Sunday, June 11, 2006

Eating on Boulevard

For a couple years I've been hearing about Buz and Ned's Barbeque - how it's the best barbeque in Richmond, how I just have to go, etc. I'm no expert, although I know I've been treated to good barbeque from my dad's grill as well as authentic North Carolina style on a few occasions. However, I have to be in the right mood for it, so I hadn't gone it to Buz and Ned's until last Saturday.

My first experience there was also my first barbeque experience in Richmond, and I don't think I need to look any further. For $7.50 I got two huge pork barbeque sandwiches and two side dishes. The meal was more than enough for two people, and the meat was smoky and wonderfully tender. When we ordered we had the option of hot sauce and cole slaw on the sandwiches, and I asked for both. The result was a delightful combination of saucy pork, crunchy slaw and Crystal hot sauce, which is flavorful and not overpowering. Another favorable aspect of the sandwiches were the buns, which were soft but didn't fall apart underneath the heavy meat.

Our side dishes were macaroni and cheese and baked beans. The beans were cooked with bacon, which gave them a savory undertone of smoke, although I was more interested in the mac and cheese. Buz and Ned's version wasn't too cheesy, but it was cooked casserole-style and turned out to be a great accompaniment to the sandwiches. The mild saltiness of the cheese and the mild pasta flavor was a nice way to break up bites of pork barbeque.

I loved the food at Buz and Ned's, but it was also fun to eat on wooden picnic tables outside, right on Boulevard, underneath the huge billboard sign pointing to the building. They recently added indoor seating, although I think everyone has to order from a counter in the front before they sit down. Barbeque isn't about decor or atmosphere, so I thought that everything about Buz and Ned's was appropriate. I'll be happy to eat there with disposable silverware, off plastic trays, anytime I have a craving for barbeque.

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