Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, Richmond, VA

(Sorry for the personal nature of this entry, but to frame it as a “Review” would be absurd.)

As many times as I’ve raved about the barbecue at Buz & Ned’s (it isn’t often that I laugh at my own writing, but I laughed at that link after not seeing it for awhile), I’d never actually been … until now. All my experiences involved carryout being shuttled up to the DC area by Buz’s brother, a close friend of mine for over ten years. The night before, I met Buz for the first time — we all met for dinner at Edo’s Squid. Buz is larger than life (but a lot smaller than he used to be as he looks fit and trim).

After a long, hard tournament (excuse me for a second … Congratulations, Matt, for finishing #3 in the state championships, and for knocking off the #1 and #2 ranked players in Virginia in the process!), I texted Buz, and we agreed to meet up in thirty minutes.

We got to an absolutely packed restaurant, and were ushered into the back area — although this restaurant is tiny without the screened-in porch, it’s an enormous operation behind the scenes. We stood there for a while, me nursing a Small Craft Warning, Matt a Boylan’s Creme Soda (they also have Cheerwine, and original recipe Nehi Grape Soda with cane sugar), and then crept into a corner and hid during Buz’s not-so-delicate tongue-lashing he administered to his pitmaster (harsh words fell upon tender ears).

After awhile, we went out and took a table, and trays packed with food appeared on the pass. We sat there for a time, wondering whether or not Buz would join us, and then hunger took over — we absolutely tore into beef ribs, pork ribs, baby backs, baked beans, cole slaw, cuke & onion salad, fries, hush puppies … it was enough food for an army. Buz found his way to the table, and regaled us with tales of barbecue and Bobby Flay, all the while with a televised loop of Buz’s throwdown with Flay playing in the background.

Dish of the night: baby backs.

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