Virginia north of Richmond is not exactly a hotbed of excellent barbecue, which makes Dixie Bones’ goodness all the more welcome. Roadfood adventurer Laura Key first tipped us off to it for macaroni salad, ice tea, and hickory-smoked pork. The pork is some of the best this side of the Carolinas. Cooked for hours over smoldering hickory coals, it is velvet soft and gentle-flavored, served in sandwiches or heaped on a platter with such side dishes as Laura’s favorite creamy-lush macaroni salad, French fries, baked beans, limp greens, and a terrific item known as a muddy spuds. That last item is chopped-up baked potato – all the better when dressed with barbecue sauce.
There are three heat levels of Carolina-style sauce (tomato-sweet/vinegar-tangy), the hottest of which is not incendiary; and there’s even the option of Alabama-style white sauce. In addition to the glorious chopped-up pork, there are meat-laden ribs sold by the rack and half-rack, pork sausage, beef brisket, pulled chicken breast (that’s where you want the white sauce), and fried catfish fillets.
Pies are made here, and we found the individual fried apple pie endearingly soulful, i.e. well-sweetened and cooked long enough that the pieces of apple inside were as tender as the pork that preceded dessert. Thursday is lemon chess pie day. Saturday’s pie is sweet potato. Bread pudding with caramel sauce always is available.
There is a second location of Dixie Bones at 1917 Plank Rd. in Fredericksburg. (540-479-8299)