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 biscuits.
The article highlights the authors’ picks for barbecue around the Washington, D.C. area. “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.”
As previously reported, All Set Restaurant & Bar owners Ed Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer debuted their Money Muscle BBQ food truck last September. According to Eater D.C., 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.
Last month, the outlet announced plans to create an outdoor seating area in the parking lot next door.
“I approached him to activate this ‘patio’ space over the summer,” co-owner and managing partner Jennifer Meltzer said to the Source last month. “Even with people vaccinated, I still think people are going to be more comfortable being outside.”
The expansion plan, originally mentioned in a review of Money Muscle by Tim Carman of The Washington Post, began this week. Money Muscle will be operating under a 20’ by 40’ tent, with lights, games such as corn hole, oversized Connect 4, and Jenga, and picnic tables for seating up to 24 people.
Tentatively, the family-friendly space (next to All Set’s 8630 Fenton St. location), which will be blocked off with some decorative barriers, will be open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., depending on staffing.
Money Muscle & All Set turned off all third-party delivery apps last month in response to a surge in in-person dining. Currently, all in-person dining is first-come, first-serve, and the restaurant currently does not accept reservations online or over the phone.
Diners can still place orders for pick-up and delivery directly on All Set and Money Muscle BBQ’s websites. “Please note that we do not accept pre-orders or scheduled orders,” All Set’s website reads. “Please place your order when you are ready for your food. If the menu is not available during routine operating hours, we are catching up with demand. Please do not call as we cannot accept pick-up & delivery orders over the phone. Please try back later. Thank you for your support!”
“Actually, now as we’re opening back up we’ve turned off our third-party delivery services,” co-owner and managing partner Jennifer Meltzer said to WUSA9 last month. “I’m having to balance, how long our guests are going to wait in the restaurant for their food, to have a dining experience, because I can’t, I can’t control the flow of tickets.”
Photo: Money Muscle BBQ/Facebook