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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Washington DC area is a litter hotter with the Wood Ranch BBQ &Grill in Springfield, Virginia

Chef Benes "The Sultan of Smoke"
Story: Neeta Wooten, Editor-in-Chief (The IDEAL Magazine)
Images: Ideal PR Media/Darnell S.

The IDEAL Magazine was invited to the opening event for the Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in Springfield, VA.Can you say yum? I must have said it about 20 million times throughout the night during my visit at the newly opened Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in Springfield, Virginia. Chef Alejandro Benes outdid himself.  I had to spend an extra day on the treadmill because I was so stuffed, but it was worth it...so much that I went back to the #WoodRanch the very next day :-)
Chef Benes, nicknamed "The Sultan of Smoke" shared his philosophy on food and the birth of the first East Coast location of the Wood Ranch, with California having the bulk of these fabulous restaurants. Chef Benes attended college in Washington, DC and his business partner is from Silver Spring, Maryland, which inspired DC to be the first East Coast location. 

He noted that they concentrate on the food, using hormone and antibiotic free meats, and cook with wood to produced great fire and smoke.  His hope is that everyone would feel comfortable, whether they came in with "cut offs" or a tuxedo. The Wood Ranch offers simple and elegant food allowing orders as simple as a chicken wings and brisket burger with onion rings or filet mignon with grilled asparagus and quinoa. And I tasted just about everything, and I must say there was nothing that I tasted that night that I did not want more of...including one of the most refreshing and outstanding drinks I've ever tasted...the Newport Lemonade (includes Kettle One, mint and other yumminess!)


The Briket bonbons we tender with a spicy cherry chipotle BBQ sauce. While not commonly offered on the menu, I'm sure these items can be requested for catering events (oh yes...they cater honey!). In addition to their signature BBQ sauce, there were two spicier sauces, the spicy cherry chipotle and habanero spiced peach sauce...neither for the weak or timid in taste buds, but both full of flavor and heat. 

Throughout the night I enjoyed the following food (honestly...I really did taste all of this)


Wood Ranch onion rings, Tri-Tip Bonbons, Killer Wings (fiery and buffalo), Guacamole and chips, Kale salad with watermelon radishes, BBQ chopped chicken salad, grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes, smashed sweet potatoes, Lauren's favorite Mac & Cheese, garlic rolls


Brisket burger 2.0. , Carolina pulled pork sandwich, baby back ribs, St. Louis ribs
Fresh Atlantic Salmon (both oak grilled and pan seared with Jim Beam, brown sugar and soy sauce), center cut filet mignon steak, tri-tip steak, ribeye steak

Oreo Cookie Crunch (filled with vanilla ice cream), Cheesecake and warm chocolate cake. 

In addition to these items they carry trout, grilled shrimp and tons more BBQ and grilled meats, sliders and burgers. Today also marks a rolling out of a new "build your own menu" for those who want smaller portions and those who like to sample more menu items at once. So be sure to place this restaurant on your list. The great thing is you can be as fancy or casual as you like when you arrive.


While I enjoyed all of the food, the Ribeye, baby back ribs, brisket burger, onion rings and Mac and cheese were my favorites! The Oreo cookie crunch was awesome and I could eat that cheese cake all day. Needless to say, the very next day I enjoyed the brisket burger, onion rings, Mac and cheese and mashed potatoes...yeah and 3 extra hours of exercising over the weekend. Lol...but worth it. After all, living is more exciting when you taste your way through it! If only every meal at Wood Ranch BBQ &Grill could come with the company and conversation of Chef Alejandro Benes, all would be right with the world. 

A very special thanks to Ellie Stain for the invite, Kelly Morris for taking great care of us (and the swag bag), Co-Owner and the "Sultan of Smoke" Chef Alejandro Benes for being such a gracious and interactive host, and Springfield's General Manager Brian Watson for making sure our every need was attended to. I would also like to thank Shalesa who took great care of me the next day during my quick brisket burger and sides fix! Always a special thanks to Darnell S. who helped me with the photos and to sample the food and in his words, "it's amazing how you taste the smoke and bold flavors in every bite."

The Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill is located at the newly renovated Springfield Town Center right next to the LA Fitness at 6797 Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA 22150

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