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Tim Carman Ranks D.C.’s Barbecue Stars

What the critics are saying this week

Texas Jack's [Photo: R. Lopez]
Texas Jack's Barbecue in Arlington, Va.
[R. Lopez]
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Top 10 Barbecue List

The Washington Post’s Tim Carman compiles a list of the 10 best barbecue restaurants in the D.C. area, just in time for summer. To him, the cuisine’s defining characteristic “is the complex aromatic byproduct of burning hardwoods” (smoke = barbecue). His top three picks are: Sloppy Mama’s in Union Market; Texas Jack’s Barbecue in Arlington, Virginia; and Hill Country Barbecue Market in Penn Quarter. This year, he notes, he ran into “a wall of smokeless meats” and several local favorites dropped from the rankings. [WaPo]

Capo Italian Deli

At the new Shaw deli, “the owners have the bread down,” says Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema, calling it crusty and pliable. He goes with the seeded Italian loaf from Lyon Bakery, which is sturdy enough for the meat, accessories and vinaigrette packed within. Go with Capo’s house-made Italian dressing to give any sandwich zing, he instructs. Tuna salad with red onion “is pleasing,” while chicken salad features chunks of moist white meat, and “snappy” Italian sausage withred peppers is another hit. There is a bit of a wait for sandwiches, but one can call ahead, he points out. In addition to sandwiches, Capo sells meats, cheeses and Italian novelties. Sietsema thinks side dishes (cucumber salad, broccoli rabe) are “ordinary.” [WaPo]

Anatolian Bistro

Northern Virginia Magazine restaurant critic Stefanie Gans checks out classic Turkish food at Anatolian Bistro in Herndon. Its sampler platter shines with its crispy cigar and melting feta within, while a grape leaf surrounding squishy rice and raisins “leans sweet.” The Iskender kebab is a smash, with thin slices of beef and lamb layered atop yogurt-covered pita squares. “It’s altogether meaty and creamy and messy and carby, so why are we eating anything else?” [NVM]

FROM THE BLOGS: Rick Eats DC eats at the new True Food Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland, while Bitches Who Brunch go to Bombay Club.

Texas Jack's BBQ

2761 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201 (703) 875-0477

Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 7th Street Northwest, , DC 20004 (202) 556-2050 Visit Website

Sloppy Mama's

, Washington, D.C. (877) 775-3462