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Big BBQ Bummer in Fredericksburg, VA

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  • FishTalesNC
    Club Member
    • Dec 2017
    • 935
    • Durham, NC

    • Cookers
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    Big BBQ Bummer in Fredericksburg, VA

    I had previously talked up Allman's BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA as a "must visit" joint in another thread somewhere. After eating there last week, I unfortunately felt compelled to add an updated review...

    So last week was my kiddo's spring break, and we decided we'd head back to my old stomping grounds in F'burg where I grew up (~1974 - 1997) and show her around, see all of the history there, etc. Back in the day, Allman's was pretty darn good and a favorite after a long float trip down the nearby rivers. Walking in still smelling like fish, half covered in mud, STARVING, and hearing them call our BBQ orders to "Momma" in the back just got our mouths watering waiting for that first real plate of food after a couple of days on the water.
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    I was really excited to head back to the place that originally turned me on to "minced" (chopped) pork sandwiches with an eastern NC style sauce. I found out they even serve baby back racks now, so my kiddo was REALLY excited.

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    Well... it was great while it lasted I guess. "Momma" retired back in 2011, and died a couple of years ago. Apparently she was the magic that made Allman's go. My wife and I got the minced pork. It could have been made in a crock pot. Not even a hint of smokey flavor. No bark whatsoever. Just very bland pork. Time to doctor that up with some sauce... except, no. One bottle was just basically Texas Pete, which is fine, but don't pass it off as your "spicy" BBQ sauce. The other bottle which I was hoping was the traditional eastern NC style was not. I'm not sure what it was... watered down KC style is my guess, not tangy or spicy, slightly sweet. The ribs they brought to my daughter looked like something out of The Walking Dead - grey and dried out. Absolutely no rub on them, and again no smoke flavor. They tasted exactly like the minced pork actually, except drier. The sides were even worse. Bush's baked beans straight out of a can are much better than what I was served as "bbq baked beans". The hush puppies were suspiciously perfectly round balls of fried dough with absolutely no flavor to them - suspect they buy them frozen.

    What a disappointment... we were so hungry, having walked around Monticello all day and "saved up" for a big BBQ meal, we choked down half of it, and left the rest on our plates. I went up to pay, and when asked how everything was just replied (as nicely as I could) "Well... it was fine I guess". His response: "Great! Glad to hear it! Would you like a couple to go boxes?" Me: "No thanks, we're just gonna leave it right there..." (this guy just doesn't get it, so this isn't going to improve)

    The place was maybe half full, but we weren't the only ones grousing. There was an elderly gentleman with his family sitting right behind us, and we heard him saying "This used to be the place to go, I don't know what happened". So it wasn't just our taste buds on that day, wasn't me being a BBQ-snob or anything. I guess I still have good memories, but that's about all. Definitely cannot recommend Allman's any longer!
  • klflowers
    Club Member
    • Sep 2015
    • 2083
    • Tennessee

    #2
    Bummer. It always sucks to go to a place you have fond memories of just to find out it isn't good anymore.

    Comment


    • FishTalesNC
      FishTalesNC commented
      Editing a comment
      Totally. Carl's Ice Cream made up for it though - managed to get there 3 times in 5 days 😂
  • CaptainMike
    Club Member
    • Nov 2015
    • 2068
    • The Great State of Jefferson
    • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
      Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
      2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
      20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
      20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
      Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
      36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
      Fireboard
      Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

    #3
    How disappointing, sorry for you and the fam. It is said that you can never step in the same river twice. Monticello is on my list of places to see, but I guess I'll skip Allman's when we get out there. You'll have to get the Baby Back Pitmaster to smoke up a couple of racks to assuage your melancholy.

    Comment


    • FishTalesNC
      FishTalesNC commented
      Editing a comment
      Luckily we cooked up the best rack of baby backs I've ever made on the Saturday before we left, so I had some good BBQ karma in the bank!
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 1984

    #4
    Sorry to hear that. The old saying about you can’t go home because it ain't there anymore can be so true. My old bedroom in the house I grew up in is now the battery section of an Advanced Auto. And as a double whammy, Kathy and I are passing through Fredricksburg on Thursday around lunchtime headed to the Shenandoah valley.

    Comment


    • FishTalesNC
      FishTalesNC commented
      Editing a comment
      At least you're headed to the valley at a beautiful time of year. I went to JMU, spent a lot of time in those mountains and on the south fork of that river. Enjoy your trip!!
  • Potkettleblack
    Club Member
    • Jun 2016
    • 1784
    • Chicago, IL
    • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
      Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
      For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
      Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
      Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

    #5
    Maybe an off day?

    Comment


    • FishTalesNC
      FishTalesNC commented
      Editing a comment
      Don’t think I’ll go back to find out!

    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      Fair. We got bad service at this restaurant that is continually rated one of the best in Chicago, and haven't been back in a decade, so I completely support the burn book.

    • FishTalesNC
      FishTalesNC commented
      Editing a comment
      Had a similar thing happen at Charlie Palmer's Steak House in Vegas. Ordered a NY Strip (they charge over $50 these days for that cut), and they brought out all our meals... at least 4 of us got that cut, and theirs looked perfect... they put mine down in front of me, and it had a strip of gristle running the length of it that I couldn't even cut through. We were already late for a show, so I didn't bother sending it back. But I'll never go back, and I tell everyone to avoid that place.
  • Huskee
    Pit Boss/Manager
    • May 2014
    • 13735
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue
      Smokers / Grills
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      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
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      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.


      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #6
    Sorry to hear that. We have a local place and I thought the exact same thing about their 'crock pot' "wood smoked pork!" pork. All the locals here rave, but what do most Michiganders know about real BBQ... it's a sorry excuse to dare call that stuff "BBQ".

    Well enough honest & scathing reviews and maybe they will investigate what "momma" did in the glory days to earn the good reputation they've now lost.

    Comment

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