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Sen. Louise Lucas Exposes a Fraud Photo Claiming to Be Virginia Barbecue

“Nothing like this has ever been served in our Commonwealth,” Tweets the veteran Virginia politician

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Virginia state Senator Louise L. Lucas(D-18) at work in the statehouse, in Richmond, VA.
Virginia Sen. Louise L. Lucas (D-18) fiercely defended her barbecue-loving state this week.
Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Virginians went nuts this week after a viral photo of weak-looking barbecue and deconstructed mac and cheese claimed to be from somewhere in its state. So Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Va.), the pro tempore president of the state Senate, carved time out of her busy re-election campaign schedule to do some digging on its origin on behalf of her confused constituents.

The 79-year-old longtime legislator for southeastern Virginia’s 18th District revealed the source of the barbecue plate in a simple Tweet on Monday, March 13 that now has over 10,000 likes:

I’m aware of this fake photo circulating around the internet of Virginia BBQ. Nothing like this has ever been served in our Commonwealth. After some research, we learned that this picture was actually taken in Texas, so I refer any questions to her.

Turns out, the picture was pulled from the Yelp page for Ritzy B’s Smokehouse & Grill, an unassuming roadside restaurant nestled the north Texas town of Decatur. The post, which appears to be almost a year old, depicts small slices of white meat, white bread, and perhaps the most egregious: a styrofoam cup of DIY mac and cheese with a side of shredded cheddar and jalapenos.

“Thank you for setting the record straight!! VA is EXONERATED,” wrote Twitter user @hautepjones.

If anything, the great barbecue plate debate rallied each state to stand behind—and show off—their respective smoked meats.

On the Virginia front, another Twitter user pointed to Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg:

Lucas, who credits the whole bi-state Twitter fiasco for a bump in her already-large social media following, moved on from the issue by hoisting up a pair of barbecue sandwiches in her kitchen: