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The Sandwich: Smoky Pulled Pork
Where: Denizens Brewing Co., 1115 East-West Highway, Silver Spring
Bread: White sandwich roll
Stuffings: Pulled pork, cider vinegar slaw, house-pickled onions, sauce #5 (a sweet and smoky Kansas City–style barbecue sauce)
Thickness: 4.5 inches
Pros: The guys behind the BBQ Bus food truck, who’ve expanded into the kitchen at Denizens, have created a pulled pork sandwich that’s rich and sweet without being overwhelmingly fatty. The meat arrives dripping like a leaky faucet but remains chewy and moist—and magically unsoggy. The slick, smoky sauce adds a pleasant tang to the porkiness, while the crisp, sour veggies bring a cool crunch.
Cons: The enormous, overwhelming bun. I’d trade down in exchange for more of the vinegary slaw, which tastes even tangier in side-dish form.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. Barbecue sandwiches are always sloppy, but this one doesn’t yield much mess thanks to the spongy roll. The meat juices and sauce don’t penetrate the bottom bun, but they do pool on your metal tray, and will probably run down the sides of your hands. Lean over the plate if you don’t want pork puddles in your lap.
Overall score (1 to 5): 4. Aside from the big bland bun, the BBQ Bus team has struck the perfect balance of rich meat and tart condiments with this pulled pork beauty. When paired with comforting sides (try the bacon mashed potatoes!) and one of Denizens brews, it’s easy to kick back and forget that you’re hanging by the train tracks in the ’burbs.
Photo by Caroline Jones