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Ace Biscuit & Barbecue

711 Henry Ave., Charlottesville, VA - (434) 202-1403
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/23/2014 1:33:00 PM
Tucked into an unprepossessing brick building in Charlottesville’s Rose Hill neighborhood, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue does its name proud. An Ace biscuit is square and substantial, not angelically light but a high-quality presence to reckon with – rich and luxurious, speckled throughout with sharp grains of black pepper. Its avoirdupois makes it ideal as the foundation for a breakfast specialty called the Dirty Biscuit: a couple of succulent, crisp-fried chicken thighs topped with sausage gravy on one half, and a blanket of sweet-pepper pimiento cheese and a couple of thick pickle chips on the other half.

What’s fun about the biscuit side of the equation is all the possibilities. The blackboard menu invites customers to build their own with southern breakfast sausage, Mexican chorizo, pulled pork, bacon, country ham, buttermilk fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and a wide assortment of different cheeses. And, of course, there are sausage gravy and/or eggs. For those not in a biscuit mood, Ace offers breakfast of flapjacks or waffles (with or without fried chicken on top).

As for the barbecue, that, too, is dandy (and, in my experience, available first thing in the morning as well as for lunch). Pulled pork is extraordinarily smoky, coming in a motley heap of shreds and chunks, available with all sorts of sauces, including North Carolina vinegar and an eye-opening “bold & spicy.” Thin-sliced tri-tip is savory in its own juices, but dramatically better with house-made horseradish mayo. I’ve yet to try the spare ribs, billed as “belly on a bone!”

Dining is eat-in-the-rough casual. Place your order at the counter, pay, and give the order-taker your name. When it’s ready he or she will call you up to fetch your food. Bring it to one of the tables or to the counter along the wall and front window. When finished, customers are expected to bus their own places.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
BBQ Beef
Macaroni & Cheese
Biscuit
Pulled Pork
Chicken Biscuit
Ice Tea
Collard Greens
Dirty Biscuit
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Buttermilk fried chicken -- a boneless thigh -- makes sweet music with a biscuit, whether for breakfast or lunch.
"Buttermilk fried chicken -- a boneless thigh -- makes sweet music with a biscuit, whether for breakfast or lunch."
Michael Stern





Collard greens are pungent, sharp, and overwhelmingly veggie.
"Collard greens are pungent, sharp, and overwhelmingly veggie."
Michael Stern


I love the pulled pork just as it is, but there also are several interesting sauces available. North Carolina vinegar and a tomato sauce billed as 'bold and spicy' both were excellent.
"I love the pulled pork just as it is, but there also are several interesting sauces available. North Carolina vinegar and a tomato sauce billed as 'bold and spicy' both were excellent."
Michael Stern


Mac 'n' cheese is extraordinarily creamy, as rich as can be.
"Mac 'n' cheese is extraordinarily creamy, as rich as can be."
Michael Stern


There's plenty of cattle grazing in the landscape around Charlottesville, and beef is no second-class citizen on the dinner table. Ace's is divine when anointed with horseradish mayonnaise.
"There's plenty of cattle grazing in the landscape around Charlottesville, and beef is no second-class citizen on the dinner table. Ace's is divine when anointed with horseradish mayonnaise."
Michael Stern


The Dirty Biscuit is a tremendous southern meal: a pair of buttermilk fried chicken thighs topped with peppery sausage gravy, along with pimiento cheese and a pair of thick pickle chips. Knife and fork are required!
"The Dirty Biscuit is a tremendous southern meal: a pair of buttermilk fried chicken thighs topped with peppery sausage gravy, along with pimiento cheese and a pair of thick pickle chips. Knife and fork are required!"
Michael Stern


Among the many condiments available for biscuits, I love the blackberry peach jam at lower left, and the dense local honey, up top.
"Among the many condiments available for biscuits, I love the blackberry peach jam at lower left, and the dense local honey, up top."
Michael Stern


Ace stands alone in a neighborhood without many other businesses.
"Ace stands alone in a neighborhood without many other businesses."
Michael Stern


When staffer Erin Kennedy handed me my sweet tea, she warned that I should be sure to stir it well. That clear layer at the bottom is simple syrup.
"When staffer Erin Kennedy handed me my sweet tea, she warned that I should be sure to stir it well. That clear layer at the bottom is simple syrup."
Michael Stern


Ace is a tiny place where interaction between staff and customers seems a natural part of the experience.
"Ace is a tiny place where interaction between staff and customers seems a natural part of the experience."
Michael Stern


The side wall lets you know the animal that rules in this kitchen's larder.
"The side wall lets you know the animal that rules in this kitchen's larder."
Michael Stern


At the front counter, an old kitchen mixer wears the ears of a pig.
"At the front counter, an old kitchen mixer wears the ears of a pig."
Michael Stern


Big, square biscuits welcome a spoon of blackberry peach jam.
"Big, square biscuits welcome a spoon of blackberry peach jam."
Michael Stern


The nuanced meaning of this cartoon taped up inside Ace Biscuit eludes me.
"The nuanced meaning of this cartoon taped up inside Ace Biscuit eludes me."
Michael Stern



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