We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Food Fine, Restaurant Time Worn”
Review of Red Hot & Blue Arlington - CLOSED

Red Hot & Blue Arlington
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: Barbecue, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Red Hot and Blue is a full-service, casual-themed restaurant chain and caterer featuring delicious award-winning ribs, Memphis-style barbeque, smoked wings, and Southern sides and desserts. The atmosphere is steeped in legendary and contemporary blues music and delivers a large dose of Southern hospitality in a fun and entertaining dining environment. History: The first Red Hot and Blue restaurant opened in Arlington, Virginia in 1988, started by Lee Atwater, Don Sundquist and friends. Don Sundquist was from Memphis and served in the House of Representatives and as governor of Tennessee. The late Lee Atwater was an amateur blues musician and political figure that managed George H.W. Bush's successful race for the presidency. These men were friends who longed for authentic Memphis-style barbeque and great blues music. Unable to find that combination anywhere in the Washington, DC area they decided the only way to get it done was to open a restaurant of their own. The Memphis-style barbeque chain celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2013 by partnering with a charitable organization at 24 different restaurant locations. The yearlong celebration culminated in the presentation of thousands of dollars in donations to local charities. The Name: The name, "Red Hot and Blue" is taken from the title of D.J. Dewey Phillip's radio show that that aired on WHBQ-AM in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950s. This radio show launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash and broadened the audience for artists such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Robert Cray and Rufus Thomas. Red Hot & Blue Dine-In, Take-Out and Catering. Hickory-smoked Memphis-style BBQ, Ribs, Wings, Beef Brisket, Smoked Chicken, Seafood, Full-service Bar, in a Family-friendly atmosphere with a heapin' helpin' of Southern Hospitality!
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
329 reviews
211 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Food Fine, Restaurant Time Worn”
Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

Food quality was acceptable but not remarkable. I had the Delta Double (Wet St. Louis Ribs & Sausage) plus Pecan Pie w/ ice cream. The fare was acceptable but unremarkable. The sausage was nondescript and bland without adding a sauce or mustard. The ribs were tender but not "fall off the bone" quality. The facility was time worn and scattered waste was notable on the floor near the bar area and the path between the seating areas even at the late afternoon hour. Wiring is tacked to the wall and the restroom was generally functional though flushing problems were noticeable with one facility. A thorough renovation and consistent attention to general cleanliness would be helpful.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

121 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
182 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A disappointment”
Reviewed October 25, 2013 via mobile

I would have thought a table of 9 pitching up to an otherwise quiet restaurant would have sparked some sort of service. I was to be mistaken. Our server struggled with English and was eve rude at times. The place was in need of a refurb and clean. Food was just about passable but nothing more. Certainly not a place I could recommend.

1 Thank SharkyCornwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
In the Area
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very tasty barbecue”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

On a recent trip back to Washington DC, we had to go to one of our old favorites, Red Hot and Blue. I got the pulled chicken sandwich combo with potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw. It tastes as good as I remember. Excellent customer service. On the night we were there a busload (a big busload) of kids and chaperones came into the restaurant. It seemed the kids wouldn't stop coming. We felt sure that service would be very slow (it was a Saturday night). Not the case. We were seated about 5-7 minutes after came in and our server appeared shortly after that. There was no long waiting period for the food. It came out in a bout 10 minutes.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank pj276
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune, India
Level Contributor
76 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great ribs and buffalo wings”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This place serves massive portions of buffalo wings (for a Brit they are the size of chicken legs in the UK!) and yummy ribs with a variety of sauces that you can splash on at your table. I had the spicy sauce and it was fiery just the way I like it!

Service was good too, with a smile and at a nice pace, not too fast as is the case sometimes in the US. Only downside is that if you want to have the happy hour deal you have to sit at the bar which doesn't make sense if you want to eat at the tables?

Otherwise good value for money.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank floatingseas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
53 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Average at best”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Used to frequent these years ago. Came here to meet some friends. While the service was marginally acceptable, the food away, certainly not what this chain once was. People acted as if they were doing us a favor by waiting on us, totally unfriendly with no warmth. I won't go back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Gregory L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Red Hot & Blue Arlington also viewed


Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing