Food Review: Virginia BBQ, Middletown, DE
I love barbeque. Pulled pork is one of my 5 food groups. I make it myself as well, but love sampling others just as much. I like different varieties of sauce, from the tomato-based to Carolina vinegar based to mustard based (my personal favorite). On a recommendation, Lady Aravan, myself, and a friend all took a short road trip down to try a place called Virgina BBQ, a chain barbeque joint.
I, of course, got the pulled pork sandwich, which comes in 2 varieties: Virginia Style, with a sweet, smoky, tangy tomato-based sauce, and Carolina Style, with a tangier vinegar-based sauce. Each combo came with two sides and a drink, so I got french fries, hush puppies, and sweet tea (of course). I also added coleslaw as a side, because a pulled pork sandwich tastes unfinished to me unless it’s got a nice heaping helping of coleslaw on it. I have heard that referred to as “Memphis style”, but after living in North Carolina and learning that coleslaw is as much a condiment as ketchup (seriously, ordering “everything” on a hot dog means you’re getting coleslaw), I will shrug at the “Memphis” part and instead just label it as the “proper” style (and speaking of North Carolina, coleslaw, and awesomeness, go to El’s Drive-In on the way to Atlantic Beach and get a Shrimpburger and a cherry shake. Fried shrimp and coleslaw have never married so happily. By far, a highlight of the state. That’s a review for another day). My companions also got pulled pork, and between Lady Aravan and I, we got both varieties to try.
Both versions of the sandwich were very good. As I said, the Virgina sauce is tomato-based, and very good. I tend to like my sauce a little smokier and sweeter, but my wife has an aversion to sweeter stuff, so the sauce made us both happy. The Carolina style had a nice bite to it, but if you don’t care for vinegar, avoid it. If you love Salt & Vinegar chips like my wife and I do, it’s tremendous. The french fries were good and crispy, and the hush puppies were very good as well. I was only disappointed by them in that they were small and fewer in number than I would have liked. The sweet tea was Proper Sweet Tea, meaning tea that is brewed and mixed woth sugar, not some pre-packaged stuff. If the bottom on the cup where the ice isn’t is warm, its a good indicator you’ve got the right stuff. It wasn’t Bojangles sweet tea, but it was good, especially for Delaware.
All in all, we were very happy and nicely full when we left. The price was right, the portions Proper-Sized (I didn’t feel my stomach distending, but I was completely not hungry when I left), the inside was clean and the staff friendly enough. They give discounts to military personnel, which I like, and they also do catering. Bottom line: I recommend it, especially if you like Carolina vinegar-based BBQ, which can be very hard to find outside those states.