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A taste of Carolina in Loudoun

photoDanny Hurdle, owner of Carolina Brothers Barbecue, often sees to it himself his pork and beef is smoked just right. Times-Mirror Photo/Trevor Baratko

Danny Hurdle is a celebrity.

On any given night at Hurdle’s Carolina Brothers Barbecue spot in Ashburn, a young boy will look at the Carolina Brothers’ to-go menu. Flipping to the back of the pamphlet-style menu, the small lad will set his eyes on the picture of Hurdle, who has owned the Carolina Brothers restaurant for seven years. In walks Hurdle. The young boy does a double-take.

“They’ll come up and ask for my autograph, like I’m famous or something,” says Danny. “My wife just shakes her head, but I think it’s funny.”

For barbecue aficionados, Hurdle is deserving of celebrity status. Being the transient locale it is, Northern Virginia is dense with residents either from the Carolinas, or those who have passed through at various stints in their careers. Finding authentic Carolina barbecue can be a trying practice. Search no more. Carolina Brothers has all the pulled pork, rotisserie chicken, beef and ribs to satisfy those moist, vinegar-based barbecue cravings.

“Eating the food at Carolina Brothers took me back home, especially the pulled pork sandwiches,” says Times-Mirror Associate Editor Crystal Owens, an Alabama native who spent three years working in South Carolina. “Living in Northern Virginia, it’s difficult to find barbeque that equals the food that I grew up enjoying, especially living as close as I did to Memphis. But, anytime I need some comfort food, I head to Carolina Brothers.”

Hurdle has been proud to serve Virginia implants their native barbecue for nearly 30 years, first strictly through his catering operation, now at his sit-down restaurant, as well.

Carolina Brothers hickory smokes all its meats—pork, beef, chicken—while gently cooking in a traditional North Carolina pit. The employees, and Hurdle himself, hand shreds the meat into tender bite-sized pieces.

Add the main event sides of cole slaw, barbecue baked beans, potato salad or macaroni and cheese, take a seat at the Ma and Pa-style set of tables, and you might as well be in a Deep South shack miles away from cell service.

Like a true Southern gentleman, Hurdle quickly bows to his wife for her assistance and support with the restaurant.

A native of northeastern North Carolina, Hurdle first got his hands dirty in the barbecue game working at Hurdle’s Restaurant, an eatery his father won in a poker game.

While, with a few of the other restaurants and chefs in Taste of Loudoun, you’re guaranteed a dazzling dining experience, you’re also likely to spend a decent chunk of cash. Not the case with Carolina Brothers. Grab a sandwich, side and soda for $10. Or, better yet, buy in bulk – pounds of pulled pork, racks or ribs – and take it home for the family chow for days.

Hurdle cherishes his product. To him, it’s a privilege to introduce newcomers to Carolina ‘cue.

“You know, they say if you find something you love, you never have to work a day in your life,” Hurdle says. “Well, when I’m here at the restaurant, I never feel like I’m working.”

This local restaurant feature originally appeared in the Times-Mirror’s 2012 Taste of Loudoun.


I will have to try them. Lived here all my life and I love the pulled pork at Willards in Chantilly. I remember when that store was Partlows as well and Sterling Park was only considered to be Sterling Park. Those were the days.

I’m going to have to try this place! Speaking of BBQ, doesn’t Purcellville have a BBQ place…Bodacades, or something like that?

The pulled pork sandwiches are awesome.  The ribs have been great, but a few times been disappointing.  The service is excellent.  Danny is a real gentleman - had a very nice chat with him as he was planting flowers out front recently.  Great food…great people.  So glad they’re in Ashburn.  And, Danny, please make that beef brisket chili again…please?!!

It’s no Parker’s BBQ, but it will have to do until I get down to Wilson, NC or Greenville.

It’s on Ashburn Road, right next to the W&OD; Trail, very close the fire house.

Cover the who, what, when, where and how.

“it’s a privilege to introduce newcomers to Carolina ‘cue.”  What makes it Carolina? “especially living as close as I did to Memphis” So Memphis barbecue is like Carolina barbecue?

I think not!

more important than the typos and wording errors, how can you write a review and forget to mention the location?  From one of the comments, one assumes it must be near the WO&D trail—- and because it appears to be in Leesburg—- then is must be somewhere between Goose Creek and Hamilton?

‘While, with a few of the other restaurants and chefs in Taste of Loudoun, you’re guaranteed a dazzling dining experience, you’re also likely to spend a decent chunk of cash.’  What kind of sentence structure is that???  Must be a day writer they found at Home Depot.

I agree with Rocket- I like almost all the dishes but the few times I have had the ribs, they have been disappointing.  Otherwise, I like the small, old time feel of Carolina Bros.

It is a good place to eat except for the ribs, pulled pork is good, but both times I had the ribs I was disappointed.

I like Carolina Brothers; it was the only real BBQ in town. I will have to try this DD BBQ place.

Mostly I smoke my own when I want good pulled pork or ribs. Made ribs over the weekend with root beer bbq sauce and it was heavenly.

It’s pretty good, but the sauce is a bit too sweet for my taste. I’ve had bbq several times in NC and don’t remember it being sweet, much more vinegar(y).
But yeah, probably the best in town until DD showed up in Sterling (weekends only though)

Maybe you typo-nazis should apply for the editor’s job at LTM.

Best BBQ in Town….

Is it a bit tiresome enough to go read the news somewhere else…... doesn’t look like it!!!  Suck it up or move on…......

The typo wouldn’t be a big deal at most papers, but when just about every article here has several typos and/or factual errors, it is a bit tiresome.

It’s a great place to stop while biking the W&OD;.  Nothing like recharging on a pulled pork sandwich and baked beans…

I remember when Carolina Brothers Barbecue was Partlows and sold live bait. Not the last iteration of the store when Greg owned it and tried making it a gourmet meat store, but before that.

It’s a good story about a local business and all you can find is a single typo to comment on, bizzy? Methinks you’re not bizzy enough—get a life, punk.

“...the small lab will set his eyes on the picture of Hurdle”

how did they go from a boy to a dog?

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