While there are lots of places to get barbecue in Maryland and DC, there’s not too many that serve Texas style barbecue. And it’s hard to find one that my friend’s from Texas would consider authentic. 2 Fifty BBQ, in Riverdale, MD is a place that not only does Texas style BBQ, but does it well.
I found out about 2 Fifty from a friend . Looking for safe places to dine during the pandemic, my friend noted that 2 Fifty has takeout and a small amount of outdoor seating. The surrounding environment, just off the old main street in Riverdale, is very pleasant; a relaxing place to eat. He also regarded the barbecue as being authentic Texan.
So what is Texas style barbecue? First of all, the meat is smoked, low and slow, for hours. But Texas BBQ is more than just how the meat is cooked; it’s also about the environment that you order and dine in.
Ordering food is a bit like being at a meat counter in the supermarket. You stand in line at a counter. When you there, choose the kinds of meats you want and the quantity. Your selection is cut, weighed, and priced accordingly. Unlike a meat counter at a grocery, this meat is cooked. Also, you order your sides at the counter. The dining environment is very casual and informal. With long wooden tables an copious amounts of indoor or outdoor seating, it reminds me of being at a picnic.
The menu is divided into sections depending on the style of meat that you want: beef, pork, or turkey.
Those sections allow the ordering of slabs of meat in bulk. If you want something lighter, sandwiches are available. The meat selection for the sandwiches is the same, it’s just that the portion sizes are smaller. But I’ve found the sandwich serving generous enough that I was able to spread it out over two meals. Sandwiches are served with a small side of coleslaw.
So far, I’ve had the ribs and the brisket sandwich, both of which were chuck full of smoky goodness. The ribs were very tender, almost to the point of falling off the bone, but still a bit solid. They still had some red color, giving them great flavor. Similarly, the brisket was also tender as full of flavor. Overall, I find the barbecue at 2 Fifty exceptional.
In addition to coleslaw, there are several sides available, including mac ‘n’ cheese, brisket beans (don’t call them baked beans), and potato salad. Showing their Hispanic heritage, 2 Fifty also has plantains, caramelized pineapple, and pico de gallo. So far, I have had the beans and the Mac ‘N’ Cheese. The beans are cooked with smoked meat, giving them a distinctive taste. They are more soupy than I am used to, but I have no complaints. There are plenty of beans with plenty of flavor. The macaroni was swimming in several different kinds of cheese. A very nice blend, smooth, and creamy. Quite decadent!
2 Fifty also has a small selection of desserts. I have had two so far: the chocolate bundt cake (pictured) and the Chocolate Bourbon pecan pie. I enjoyed both, but my clear favorite is the Bundt cake. Rich with chocolate, moist, and containing a soft, fudgy center, this is pure chocolate perfection.
Hopefully, I have convinced you that I like 2 Fifty BBQ a great deal. Not only do they have great food, but also friendly service. And the food comes out fairly quickly, although it is recommended that you order ahead. During these COVID times, its a great place for take-out.