A week ago Thursday, July 6, 2017, I went to pick-up dinner at Texas 202 Barbeque in Brandywine (click here to see their listing with contact information, location map, etc., in our Food & Drink Business Directory). They have been open several months. I’ve driven by it a number of times, but its parking lot is almost always jammed, so I hadn’t stopped in until now. One problem is that they are next door to another very popular spot: Crab Boss Crab Shack, so on busy days customers for both places jockey for places to park*.
This relatively new spot was created by Pitmaster Rev Ward and his wife Felicia. Another reason for the crowded parking lot is the quality of their barbecue has been praised not once, but twice in recent months by the Washington Post. The latest article, from June 29th, was the Post’s annual round-up of top 10 barbecue restaurants in the DMV. In its first shot at the list, Texas 202 Barbeque ranked number 6 — pretty good for a newcomer to the local dining scene.
When you step out of your car, you immediately smell the wood burning in the smoker (unless the breeze is blowing away from you). Their website says they use hickory and oak to fire their reverse-flow Lang smoker. That’s what Ward uses to create his signature briskets. He took me out back to show me what it looks like when it is running hot and full of meat. He pointed out that he keeps the lid padlocked, because somebody snuck back there and stole a brisket!
Texas 202 Barbeque dinner
We wanted to try a variety of things. Their menu isn’t limited to just barbecue, either. They offer wings, fried Whiting, gumbo, fried shrimp, fried catfish, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, sausages, and crabcakes. I ordered two dinners (plus a side of onion rings):
- A barbecued half-chicken with candied yams, coleslaw, and cornbread.
- Three barbecued pork ribs with collard greens, potato salad, and cornbread.
I picked-up our food around 4 PM. The cold items went in the refrigerator when I got home. The hot items I put on a pan, covered them with aluminum foil, and placed them in the oven at 275° F to stay warm. Of course if you want to eat at the restaurant, they have chairs and tables for customers.
Once Cindy got home from work around 7 PM, we divided the food between us. We each got some of everything so we could both enjoy all the different flavors. The plates overflowed.
It was all quite good. We tried both the chicken and ribs with and without the sauce. The ribs and chicken were great without the sauce. But, the sauce can make for a nice change-up. Both the chicken and the ribs were simply delicious. The candied yams were excellent, as was the corn bread. The potato salad, collards and coleslaw were good.
I’ve tried a lot of the nearby barbecue places at one time or another. I hadn’t found one that I thought was truly great until a year or so ago, when I came across a place called Nice & Tight BBQ in Clinton. The ribs were awesome, and the sides were often great (some of the best collards I’ve ever had). But they closed a few months ago, much to my distress (though they apparently are still doing catering). But now I’ve found a spot to replace Nice & Tight BBQ in my heart. There’s no question I’ll recommend Texas 202 Barbeque to one-and-all and I look forward to becoming a regular. They’ve got so many things on their menu I love, I can’t wait to get back there and try some of the other dishes. (Now if he’ll just offer a soft-shell-crab sandwich, I’ll be in heaven.) ♦
*Here are a couple tips on how to avoid the parking hassle:
- Texas 202 Barbeque is closed Sundays and Mondays and Crab Boss Crab Shack is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. So, get your crabs on Sundays, and your barbeque on Tuesdays.
- That or try the hours between 2 PM and 5 PM when they’re both open — that’s what I did.