Ready to Get Messy? // An Accidental Encounter with Award-Winning Barbecue


For hardcore carnivores such as Anthony and myself, the discovery of a new barbecue joint is always a thrilling endeavor. During a recent road trip from Virginia Beach to Rockville, Maryland, where we spent a few days hanging out with my best friend Tina, we happened to drive past an establishment called Famous Dave’s, right along the Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. 

All it took was three words. Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que. Within seconds, and after a loud, collective gasp not usually expected from two adult males, we found ourselves turning the car around and pulling into the parking lot like crazed madmen.

“It’s time we grabbed some lunch,” Anthony proclaimed. Checking my watch, the time was 10:25 am… Hahaha! Oh, and did I mention that we had been on the road for less than an hour?

From the parking lot alone, we immediately caught a whiff of aromatic smoked meat, which got my stomach growling, despite the steak and egg bagel I just had at McDonald's an hour before we left Rockville.

When I asked Anthony, "Ready to get messy?" he responded by doing three cartwheels in a row. LOL!

The only thing better than barbecue is AWARD-WINNING barbecue!

We stood before another display of trophies, which led to Collective Gasp # 2.

There was one other table occupied when we got there — Together, I guess that makes us the Breakfast Club, Barbecue Edition? Lol!

Is it just me, or is there something incredibly funny about a chicken sitting on a beer can?

I started leisurely reading this write up, not realizing that Anthony had been very patiently waiting for me to decide what to order. Hahaha!

Certainly nice to meet ya, Famous Dave!

Anthony proudly announced that he just unlocked the Porky badge on Foursquare. "I wouldn't go around telling people that," I suggested. Hahaha!

Our very friendly waiter Jeramy explained that Famous Dave's is known for their variety of award-winning barbecue sauces.

And there they were… Pretty belles all in a row. How very Miss Universe Parade of Nations, I told Anthony. (He couldn't relate.)

Complimentary chips… Barbecue flavored, of course! Yee-haw!

In true pageant fashion, I like to pick out the most perfect chip or fry I can find and reward it with a solo portrait. Hahaha!

We played a little game of picking sauces that would best suit our moods. Anthony went with Sweet and Zesty…

…I, feeling bold and adventurous, went straight for Wilbur's Revenge.

Plumbing fixture as paper towel dispenser? Sign me up!

The Council of Carnivores is officially called to order!

Speaking of parades, imagine our delight when our plates of barbecue came marching in! (Collective Gasp # 3)

Fancy a closer look at my platter?

I can certainly get used to having smoked brisket for breakfast…

Whenever we're at a restaurant and chili is on the menu, there's a big chance I'm gonna order it.

Ay Caramba! It's so chunky!

I like to crumble my crackers and mix them in my chili. In my book, there's just no other way.

Across the table, the mood apparently was more predator than pageant.

Finally, let the games begin!

Take some advice from a seasoned pro (pun intended) and make sure to stop and wipe regularly. "Um, you might want to tear off the paper towel first," Anthony reminded me.

Lovin' the homey country feel…

After a little research, I learned that the Clabber Girl brand takes its name after clabbered, or sour, milk.

If those are size 10s's, I'm taking them. Hahaha!

I wanna sit here next time, because discounted barbecue only means that I can order, you guessed it, more barbecue!

Complimentary sauces to take home, y'all!

Post-meal self-portrait… Tummy tucked in, of course! Hahaha!

Thought of ending this blog post with my favorite Parade of Nations ever, from Miss Universe 1988. Not only did I happen to be in Taiwan the same time as the delegates, but this is also the year when four of the five finalists were Asian.

I must confess, I was able to record the 1988 Miss Universe telecast on Betamax and watched the pageant over and over again.

Winner, of course, was Miss Thailand, the elegant and eloquent Porntip Nakirunkanok!

Speaking in fluent English during the Q&A portion, Miss Thailand credited Big Bird for teaching her how to speak the language at an early age in a household where only Thai was allowed to be spoken. Aside from the 1988 Miss Universe title, she also won Best in National Costume that year.