Usually, when we try out a new place, we do so because of word-of-mouth or email recommendations we received from readers of this blog and elsewhere on the net. But for Fat Face BBQ, we had none. In fact, we would never have heard of it if not for a tiny brief in the Post announcing that RFK stadium would soon sell Fat Face at all D.C. United soccer games. Even as we made our way down Benning Road, we didn’t have a clue of what to expect, joking that maybe we should split a half rack as we passed a crowd of parked cars along a BBQ smoker in one RFK’s parking lots. Needless to say, our taste buds were not overly anxious by any means...
At first glance it appeared to be like any other carryout bbq restaurant we have found in the D.C. area. Unassuming, customers and staff separated by a bulletproof glass, no tables (unless you count your tailgate) and a steady but not overwhelming flow of customers -though not as many as the Chinese take out next door. But almost immediately our perspective changed. Written upon the blown-up menu on the wall was a simple statement, “try our ribs without the sauce,” and as dedicated readers of our blog know, that's exactly how we like it. A BBQ joint that is willing, even pushing you, to try the flavor of the meat on its own is one that is proud and confident of the BBQ they produce. Our once uninspired BBQ taste buds were now intrigued...
The food would not disappoint. Our rack was nearly perfectly smoked. Tender, well cleaned, seasoned and meaty. Its taste was smoky, sweet and peppery. Unlike other places we'd visited recently, you thankfully wouldn’t confuse these ribs with candy. The bark of the ribs was especially delicious.
The sauce only added to the taste and spiciness of the meat, complimenting everything well. Served with a couple slices of white bread, the sauce is perfect for dipping. For sides, we ordered coleslaw and potato salad. Both were homemade, hearty and very delicious. Sides come in two sizes - small and large. Fat Face BBQ is pricey compared to others in the area. $19 for a half rack of ribs (six bones), one small side and a pepsi. But, unlike other carry-outs in the D.C. region, Fat Face accepts credit cards. We’ll be back for sure.
Taste/Smoke Flavor: 9
Overall Impression: 8/9
Recommendation: Easily one of the best BBQ joints in the region we’ve tried thus far. If you find yourself out on East Capital off of the Benning Road Metro, you won’t be disappointed if you decide to make a pit stop, in fact, we recommend making a special trip out there just for some Q. No excuses necessary. Just make sure you tell the chef that the Beltway BBQ boys sent you.
5315 East Capitol Street S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20019