23 Dec 2014


First Bite: The BBQ Joint at Union Market

Alison runs a wine consulting business called Bon Vivant DC out of her Capitol Hill home. In addition to teaching wine classes and conducting private wine events for her clients, Alison publishes a weekly wine blog, and creates custom Virginia wine country outings.  Her writing has been published in lifestyle publications such as Domicile.

On Twitter @districtwino, Facebook at Bon Vivant DC, and Vivino at Bon Vivant.

Alison got herself some tasty 'Q. Photo courtesy of Alison Marriott.

Alison got herself some tasty ‘Q. Photo courtesy of Alison Marriott.

There are few foods I am more passionate about than BBQ.  My dad has been known to FedEx hickory from his property in North Georgia bundled in a stray bootlace for proper smoking and I make my sauce from scratch. Suffice to say, the opening of The BBQ Joint at Union Market has me seriously excited.

“In some places BBQ means pork, in others it means beef, in other places it’s a verb,” said Chef Andrew Evans.

The BBQ joint (correctly) uses the word’s first meaning.  (Bracing myself to catch hell from Texans in 3….2….1…..)

I’m often derided for my staunch claim that DC is NOT the south- it’s great in other ways, but southern it is NOT. This event proved my point in the simplest of ways:

“But why is there no chicken?”

“Because chicken isn’t BBQ,” answers Evans. “BBQ is not meat you throw on a grill.  BBQ is low and slow and SMOKE.”


Evans is originally from New York, but gives this southerner hope that even Yankees can produce outstanding ‘Q, given the will, a smoker and enough dedication to the craft that is properly smoked pork.

I’ve enjoyed Evans’ cooking at the late Inn at Easton, as well as in my own home, at his Thai establishment, and the original BBQ Joint in Easton, Maryland.  It was the closest to “real” BBQ I could find without making it at home or heading south; that is, until now.

Always necessary after proper BBQ. Photo courtesy of Alison Marriott.

Always necessary after proper BBQ. Photo courtesy of Alison Marriott.

Evans opened his 2nd outpost of The BBQ Joint at Union Market on December 11th, much to my delight. After enjoying a sampler platter of pulled pork, ribs, brisket and sides, I returned to the counter to order my husband supper.

“Bring me some Q”, the text read.

“A pound?,” the friendly employee seemed confused.  “You’re the first person to order that!”

“Throw a few ribs in there too, please,” I responded. (As one does.)


The BBQ Joint offers catering, and Evans is hopeful that the takeout option will catch on, as it has in the original location. I’m looking forward to an expansion of sauce offerings.  Evans and I chatted about the possibilities of including an Eastern Carolina Style and a South Carolina Mustard Based Sauce, in addition to the “Sweet” and “Spicy” options currently offered.

Evans has found a great home at Union Market. He loves the low-key vibe of “people making good food.”  He thrives on the energy, synergy and support from other artisan purveyors at this foodie destination.


If you’re partial to pairing wine with your BBQ, look no further than Union Market’s Cordial Wines. You’re certain to find a perfect pairing among their carefully curated selection.  I like to pair BBQ with big, fruit-forward vino with spicy elements. You’ll want to select a wine with plenty of backbone to stand up to the strong, smoky flavors.  The classic pairing is a Zinfandel from California, but a Primotivo from Italy or even a Shiraz from Australia would also make for an outstanding pairing. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a Bobal from Spain.
The BBQ Joint is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Union Market is located at 1309 5th Street NE.


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One response to “First Bite: The BBQ Joint at Union Market”

  1. PB says:

    This is actually his third outpost – there is also one in Pasadena, MD. The brisket and sausage are awesome – sorry, but his pulled pork is not on the same level.

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