A lack of BBQ during my last several months recently led to a road trip to Waldorf, MD to finally try the legendary Lefty's Barbecue. So, last Sunday morning, zaf, rj3, and I all piled into the car to fight the Sunday church traffic rush to rural MD.
Lefty's is in the heart of a strip mall, about a mile away from a Wal-mart, Sam's Club, and every other suburban chain store imaginable. The decor is rather unimaginative -- benches and chairs straight out of the mid-90s. But we weren't there for the atmosphere. We were there for the barbecue.
Being from the south, the first test of authenticity for any barbecue restaurant is their Sweet Iced Tea. Sweet Tea is a purely southern phenomenon and if a BBQ joint can't properly do their iced tea, there is no hope for the actual BBQ. Other than the fact that they offer no free refills on the sweet tea, the tea passed the test, and we waited for the main meal.
RJ3 ordered the North Carolina Pork sandwhich, sliced pork w/ vinegar based sauce. zaf had the rib platter, and I had the regular sliced pork sandwhich. For sides, we tried the corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, corn fritters, and collard greens.
You're in true barbecue country when Sundays are "bring in your church bulletin for a discount" days.
Both pork dishes were good, although I'm used to chopped rather than sliced pork. The sandwiches were so full that hand-eating was abandoned for a knife and fork. The ribs were the highlight of the meat course -- tender meat, incredibly smoky and flavorful, which fell off the bone. zaf lost several ribs from her meal to RJ3 and me. When you go to Lefty's, get the ribs.
The crowning culinary achievement may have been the sides. The mashed potatoes were fluffy, buttery, and everything wonderful a potato can be. The collard greens had just the right mix of green and brown sugar; they were so tasty that I finally convinced my northern companions that properly done collard greens really are the nectar of the gods. And the corn fritters, deep fried corn-and-dough mixtures, we so tasty that I kept stealing them off of RJ3s plate.
The consensus is that out of all the BBQ places our crack team has tried, including Rocklands; Old Glory; Dixie Bones; Urban BBQ; Red, Hot, and Blue; and Johnny's, Lefty's Barbecue holds the current title of best BBQ in the metro D.C. area. At least, that is, until the next trip.