The jumbo slice and half-smoke have some new competition for late-night drunk food. The BBQ Joint, which recently opened at 14th and U streets NW, launches a curbside to-go window exclusively for Frito pies tonight. The Texan specialty, consisting of Frito chips topped with chili, onion, and cheese, will be available Fridays and Saturdays only from midnight to 3 a.m.
The takeout window was inspired by the one at El Rey. The nearby taqueria is co-owned by restaurateur Eric Hilton, who has partnered with chef Andrew Evans for the D.C. location of The BBQ Joint.
Texas native and chef Cody Penton came up with the idea to serve his home state's signature snack. "I've had to explain to everyone what it even is," Penton says. The dish ($6) will be the only thing served after the kitchen closes at midnight, but the bar will remain open until 3 a.m.
While the window is only for Frito pies for now, it may eventually also be used for to-go lunch at some point in the future.
Above the takeout window is another thing you'll want to look out for: a red light. Evans explains that his ribs are at their prime during the 45 minutes after the meat comes out of the smoker and rests. So when the ribs are ready, a red light with a 45 minute timer will go on to alert passers-by.
"It's not that the ribs are bad after 45 minutes. They're still great," Evans says. "It's just if you want to eat great ribs like you would at a barbecue competition, this is the deal."
Barbecue lovers can likely find the red light ribs around 5 p.m., and eventually, there may be another batch around 8 p.m.
Evans aims to make his ribs the best in the city—like a real-life Freddy's BBQ Joint from House of Cards. He bought an $11,000 pellet smoker to cook the ribs, which are sold by the full rack.
"I can't do it any other way and get this product," Evans says. "We've invested heavily in it."
Check out the full menu below.
The BBQ Joint, 2005 14th St. NW; (202) 747-2377; andrewevansbbqjoint.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman