Dixie Bones, Woodbridge, VA

We’ve all seen it – the sign for Dixie Bones on I-95 going to or coming from Fredericksburg. Reviews on donrockwell.com have been very mixed, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

On Sundays, they have a lunch buffet, and the restaurant was packed, with people waiting to get a seat. Fortunately, we were on the road, and just getting a carryout order.

A Full Rack of Pork Spare Ribs ($24.70) comes with two sides (in this instance, mac & cheese and french fries (65 cents extra)) and we opted for cornbread instead of a roll (45 cents extra). We also ordered a Pulled Chicken Sandwich ($6.15) which is breast meat only.

The ribs were mediocre at best. For as much as Dixie Bones’ website touts “real pit BBQ,” these ribs had no smoke ring, were dry, lifeless, and had very little flavor. Although I have no reason to believe they weren’t smoked using “hickory wood,” they tasted baked to me.

If the ribs were mediocre, the chicken sandwich was downright lousy. Tasteless, dried-out breast meat, possibly yanked from the buffet table, and slapped on a bun. This meat was so cotton-mouth dry that even dumping barbecue sauce on top didn’t help it, nor did chasing it with coleslaw. Half the sandwich was discarded.

I’m not sure it even matters at this point, but the fries had no salt, and were only salvaged by a barbecue sauce dunk. The cornbread was okay, and the mac and cheese was cheesy and harmless.

As I waited for the order, I walked over to Pupuseria Doña Azucena (a small, local chain with a branch in Arlington and Woodbridge). Having cased this pupuseria, and having seen what people were being served, I have no doubt that it has the best food in that shopping center.

Dixie Bones offers a small discount if you pay with cash (the above prices are with a credit card).

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