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Mission BBQ

One of the Newest Members of Ward One

Let’s talk about 142 Dock St.  This location is the actual doorway to Annapolis, or it has been for so many years before us.  People would come to Annapolis for politics, trade, a layover in travel and it would be by means of the water.  Ego Alley was the driveway for the Stevens Building which has greeted our visitors since 1870.

The building is no longer offering goods to protect us but instead is now serving as a means of thanking the actual individuals that protect us.  Look around the preserved, original brick walls and you will find pictures of the Stevens family, the last family to own a business in this location for 53 years.  They actually still visit the restaurant within the walls they use to call their own.  Their sign has been preserved and the building will forever be known as the Stevens Building.

Mission BBQ hasn’t been around for 53 years but they have been around since 2011, opening on a day that has a place in everyone’s heart – September 11th.  You could say that this defined their mission from the start…..proudly serving those that serve.  Don’t expect them to be open on July 4th - they give their employees off that day to spend with friends and family.

You probably already know this but every day at noon, they STOP all operations.  Everything!  No sale is made at any Mission BBQ between 12:00 PM and 12:03 PM, the length of time it takes to sing the national anthem.

When you walk into most Annapolis buildings, you feel the history the minute you step inside.  The Mission BBQ in Annapolis is no different.  You will feel history when you walk inside.  You will be surrounded by history of those fallen during the line of duty.  There are Blue Angel’s suits, a family member’s helmet, and pictures of an employee’s grandfather at the Naval Academy.  Yes, there is history.

Mission BBQ focuses on those that have served us while serving us a plate of comfort, never frozen, never microwaved.   Everything is smoked on premises and everything is made fresh, with only one exception – their Sausage which is made exclusively for them and shipped from Texas.   BBQ is often enjoyed with a variety of sauces and that can be fun.  Mission BBQ offers that and those too are made on site.  They have created each dish with a dry rub so you can add your choice of sauce later.  We recommend you take your first taste dry.  Trust us, get cozy with your foundation, and then add the layers.  Their sauces are fantastic but this comfort food can hold its own.

When you think of BBQ, you think meat and lots of it.  Let’s take a tour of their meats, looking at our picture.  We’ll start from Noon, and continue to center, 1:00, 5:00, etc. 

At the top, center of the picture (in the cup) you will find their chopped brisket which is served as a sandwich.  No extra sauce needed here because it’s their regular smoked brisket, cut up and marinated in it!!  Yes, their Memphis Bell sauce has left its mark in every bite and each bite just melts in your mouth.  Sweet and tangy!

Center is the sliced Turkey and even though this was not the hand-cut sandwich order, we will say it was still Darn Good.  Turkey smoked about 4 hours and it packs quite the surprise.  This is not your normal turkey sandwich.

1:00 is their Brisket!!  Smoked 14 hours!  All of that work pays off…..the secret is in the rub. It’s like tasting the salty, deep south with every bite of the bark.

Let’s get to the bone of the story. The ribs!  The Bay-B-Back Ribs take it back to the BBQ roots of the country.  Their Maryland-style rub has that flavor we all recognize immediately here in Annapolis.  Pair it with the Bay-B-Que Sauce and you have the ultimate tribute to Maryland.  Their Spare Ribs are the traditional St Louis rub with light spice and absolutely no knife needed.

Bottom center – pulled Chicken, smoked about 1 hour.  If you want something with a little less smoked flavor –this is it but it is by no means less flavor.  Pair it with their Classic sauce and you just created a winner.

Bottom, left corner – pulled Pork, smoked about 12 hours and it shows.  They use an instrument referred to as a Bear Claw to pull it apart.  Our first reaction – WOW!  It packs a peppery taste that just pops!

This brings us to the left side and the sausage which is smoked under an hour and shipped in exclusively from Texas. The sausage stuffed with Jalapeño and Cheese speaks for itself but the Classic 41 – WHOA! Watch out, this cracked black peppery sausage will bite you back when you least expect it.

The sauces are simply an accessory but worth mentioning for sure.  We paired some for you above so let’s talk about the remaining flavors.  The Tupelo is a honey heat with habanero.  It’s a nice slow, steady burn.  Taste the heat in the front and let honey smooth it in the back.  The Texas Twang is the steak sauce you miss from your childhood.  It’s a thicker sauce and ideal for those that do not want heat. Smokey Mountain is a sweet but not too sweet sauce with a smooth finish.

Let’s talk about the co-pilots – the side dishes.  Sold a la carte, you can add as many as you would like.  All are made fresh here on location and add the soul to the comfort food.   Special touches to each recipe make them unique like their greens (collard greens) which have tomatoes mixed in. they are seasonal, sold July 5th through Labor Day.  Their Green Beans with Bacon will catch you off guard with a peppery broth but you will feel their arms embrace you with a hug.  They are that comforting.  The Potato Salad is seasonal from Easter to Columbus Day and switches shifts with their Cheesy Potatoes which are a crowd pleaser.  Their Cole Slaw is a mix of a silent mayo and a vinegar base. It’s light and everything inside is shredded by hand here on location.

Speaking of Seasonal, there are few surprises.  Our Mission BBQ just started serving Smoked Salmon tonight, July 12th.  Atlantic Salmon smoked and topped with a magical layer of seasoning.

Banana Puddin’ is a great way to end this tour.  Freshly cut bananas line the bottom of the dish.  This one reminds you of something your grandmother made.  Don’t get caught licking the bowl!

As you finish your freshly brewed sweet tea and freshly squeezed lemonade, wipe away the evidence of a local BBQ feast with the roll of paper towels found on the table.   We say, forget the koosie, bring the bib!