Judging Restaurants – Kenny’s BBQ


Back in October Kenny’s was briefly mentioned when we discussed the best BBQ in the city. But I thought it deserved its own proper review. Kenny’s is located at 732 Maryland Ave, NE. Any particular favorites from this spot?  What’s the best – pork, chicken or beef?

Speaking of BBQ Tom Siestma wrote last week in the GOG:

“Hill Country, the big barn of a barbecue joint in New York, is coming to Washington, courtesy of its founder, Bethesda native Marc Glosserman. While the self-service restaurant is still a year away from opening in Penn Quarter (at 410 Seventh St. NW), some of us are already licking our lips in anticipation of a slab or two of the signature dry-rubbed, slow-smoked brisket and ribs.”

16 Comment

  • Really good sides and ok pulled pork, but the outdoor seating area (never packed) is the real sell. Two Thumbs up to Kenny’s! (and two fingers pointed towards Mr. P’s on Rhode Island and Hogs on the Hill on NY for the bangin pork a real bbq connesuir desires)

  • I used to love the Kenny’s BBQ in Mount Pleasant. I think it was the same owner. Too bad it’s long gone.

  • Kenny’s is pretty good (with the caveat that Carolina bbq is probably one of my least favorite styles), and wins for being super close to home. I prefer Hogs on the Hill though. (same caveat) I really can’t wait for Hill Country though; Central TX style bbq is my favorite (dry Memphis ribs a close second – I just don’t love all that damn sauce obscuring that delicious meat).

  • I LOVE BBQ and have attempted to eat at Kenny’s three times in the past couple years. Every time I’ve tried, I showed up to a locked restaurant. Anyone know why they seem to always be closed?

  • Kennys is pretty good BBQ by DC standards, which isn’t saying much. They’re better than Red Hot and Blue or Old Glory or even Rocklands on a good day. I actually prefer the BBQ (pulled pork and ribs) at Levi’s Port Cafe on 8th SE. But their real secret weapons are the smothered pork chops and the best mac and cheese in town.

    Hopefully, Hill Country will force Capitol Q to get its act together. They’ve gone WAY downhill from when they first opened.

  • @R3, that seems weird, unless you always go on Sundays, when they’re closed. They’re even open fairly late, especially for being in a residential neighborhood. (9:30 during the week, and 10 on weekends)

  • I used to live nearby for a year and a half. 4 out of 4 times the food was terrifying. Dry pulled pork/chicken sandwiches and your choice of sides: worse-than-kraft mac cheese or 4 parts sugar to 1 part mayo coleslaw.

    Go to Jacob’s across the street for miles better Paninis.

  • Looking forward to Hill Country since they will supposedly be stocking Blue Bell ice cream… Yummy!!!!

  • @Nichole – Perhaps I’ve only been there on Saturdays, but it’s been a frustration for years (i used to live at 7th & C SE and walked up there a couple times). I’ll try it again on a non-Saturday. Thanks!!

    Does anyone know if Hogs on the Hill is still open? I thought I heard that they were closing?

  • They were still open last week, but I suppose things change fast.

  • haven’t been in years, but used to go there all the time when I was a kid and it was called “Hogs on the Hill”.

  • I agree with the earlier poster, it’s Carolina BBQ which I really don’t like as much as Memphis BBQ. If they switched to a Memphis style, I’d be 300lbs and constantly constipated.

  • I think Rocklands is the best ‘local’ BBQ. i just to love Red Hot and Blue, but their quality control is suspect depending on the actual restaurant you visit.

  • Some of the worst BBQ I have ever had. The pulled pork was just soaked in sauce, no flavor. The sides are also terrible. My coleslaw, was all mayonnaise and no slaw.

  • The Mt. Pleasant Kenny’s changed owners a few years before it closed – the Korean family that used to run it was great but it went downhill after they left. Is this run by the same family? Isn’t there also a Kenny’s on Mt. Olivet?

  • Rocklands was terrible, like literally inedible, when we went there. Dry, dry, dry, and dry. Just awful. The peanuts weren’t so bad. Haven’t tried any of the others mentioned above after the Rockland’s disaster for fear of the experience generating homesick-induced crying jags.

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