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Opening Friday: Sweet Heat BBQ Restaurant

by Karen Goff — March 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm 2,663 19 Comments

Six months after opening, Mandoohouse has canned the Greek/Korean mashup and gone to a new concept: BBQ.

Owner James Brundage and his son, manager Chris Brundage, have partnered with chef Kermit Griffin and will have a grand (re) opening Friday as Sweet Heat BBQ.

James Brundage purchased the former Myknonos Restaurant at 1810 Michael Faraday Dr. last summer. The rookie restaurant owners reopened as Mandoohouse in September, but the concept didn’t take hold (and was often closed due to equipment, ordering and operational issues).

Griffin brings nearly 15 years of food service experience to Reston. He is the former executive chef at South Carolina’s Beaufort Inn, as well as several other southern restaurants. He is a culinary teacher, culinary historian and restaurant consultant, according to his LinkedIn profile. He most recently was chef at Bethesda’s Vino Vola, and competed on the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games.

On the menu at Sweet Heat: pulled pork sliders; sweet potato fries; low country red rice; ribs; and “The Tailgater,” a $78 platter for eight that features “pulled pork, half bird, brisket, 1 turkey breast, 1 slab ribs, and three sides.” The restaurant features Carolina-style, as well as Kansas City-, Caribbean- and Korean-style barbecue sauces.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Makes you wonder if the new owner is aware of the history of that location. There used to be a BBQ place there in the ’80’s. If I recall correctly, it was Pepper’s Texas BBQ.

    • Melissa Berkemeier Romano

      Peppers was the BEST!!

    • Mike M

      Not so long ago, I think.

    • I remember Peppers. It was awesome. It had to be within the last 11 years since I remember going there with co-workers, and I’ve been at my same job for about 12 years now.

      Checked out Sweet Heat tonight and it was delicious! So good in fact that I ordered a 2nd sandwich. The first one was plenty big to make a meal of it, but I was starving and the first one was so good, I figured why not. Definitely will be going back again and bringing co-workers there for lunch.

  • kris

    Do you know their hours?

    • Karen Goff

      Not yet.

  • Kermit

    Thanks for writing this, Karen! Our (Re)Grand Opening is this Friday & Saturday.. Out hours are M-Sat 11-7p.. As a way to say hello our new neighbors and future patrons we’ll be offering 10% Discount both days, allowing the little ones to eat free, and we’ll be handing out free samples..
    Hope to see you there.. I’ll apologize in advance for our signage issues.. They’re under construction :),

    • Karen Goff

      Thanks, Kermit! Looking forward to coming in for some BBQ.

      • Kermit

        Can I get your email.. I’d like to discuss some synergy with you… You can IM through FB.. Send a friend request..,

  • Michael C

    Looks good, will try to rally some coworkers to go here for lunch some time soon.

    • Kermit

      Thanks, Michael!!! There was a line out the door for lunch today!! Get in early..

  • Rob

    Reston needs a good BBQ place… crossing my fingers

  • Rob

    I went by there today and though I’d share a brief review… I’ll start with the disclaimer – I really want this place to work, and I know the owner reads this page.

    First, the good. Several of my food items were very good – the Low Country Red Rice was outstanding. The Amish Chicken was very good, as was the brisket and the sausage. The portions were enormous. The sauces are excellent, with the Korean sauce probably the weakest of the bunch. The macaroni and cheese was VERY flavorful and not “kids style” – it was almost like an alfredo sauce but much thicker. The Chef has a nice feel for the flavors he wants to present and knows his stuff.

    Now, the not so good. My ribs were probably very good about 3 hours before I got them. By the time I got them, the crumbled off the bone – dried out. I know it’s hard to prepare BBQ and let it sit for a while. What I did eat had a decent flavor and fresh it might be very good. The dressing for the field greens tasted like salad dressing mixed from a package. Sweet potato fries were a bit undercooked for my tastes.

    The bad? Every surface I touched was sticky, be it table or wall or or counter or chair. Cleanliness is not even a second thought here yet – the entire restaurant needs a thorough cleaning, all over up and down. You know how on those “Restaurant Rescue”-type shows how some guy goes through the place and points out the gunk? Yeah, I could do that here. Air vent returns, floors, all need attention. I would urge closing for 2-3 days and just focusing on cleaning. There were three people working – the Chef, the Owner, and the Other Guy (who took orders, delivered them to tables, worked the register, etc.) – the Other Guy needs to stop touching food with his bare hands. I watched him do it over and over and over. It’s a very small restaurant, but waitstaff should know better. Because it’s a very small place with minimal staff, food prep is slow – which is ok if you know to expect that.

    I don’t think there is any issue I saw that can’t be corrected, and corrected easily, so I’ll go back again and see if they’ve gotten some of the kinks worked out.

    • Kermit

      Rob, thanks for your patronage and your FEEDBACK!! Please know, that I AM ACUTELY aware of these issues.. And it’s Imperative we get them resolved!! I hold extremely high standards for myself, staff and ultimately the edtablishments that I work in and now OWN! I hope you are sincere about giving us another chance, and I’ll hold up our end of the bargain by offering an IMMACULATE experience from all perspectives!
      Thanks, Rob!

      • mathias

        close the place for a couple of days and get it cleaned, no excuse to open a new place and have an experience like the one descriped.
        As an owner you should be responsible, if these are your high standards.
        Good luck

    • RBike

      Rob, thanks for the review. I took two friends with me a few days before they closed Mandoo house and was embarrassed and appalled at the lack of cleanliness. It makes me sad that they didn’t take care of that issue before re-opening. I will wait to see a good review including that important data point before I go back to try again.

  • east297

    WE loved Sweet Heat! Our pulled pork was delish and the sweet potato fries excellent. For a casual type eatery with little decor it was just fine. If you want fine dining go to another venue.
    Chris served us … Food was hot and served right away. We will patronize Sweet Heat often. Give them time to sort things out!

  • Michael P. McHugh

    Not so long ago, I think.

  • Kat

    I have been saying for years, this area needs a good BBQ place….a market just waiting for someone to come along and demonstrate great BBQ. This means – meat so tender and juicy it just kills you, and sauce is an option. I am from KC, MO and roots in TX. Sounds like you all have a good start; can’t wait to try it! What can you tell folks about your food if they have a gluten allergy? Best of luck to you!

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