VISIT OUR ONLINE STORE

pbbbq_national_award_ribbon

Posts Tagged ‘Del Ray’

Pork Barrel BBQ to Appear on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday, March 9th

Posted on:

Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant to Host Shark Tank Watch Party

Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 05, 2012

Entrepreneurs Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, co-founders of Pork Barrel BBQ, America’s fastest growing barbecue company, will appear on the March 9th episode of ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank, which airs from 8:00pm to 9:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

To celebrate their success, Hall and Thompson are inviting guests to attend a Shark Tank watch party this Friday night, March 9th, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, at their Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Guests are invited to gather for dinner and watch Pork Barrel BBQ’s most recent Shark Tank episode, which will be broadcasting on several high-definition TV’s throughout the restaurant.

Friday’s episode will include an update on the nationwide success of Pork Barrel BBQ and the opening of their first Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant. Since Hall and Thompson entered the Shark Tank and pitched their company to the “Sharks” and landed an investment deal with New York Real Estate Mogul Barbara Corcoran on season one, Pork Barrel BBQ has become America’s fastest growing barbecue company.

Hall and Thompson are considered the most recognizable winning contestants of the Shark Tank series.  Since their appearance on season one of Shark Tank in late 2009, the Pork Barrel BBQ co-founders have become known for their creative and innovative approaches to starting and growing a successful business. With accolades ranging from Men’s Health Magazine declaring Pork Barrel BBQ’s Original BBQ Sauce as one of the “125 Best Foods for Men” and the Washington Post’s Jim Shahin proclaiming Hall the winner of the Golden Rib award for his “accomplishments in food, business, and do-goodism,” the company continues to expand its barbecue-related offerings.

In 2011, Pork Barrel BBQ debuted a specialty BBQ-flavored peanut with FERIDIES, added Pork Barrel BBQ Mustard BBQ Sauce to their line of sauces, introduced the world’s first barbeque scented fragrance – Que, continued to earn top awards on the professional BBQ circuit, and opened the first Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. This year, the company debuted another new sauce, the Pork Barrel BBQ Carolina Vinegar Sauce, and is representing the nation on the competitive barbecue circuit as the reigning Grand Champions of the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle.

“Other entrepreneurs dream about putting their product in every store in America, but only my partners Heath Hall & Brett Thompson of Pork Barrel BBQ actually do it,” said Barbara Corcoran, star of ABC’s Shark Tank. “The genius of these unconventional guys is that they not only have the ability to cook-up a new idea a minute, they are willing to hustle and stay the course until it’s done.”

“Appearing on Shark Tank and receiving an investment from Barbara Corcoran were two key events in the success of Pork Barrel BBQ,” said Hall, President and co-founder of Pork Barrel BBQ. “We are most excited that these economically difficult times we’ve been able to turn an idea into a successful business that employs over 40 people. Hopefully other entrepreneurs will be inspired and encouraged by our success and attempt to grab their piece of the American Dream.”

Hall, Thompson, and their restaurant partners “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn will be offering a specialty cocktail in honor of Barbara Corcoran and their Shark Tank experience during their Shark Tank watch party on Friday. Restaurant patrons attending the Shark Tank watch party can sip on a commemorative “Bourbon Shark Bite” cocktail, which will contain a souvenir shark floating in its depths.

For more information about Pork Barrel BBQ, visit http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com and read about their latest updates and adventures on Facebook.com/PorkBarrelBBQ, Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq) and the company’s blog.

About Pork Barrel BBQ
Pork Barrel BBQ was founded in December 2008 during the peak of the economic crisis to prove that a company not owned or operated by the federal government could succeed, and that if you had a good idea, it was still possible to grab a piece of the American Dream. Pork Barrel BBQ founders, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, ran the company out of the basement of their houses, selling their award winning BBQ products one bottle at a time. In less than one year, their Pork Barrel BBQ Sauces and Spice Rub were carried in over 1,000 stores in 40 states. Throughout their journey, they have stayed true to their mission – to unite the nation through the great tradition of BBQ, and bring bipartisan flavor to your next meal. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team entered its first contest, The Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, in June 2009, and walked away with two trophies – Second Place in the “Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest” and Fourth Place for their pulled pork in the Memphis In May portion of the contest. Since then, the team has won multiple awards, including the 2011 Perdue National Chicken Championship, the 2011 Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, the “Chinet People’s Choice” award for best BBQ sauce in 2010 and other notable Memphis in May and Kansas City Barbecue Society accolades as well as having their Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce named Best Sauce in America and one of “The 125 Best Foods for Men” by Men’s Health Magazine in November 2010. For more information, visit http://www.PorkBarrelBBQ.com or follow Pork Barrel BBQ on Facebook and Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq).

###

Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurateurs Host Chef Will Artley’s “Project 2312”

Posted on: 1 Comment

Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurateurs Host Chef Will Artley’s “Project 2312”

Restaurateurs partner on highly anticipated pop-up restaurant.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) January 30, 2012

Pork Barrel BBQ co-founders Heath Hall and Brett Thompson along with their restaurant partners “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn are thrilled to be loaning the currently unoccupied space adjoining their Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria to Del Ray’s favorite chef and one of Washington, D.C.’s top chefs, Will Artley, for the opening of a special pop-up restaurant. Artley’s limited engagement restaurant, dubbed Project 2312 will host 41 guests per seating during its limited run from Monday, January 30 through Monday, February 6.

The highly anticipated Project 2312 pop-up restaurant is a first for Artley and the Del Ray community. Reservations for Project 2312 were sold out within 5 hours of Artley tweeting the RSVP phone number last week.

Chef Artley is planning an a la carte menu that will include a selection of hot and cold appetizers and 5-6 entrée options chosen from his greatest hits, along with craft cocktails, a limited wine selection and Pork City beer. Expect to see items like Salt Roasted Beat “Cannoli” with whipped Citrus and Cobb Terrine with Crispy-Smoked Pork Ears among the menu selection. Artley will also offer customers fare from a pickling bar with a selection of unique and creative pickles including pickled sunchokes, green beans and baby carrots.

“It is a great honor for me to open Del Ray’s first pop-up restaurant and bring my cutting edge cuisine back to the community I call home,” said Artley, chef of Project 2312. “The opportunity to reconnect with my old kitchen crews and cook for the neighborhood that made me the chef I am today is just an amazing feeling!”

Artley, who has been consulting with the Pork Barrel BBQ team on their recently opened barbecue restaurant, is most widely known for his role as chef of the Evening Star Café.

“Chef Artley has become a great friend and culinary mentor of mine and I’m excited Pork Barrel BBQ is able to support his passion for creating distinctive and delicious cuisine by playing a small role in his Project 2312 pop-up restaurant,” said Hall. “His passion for food is contagious and I’m certain diners who have been lucky enough to snag one of the limited seats will leave with a bittersweet feeling satisfied by their meal, but disappointed in the realization it was most likely their first and last meal at Project 2312.”

Hall and a handful of acclaimed DC area chefs will make special appearances during the limited engagement of Project 2312 and cook alongside Artley.

If you weren’t able to secure an RSVP to Project 2312 before reservations were sold out there are still two options. Project 2312 is accepting walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis for seating at the bar, or you can venture next door to Pork Barrel BBQ and celebrate Meat Week 2012 with a special Meat Week Sampler Patter, which includes 1/4 pound of brisket, 1/4 pound of pulled pork, 1/4 chicken, 3 ribs, 1 Texas brisket sausage link and your choice of 2 sides for $20.12 on Tuesday, January 31.

Find out more about Meat Week and the first tasting of Pork Barrel BBQ’s latest sauce, Pork Barrel BBQ Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce here.

For more information about Pork Barrel BBQ, visit www.porkbarrelbbq.com and read about their latest updates and adventures on Facebook, Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq) and the company’s blog.

About Pork Barrel BBQ

Pork Barrel BBQ was founded in December 2008 during the peak of the economic crisis to prove that a company not owned or operated by the federal government could succeed, and that if you had a good idea, it was still possible to grab a piece of the American Dream. Pork Barrel BBQ founders, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, ran the company out of the basement of their houses, selling their award winning BBQ products one bottle at a time. In less than one year, their Pork Barrel BBQ Sauces and Spice Rub were carried in over 1,000 stores in 40 states. Throughout their journey, they have stayed true to their mission – to unite the nation through the great tradition of BBQ, and bring bipartisan flavor to your next meal. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team entered its first contest, The Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, in June 2009, and walked away with two trophies – Second Place in the “Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest” and Fourth Place for their pulled pork in the Memphis In May portion of the contest. Since then, the team has won multiple awards, including the 2011 Perdue National Chicken Championship, the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in 2011, the “Chinet People’s Choice” award for best BBQ sauce in 2010 and other notable Memphis in May and Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ competition accolades as well as having their Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce named Best Sauce in America and one of “The 125 Best Foods for Men” by Men’s Health Magazine in November 2010. For more information, visit www.PorkBarrelBBQ.com or follow Pork Barrel BBQ on Facebook and Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq).

###

Vote Pork Barrel BBQ – BEST BBQ in D.C. in the Washington City Paper’s Best of D.C. Readers Poll

Posted on:

We’ve been nominated for Best BBQ in Washington, D.C. in the Washington City Paper’s Best of D.C. Reader’s Poll!! Help us out by clicking here to vote for Pork Barrel BBQ as D.C.’s Best BBQ!!

Welcome Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant Visitors!

Posted on:

Thanks for stopping by to learn about the new Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant!

 

While you’re here, feel free to visit our Pork Barrel BBQ Blog, or become our friend on Facebook and Twitter.  Thanks for visiting!

-Heath and Brett

Pork Barrel BBQ Announces Opening of the First Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant

Posted on:

Inaugural Restaurant Opens Tuesday in Del Ray Neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia

Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 29, 2011

Pork Barrel BBQ is pleased to announce it has fired up its smoker and will open the first Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant to guests tonight for dinner between 5:00pm and 10:00pm. Pork Barrel BBQ co-founders Heath Hall and Brett Thompson partnered with veteran restaurateurs “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn in 2009 with the goal of turning their dreams of creating a gathering place for the community centered around their national award winning barbecue into a reality.

The attention to detail and quality is ever present in the new restaurant. The owners literally have their hands in every detail from the hand-laid rock walls and columns to the one-of-a-kind beer tower constructed from sprinkler pipe by Blackburn himself. As for the barbecue, Hall and Thompson have climbed to the top of the professional competition barbecue circuit and racked up numerous awards for their ‘que and sauces since the restaurant groundbreaking ceremony in October 2009. Pork Barrel BBQ has earned a reputation for their consistency in producing high quality barbecue and side dishes alongside some of the world’s top pitmasters in the competition barbecue community.

“We are thrilled to be firing up the smoker and opening Pork Barrel BBQ’s doors to customers today,” said Hall. “Barbecue is more than just the food. In many ways it is the story of America with each region adding its flavor to the melting pot. It’s about community and fellowship. We want Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant to be a gathering place for this neighborhood and the entire Washington, DC community.”

Pork Barrel BBQ takes great pride in serving quality barbecue that will please barbecue lovers from the Carolinas to Memphis and Texas to Kansas City. All meats are seasoned with Pork Barrel BBQ’s award winning All-American Spice Rub and slow smoked over oak and hickory.

The menu includes Pork Barrel BBQ’s take on traditional barbecue meats and side dishes. Customers can order ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken and sausage as a sandwich, platter or by the pound. Side dishes include BBQ baked beans, cole slaw, mac and cheese, smoked Ratatouille, collard greens, Texas caviar, potato salad and corn pudding.

Thompson and Hall are barbecue innovators who are, as Washington Post reporter Jim Shahin noted, on the brink of a new era. Since starting Pork Barrel BBQ in 2009, they’ve become the most recognizable winning entrepreneurs from ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank, been featured on numerous television and radio shows, where they share their BBQ tips with the everyday backyard barbecuer, launched the world’s first barbecue-scented fragrance called Que cologne, started BBQ Backyard, a social media site and forum for the barbecue enthusiast, and are selling their award-winning sauces and spice rub in over 1,500 grocery stores across the nation. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition Barbecue Team, led by pitmasters Hall and Thompson, has accumulated numerous notable awards including trophies for winning Grand Champion at the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, becoming the Perdue National Chicken Champion, and having been named the nation’s best BBQ sauce and one of the “125 Best Foods for Men” by Men’s Heath Magazine.

For more information about the Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant, visit http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com and read about their latest updates and adventures on Facebook, Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq) and the company’s blog.

About Pork Barrel BBQ
Pork Barrel BBQ was founded in December 2008 during the peak of the economic crisis to prove that a company not owned or operated by the federal government could succeed, and that if you had a good idea, it was still possible to grab a piece of the American Dream. Pork Barrel BBQ founders, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, ran the company out of the basement of their houses, selling their award winning BBQ products one bottle at a time. In less than one year, their Pork Barrel BBQ Sauces and Spice Rub were carried in over 1,000 stores in 40 states. Throughout their journey, they have stayed true to their mission – to unite the nation through the great tradition of BBQ, and bring bipartisan flavor to your next meal. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team entered its first contest, The Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, in June 2009, and walked away with two trophies – Second Place in the “Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest” and Fourth Place for their pulled pork in the Memphis In May portion of the contest. Since then, the team has won multiple awards, including the 2011 Perdue National Chicken Championship, the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in 2011, the “Chinet People’s Choice” award for best BBQ sauce in 2010 and other notable Memphis in May and Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ competition accolades as well as having their Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce named Best Sauce in America and one of “The 125 Best Foods for Men” by Men’s Health Magazine in November 2010. For more information, visit http://www.PorkBarrelBBQ.com or follow Pork Barrel BBQ on Facebook and Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq).

###

Storm Weather Damage in Alexandria Virginia Del Ray Neighborhood

Posted on:

Huge storms hit Alexandria, Virginia and the Del Ray neighborhood last night, knocking out power, toppling trees and crushing several cars.  I have lived in Del Ray Virginia for 7 years, and I’ve never seen the area so damaged.  Mayor Bill Eulillestated that winds with gusts of 75 miles per hour struck the Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria area, causing more significant storm and weather damage that we received during Hurricane Isabelle and the massive snow storms from this winter.  It was actually very somber driving around the Del Ray neighborhood, which boasts some great places like the Dairy Godmother, Evening Star, Cheestique, St. Elmos (and soon Pork Barrel BBQ’s first restaurant), and surveying the damage from the thunderstorms that made Alexandria the epicenter of its wrath.  I took some photos and videos to show some of the storm damage, but they can’t capture how widespread it really is.  SEND US YOUR PHOTOS TO porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com and we will add them to this post with photo credits.

Storm Wind Weather Damage Alexandria Del Ray

 Sever Storm Weather Alexandria Del Ray

Weather Storm Severe Washington D.C.

 Crushed Car in Alexandria from Storms Weather

weather crash tree

Storm Wind Weather Damage Alexandria Del Ray

 

Tree Weather Storm Damage

Tree Crashes Near Monroe Avenue

 Weather Damage Washington DC

Powerline Down on Monroe

 Major Damage to House

Pork Barrel BBQ Guest Food Chat on Northern Virginia Magazine’s – Grill Warren Food Chat

Posted on: 1 Comment

Pork Barrel BBQ was a guest on Grill Warren today, a food chat sponsored by Northern Virginia Magazine.  Below is the chat:

Pork Barrel BBQ Guest Food Chat

In early 2006 in the midst of a Congressional Appropriations debate an idea was born by two fatigued United States Senate staffers who were working late and dreaming of good BBQ while Senators were arguing the merits of Pork Barrel Spending.  Those staffers were us and that idea is now a reality – Pork Barrel BBQ.  We’d especially like to thank our families and friends who have supported us in this endeavor from the lighting of the first briquette.

Our national award winning Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce and All American Spice Rub are products we are sure you will reach for when you are looking to add an All American flavor to the meats, fish, poultry and vegetables you are grilling, smoking, barbecuing, or simply cooking in your kitchen.  Made of all natural ingredients with no preservatives or MSG, our products have a tasty and tangy flavor with the perfect amount of smokin’ kick!

We are also very excited to have teamed with “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn, two of the area’s top resaurateurs, to bring the first Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant to the Del Ray Neighborhood of Alexandria.  The restaurant, which is currently under construction, will open later this summer and be in the heart of Del Ray on Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Rosslyn
What part of the pig (shoulder, butt) do you all use for your pulled pork? And where do you buy it? I want to start smoking my own at home but can’t seem to get my hands on primo pork with any type of regularity.

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Pulled Pork – one of our favorite topics!!!

We’ll be competing in the 2010 World Championship of Pork BBQ’s Pork Shoulder contest next week at Memphis in May. We’ll be using the full shoulder (defined as the portion of the hog containing the arm bone, shank bone, and a portion of the blade bone) for this contest. At contests sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and at home we usually use the Boston butt or picnic shoulder. We rub our shoulders with olive oil and our All American Spice Rub and slow smoke them for 10-14 hours over a combination of hardwood charcoal, hickory and oak

If you are looking to get your hands on primo pork 365 days a year there is only one place to go in the Washington, D.C. area – Wagshal’s in D.C. There domestic pork is the best I’ve ever had, but if you really want to treat yourself to primo pork go with the Iberico pork from Spain (they are the only store in the United States to carry this exotic bread which gets its creamy taste from its diet of acorns). Check out Wagshal’s at www.wagshals.com and www.ibericousa.com.

Alexandria, VA
We are really excited for the Pork Barrel restaurant to open in Del Ray. What can you tell us about when it will open and what to expect at the restaurant?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
It has been a dream of ours for some time to open up a Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant and we couldn’t think of a better place to open the first one than Del Ray. We’ve been a Del Ray company from the beginning. We operate out of the basement of Brett’s house in Del Ray, Let’s Meat on the Avenue was the first retail outlet to sell our sauce and rubs, and the UPS Store in Del Ray does all of our shipping! It was a stroke of luck that our paths crossed with “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn who were looking to open a BBQ joint in the Del Ray neighborhood.

We plan to be open later this summer (August/September) at the corner of Mt. Vernon Ave. and Oxford Ave. in Del Ray.

We plan to offer a menu full of the BBQ classics you’d expect to find in any of the best Que Joints in North or South Carolina, Texas, Memphis or Kansas City. Our signature menu items will include pulled pork, brisket, and pork ribs. You’ll find sides that include BBQ baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw. We’ll also be serving up some of the tastiest deserts around including our signature desert – bourbon bread pudding.

We can’t wait to see you at the restaurant – make sure you seek us out and say hi!!!

Fairfax
I can’t seem to get it right. Mine just gets too dry. What’s the secret?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
There are a few keys elements to keeping your BBQ moist:

1) Get a great piece of meat (there needs to be a good fat marbling throughout the meat for large pieces of meat that you’ll be smoking for an extended amount of time).

2) Keep the temperature of your smoker at a constant temperature between 225-250 degrees – dramatic spikes in the temperature of your grill will dry your meat out quicker.

3) Keep your meat moist by injecting it before you begin the smoking process, spraying it with a liquid (apple juice for example for pork shoulder and pork ribs) and keep a water pan in your smoker (there are a number of smokers with built in water pans like the very reasonably price Weber Smoky Mountain) filled with water, beer, or juice.

4) Don’t over cook your meat – make sure you measure the internal temperature and once it reaches the desired temperature remove it.

5) Don’t cut your meat once it is off the grill, let it rest. If you cut it too fast you will loose a large amount of the meats juices leading to a dryer product.

Fredericksburg
Vinegar sauces suck. You know it and I know it.

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
If there is one thing we love about BBQ sauce, it is how much passion it brings out in the folks who love it. Some like their sauce hot and others like it sweet. Some like it smoky and others like it tangy. Some swear by tomato based sauces, others vinegar based sauces, others mustard based sauces and still others swear by the unique and hard to find mayonnaise based sauces.

We currently have three sauces on the market – our Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce (which was voted the 2nd best BBQ Sauce in the Nation at last years National BBQ Battle), our Pork Barrel BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce and a Gluten Free version of our original sauce. In the months to come we plan to introduce a Spicy version of our Original BBQ Sauce, a Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce (we won’t make you use this one), and a Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce.

You can get all of our sauces online at www.porkbarrelbbq.com or at local stores including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Harris Teeter and Let’s Meat on the Avenue in Del Ray.

Alexandria
I know… we need a good bbq place around here.

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
We are looking forward to bringing authentic BBQ to the Nation’s Capital!! If you’re a fan of pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork and sausage we hope you’ll come down and give us a try!

We’re pretty sure you’ll find Pork Barrel BBQ to be just the place you’re looking for.

We should be open in August/September down on Mt. Vernon Ave. and Oxford Ave. in Del Ray.

Arlandria
Was just poking around on your site and saw the recipe for smoked turkey. Tell me you all are going to have smoked turkey at your restaurant year-round.

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Thanksgiving has always been one of our favorite holidays and we couldn’t even begin to think of celebrating Thanksgiving without a couple smoked turkeys on the table.

We are still finalizing our menu for the restaurant and haven’t yet decided if we’ll have turkey on the menu year round. Follow us at www.porkbarrelbbq.com and on our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/porkbarrelbbq to get the latest news on the menu.

Fairfax, VA
Would I be able to buy your BBQ sauce from the store when it opens?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Our line of Pork Barrel BBQ products, which currently include our Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce, Pork Barrel BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce, a Gluten Free version of our Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce and our Pork Barrel BBQ All American Spice Rub, can be purchased in the following area locations:

Balducci’s
Bloom
Harris Teeter
Let’s Meat on the Ave.
Wagshal’s
Wegmans
Whole Foods
World Market (soon)

For a full list of locations visit us at http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com/store-locations/

We’ll be announcing more retail locations soon. You will also be able to buy it at the restaurant when it opens. You can always buy it on our website at www.porkbrrelbbq.com.

Crystal City
What bbq places did you all eat at while doing your research? Any new discoveries in VA/NC to report on? I travel up and down I95 pretty extensively and would love to hear about any worthwhile pitstops to add to my rotation.

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
We are both from Missouri so much of our formative years in BBQ come from BBQ restaurants in the Kansas City area. Kansas City is to BBQ as this area is to crabcakes. I grew up on Gates BBQ and Arthur Bryant’s, two Kansas City legends – and one of them is still my first stop when I’m back in Kansas City. Over the years I came to enjoy places in Kansas City like Oklahoma Joe’s (they operate out of a gas station), LC’s and Jack Stack.

One of the reasons we wanted to start Pork Barrel BBQ was because we felt this area was missing the kind of BBQ we grew up on. In Kansas City there are BBQ joints on every other block and the one a local might call the worst in town would be held as a crown jewel in many communities across the country – it is an embarrassment of riches. We hope to bring a slice of what we grew up on to the DC area – there will be something there for everyone whether you fancy yourself a Carolina, Texas, Memphis, Kansas City or some other region of BBQ fan.

With our partnership with “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn of Mango Mike’s we think we’ll be able to provide the best BBQ the DC area has to offer and we hope you’ll stop in and decide for yourself if we are.

If you check out our blog at http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com/category/best-bbq-joints-in-america/ you can read some of our reviews on The Best BBQ Joints in America.

I personally got my start in BBQ thanks to my dad. I always like to say my dad is the postal worker of BBQ – rain, sleet, snow, sun, wind and winter, spring, summer, and fall he was always grilling or smoking something in our backyard as I grew up. I learned my love of BBQ from him and continue to learn both from and with him as he often joins us at BBQ contests across the country.

Centreville
What made to decide to open the restaurant in Del Ray and not any other location?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
We decided to open our first Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant in Del Ray because we are a Del Ray company. When we began selling our first product (our All American Spice Rub) in December of 2008 we ran it our of Brett’s house in Del Ray. The first store to carry us in a retail setting was Let’s Meat on the Avenue (our restaurant is just across the street from Steve’s amazing butcher shop). The small business loan we got to get the company up and running was given to us by Burke and Herbert Bank just a few blocks from the restaurant site. All of our shipping is handled by the UPS Store that is on the same block as our new restaurant. It just seemed like the right place to open.

Then the stars aligned and we met “Mango” Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn of Mango Mike’s and they were looking at opening a BBQ joint in Del Ray and we knew it was meant to be.

We hope to open a number of other Pork Barrel BBQ’s in the Washington, D.C. area over the next few years so we may be coming to a neighborhood near you soon!

Arlington
What makes you think your BBQ is gonna be any better than the stuff we’ve already got? (King Street Blues and Rocklands are my faves)

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
BBQ is just about as personal of a dining experience as any type of cuisine; in fact, it may be the most personal. Our goal is to provide the highest quality BBQ in the region at an affordable price.

All of the recipes we’ll be using at the restaurant weren’t developed with a restaurant in mind, they were developed on the competition BBQ circuit with the understanding that they’d be going up against the best BBQ teams and pitmasters in the world. In order to be successful at these contests we have to use the highest quality products and meats in our recipes and we plan to replicate these efforts at the restaurant.

Great BBQ is also not a thing of speed. We won’t be boiling our ribs and throwing them on a gas grill at the end or roasting our pork shoulder in ovens. We’ll be replicating our cooking methods from the BBQ competition circuit at the restaurant. For example, we slow smoke our pork shoulders for 10-14 hours.

We also think one our Ace in the Hole is our sauces and rubs. Our Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce was voted the 2nd best sauce in the nation at last years National BBQ Battle. Our rubs have been called some of the best on the competition BBQ circuit by veteran pitmasters and classically trained chefs alike.

We look forward to having you visit us when we open later this summer (August/September) – we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Jefferson City, MO
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in getting your company growing in this economy?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
The idea for Pork Barrel BBQ was born on a late night while we both worked in the United States Senate. It was during a budget debate – while the Senate was debating Pork Barrel spending on the floor we were debating what we were going to have for a late night dinner and we came to the conclusion that we sure wished there was a good BBQ joint near by that we could get some food from. That night Pork Barrel BBQ was born.

A lot of our friends though we were crazy to be starting a business in some of the worst economic times since the Great Depression, but we wanted to prove to them and other entrepreneurs that if you have a good idea, a good product, a willingness to work long and hard, and a few people that believe in you that the free market is not only a viable means to economic prosperity, it is the best means to it.

Our biggest challenge was getting the financial backing that we needed. After looking around for sometime we decided to visit a local neighborhood bank, Burke & Herbert, and ask them for a small business loan. They listened to our pitch and believed in us and our product and gave us the access to money that we needed to take our product out of our basement and into more than 1,000 stores across the country. Our experience on Shark Tank taught us that there are many entrepreneurs who face this challenge everyday – we fell lucky to have found such a great partner in Burke & Herbert Bank.

D.C.
Was Shark Tank as nerve-wracking as it looked (the investors were so smug)?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Shark Tank was an amazing experience for us. Our Pork Barrel BBQ Sauces and Rub were in 5 stores before we went on Shark Tank and by the end of May we’ll be in more than 1,000 stores in 40 states. I think it was less nerve wracking for us than some of the other contestants because of our background as lawyers and Senate staffers. We approached it as if we were preparing for a trial before a panel of judges and that allowed us to be prepared for just about anything.

After watching all of the episodes of the show we realized we either did a good job answering Kevin O’Leary’s questions or we got lucky. He certainly became the villain of the show for many of the entrepreneurs, but he even said our BBQ Sauce and Rub was excellent!

We’re excited to be working with Barbara Corcoran, who we secured a deal with on the show. She has provided us with a lot of incite and together we are working on some exciting opportunities that we look forward to announcing soon.

If you are a fan of Shark Tank make sure you go to www.abc.com and let them know you’d like to see a second season!

Del Ray
Hey Heath and Brett, When is your restaurant supposed to open? And more importantly will you deliver?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
We are planning to have our first Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant open later this summer (August/September) in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria (corner of Mount Vernon Ave. and Oxford Ave.).

We do plan to have a limited delivery service to the local community. We’re still working the details of this out, but you’ll be able to find all the details at www.porkbarrelbbq.com once we open.

Hope to see you at the restaurant later this summer!

Del Ray
I am a Del Ray resident and look forward to enjoying BBQ on the Avenue. I know that there has been a lot of controversy concerning your restaurant smoke and smells. I hope that you can fit in with the rest of the community to respect existing residential neighbors. How sure are you that the restaurant will not be a nuisance to the neighbors? And, are you willing to work with the neighbors after opening to fix any problems that the restaurant may pose to their homes and quality of life? Thank you!

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
We are very excited about the opportunity to be in Del Ray and add to vibrancy of the community and provide a great family dining opportunity.

If there is one thing we hope the neighborhood has been able to see in the past couple months it is our willingness to work with the community. We don’t think you’ll find a better set of business owners to work with. Among the changes we have made as we listened to the concerns of the neighborhood are:

Although we originally requested a 2:00 am closing time, we’ve listened to the comments of the residents and the Del Ray Citizens Association Land Use Committee and have amended our hours of operation request to 12:00 am Sunday – Thursday, and 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday. We have received a lot of support from residents on the need for late night dining in Del Ray and these reduced hours meet that need while balancing the character of Mt. Vernon Avenue. The Del Ray Citizens Association Executive Board has voted in support of these hours of operation.

We agreed to eliminate the door on Oxford Avenue to reduce street traffic for neighbors.

We agreed to no outdoor seating on Oxford Avenue to reduce noise levels for nearby neighbors.

We agreed to have our delivery vehicle use Mt. Vernon Avenue instead of Oxford Avenue. The delivery drivers will turn off engines during deliveries. Delivery schedules will be made with the least amount of impact to traffic and the community.

We previously announced a major change in the equipment we are using to cook the food. We are no longer using a wood only smoker and instead we are going to a cooker that uses gas as the heat source and only 1-3 pieces of wood per 12 hour cooking cycle to add flavor (much less than an average fireplace or backyard grill). As an extra step, we have also agreed to add special filters to the exhaust hood and install a state-of-the-art dilution fan on the roof. This technology was originally developed for use in the chemical industry and will mix fresh air with the exhaust air and then vent it above the building. These changes have added over $35,000 to the cost of the project, but we felt it was important to address these concerns on the front end of our time in the neighborhood.

We are looking forward to being a part of the community and believe these steps show just how committed we are to opening a successful business in a manner that fits well in the Del Ray community.

Alexandria
Will you all be making dry-rub ribs or does everything come out pre-sauced?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Yes, we will be serving dry rub ribs at Pork Barrel BBQ! The great thing about BBQ is how personal it is for each of us. Some of us like our BBQ dry and others like it wet. We hope to please folks from both camps.

We actually started out as a dry rub company in December of 2008. Our dry rub, which you can get at a number of area stores including Harris Teeter, Bloom, and Let’s Meat on the Avenue, was developed for our competition BBQ team and we use it in contests across America – we’ll be using it next week in Memphis at Memphis in May, the World Championship of Pork BBQ! We’re very proud of the rub and the smoky flavor it imparts on our meats!

fairfax
How is Pork Barrel BBQ different than others?

Heath Hall and Brett Thompson:
Our products weren’t originally created for the retail setting – they were developed for use by our competition BBQ team that competes in professional BBQ contests across the country (in fact we’ll be competing at one of the most prestigious events next week – Memphis in May). We created our products to WOW some of the most highly skilled BBQ judges in the world by using the best ingredients available.

Our all sauces and rubs are made of all natural ingredients with no preservatives or MSG, and have a tasty and tangy flavor with the perfect amount of smokin’ kick!

We’ll be cooking all of our meats slow and low to ensure that every bite you take your taste buds will be dancing in your mouth.

We don’t think you’ll be disappointed with your meal. We encourage you to come check it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

Pork Barrel BBQ proud participant in Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-Off

Posted on:

Pork Barrel BBQ was honored to participate today at the Alexandria Carpenter’s Shelter 8th Annual Cook-Off. To learn more about the Carpenter’s Shelter – visit the Carpenter’s Shelter website at http://www.carpentersshelter.org/ – here’s some info from the Carpenter’s Shelter site:

Carpenter’s Shelter is a proactive partner with the City of Alexandria and the greater Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area working to eliminate homelessness through respect, responsibility and results. We are a nexus, a meeting place, a center of learning where people unite interactively to end homelessness. Through Carpenter’s many programs, we act as a catalyst for positive change in peoples’ lives. Using a holistic approach to homelessness, we advocate self-reliance through education and provide programs and services as needed.

And here are some fun photos from the Carpenter’s Shelter 8th Annual Cook-Off:

Heath and Brett at Carpenter's Shelter Cook-Off

Pork Barrel BBQ Table at Carpenter's Shelter

Good Luck Pork Barrel BBQ Pig

Good Luck Pork Barrel BBQ Pig

Brett, Susan and Sawyer hanging out at Cook-Off

Brett, Susan and Sawyer hanging out at Cook-Off

Del Merei Grille - Peoples Choice WINNER!

Del Merei Grille – Peoples Choice WINNER!

Brett in Wonderland with folks from Tempo Restaurant

Brett in Wonderland with folks from Tempo Restaurant

Here is some video from Carpenter’s Shelter 8th Annual Cook-off:

Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-Off Participating Restaurants:

A la LuciaThe Birchmere

Bittersweet

Brabo

Bread and Chocolate

Columbia Firehouse

Del Merei Grille

Dishes of India

Fireflies

Fish Market

Geranio Ristorante

Jackson 20

The Light Horse

The Majestic

misha’s

Pork Barrel BBQ

Restaurant Eve

Rustico

Southside 815

Tempo Restaurant

Union Street Public House

Warehouse Bar & Grill

Wharf Restaurant

Finally – here’s some more information about the Carpenter’s Shelter:

Carpenter’s Shelter Vision

A community where all live safely and affordably.

Carpenter’s Shelter Mission

To end homelessness through services, education and advocacy.

Our doors have been open since 1988 – a long time. But today we are still working tirelessly to overcome homelessness among children, families, and adults. Our job ends when homelessness ends, when all people can become contributing members of their community.

When you go home at night, do you think, “Everyone deserves to live in safe, affordable housing”?

We know in our hearts this is true. We teach positive ways of living to clients aimed at preventing repeated episodes of homelessness. Our services provide six interrelated programs, which form a continuum of care all the way through to Aftercare, for those who reach independent living in the community.

Only with your help are we able to do what we do every day – improve people’s lives. Carpenter’s Shelter is a nexus where volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors come together to end homelessness together. People of all walks of life, in addition to other nonprofits, businesses and congregations are essential to our mission, and form our Strategic Alliances.

With your help, we envision an environment for people we serve, where:

  • All live as independently and self-reliantly as possible.
  • Quality permanent housing is available for all income levels.
  • Local/regional/state governments allocate all the resources necessary to prevent homelessness.

REMINDER: 8th Annual Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-off – April 25th from Noon-3 pm at the Birchmere

Posted on:

Be sure visit Pork Barrel BBQ today at the 8th Annual Carpenter’s Shelter Cook-off – noon-3 pm at The Birchmere! Pulled Pork and Bread Pudding!

Taste of Del Ray

Pork Barrel BBQ Holds Del Ray Restaurant Open House and Listening Session

Posted on:

We had a great Open House and listening session last evening, and we wanted to express our sincere thanks to those in attendance for their input, and for those who could not attend, share with you one of the major announcements about the Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant we made last evening.

We’ve spent the past several months listening to folks in the community seeking their input on the restaurant, and heard concerns expressed about our plans to use a wood smoker.  In response to these concerns, we announced yesterday that we’ve made a major change in the piece of equipment we are using – we will no longer be using a wood smoker, and instead are going with a state of the art gas version, that uses gas as the heat source, and only uses wood to add flavor – using only 1-3 pieces of wood per 12 hour cooking cycle – much less than the average fireplace or backyard grill.

We chose this gas cooker, even though it is significantly more expensive, because it is made specifically to address concerns raised by some in the community.  This cooker is manufactured by Southern Pride, and is in use in all 50 states, and in fact, is used in Times Square, especially made for cooking BBQ in urban high density areas.  The new cooker is both UL listed and UL (Environmental and Public Health) EPH approved.  There are still some concerns about this cooker and we’ll try to address those, so we’re still exploring the best option for this project.  We plan on being on the corner for a long time so we’re going to try to do it right from the start.

We also learned about some other concerns that we weren’t aware of.  We will restrict delivery drivers and any delivery service from using side streets.  Delivery drivers will be made to turn off engines during deliveries.  Delivery schedules will be made with the least amount of impact to traffic and the community.

There was a lot of positive feedback about some later hours in Del Ray to broaden the appeal of the Avenue to a wider audience.  We received a lot of feedback about this from the 30 somethings in the crowd.  We’ll be working with David Fromm from the Del Ray Citizens Association to organize an online survey about the Association’s desire on this matter.

We were very grateful for all the comments and input we received this evening, and we will continue this listening process.  We are excited for the Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant to be a part of the Del Ray community and really hope that this will be another family friendly meeting place for Del Ray.

Sincerely,

Mike Anderson

Bill Blackburn

Brett Thompson

Heath Hall

Pork Barrel BBQ