The Black Hog, Urbana MD

The Washington D.C. Beltway is the deadliest stretch of highway in North America.  It goes from two lanes up to twelve, often without warning, and connects I-95 with half a dozen commuter highways, none busier than I-270.  Here, lawyers and lobbyists come together and kill each other daily while playing bumper-tag in Audis, Beemers, Priuses, and Teslas.  Some would say that’s the best public service they’ll ever perform in their abbreviated lives, but who am I to judge?  All I’ll say is this:  Never ever but never take these roads during rush hour.

Fortunately, the Black Hog is open at 11am daily, and Urbana (just off I-270) is only one of three locations — the best, though the two in Frederick come close.  Here can be found some of the best ribs, sauces, and barbecue in the world.  They’ll serve your ribs wet or dry, just as you choose, and the Kansas City sauce was never made better even in K.C.  The brisket is available in classic Texas slices or in Arkansas chunks.  There’s no fewer than six different sauces on the table, and my recommendation is to get a plate of fries, heavily salt them, and then squirt on that Carolina.  Damn good.

Every barbecue place ever invented has something else worth mention, and here it’s the mac and cheese.  Rich and cheesy and gooey good, you’ve got to take care not to eat too much or you’ll never leave room for the ribs.  You can get it in teeny sides, sure, but the pint tub (designed for catering) is really about the perfect size and not too pricey.

Check out the specials at their website:

Go early, go often — but never dare 270 from DC during rush hour.  Back roads are there for a reason.  You have been warned.

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