Like giving high-fives and performing open-heart surgery, eating pulled pork is best executed by the hands and, on occasion, the elbows. Feast on manhandled meats with today's Groupon: for $6, you get $12 worth of Southern cuisine and drinks at Virginia Barbeque, only at the Lakeside location.
Virginia Barbeque's hand-pulled, wood-smoked pork and succulent, dripping sauces have earned the franchise a staggering amount of media accolades. Diners browsing the menu at the Lakeside location may be unaware of founder Richard Ivey's conscientious pork-cooking methodology, carried out behind kitchen doors: bone-in Boston butts—after being dry rubbed, butterfly-kissed, and rotisserie smoked for 12 hours—are hand-pulled and doused in Virginia-style or North Carolina–style barbecue sauce and packed between sesame-seed buns ($7.99). Mouthwatering St. Louis–style ribs, smoked and drizzled in signature sauce ($17.95 for full rack, $8.95 for half rack), come chaperoned by two fresh, homemade sides, including the crumbly corn muffins and roasted red potato salad—both sporting secret ingredients unknown to even their mini muffin and spud offspring ($1.99 each).
Virginia Barbeque's classic red-and-white-checkered floors complement congenial diner-style booths and tables. When combined with the restaurant's simple, laid-back menu, the Lakeside dining room exudes a comfortable homestyle atmosphere, exactly unlike a room full of cacti.
The Top Ten Travel Company named Virginia Barbeque one of the top 10 for Best of Richmond BBQ. The Daily Press, the Brownsville Herald, and the Virginian-Pilot all positively reviewed the business. Six Yelpers give it a 3.5-star average and more than 500 Facebookers like it.
- I had a Carolina barbecue sandwich with coleslaw and my roll didn't get soggy! – Judy Bander, Virginian-Pilot
- With pork piled high on a sesame seed bun, topped with slaw and joined by a few down-home side dishes, the sandwich combo makes a good meal that nods to Virginia traditions. – Sam McDonald, Daily Press
Virginia Barbeque first opened shop in a 100-year-old home in Ashland. The building's long history helped convey the sense of community roots that founder Rick Ivey wanted to express in his eatery's friendly, wood-smoked meats, and fresh-made sides. Now with locations across the state and a slew of accolades from the local media, Virginia Barbeque's mission to build a devoted following and pave a state highway with barbecue sauce is well under way. The restaurant's signature meats begin with a dry rub in a house spice blend before they take a 12-hour stint in a rotisserie smoker filled with hickory wood. Then, cooks hand-pull the meat and slather on house-made Virginia-style red sauce or North Carolina-style vinegar sauce.