|Good for Groups|
Perhaps the single best bite of barbecue we put in our mouths this year was something called Arkansas beef. Imagine hunks of brisket—meltingly fatty on the inside, ringed with a crusty bark on the outside, and submerged in a thick, crimson sauce that balances spicy, sweet, and tangy. It’s the strongest reason to visit these folksy Frederick-area joints, but not the only one: Finely chopped pork is properly vinegary, and barbecue chicken is infused with an assertive smokiness. And unlike at some barbecue spots, sides get as much attention as the meats: Potato salad, slaw, and collards are all made with care.
Also good: Smoked sausage; BBQ beans; cornbread.