Tuesday, November 22, 2016

If you don't know anything else from the things I post on this blog about what I like to eat, you would learn that I just love BBQ. The smoke, the charcoal, the beef, the sauce, all of it. Andy Nelson's is one of the most lauded places in the Baltimore area to get some Q. Always on the list, I finally had a reason to be in the area to stop in and get a taste of it.

So Andy Nelson's is a quaint place with an outdoor shed set up that was bustling in the nice fall air that existed in the morning, an indoor seating area near where you order, a drive through - which my daughter and I were impressed by, and a separate area for catering orders. It's obvious that it's a popular spot. The decor is quaint and southern roadside, not what you would expect to find in this area at all. In comparison Mission BBQ is a corporate version of that style while Urban BBQ is a hipster version of the same concept. This is the real deal. They sell their sauces and some other items inside and ordering was quick and easy. The staff was warm and the food came out quickly.

Now in order to provide a comparison between all of these places, I try to make sure I order the same or at least similar items. So today it was a brisket sandwich for me with greens and Macaroni and cheese. I also ordered a half pound of rib tips. my daughter had the pulled pork sandwich with macaroni and potato salad. I am glad I got some sauce on the side because it's not on the sandwich, nor given on the side unless you grab it.

For my food, the brisket on the sandwich was from the lean part of the brisket, which is the worst part to give-on it's own. I have come to believe that if you don't ask me which part I would like it from, you should be giving me a mixture of both because you need some fat for tenderness. The rib tips were pretty good. Some pieces were more tender than others, but it also felt like it wasn't quite as slow cooked or smoked. it was marinated well and the flavor was well infused, but it didn't have a rub or anything on it. I did dip it in some of the classic red Andy Nelson's sauce, which was fine. It wasn't overly sweet or overly tangy. It was a good balance of flavors.

The sides were only so-so to me. I was told the potato salad was a bit salty, I didn't try it myself unfortunately. The Greens that I had weren't bad. They were seasoned alright but some more salt might have been good. They pale in comparison to those from Urban BBQ though which are some of the best you can get from a restaurant period. The macaroni and cheese was realer than say Boston Market, but also when compared to the BBQ places in the area which are chains of some kind, it doesn't keep up. Mission BBQ and Urban are way better with more love and time spent on their Mac and Cheese sides.

Andy Nelson's may have been crowned by the local media and magazines but it doesn't make it for me. While the place itself is a character, the food lacks the same charm. it's a bit sparse and bare and when I see these kinds of accolades given to a place I expect the flavors to stand out a little more and be bolder and stronger. I can't give Andy Nelson's the same accolades as others, it's alright to me but I wouldn't rush out to try it again.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tagged: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment