Restaurant Review: Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia

I tend to gravitate towards foods that aren’t very good for me.  Barbecue is a great example of this bad habit.  I prefer BBQ from places like Texas and St. Louis to the Carolina/vinegar-based versions.

In Texas, places like Black’s in Lockhart are my favorite.  Oklahoma Joe’s was a great option in Kansas City, and Woodyard was a strong second.  And, I even managed to find some pretty darn good BBQ in Paris.  You mean everyone doesn’t check out Paris for great BBQ?

Monk’s BBQ is a lot closer to home for me.  I wouldn’t categorize Northern Virginia as a hotbed for good BBQ joints.  We have a few, though most of them are subpar.  I’ve visited Monk’s a handful of times with friends and figured it was worth spending a few minutes talking about.  Monk’s looks like a typical BBQ joint, though it falls a bit short of the expectations I’d have if it were located in Texas.

Monk’s is located in Purcellville, VA.  If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a solid hour from DC and about 30 minutes from Dulles Airport.  Monk’s has never been “line out the door” crowded when I’ve visited.  Most tables are full during lunch time, but you won’t have to wait.  As you might expect, the interior is fairly casual.

I’ve tried most of the items on the menu at this point.  The bacon on the stick and the wings stick out to me as favorites.  I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with bacon on a stick.

The ribs fall into the “good, not great” category for me.  To be clear, they’re still the best ribs I’ve had from a BBQ joint in Virginia.

When it comes to brisket, I’m actually partial to what they call pastrami.  It’s not quite brisket, not quite pastrami.  If you think of it as classic Texas brisket, you’ll probably be disappointed.  But, it’s moist and flavorful and I’d order it again.

The Final Two Pennies

I’m happy Monk’s BBQ is a short drive from my house.  It reminds me why I need to get back to Texas, Kansas City or St. Louis.  I put it firmly in the camp of “almost there”.  They get extra points from me for the pastrami.  The ribs really need a little more flavor.  No, I don’t want to add sauce.

Folks from Virginia could do a lot worse than Monk’s for lunch.  Folks from Texas may scoff a bit.  But, have pity on those of us from the mid-Atlantic.  Truly good BBQ is in short supply up here.  Sometimes, we just have to make do.

The post Restaurant Review: Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia was published first on Pizza in Motion



  1. My wife and I ate there after hitting some wineries on her birthday (before hitting my favorite brewery in the area, Adroit Theory) and having just moved back to DMV from Texas, the food was OK. The best thing they had the day we were there was the jalapeno poppers. Good bacon, nice heat, and cream cheese. We will go back and try the bacon on the stick.

  2. I like Monk’s, because it is fairly close to me. The brisket and ribs are pretty good. Dang it, I have not been to Texas for BBQ in, well, way too long. In Virginia, though, best ribs I have had are from Three Little Pigs in Daleville and Ace in Charlottesville. Time for a VA Rib-Off!

Leave a Reply