In recent weeks, I’ve sent you to eat at a gas station and an antiques store. Now it’s time to hit the golf course. Virginia Golf Center in Clifton, to be exact. To be clear, I have never even held a golf club that wasn’t intended to shoot a Day-Glo ball around animatronics or a faux Egyptian pyramid. I am not in this for the exercise. Quite the opposite: It’s all about the brisket.
Surefire Pit BBQ has a stand inside the clubhouse, as well as a freezer that stocks boil-in-the-bag ‘cue to take home. The menu includes all the barbecue basics, from pulled pork smoked over oak and cherry to slices of moist, brined turkey. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to praise a regular special, the brisket ramen. The counter staffer I spoke to said that the demand for the soup is so high that, while it’s on the specials menu, it’s almost always available.
I understand completely. Visual aesthetics might not be the dish’s strong suit–it’s served in a clear takeout container–but it’s not ugly, despite itself. What’s inside the plastic is what matters.
A beefy red-hued broth is rich and speckled with chile flakes for a spice that almost matches its incinerating temperature. The noodles, really more linguine than ramen, tangle with liltingly smoky strands of brisket. There is a jackpot of both, but I think there might be even more meat than pasta, a perfect balance for a barbecue soup. Vegetables? It’s got some of those, too, with crunchy carrots, scallions, and cilantro strewn on top.
Is it ramen? Not really. Is it barbecue? Absolutely. And on a day when a warming bowl of meaty broth filled with flesh is absolutely necessary, this golf club should be your destination, no exercise necessary.
5801 Clifton Rd., Clifton
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