Barbecue on the belt | Meat + Poultry

Barbecue is generally defined in the United States by its geography. There have been countless debates over the regional differences over the smoking of wood. Residents of East North Carolina prefer the vinegar-based barbecue sauce over the mustard-based version in South Carolina. Texans will argue that their beef-filled barbecue style, which prefers dry veins, is far superior to pork kits dipped in sweet and tangy sauce, which is available throughout Kansas City, Mo., Found in the area.

The best barbecue in the country is not really the right answer.

Traditionally, the DMV area (Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia) is not a barbecue destination, such as Kansas City, Austin, Texas, or Memphis. Even so, these days the country’s capital is drawing attention to the amazing bracelets, ribs and pork coming from smokers in the area by barbecue enthusiasts.

Even as the epidemic has challenged barbecue restaurants with volatile meat prices, unreliable supply chains and public distrust of food, some Washington barbecue restaurants are looking for ways to deal with the storm. And sometimes they’re expanding their customer base.

Adaptation has been key during the epidemic.

Federalist Pig is a barbecue restaurant that doesn’t try to wander into the filthy waters of the regional barbecue style but focuses on what the meat tastes like because it comes out of smoking.

“I’ve eaten barbecue all over the country, and when you boil it whole, there are really only two styles: good and bad,” said Rob Sunderman, co-founder and pit master of Federalist Pig. And putt master Rob Sonderman said. “As long as we can stay on the positive side of things, we want to stay there.”

The first Federalist Pig opened about six years ago and now operates in three locations: one in Washington and two in Maryland just above the border. Sonderman said the pig tries to create a barbecue out of all the traditions of how it serves its smoked meat, especially its sandwiches.

“In most places when you get sandwiches you only get meat on bread with pickled silva. You can obviously do it here, but we’ve got it from famous, well-known sandwiches and put our own on them. The little barbecue is twisted, “he said.

For example, a smoked duck leg confet with arugula and shaved fennel salad, or a Chicago-style smoked Italian beef sandwich with a homemade giardinera. Pig even offers vegetarian options such as tofu bunmee with crispy onion and garlic aubergine.

Recently, Federalist Pig has partnered with Table 22 to offer a barbecue dinner club that allows users to experience a world tour of the barbecue. One month West Indian-Caribbean barbecue, another ate Irish themed food for St. Patrick’s Day, and in May, the dinner club featured Korean-style barbecue.

Rob Sunderman, co-founder and pit master of Federalist Pig, said the restaurant is influenced by all the traditions of the barbecue and then turns to traditional recipes. (Source: Federalist Pig)

The idea came when the epidemic stopped eating out personally – and like many other restaurants – Federalist Pig had to focus its business on reaching consumers. Still, finding ways to deliver food to paying customers was just one problem, cooking the product was another.

The restaurant uses a certified selection (or more) of Angus Beef Bracelets. Ideally, pigs drink more prime biscuits, but epidemics have made sourcing difficult and expensive.

Brisket became a major problem in the early days of the epidemic. “Sometimes, the price of a bracelet doubles in the last two years,” Sunderman said. The restaurant experimented with using chick flap meat or small ribs without bones instead of biscuits.

Another cost-cutting strategy, Sonderman said, is engineering ways to attract menus to dishes that have higher profit margins. “As much as we love bracelets and everyone loves bracelets, we will order chicken, pork sandwiches and ribs.”

Now, Sunderman is seeing the price of chicken and pork ribs begin to rise, and Federalist Pig finds itself in the same position that most businesses are in these days: Prices to relieve inflationary pressures. to increase.

BBQ 3 small.jpgBark Barbecue Cafe deliberately does not offer pound-on-the-meat meat on the menu to encourage diners to order budget meals. (Source: Hockey Johnson)

Lobbying for the lunch crowd

Federalist Pig is not the only barbecue restaurant in the Washington area that has to find ways to keep customers happy while managing restaurant expenses during epidemics.

Bark Barbecue Cafe co-owner and Pitt Master Burj Ghazarian’s live-fire, Pitt Barbecue was developed with a keen interest. He has been hosting pop-ups and catering private events since 2013, but it was not until last December that he decided to open a brick and mortar site.

The bark uses livefire, offsetting the Moberg smokers to cook their meat. Initially, the idea was to open a weight and pay style barbecue restaurant where meat could be ordered in pounds.

“But it’s not really suitable for every market in my opinion,” Ghazarian said. “The average person will spend anywhere between $ 25 and $ 30 and we didn’t expect this model to be very sustainable for the market.”

The bark barbecue cafe market is packed with lunch crowds. This restaurant Stevensville, Md. I am in a business park on the island of Kent in the middle of Chesapeake Bay – a wonderful place for a barbecue restaurant on the floor. Co-owner Burj Ghazarian is a food manufacturing company located in the front door building.

The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., primarily serving about 1,200 people who work in the business park.

But in February, Washington Post food writer Tim Carmen’s list of “the best barbecue joints in the DC area,” as well as word of mouth marketing, boosted his popularity. Barak is now preparing to open this weekend due to the demand of hungry locals and food and drinkers of the District of Columbia.

“The menu is geared towards the idea of ​​sandwiches and bowls. And we have breakfast burritos,” Ghazarian said. “It’s a little more accessible, definitely more affordable, and more curated.”

Like Federalist Pig, Bark is trying to expand its business into a model that is more closely aligned with dietary changes during epidemics. The restaurant hopes to launch family meal kits soon.

“We noticed that eating habits have changed since the epidemic.” “You can pick up something when you go home from work and enjoy it with your family.”

Infectious disease pickle

Before the epidemic, when Bark was a purely pop-up operation, the Gazarians were getting all their meat from Baltimore’s Fell’s Point Mate, but when the restaurant opened, it needed to be a source of much more USDA-Prime beef and Prices were unbearable. .

Before the epidemic, barbecue biscuits cost $ 21 to $ 24 per pound, Ghazarian said.

“Right now – even to be able to survive – the price will be $ 28 to $ 29 per pound.”

Ghazarian found that Costco offered the best price for the whole Packer Prime biscuits. Currently, it is getting its biscuits at about $ 2 less per pound than any other purveyor.

“For a small business, when we bake 100 to 150 pounds of biscuits a day, it increases and that’s a huge savings,” he said. “We don’t have a very close relationship with any local buyers for meat at the moment, but it’s more than enough to survive.”

Bark does not deliberately offer pound-for-meat meat on the menu to entice people to buy something cheap. Barbecue is no longer a specialty market in the DMV area. It has become a part of the food culture of the metropolitan area.

“The competition here in DC is definitely fierce and there are really good barbecue restaurants,” said Sonderman. “The average consumer knows what a great barbecue it is and that’s why they’ve raised the bar.”

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