The quality and diversity of the area’s restaurant scene continues to earn attention and accolades from national food media.
Money Muscle BBQ is once again included in Eater’s article titled “Where to Find Outstanding Barbecue Around D.C.“:
Based in Silver Spring — but able to venture further thanks to a food truck — Money Muscle pitmaster and Emporia, Virginia, native Ed Reavis augments his pulled pork, brisket, and bone-in beef ribs with standout sauces namedropping regional styles from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kansas. Load up on exceptional sides like tender collards, campenelle noodle mac and cheese, and cheddar sriracha biscuits.
The article highlights the authors’ picks for barbecue around the Washington, D.C. area, which are listed geographically. “D.C. is notorious for its population of transient workers, so it’s only natural that the local barbecue has evolved to satisfy a range of regional sensibilities. Many popular places serve brisket, the king of Texas meats, alongside pulled pork and ribs, which are more popular throughout the Southeast. Inside the District, Federalist Pig and DCity Smokehouse have attracted some of the most fervent followings. Texas Jack’s has risen to prominence in Northern Virginia. 2Fifty Texas BBQ and Money Muscle BBQ are two impressive options in Maryland.”
All Set Restaurant & Bar owners Ed Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer debuted their Money Muscle BBQ food truck in September of 2020. According to Eater, they invested $5,000 in a smoker and had been preparing for the launch, but the COVID-19 pandemic made them pivot to offering takeout and delivery:
Investing more than $5,000 in a smoker shows that Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer, the managing partner and the chef’s wife, are serious about barbecue as a business. The COVID-19 pandemic made them realize the importance of takeout and delivery. That meant reconfiguring a restaurant known for oysters on the half shell and lobster rolls. Reavis was drawn to the power of pulled pork shoulder. He grew up in Emporia, Virginia, just across the state line from North Carolina. He remembers attending the annual Virginia Pork Festival, how visitors would pour in from all over the country to tuck into barbecue on some of the hottest days of the year.
The Money Muscle BBQ concept quickly became popular. Owners Reavis and Meltzer added an outdoor seating area in the parking lot, adjacent to the restaurant, as well as additional smokers for increased production capacity. “I approached him (Bruce Lee, president of Lee Development Group, owners of the parking lot) to activate this ‘patio’ space over the summer,” co-owner and managing partner Jennifer Meltzer said to the Source last year. “Even with people vaccinated, I still think people are going to be more comfortable being outside.”
Both All Set & Money Muscle added vegetarian and vegan menus last summer, and Denizens Brewing Co. announced last month that it partnered with the restaurant and food truck for their brewpubs’ food offerings. “The partnership will allow the businesses to share space and resources, and grant both the opportunity to focus on their respective strengths,” Denizens said in a statement.
Photo: Scott Suchman/Money Muscle BBQ
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