I had the pleasure of attending the recent opening of Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in Springfield, Virginia, with my husband (it was one of those nights that he was very grateful for my job). Although we were hosted for dinner, all thoughts (and photos from my phone) are my own.
Let me start off by saying that I love to eat out. As much as I love to cook, if I were given the option to eat out for dinner every day or eat a home cooked meal every day, I would choose the meal out….as long as the restaurant served food that I liked, of course.
Have you ever noticed that you can get a feel of a restaurant before you even take a bite? I could tell as soon as I walked in to Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill that it was a perfect match for me – from the atmosphere to the smells (Oh! The glorious smells!) to the friendly greetings we received even before we took our seats.
The Springfield, Virginia, restaurant where our VIP/grand opening event was held is the first Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill to open outside California. I’m personally hoping that the new Virginia location will be so popular that they’ll have to open a new restaurant closer to my house. Although if it was too close, I think I’d run the risk of wanting to eat there a little too often.
During our preview event, we were able to sample several of the dishes from the Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill menu – from appetizers to salads to main dishes to desserts. The problem was NOT finding things that I liked. Far from it! I was so smitten by all of the dishes that we were served that I had a hard time NOT eating everything. I was able to take a couple of small bites of most dishes, but some items – like the original peanut coleslaw or the Tuscan kale salad (How does watermelon radishes, green beans, golden raisins, carrots, toasted pumpkin seeds, chives, cauliflower, shaved Parmesan, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette sound??) – were so delicious I could bear to not finish them….or at least take another few bites before they brought a new dish out.
The main part of our dinner included award-winning BBQ such as dry-rubbed and smoked St. Louis Ribs, Carolina Pulled Pork, Texas-Style Brisket, Baby Back Ribs, Brisket Burgers and more. My favorite meat by far was the Wood Ranch tri tip. If you have the opportunity to visit a Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, order the tri tip. It was some of the best meat I’ve ever had. Ever.
I have to say that, although I was completely stuffed by the end of the evening, I loved tasting so many cuts of meat side by side. I was amazed by how different beef (or pork or chicken or seafood) can taste depending on the sauce or the method of cooking. By the end of the night I was totally hooked on Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill’s BBQ sauces – and so I was particularly thrilled when they sent us home with a bottle.
Did you know? All of their sauces are gluten free, and they are also sold to-go in the restaurants so diners can enjoy the great taste at home.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the desserts (and yes, we had to try all four of them):
- WARM CHOCOLATE CAKE: Flourless Guittard chocolate cake, hand-candied pecans, vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream
- MOM’S DEEP DISH COBBLER: Freestone peaches, whole grains, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean ice cream
- THE BEST CHEESECAKE: Graham cracker crust, raspberry sauce, whipped cream
- OREO® COOKIE CRUNCH: Vanilla bean ice cream hand-rolled in ground Oreo® cookies. Served with caramel sauce and fudge
I don’t know if I could choose a favorite. I was very impressed by the flourless warm chocolate cake, but I often gravitate towards the cheesecake when I’m eating out. I think the dessert that hit the spot that night was the Oreo® Cookie Crunch.
One of the new features that we discussed during our event was the new Build-Your-Own-Dinner Menu, which gives diners the option to mix and match meat dishes, sides, and sauces to enjoy their ultimate combination of quality meats and flavors. The build-your-own-dinner option will be available initially dine-in only from 4:00pm to close. Perhaps my favorite part of the Build-Your-Own-Dinner Menu is that families can order and eat “family style” by ordering a unique selection from the menu and trying a little bit of several dishes – just like we did at our event.
The menu includes the signature Wood Ranch Tri Tip, an iconic California sirloin cut, Wood Ranch’s #1 seller and available in 4, 7, and 16 oz. portions. Also included on the menu are All-American Baby Back Ribs, Fire-Roasted Chicken, Double R Ranch® Brisket, St. Louis Ribs, Carolina Pulled Pork, Pecan Wood Smoked Beef Ribs, and Boneless BBQ Chicken Breast.
The Signature Sides are available for $3.95 and include Original Peanut Coleslaw, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Skin-On Fries, Lauren’s Favorite Mac & Cheese, and more. Premium Sides are $4.95, and include Loaded Baked Potato, Sweet Potato Fries, Asparagus, and more.
Have you ever been to a Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill? What are your favorite items on the menu? If you haven’t been to a Wood Ranch, what would you love to order?
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