Johnny Boy Ribs

7540 Crain Hwy.
La Plata, MD 20646


Neighborhood: La Plata

Cuisines: Southern, American, Barbecue

Opening Hours:
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 AM to 8 PM; Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM.

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Reservations: Not Needed

Best Dishes:
A slab of ribs; pulled pork flecked with char and suffused with smoke; potato salad (it outshines the middlin’ fries); sweet tea.

Price Details:
Entrées, $2.25 to $22.75.

Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups

Scene: Outdoor Seating

Cheap Eats 2007: Johnny Boy's Ribs

At the moment, there’s no Valhalla of barbecue in the area, no place that meets all the criteria for the perfect ’cue joint: great ribs, luscious pulled pork, lovingly made sides, scrumptious desserts. So don’t burden this La Plata shack with those expectations. But Johnny Boy’s is plenty good.

Unlike other area jurisdictions, Charles County allows open-pit cooking, which is the only way to get great barbecue. Johnny Boy’s has the details down. The ribs, slathered with Mama Sophie’s marvelous red sauce, are big, smoky, meaty, and pink. The pulled pork is darn near perfect, whether you eat it alone with red sauce or stacked on a bun and topped with creamy slaw.

Don’t look for any of the niceties of white-collar ’cues like cleverly conceived starters or a bluesy soundtrack. There aren’t even booths; you sit at picnic tables and enjoy the glorious smoked meat in the sun.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.