Imagine walking into a restaurant and having a feeling like you were just transplanted to a family barbeque. This is what happened when I stumbled into Buz and Ned’s. You walk in and feel like you are, well … home.
Buz and Ned’s is hard to miss- or maybe easy to miss? The front of this place doesn’t look like a restaurant. I guess you could say it could resemble a confusing street picnic with its covered white tarp patio. On the other hand, the HUGE Buz and Ned billboard above it is a clear distinct landmark.
Bikers and families unite at this restaurant. There is a small (tiny) indoor dining room but it’s a bit claustrophobic for me. But, under the friendly tarp is the main seating area. It is nostalgic in a way. It reminded me of my summer camp dining hall; with picnic tables lined strategically with just enough walking room. The buzz of fans to cool patrons was a clear indicator that summer had officially arrived in Richmond.
This place was pretty damn cool. I was more focused on the jovial ambiance more than the food the first moments I was there. Then I saw the food. It was love at first sight (too much?).
My friend met me for dinner that night. After briefly glancing over the menu, we quickly made our way to the counter to place our order. While waiting in line, we scoped out a perfect empty table we wanted, so what did we do to ensure we got it? We watched it like a hawk the entire duration of our ordering experience. Needless to say, we got the table. That’s what you have to do here, you either have to claim your territory or eat with other people at the picnic tables. Not to say that I am anti-social, but, it’s nice to enjoy your food at your own table sometimes.
For my meal, I decided on the “Complete Meal” which is your choice of meat and two sides. I settled on the barbeque chicken sandwich (with coleslaw inside of course), macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw ($8.49). My friend got the baby back ribs, macaroni, and fries.
When your order is ready, your name blares over the speaker (or mispronounced) and you’ll have to dodge and maneuver your way to the inside counter to pick up your food but, it’s so worth it.
The food looked amazing and tasted better than it looked.
Now, I am from Texas- a famed place for barbeque but I hadn’t had barbeque like this. My sandwich was wonderful, the tangy and sweet bar-b-que sauce didn’t overpower the tender chicken and the nice crunch of the slaw made it even better. Slaw on barbeque sandwiches is a new to me since we didn’t do “that” in Texas. Now, I am kicking myself for all the times I could have experienced this. The coleslaw itself was great- perfectly vinegar-y and hints of subtle spice. The cabbage was cut long and fresh so there was a good healthy crunch to it. The macaroni on the other hand was a disappointment. Because I am a bit of a pushover at times, I was wholeheartedly tried to justify the hum-drum flavor. I think it may have sat out too long because it molded perfectly (jello-like) with the plastic container it came in. It had potential – I could tell by the slight flavor but something wrong had happened where it was over oily. Nonetheless, my meal was amazing. I even found bliss when I discovered dipping my bun in the leftover coleslaw sauce would soak the bread in the most glorious way. Perfection.
My friends meal looked great too. She said the fries were great…fries at a bar-b-que place? Who would have known?
Overall, I loved it. I liked the come-as-you-are atmosphere, the camp-like tent, and duh…the food. I will definitely be back. Real soon.