Image: Brisket and Rings.
Last Updated: June 2022
Current Status: Open for dine-in, with indoor, outdoor and bar seating. Take-out and Delivery also available, as well as a walk-up bar to go.
The star of the show here is a pepper and salt rubbed brisket cooked for 12+ hours over hard and fruit wood. The pulled pork shoulder was on par with the brisket, with crispy pieces mixed with moist ones and delicious with the vinegar-based sauce. The meats also come on sandwiches. The sides are very serious with big battered onion rings and creamy mac ‘n’ cheese. An in-house smoker limits how much can go through at once and makes the meat a little less smokey than on an outdoor rig. Beer by-the-can and wine are available, but the centerpiece of the drinks list is whiskey, especially of the American with an “e” kind.
Bill Coleman is in charge of the food here. For many years he has run a BBQ catering business, and was prompted to go brick-and-mortar when a couple of guys in the industry said they would back him. The rumored deal is that he agreed as long as he could: “Just let me cook shit, eat, and talk to customers.” Those priorities show up in good food and a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
Early this year they added a “pop-up” breakfast option with Mexican dishes by two of their cooks called Desayuno.
The restaurant sits on a corner with windows that can open on two sides. Locals wonder in for a drink or to pick up orders to go. This stretch of Upshur was hit by a string of closures before and after 2020, but Cinder held on and now anchors one end of a block that has some of the best food options per foot of anywhere in D.C.
Other Guidance: GF can go to town here. There are vegetarian options. It is a casual corner spot in Petworth located at ground level.
Neighborhood: Columbia Heights/Petworth
Address: 800 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
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