Although temps were in the 100's, I trekked over to Wasserhund Brewing Company in Virginia Beach for the 1st (and hopefully annual) BBQ Wars competition put on by Southern Grit Magazine. 4 Chefs from Restaurants and Food Trucks around Hampton Roads came together and presented a plate of their best BBQ, while the general public voted for who they thought was the best.
BBQ….what is it exactly? Depending on where you live, the meaning can vary from an event to a type of meat being served. There is a lot of room for debate, but as a born and raised Virginian, if you tell me we’re having BBQ, I hear pulled pork. My preference for its preparation is simple: a little vinegar, red pepper, bbq sauce on the top, pulled (not chopped) meat, and coleslaw on the side. Many restaurants consider BBQ as an assortment of meats to include pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, and I wanted to find a place that was doing it well.
By definition, Esoteric means something intended for or understood by a small number of people. Before having dinner at the Virginia Beach based restaurant, I read an online review where someone was turned off by them based solely on their use of this word. While this may have been intentional on the businesses part, it didn't bother me because a quick skim of their menu didn't require the use of too much brain power. I had been reluctant to visit due to their attraction to the hipster crowd. I saw that to downgrade them, but so often restaurants with that following serve food that is only aesthetically pleasing (i.e. no real flavor).
Terrapin, a self proclaimed supporter of the slow food movement, and a Chef (Rodney Einhorn) who has cooked at the James Beard house, has been high up on my 'must visit' list for longer than I want to admit. My senseless reason for not visiting...fine dining is intimidating.