Instead of limiting themselves to one type of cuisine, S & J Crab Ranch has included two of their favorites—Maryland seafood and southern barbecue. Local flavors pile up at the raw bar, where diners can order gulf shrimp by the pound or plates of clams and seasoned mussels; however, as the restaurant’s name implies, crabs are the signature item. They can be steamed and served whole, as jumbo lump crab cakes, or in a creamy soup spiked with a bit of sherry.
Of course, the seafood seeps into the southern-inspired meals as well. A selection of classic southern sandwiches includes fried catfish with creole mustard. Regional cuisine builds out the rest of the menu, giving diners options such as slow-cooked Texas brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, and st. louis ribs rubbed with secret spices. Even the classic American dishes take cues from S & J’s penchant for the ocean—fresh crab meat bulks up the mac ‘n’ cheese, and pulled pork and barbecue sauce enhance a pile of nachos.
Owner Elmer Esh fills bellies with Amish homestyle meals at Esh's Barbeque Pit, and doles out portions of fresh ribs and roasts at Esh's Meat. Sandwiches and barbecue chicken basted in homemade sauce sate urgent appetites, and sausages hand-stuffed onsite and steak cuts from the meat shop build a base for future meals or edible sculptures of John Adams. With a focus on high quality meat, Elmer sources his ribs and beef from livestock raised by Amish farmers at Ontario's Pennfield Farms.
The talented cooks at Jumpers Grille grace tables with tasty dishes of tender pulled pork and chicken, delicious sides, and dollops of signature barbecue sauce. Each juicy portion of meat arrives on a choice of special roll, white, wheat, rye, or wrap, slathered in mild, hot, or honey sauce, and crowned with a medley of toppings including relish, horseradish, Tiger sauce, and onion. Chilly draughts of cola, freshly brewed iced tea, and birch beer quench mealtime thirsts, and piping hot cups of coffee and hot tea warm gullets or melt blocks of ice with love notes embedded in them. Like a blistering banjo solo, the mouthwatering lineup of sides promise a traditional accompaniment to barbecue feasts, with appetizing eats of french fries, mac 'n' cheese, crisp coleslaw, and hearty potato salad.
The sounds of sputtering grill tops, clattering utensils, and lively conversation fill the dining room at Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill, earning it praise from the Washington Post in 2010 as "one of the most entertaining barbecues around." The menu brims with both familiar and adventurous meats, including pork belly, beef ribs, and pork neck. Diners soak in Korean culture via both the food and K-pop, selecting a protein-rich spread and watching as the servers sear their orders on solar-heated tableside grills.
Founded three decades ago by a group of friends that simply wanted barbecue, jazz, and a place to sit, Red Hot & Blue grew from its original Arlington location to the robust chain it is today, spreading southern flavors and hospitality to the north. As hickory smoke wafts from kitchen grills, chefs slather sweet barbecue sauces and massage dry spices into ribs, pork, and brisket slow roasted for hours until melty and tender. The sound of classic blues tunes drifts from speakers, and the paraphernalia of the genre's greatest talents bedeck every inch of the walls, from instruments wielded by famous hands to the rock on which Mamie Smith stubbed her toe before emitting the world's first blues croon.:m]]