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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Restaurant Review: Fat Pete’s Barbecue

Restaurant Review: Fat Pete’s Barbecue

Fat Pete’s Barbecue

3407 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20008—202-362-7777


*=system is out of 10

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Service: 6/10

Food: 9/10

Environment: 6.5/10

Bang for your buck: 6.5/10

Overall rating: 7/10

Cost: $11-30

Walk down Connecticut Avenue looking for a good place to get food and you’ll miss it. But when you find out you missed it you’ll go back and run right in.

Fat Pete’s Barbecue is a new DC establishment hellbent on delivering to its customers a wide variety of southern barbecue styles with a wide variety of sides and specialties. You feel like you’re walking into a sports bar (which it practically is with its 20 or so flatscreens, all playing the Nats game) and when you walk in, you’re kindly greeted and seated.

The menu provides a great variety of smoked specialties geographically ranging from Texas to Georgia, encompassing all of the states south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The appetizers are far more diverse though, presenting vegetarian and wholly authentic options like the ‘burnt ends’ (for those of you who don’t know, these are literally the charred ends of brisket after it’s been smoked for four hours).

Another great choice is the “Pitmaster Chili”, a great hearty chili inspired by Lone-Star traditions with beef and pork with a “spicy kick”, accompanied with the obvious cheese, sour cream, onions and jalapeños.

Next come the sandwiches: the restaurant takes traditionally loved classics and just outdoes them. One of the best sandwich options is the North Carolina Chopped Pork Sandwich. It takes a masterfully smoked (over 18 hours) and prepared chopped pork, tender, juicy and plain delicious, and stuffs it between a potato roll with coleslaw. In addition to any sandwich order comes one free small side, adding to the “bang for your buck” score.

Among the most impressive options on the menu is the whopping “Belly Buster”, a concoction out of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, stuffed beyond the brim with smoked bologna, one half of a pound of pulled pork, candied bacon and mac and cheese (and of course, a small side)! This sandwich, if it can be called that, must be shared at the risk of heart failure and clogged arteries.

However, this restaurant beats expectations with its dry-rubbed spare ribs. These ribs, cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth and the rub is out of this world. Do not put any of Fat Pete’s signature sauces on this order as they are good enough by themselves. These Saint-Louis style spare ribs can be either served with dry rub or wet sauce (go for dry rub, personal fav). The dry rub is made of pepper and salt a few other spices that cause the meat to deliver a bold taste, the meat already being premium pork ribs which are very lean and of high quality.

Fat Pete’s is easily one of the best choices for fine barbecue in the city for more than a few reasons: its proximity to the metro, how easy it is to get a seat and eat, the quality of the servers, the great quality of the food and very importantly: how much you pay for what you get (I went to Hill Country BBQ near Gallery Place and was conned into paying $46 for a meager pound and a half of ribs and a small side of corn purée; for that price at Fat Pete’s you can get at least three pounds of ribs and six small sides). For all those reasons, choose Fat Pete’s next time you’re looking for cheap, fantastic barbecue.

By Henri Grossman

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