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Southern Peach BBQ is a family-run business in Prince George’s County serving soul food recipes. Owner Lakeisa Battle founded the business after facing a little competition in 2016.
Battle’s daughter loved to cook and sell BBQ plates out of a stand in a parking lot in Forestville, Maryland. The side hustle went well until a food truck started operating on the same turf and took most of her daughter’s business. When Battle approached him with her concerns, she says the food truck owner told the mother-daughter duo to step up their game.
Though the food truck owner eventually moved, Battle took his advice and Southern Peach BBQ was born. Its flagship store opened in 2018 in a tiny Hillcrest Heights shopping center, about a seven minute drive from the Southeast D.C. border. The family also operates three food trucks that are available for private bookings.
Southern Beach BBQ has further expansion plans, starting with their first location in D.C. proper that will operate as a ghost restaurant out of a forthcoming shared kitchen in Northeas D.C. They’re targeting an early spring launch. Then it’s on to opening a third location in Atlanta, Battle’s hometown.
The current menu is extensive and has options ranging from individual lunches to platters for a small crowd, perfect for carnivores and pescatarians alike. There are also a few vegetarian options, like roasted sweet chili cauliflower bites.
Most of the soul food come with a choice of one or two side dishes served in 8 oz. portions. They have 14 sides to choose from, such as golden brown hush puppies, baked mac and cheese, and deep-fried okra. Sandwiches like fried fish, 8-inch po’ boys, and steak and cheese subs round out the menu.
If you have difficulty deciding what to order, wings are a great choice. There are 15 flavors available, including Old Bay, General Tso, lemon pepper, and habanero.
GET THE CANDIED YAMS! They melt in your mouth and come in a sweet syrup that will make you want to change your own candied yam recipe. You might even consider eating two servings as a meal. The tender braised collard greens are also a huge winner. They’re homemade, like all of the sides.
Barbecue is the theme of the restaurant, so get the deluxe pulled pork sandwich. The pork is marinated, braised slowly for 12 hours, then shredded and tossed with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce. Cooks top the pork with creamy home-style coleslaw. The sandwich is a decent size, but so good you’ll inhale it.
The extremely friendly staff recommends the loaded baked potato, which includes your choice of one or two proteins, roasted vegetables, cheddar cheese, and a side of sour cream. I wasn’t sure what the big deal was until an employee placed a 12×6-inch disposable pan on the counter.
You guys—this overly stuffed potato weighed a whopping seven pounds! I know this because I weighed it when I got home. I could not believe my eyes. I questioned whether this particular dish was supersized just for me. A regular customer showed me some pictures as reassurance that the meal the cooks gave me was status quo. The customer also mentioned scaling back her visits due to health concerns. She still caves twice a month to order the loaded potato and enjoy it as two meals.
After I took the first bite, I completely understood the hype. The shrimp and steak topping the potato were cooked perfectly. Somehow, the hefty spud was roasted through without being undercooked. Same for the broccoli and peppers. Southern Peach BBQ doesn’t skimp on ingredients, and it was only $16!
A manager named Cornelius says he eats half of the loaded potato before a night of drinking to prevent hangovers, and the remaining half the morning after as a recovery meal. Smart man.
Southern Peach BBQ also has a few savory and sweet egg roll selections. Steak and cheese and crab cake egg rolls are on rotation and the warm peach cobbler egg roll reminded me of the holidays. They sometimes have a sweet potato version that must taste like deep-fried Thanksgiving. If it’s as good as their candied yams, I will need to order four a week.
In addition to dessert egg rolls fried to order, you will find a selection of sweet treats in a display case at the front of the store. There are classic and fun flavors of sliced cake, such as red velvet, Heath Bar, and cookies and cream. Vanilla cheesecake portions are topped with fruit or chocolate syrup. Banana pudding comes in individual servings. I love the sliced lemon cake, which wasn’t overly sweet.
Orders can be placed online or in person. Southern Peach BBQ doesn’t accept phone orders, but call ahead to hear about specials or to book catering. You can also find a condensed menu on UberEats for delivery.
Southern Peach BBQ is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dishes range from $3 to $38. Drinks include house-made tea and lemonade.
Southern Peach BBQ, 3609 Saint Barnabas Rd., Hillcrest Heights; (301)-717-8381; southernpeachbbq.com