During a recent trip to Norfolk, VA to visit some family, I took a little detour to Virginia Beach for some bbq. I did some research, and asked around and I was told if I was in Virginia Beach that I needed to try Whitner’s Barbecue, which happened to also be featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Whitner’s is located in a strip center, and when we first walked up we weren’t sure if you could actually eat there, but once inside we realized there were tables. It’s a small place, maybe 20 tables at the most and it’s counter service, so when you walk in there is a big black board to your right with the menu, and straight in front of you is the register and open kitchen. We had some time in the car before getting there, so I had already looked over the menu and knew what I wanted, and Pellet Guy is pretty predictable, he pretty much always orders pulled pork. That guy could live off nothing but pork. I ordered the KC Burnt Ends small plate which comes with 2 sides for $10.19, and as predicted Pellet Guy got the NC Pulled Pork sandwich which also came with 2 sides for $8.29. I kind of panicked on my sides and ordered baked beans and corn bread, all the time wishing I had gotten the black eyed peas and collard greens, I have no idea why I picked the sides I did, but oh well. Pellet Guy got his usual, mac ‘n cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy.
My burnt ends were delicious! Super tender, little to not fat, and bursting with flavor. My only negative is that it was a little too sweet. I know KC BBQ is sweet, but this was bordering on too sweet, so I cut that with their vinegar sauce and then it was perfect. My sides were ok, the cornbread was really good, but the beans were just meh. Not bad, just nothing to write home about. Pellet Guy said his pulled pork was awesome, although he wished he had gotten the plate and not the sandwich because he ended up just taking the meat off the bun anyway. He loved the true Carolina vinegar flavor, and even added more of their vinegar sauce for some extra tang. He said the mashed potatoes were really good, and the mac ‘n cheese was good not great. Just like the beans, there was nothing wrong with it, just nothing special either.
There were some really interesting items on the menu, and I wish I had ventured out of my comfort zone and tried one of them. Like their Jamaican Jerk chicken or one of their more unique sandwiches like the Bay of Pigs which is Porkloin, Ham, Pulled Pork with Swiss, Relish and Chipotle Mayo. Another one that caught my eye was the Mr. Whitner’s Smoked Turkey Sandiwch with lettuce, spicy mayo, cranberry chutney and cornbread crumbs. I guess I will just have to try one of those next time.
If you find yourself in the Virginia Beach area and looking for some solid bbq, I recommend giving Whitner’s a try. I thought the food was really good, not change your world good, but very solid, and maybe you can try one of their more unique items and let me know what you think.