went in, they were out of large cups, out of chicken nuggets for the kid’s meals & the ice cream machine was out of order…)…

  • BBQ Frankel

    It’s near my home which makes it convenient. A bit pricey but so is any other quality BBQ sandwich spot, to include another good eatery VA BBQ, which is on the opposite side of town. There is a new BBQ Sherriff in town and their out to grab a share of the business and your belly!

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