Restaurant review: Red, Hot, and Blue BBQ

Last Friday afternoon, the guys from work and I went for one of our infrequent lunch trips offsite because our PM is leaving for another project in a few weeks, and it's tradition to take the outgoing folks out for lunch sometime before their last day. After some discussion about who liked what, what was within comfortable driving distance, and what kind of transportation was available to us (thank you again to A-, whose minivan carried most of us at the same time). We eventually decided to go out for barbecue at Red, Hot, and Blue BBQ in Alexandria (6482 Landsdowne Centre; Alexandria, VA; 22315; phone 703-550-6465; fax 703-550-6463).

The lunchtime wait wasn't bad, at most ten wallclock minutes during peak dining times, which was most impressive given that there were ten of us with two takeout orders in the queue for the folks who couldn't join us. The restaurant has a serious thing for the blues, and it shows all over the walls: There were photographs of famous jazz and blues musicians on every vertical surface, vintage and antique concert posters dating all the way back to the 40's in frames, and even one of B.B. King's guitars (with autograph) held a place of honor by the front door, safely enclosed in a lexan shadowbox. After perusing the menu for a couple of minutes, I decided on one of the lunch specials, the grilled chicken salad with a cup of chili on the side, coffee, and water. A few of the others went for the fried catfish, hamburgers, pulled pork, and a few other things that I don't recall off the top of my head. Personally speaking, the meal I'd ordered was excellent, and I'd definitely go back to order it again. Talking with some of the guys after we left, there were no complaints and smiles all around. It's hard to make a bunch of techies happy at the same restaurant but Red, Hot, and Blue certainly accomplished the feat without breaking a sweat. The waitstaff was attentive, fast, and most of all pleasant, which I greatly appreciate.

All in all, I'd give the Red, Hot, and Blue Barbecue one flaregun out of four. If charred meat and sauce are your thing, you'll definitely want to check this place out because you'll enjoy what you get, and there's a fine selection of things to order. Hell, I'd go back, and you know how I am about barbecue.