Laugh if you will, but the WFM Smokehouse inside the Fair Lakes Whole Foods store is no joke. The woman in charge is Maria Mercado, a Salvadoran native who used to cook almost exclusively with wood back in her home country. She now smokes hundreds of pounds of beef, chicken, and pork in a massive Southern Pride unit on the premises, employing a combination of cherry, maple, and hickory wood. She and her team pull out meats at all hours of the day, whether for takeout orders or those souls who want to dine right there at the counter, just a stone’s throw from the Emeril Green set. The “Kitchen Sink” platter, which comes with four meats and three sides, is enough to feed two hungry people and a stray dog. The simple spice-rubbed brisket is the star; it’s carved into these thick, intense, sweetly smoked slices that bulge with fatty deposits. Best of all, you can chase your Kitchen Sink of smoked meats with a bottle of suds available at the nearby craft-beer refrigeration case.

4501 Market Commons Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22033, (703) 222-2058

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