“Missing some Brunswick Stew in DC”

stew
Photo from flickr by Joe Loong

“This cooler weather has me craving Brunswick Stew again, and back home around this time of year, I could always count on picking some up at my or other local churches. I think some of the local clubs sold it also.

I’ve tried making it several times, but I can never get the recipe right, so I’ve accepted the fact that I should just go back to buying it.

Does anyone know of local churches or clubs who sell some amazing Brunswick Stew? Thanks!”

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14 Comment

  • The best is definitely at the Sweet Home Cafe at NMAACH, if you can get in.

  • Not easily accessible but Sweet Home Café has traditional (with rabbit) Brunswick stew. Also check Due South. If all else fails, Mrs. Fearnow’s in the yellow can isn’t bad…

  • My significant other and I have discovered that there is a Georgia version and a Virginia version of Brunswick stew (I love/miss the southern VA version that I used to get at churches and Ruritan clubs in the fall). Due South definitely falls in the GA category (more barbecue-based). Any idea what category the Sweet Home Cafe version falls in?

    • Agreed. I tried this at Due South when they were still in “soft opening” phase or very soon after they opened and it tasted like barbecue soup. Not at all like what I was used to from BBQ joints in North Carolina, where it’s more of a tomato broth with pork and lima beans and other veggies. I’ve looked for this for more than a decade in DC and have never seen anything worth remembering.

      (Looking for a bright side: Maybe sometimes it’s nice to think that a regional food stay regional?)

    • houseintherear

      My mom called it “New Brunswick Stew,” which could just be her error but that’s what our family called it in Yorktown! Maybe “New” is the Va version?

  • The problem with Sweet Home Cafe is Brunswick stew is made with leftover bbq bits- it should be cheap- not $16! That’s crazy talk.

    I’d love to find some good ol’ Brunswick stew in DC too! Hell, I’d even take mediocre stew if it came with some hush puppies for dipping. Alas, I think a good stew first requires a place to make good bbq pork… which, as we know, is a whole other discussion.

    I kinda agree with Anon- it’s a special treat I’ll reserve for visits to NC.

  • Martin’s Tavern has had brunswick stew on the menu for decades.

  • The thing with stews is that they are all pretty much the same basic ingredients and techniques, but with enough slight variations in seasoning & flavor that they also have very specific associations/memories, so whatever version your granny/church supper gave you is the one you crave – and will never find again because it only exists in memory.

  • OP here… Thanks for the comments everyone. I’m definitely going to try it when we go to the NMAACH (even at $16), but I was really hoping to find local clubs or churches where I can buy it by the quart. There’s something nostalgic about buying it at a local church or club and just hanging out with the “cooks” for 15 – 30 minutes.
    Being from RVA, the Due South version would probably have left me very disappointed, and it doesn’t seem to be on the menu anymore.
    I was hoping it would have made it this far north, but I guess not. I’ll try the Post recipe, but I’ll also make sure we take a large cooler when we visit the family for the holidays.

  • I have some in my freezer right now. I buy some whenever I can and bring it back to DC (from southern VA) and freeze it to try to get them through the season. Maybe I should start selling it up here in DC! Ha.

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