A Guide to the Best New Southern Barbecue Joints

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019: Meet a new generation of pit masters who are doing right by barbecue tradition—and blazing new trails…


Restaurant review: ZZQ bring this back-to-the-roots movement in Texas BBQ to Richmond

APRIL 3, 2019: Smoked meat has long been associated with religion in Texas where, at early church revivals, free barbecue was served to entice new followers. In the past decade, though, Texas barbecue has become a religion of its own, thanks to what some call a “back-to-the-roots movement” led by a new generation of pitmasters committed to revitalizing the craft.

richmond times dispatch

10 Road Trips to Take this Spring: Richmond, VA

March 28, 2019: The Virginia Barbecue Trail features 40 restaurants smoking and saucing the authentic stuff. Opened last March and already a darling of the city’s culinary scene, ZZQ dishes up Texas-style eats by the pound or by the sandwich…

MainLine today

This historic city’s under-the-radar modernism scene makes it worth a weekend visit.

March 27, 2019: What to Eat & Drink: We are a city of well-fed folks. In the past five years, the region’s food and beverage scene has exploded with more than 30 breweries, and what seems like a new restaurant opening on a weekly basis.


Get in line, y'all, for this Texas treat barbecue transplant

March 8, 2019: The steps leading to the front door read, “Meat This Way.” They might as well say, “Stairway to Heaven” because Richmond’s purveyor of Texas-style barbecue is changing the game — not just in the city, but across the region.

The story of ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue writes itself, and it’s owners Chris Fultz, a Texas native, and Alex Graf tell it no fewer than three or four times a day to fans who’ve waited hours to get in the door.

Over a tray of various smoky morsels and pickled slaw, the pit masters beam relaying it. “It’s mythical,” says Graf, laughing…


Plan an art-and-culinary-centric getaway to Richmond

March 6, 2019: We know. Texas 'cue outside of the Lone Star State sounds blasphemous. Just trust us on this one though.…

DC Refined

Charleston or Bust

March 5, 2019: The husband-and-wife team Alex Graf and Chris Fultz make their debut appearance this year at the 14th annual Charleston Wine + Food festival…

Richmond Magazine

Want to Try the Most Exciting Food in America? Leave New York City

January 24, 2019: Authentic barbecue by Texas transplant Chris Fultz and Alex Graf gets a brick-and-mortar home after years as a food truck…


The ultimate culinary guide to Richmond, Virginia

December 29, 2018: Virginia’s capital is undergoing a gastronomic revolution, with local chefs flocking back to cook up everything from barbecued brisket to French-inspired fancies…


Pop-up to Brick and Mortar

November 26, 2018: If you’ve yet to wolf down a few slices of national-class brisket, or the coal-black but melt-in-your-mouth burnt ends, then you’re not just missing out on something delicious…


Meet the Richmond man who's eaten at ZZQ every day it's been open. That's 164 days and counting.

October 25, 2018: You can take a man out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the man. Texas transplant John Warren calls Richmond home, but at ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque, he’s back in the heart of Dallas, if just for an hour or so…


Fun and games: two Southern playgrounds you've got to visit

October 23, 2018: Science says playing is good for the mind, body and spirit, so how about making your next vacation about fun and games? A boom in grown-up playgrounds gives you new reasons to hit two of the New South's most winning cities: Chattanooga, Tenn., and Richmond, Va.


How to eat your way through Richmond, Virginia

October 22, 2018: ZZQ started as a pop-up pit stand, and thanks to an incredibly dedicated cult following it now has a permanent residence. Get the sliced beef brisket, and don't sleep on the homemade sides and pickled accompaniments.


Attention, barbecue hounds: Richmond’s ZZQ is a smoke lover’s dream

September 25, 2018: To the casual observer, the pseudo-mysticism surrounding barbecue makes for an easy target of ridicule. You know, the ­secretive, self-aggrandizing pitmaster who talks about the smoking process as if it were a holy communion between him and the elements rather than the seemingly mindless method that some outsiders consider it: Set fire…


Power: Food and Drink

August 28, 2018: They've been slinging Texas-style barbecue together since 2013, bringing smoked meats and to-die-for sides (that jalapeño mac and cheese, y'all) to pop-ups and events all over town. There's a reason ZZQ's loyal patrons call it meat church…


The 33 Best BBQ Joints in America

August 17, 2018: You can take the Texan out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of a Texan. The Lone Star State’s barbecue style is perhaps the most exported of any region so it’s natural to be skeptical of imitators, but Richmond, Virginia’s ZZQ is the real deal, started by a native Austinite (raised in Mesquite,TX) who honors his home state by cooking some of the best brisket you’ll find outside its boundaries...


ZZQ named some of the best barbecue in the country - and the best in Va. - by Food & Wine

July 25, 2018: Where do the food experts at Food & Wine magazine go when they're looking for the best barbecue in the country?

Sure, they hit up Texas and the Carolinas, but they also made a stop in Richmond, Va. to check out shining star ZZQ at 3201 W. Moore St. in Scott's Additon...


ZZQ named best barbecue in Virginia

July 25, 2018: The results are in and everyone, it seems, likes the barbecue in Richmond (and Petersburg).

ZZQ took home a best barbecue in the state award from Food & Wine. The magazine is in love with Alex Graf and Chris Fultz’s delicious barbecue.

"Really, what isn't Richmond suddenly extremely good at? Add Texas-style barbecue to the list of musts in this food-mad town with the spring debut of ZZQ, in the excellence magnet otherwise known as the city's Scott's Addition neighborhood,” the article stated...


ZZQ Brings Flawless Texas Barbecue to Virginia

July 24, 2018: We’ve moved far past the idea that good Texas-style barbecue can only be smoked within the borders of the Lone Star State. I travel Texas searching for the best barbecue it has to offer, and sometimes I venture beyond our border to find how pitmasters are interpreting our beloved style of barbecue across the country. I don’t think anyone outside Texas does it any better than ZZQ in Richmond, Virginia, which architects-and-partners-turned-barbecue-entrepreneurs Chris Fultz and Alex Graf designed and opened in March...


The Best BBQ in Every State

July 24, 2018: Really, what isn't Richmond suddenly extremely good at? Add Texas-style barbecue to the list of musts in this food-mad town with the spring debut of ZZQ, in the excellence magnet otherwise known as the city's Scott's Addition neighborhood. Don't be fooled by the impressive venue—partners (in business and in life) Chris Fultz and Alex Graf might have had some help getting to where they are right now, but this isn't just some corporate joint, capitalizing on a trend, this is the real deal. Fultz and Graf started small, impressing first one small group of lucky folks and then another, with their backyard pop-ups—some time later, we're now here, and here is—well, it's delicious...


Born Again Through Barbecue

June 27, 2018: As Texas Monthly’s full-time barbecue editor, the first and only in the country, Vaughn has the perfect job to feed his addiction, sometimes frequenting five or six different barbecue spots in a single day.

Despite his travels, he admits he’s never eaten ’cue from Virginia (but ZZQ has put the commonwealth on his radar)...

Richmond magazine 

The Gospel of Texas Barbecue

May 15, 2018: It started with a single rib and an unmistakable feeling. With barbecue as his love language, architect and Texas native Chris Fultz set out to win over his now wife Alex Graf. Fultz first approached Graf at a Memorial Day party in 2012, offering one expertly smoked rib. A Virginia native, Graf knew nothing of the charred ribs or the smoky, tender brisket that Fultz grew up on not far from Dallas, Texas, but as she grew to appreciate the flavor and the man behind it, she realized she was falling in love with both...


ZZQ Texas Craft BBQ

March 27, 2018: Barbecue. Barbeque. Bar-B-Q. Barbie. BBQ. The process of cooking slowly over low, indirect heat and smoke. Styles, technique and apparatus has evolved since the days of Columbus when his crew found Tainos Native Americans roasting meat over a wooden framework grill in 1492...


ZZQ is Open and Making Richmond’s BBQ Dreams Come True

March 8, 2018: ZZQ started years ago when Chris Fultz and Alex Graf began hosting barbecues in their back yard to introduce friends to their passion for Texas-style smoked beef brisket and other meats. Several New Year’s Days ago, I had the privilege of being invited to one of these events—we brought some libations to share and partook in a delightful meat feast...

marco style


Meat, Mac and Mezcal: ZZQ serves up Texas-style barbecue in Scott’s Addition

March 6, 2018: They call it "meat church," and the faithful packed the pews for ZZQ's grand opening March 3. The restaurant features Chris Fultz's famous Texas-style barbecued beef brisket and wife Alex Graf's flavorful sides. The soft open was March 1, and the faithful filled the aisles then too...



'Welcome to our dream': ZZQ barbecue opens in Scott's Addition

March 2, 2018: It’s been quite a journey for spouses Chris Fultz and Alex Graf, the pitmasters who on Saturday celebrated the grand opening of their Scott’s Addition restaurant, ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue.

Over the past seven years, the duo has turned their love for Texas-style barbecue into a cult following for their meats. They even garnered write-ups from national food press long before becoming owners of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

richmond times-dispatch


ZZQ is Cookin’ in Scott’s Addition

March 2, 2018: Back in 2015, a little barbecue pop-up started at Ardent Craft Brewers and our love affair with ZZQ began...


Barbecue popup returns in restaurant form this weekend

March 2, 2018: Having whetted locals’ appetites with their weekly popups, a pair of first-time restaurateurs is turning up the heat on the Scott’s Addition dining scene with their first brick-and-mortar location.

ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque opens this weekend at 3201 W. Moore St., at the corner of Highpoint Avenue in the heart of the eclectic neighborhood.

richmond bizsense

ZZQ brings Texas craft barbeque to Virginia

February 16, 2018: The restaurant, owned by Alex Graf and Chris Fultz, is a natural expansion of their longtime cult-followed residency at Ardent Craft Ales.

Expect Texas brisket, pork ribs and other ZZQ barbecue favorites -like jalapeño macaroni and cheese and collard greens...


ZZQ is Almost here!

January 30, 2018: As I walk around, I can almost smell the brisket and ribs. I’m still in a construction zone for sure and nothing is on the pit – but I have eaten a few plates of ZZQ, so I know what’s in store this March and I can hardly wait...


From A to ZZQ

January 26, 2018: When ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue launches in Scott’s Addition, in February 2018, you can expect the inevitable spate of glowing stories in print and online about owners Chris Fultz and Alex Graf, romanticizing the path they took to restaurant ownership and framing them as cultural-culinary heroes...

richmond magazine 

BBQ Interview - Chris Fultz & Alex Graf - ZZQ Barbeque

December 2017: In this episode I chat with Chris Fultz & Alex Graf from ZZQ Barbeque in Richmond, Virginia...

Kevin Kelly

30 Most Exciting Food Cities in America 2017

December 17, 2017: This quirky and charming Southern city might only recently be gaining the attention it deserves for its outstanding dining scene, but Richmond’s universities and vibrant arts scene have been a crucible for forming incredibly talented chefs for decades...


One Brief Shining Moment

October 2017: Used to be that a pop-up referred to a chef — out of work and mulling his future, or preparing to open his own place — who commandeers his buddy’s restaurant for a month or two to test out dishes....

richmond magazine

ZZQ Brings a Taste of Central Texas to Scott’s Addition

August 28, 2017: If you’ve driven through Scott’s Addition on a Friday night, chances are the alluring aroma of smoked brisket in the air has piqued your interest. You may have also seen the giant wood-burning smoker being hauled into Ardent Craft Ales every other week with nothing but a line of people as far as the eye can see...

RVA Magazine

ZZQ Finds its forever home

November 2, 2016: Scott’s Addition has some new restaurants on the way. ZZQ barbecue — the Texas-style barbecue caterer — has finally found its forever home at 3201 W. Moore St. Owners, spouses and pit masters Chris Fultz and Alex Graf will embark on tear-down and rebuild of the lot nestled next to Ardent Craft Ales, ZZQ’s temporary home for the past two years...

Richmond Times Dispatch

Architects’ BBQ joint to beef up Scott’s Addition

October 28, 2016: There will soon be some extra smoke piping through one of Richmond’s hottest neighborhoods. ZZQ, a barbecue venture run by local architects Chris Fultz and Alex Graf, has plans in the works for a new restaurant to be constructed from scratch at 3201 W. Moore St. in Scott’s Addition...

Richmond BizSense

ZZQ to open Texas-style barbecue shack in Scott’s Addition

October 28, 2016: There will soon be some extra smoke piping through one of Richmond’s hottest neighborhoods. ZZQ, a barbecue venture run by local architects Chris Fultz and Alex Graf, has plans in the works for a new restaurant to be constructed from scratch at 3201 W. Moore St. in Scott’s Addition...


Slow 'n' Steady

October 27, 2016: When Chris Fultz and Alex Graf think about Texas barbecue, they think of the journey. Long drives across the state's sprawling landscape to family-owned meat meccas are not uncommon for a good meal under a metal roof, sometimes a dot in the middle of nowhere, hours outside of a major city...

Richmond Magazine

Our Next Vice President’s Favorite Place to Drink

2016: If there’s one thing Republicans, Democrats, and independents can agree upon this contentious election season, it’s that we could all use a beer...

Men's Journal

ZZQ: When Pigs Fly

August 21, 2016: It's 4:30am in Lyon's Point, Louisiana. It's August and the sun will emit the overcoming heat that will result in a thickening layer of oppressive air leaving one unable to breathe and resulting in a puddle of a salty sopping mess. The gunshots are heard muffled in the distance from the farm and the lump in my throat is hard to swallow. This is my least favorite part of the day...


Interview: ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque

May 25, 2016: Virginia has many things to offer that aren’t readily found elsewhere: rich history, relatively perfect run of all four seasons, and, of course, great shirts made in our capital city. Believe it or not, before proprietors/husband-and-wife team Chris Fultz and Alex Graf hatched ZZQ Craft Barbeque, finding authentic Texas barbecue in the Old Dominion was a challenge (yeah, we said it.)...


Taking Up Residency:
ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue launches its weekly residency at Ardent Craft Ales next month

March 30, 2016: If you're already a devotee of ZZQ Texas Craft Barbecue, you know that its melt-in-your-mouth brisket, curls of cavatappi smothered in cheese and jalapeño, and forkfuls of tender blackstrap molasses collard greens all pair perfectly with crisp, cool sips of Ardent Craft Ales beer. If you haven't yet been inducted into the fatty, flavorful fold, now you know: The ZZQ and Ardent pairing is a match made in gustatory heaven...

Richmond Magazine

Cover of Richmond Magazine’s 2015 Summer Food Guide

Richmond Magazine

Cover of Richmond Magazine’s 2015 Summer Food Guide