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Not long ago, asking for a vegetarian plate at a barbecue spot might have netted you a thin list of options that began with slaw and ended with mac and cheese. Or fish. Not anymore. Some new favorites:
Tofu burnt-ends sandwich at Federalist Pig
Daily vegetarian specials have included this sub, in which spice-rubbed hunks of tofu are swapped in for brisket, then tucked into a toasty bun with slaw, fried onions, and pickles. 1654 Columbia Rd., NW.
Mushroom melt at Liberty Barbecue
Smoked portobellos are cloaked in fontina and aïoli plus tangy pickled onions. 370 W. Broad St., Falls Church.
Chili-tofu barbecue nachos at Smoke & Barrel
Start with a plate of warm chips smothered in cheese, roasted sweet and hot peppers, and salsa, then add smoked tofu and bean chili. 2471 18th St., NW.
Smoked Hen-Of-the-Woods Mushrooms at Spark
This Caribbean-style smokehouse marinates these feathery mushrooms in jerk-miso. Grab some of the excellent fry bread and herbed rice on the side. 1626 N. Capitol St., NW.
Feast of sides at Texas Jack’s Barbecue
Standout sides could make a meal at this spot, including Brussels sprouts tossed in lemon; mac and cheese; and esquites, a street-corn pan-fry with chilies and cotija. 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington.
This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of Washingtonian.