Korsgaard's Commentary

Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue

While not the real meaning behind Memorial Day, cookouts and barbecue do come a close second and if there is one thing Richmond has no shortage of, it’s good barbecue joints. Coming in as many types and varieties as the grilled meats themselves, you can find barbecue vendors large and small across town, and of varying quality and reputation. Of course, few have as much as of a reputation as Buz and Neds Real Barbecue.
Having been a staple in Richmond for twenty years now, Buz and Neds has a reputation for serving some of, if not the best barbecue in town, and have been one of the town’s foodie meccas ever since being featured on an episode of Man vs. Food, alongside Black Sheep, a favorite sub joint of mine. In spite of their reputation, I’d never made it down to thier location in downtown Richmond, so with the recent opening of their second location at a former Fuddruckers, some friends and I felt it would be the perfect time to try the local legend for ourselves, and get our required beer and barbecue quota’s met for the Memorial Day Weekend.
I will say this much for Buzz and Neds, the one part they knocked the ball out of the park with was the look and feel of the restaurant’s atmosphere. Helped a little by the former Fuddruckers that occupied the building, the outside looks like an old western saloon, between the wide open dining hall and the mixture of classic rock and modern country playing on the stereo on the inside, it was just sawdust on the floor away from being the perfect picture of what a barbecue joint should look like. What they lack in sawdust, they make up in quirky designs around the restaurant, which include change glued to spots on the floor, a bathtub near the entrance for washing your hands, and what has to be the largest ceiling fan I’ve ever seen. Having watched the remodeling of the building for the last year or so, you can tell the design was a labor of love for those running the show. I only wish I could say the same for the service and food.

The service, much to my surprise, was below average. The girl on the register seemed far more concerned with talking to her co-cashier then with either taking my order or my money. They have servers wandering the floors, though for what I cannot tell, as not once did they speak to my group or any of the other groups seated near us, leaving us to get our own drinks and pick up our own food – not that I mind, but if you do that, why have servers? That was the one bright spot of the service, as the food was ready for me to pick up as soon as I’d gotten my drink and a table. To an extent, I will forgive a lot of this, as I expect much of the staff is new, but the folks in charge need to get them to step up their performance – a place this snazzy needs service to match.

No, the only thing I truly have to complain about was the food, which was surprisingly bland and middle-of-the-road for a place hailed as some of the cities best. I ordered the beef brisket with hush puppies and cinnamon apples on the side, and while none was bad, none of it was good either. The beef brisket, which is best served well flavored and juicy, was rather dry and lean, though vastly improved with their admittedly good sauce (tomato based if your curious). I could hardly taste either the cinnamon or the apples in the cinnamon apples, and it was served gold, and the hush puppies were some of the saddest scraps of cornmeal I have ever seen. The only truly bad part about the meal was the sticker price – if your going to charge twenty dollars for two small sandwiches and two small things of sides, it had best be some of the best barbecue I’ve ever put in my mouth, and from what I had, this wasn’t the best by a long shot. Worse still, I was ill half the night with what felt to be a mild case of food poisoning.

As a whole, I could hardly imagine being more disappointed with Buz and Neds. Given their local reputation for serving some of the cities best eats, the bland and barely serviceable offerings fell far short of anything being called Richmond’s best barbecue. Maybe it’s the new location or new workers, but given my experiences today, you’d be hard pressed to make me give Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue a second chance, and building aside, they have a long way to go before they live up to their reputation.
Buz and Ned's Real Barbacue on Urbanspoon
Buz and Ned's Real Barbeque on Urbanspoon

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Comments

Chii 28-05-2012, 11:14

Also they were expensive as heck….and not that good…but the fries i’ll admit were amazing :D

Reply
Korsgaard 22-07-2012, 19:15

Yes, they were more than a bit pricey. The fries were good, but not good enough for what they were charging.

Reply
buzandneds 22-06-2012, 22:09

Dear Mr. Korsgaard,
Here are a few tips that may help you in your quest to become a writer of merit:
1. Research your subject before you write about it. Not having your facts correct makes you appear ilinformed and leaves you wide open for a law suit. There were more than a few errors in your Buz and Ned’s review.
2. A ‘restaurant reviewer’ never writes about his experience after only one visit. Just not done.
3. Telling your readers that you contracted a mild food poisoning from your meal at Buz and Ned’s is reckless and slanderous to put it mildly.
4. The fact one eats doesn’t qualify one to critique food or service.
5. Correct your typographical errors as well as incorrect use of the English language before you publish.

Buz

Reply
Korsgaard 24-07-2012, 11:29

Dear Buzz,

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my site, though I do with it were under friendlier circumstances.

In response to your points:

1. Most of the information about your restaurant I used here was pulled directly from your own website. Feel free to point out any errors and I will correct them.

2. From my experience the one time, I saw and tasted very little that warrants a second chance. Let alone for a twenty dollar meal that was subpar the first time.

3. It’s only reckless and slanderous if it’s not true – while it’s not fit for polite discussion, even on the Internet, my digestive tract can testify it’s true.

4. So long as one has taste buds and basic social skills, I think anybody is capable of critiquing the food and service of a restaurant. You’d think as an entrepreneur and restaurant owner you’d understand something as basic as each customer must be won or lost based off of their experiences.

5. Feel free to point out any typographical errors and I will correct them.

Sean CW Korsgaard

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Anonymous 16-08-2012, 21:48

Whoa. Buzz and Neds, are you serious? Last time I checked, this was a personal BLOG and nowhere on it did I read of the bloggers intent to become a “professional” food critic (if there even is such thing)

As for food poisoning, he said it “felt like” a mild case which is indeed unlikely…symptoms don’t start until at least 4 to 6 hours after contaminated food is consumed; and it can take 3 days or even longer to start. Again, he never said it WAS poisoning, only that he fell ill after consuming food at your restaurant. That’s a far cry from slander. Better brush up on your legal terminology before making such bold remarks.

Finally, you just come off as the typical pompous restaurant owner in this town. Everything’s great until someone utters the first bad word about your place. Frankly, it’s not the first time I’ve heard negative things about the new location so maybe some quality control and/or staff retraining are in order? In the meantime, how about growing a thicker skin and using the feedback as a tool to better your establishment?

Reply
Korsgaard 08-09-2012, 06:41

Thanks for the defence! Like you, I was not only disapointed in the poor quality of the new restaurant, but in Buz’s very discourteous responce to critisism.

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Taz 19-11-2012, 01:43

I have to come to the defense of Buzz, I have known Buzz for quite some many years and in all that time never, ever had a bad meal from his establishment.

I don’t know what happened on your trip to Buzz and Neds but it must have been a fluke or on another planet, because in all the years I have been eating there I have yet to have a bad meal and If I questioned anything it was quickly remedied. In my humble opinion it is one of the best barbeques in Richmond if not the best, sure its a little pricey, but I always get what I pay for there.

As far as your food poisoning maybe you had that before you came and that’s why nothing satisfied your taste-buds?? I certainly never base a critique on a one time visit no matter what.

The man has supplied The Virginia Governors parties and won a BBQ throw down with Bobby Flay, so maybe you need to adjust your pants and give him another shot at the title..

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