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‘House of Cards’ Frank’s Favorite Ribs

‘House of Cards’ Frank’s Favorite Ribs


  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons celery salt
  • ½ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 jar barbeque sauce


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

To make the rib rub, combine the black pepper, oregano, paprika, celery salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and rub the mixture over the surface of the ribs to coat.

Place the ribs on a sheet pan roast and bake for 3 hours (check on the ribs periodically as they cook). During the last hour of baking, glaze with the barbecue sauce every 15 minutes and turn the ribs over each time you glaze.

Fifteen minutes before the 3-hour mark, check whether the ribs have cooked through to your desired doneness. If so, broil on low for a few minutes to get color. Cut and serve with the remaining barbecue sauce.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving1224

Folate equivalent (total)6µg2%

Between taking bites out of his political opponents, Frank Underwood, in the first two seasons of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” liked to visit a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint called Freddy’s. Freddy’s BBQ is fictional and the show used a shack in Baltimore for the set.

DC tourists may be disappointed to learn they cannot sample Frank’s favorite ribs, but the most disappointing fact is not that Freddy’s is fictional. The sad truth is that Freddy’s could simply not exist in DC or in most major cities today.

While researching barbecue restaurants for my recently released book, “The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America,” I visited 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 states. Many owners shared with me that their businesses are hampered by local environmental, safety, and health regulations.

'House Of Cards' Freddy's May Be Fictional, But There Is Good Barbecue In Washington

WASHINGTON -- If you were planning on a visit to Freddy's, the barbecue joint that fictional Rep. Frank Underwood visits on a regular basis in "House of Cards," you should stop. Freddy's, too, is fictional.

But a local expert says there are places to get delicious, no-frills barbecue in the nation's capital. Some are so hidden a member of Congress could hold a secret rendezvous there.

In the popular Netflix series, Underwood visits Freddy's to unwind after long days on Capitol Hill, talk strategy with the restaurant's owner and participate in backdoor deals. He also eats sticky, saucy ribs.

According to the Food Newsie site, a gutted Baltimore storefront serves as the exterior of Freddy's and a sound stage provides the interior.

"If I were to make one criticism of the show, it's a South Carolina congressman's barbecue of choice appears to be fairly sticky ribs, when true South Carolina barbecue uses a mustard-based sauce and even when it's not that, it's a more North Carolina vinegar mop," said Meat Week founder and Capital Spice blogger Mike Bober.

"Underwood is from Gaffney, S.C., which is right across from Gastonia, N.C., so it's distinctly possible that it's a North Carolina-based barbecue town," Bober added. "But it's more likely that he'd be eating pulled pork than ribs. If you're looking to ascribe a deeper meaning to it, it means he's now a creature of Washington and will take whatever barbecue he could get."

How does a D.C. food blogger know so much about regional barbecue? "Back in the day," Bober said, "I used to run a leadership PAC for a member of Congress, and our big fundraiser every year included flying in barbecue from Kansas City, Texas, Memphis and North Carolina and giving people a chance to have a cross-country barbecue tasting without leaving Capitol Hill."

Bober thinks Freddy's, the too-good-to-be-true spot, isn't based on any real-life D.C. restaurant -- which is a shame.

"It's independent from anything that really exists," he said. "If it did exist, I would absolutely eat there."

So where can you get "House of Cards"-worthy storefront barbecue in Washington? Bober has two recommendations.

"One place I think that might be good, where they focus on old-school soul food-style barbecue, is Levi's Port Cafe on 8th Street SE below the Southeast-Southwest Freeway," he said. "It's an old-school, vinegar-based pork barbecue. It has a lot of good soul food sides, and they have a really good slaw."

If you want no-frills barbecue in D.C. but maybe not near a highway, Bober recommends heading to Northwest.

"The best is probably the Rocklands in Glover Park. They really only have the one table, so it's the spirit of Freddy's, just a more refined take on it," he said. "It's also far enough from Capitol Hill so a guy like Underwood could have a meeting and not have it show up in Roll Call."

The epic final season of this drama opened with Walter White celebrating his birthday by re-creating his wife's tradition of spelling out his age in bacon. Pay homage to Heisenberg by playing with these easy oven-fried strips.

The gang on this nerd-approved comedy starts the week right by ordering Thai on Mondays. Try a version of one of Sheldon's favorite dishes with this take on chicken satay with peanut sauce.

The first thing you need to know about the man that has brought the lovable Freddy Hayes to life on “House of Cards” is that he’s never ever tasted one of Freddy’s delicious-looking ribs.

The second thing is why. The first scene filmed for Netflix’s political thriller’s first season was shot at Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) favorite joint, a neighborhood rib shack that opens just for him at his beck and call.

“It was our first day and they covered me in barbecue sauce,” actor Reg E. Cathey told TODAY. “It was hot it was like 90 degrees. It was very uncomfortable and it was that smell. I just couldn’t stand the smell. That’s why I didn’t want to eat any because I was covered in it. And then it just became a joke—Freddy doesn’t eat his own ribs! So I just kept it going and I never ate one rib.”

If watching Frank thoroughly enjoying Freddy’s ribs makes you hungry, that’s understandable. But Freddy’s Ribs is purely fictional it’s not a stand-in for an existing Baltimore barbecue restaurant. The location used for filming is just an empty storefront. The interiors are filmed in a studio.

Where do the ribs come from, then? That answer is a little boring: it’s just a set dresser grilling up Frank’s favorite barbecue. Although he never tasted Freddy's ribs, Cathey confirms they “sure smelled good.”

“I grew up on army bases all over the world but I’m from Alabama,” he said. “In Alabama, we have ribs with a white sauce, which is really great. I had talked about this when we talked about Freddy and what he served and I mentioned the white sauce. And everyone went, ‘Oh, that’s just too weird!’ It does look very strange but it’s really good. The best barbecue comes from North Carolina, though. So, in my mind I was serving North Carolina-style barbecue.”

Spoiler alert: Do not continue reading if you haven’t completed the second season of “House of Cards.”

But who will serve the barbecue now? By the end of the second season, fans were reeling over all of the collateral damage left in the wake of Frank and Claire Underwood’s (Robin Wright) ambitions. Nosy journalists and disobedient ex-lovers is one thing, but what did Freddy do to deserve this?

Once Frank became vice-president, Freddy became an object of public interest, and the reformed convict was doomed. He became a pawn in the power struggle between Frank and his enemy Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) and in the end wound up selling his restaurant.

“I liked the story a lot,” said Cathey who knew his character’s journey from his first meeting with director David Fincher, creator Beau Willimon, and Spacey. As a veteran actor who has worked on memorable series like "Homicide and "The Wire," Cathey has learned to accept the fate of his characters.

“I have no idea if Freddy’s coming back,” Cathey said. “They won’t tell me. But it’s one of those things when I first sat down with David, Beau and Kevin to talk about what the character was gonna be and what our relationship and tone would be, I knew it would be something special. I didn’t know whether people would like it or whether they would watch but I knew it was special. I thought it was simply lovely. And we had a ball doing it.”

These Meals Are the Only Things That Can Satisfy Frank Underwood’s Appetite

House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood is a stereotypical politician: he lies and cheats to get what he wants. There isn’t anything that Underwood won’t do to get ahead. He needs to be full and focused in order to achieve his often unsavory political agendas.

Since he is from Gaffney, South Carolina, Underwood knows the importance of good Southern cooking, so quality matters just as much as quantity in his meals.

Because his hunger for power is unparalleled, here are some meals that might come close to satisfying his appetite:

1. Steak and Potatoes

As we know, there is nothing Underwood enjoys more than lying and cheating to get what he wants. Except for meat and potatoes. This ultra-American dish will fulfill his cravings for red meat while simultaneously helping him gain enough strength to take over the world.

2. Ribs

Underwood loves a good plate of ribs. Especially when they’re cooked by Freddy Hayes, Underwood’s friend and on-call rib man. A full rack of ribs seems to make Frank happy for the time being but it’s only a matter of time until he’s looking for his next meal.

3. Meatloaf

Even though Underwood didn’t have the best childhood, there is something about meatloaf that recalls a sense of home. It’s a filling meal and can be paired with many side dishes… maybe revenge or little bit of manipulation.

4. Fried Chicken

Photo courtesy of

Again, a very American meal that’s perfect for Underwood. Like the ribs, eating fried chicken off the bone has an animalistic quality that Underwood would find appealing. Bonus points if waffles are included to bring Underwood back to his South Carolina roots.

5. Mac and Cheese

Even bloodthirsty politicians need some hearty side dishes in their lives. Baked mac and cheese is a good alternative to a meat dish because it is full of cheesy goodness that not even Frank Underwood can ignore. The pasta is filling which is perfect because Underwood needs his carbs to keep up his energy to defeat all of his enemies (and friends).

6. Jambalaya

Photo by Daniel Schuleman

Underwood is sure to appreciate a dish like this. Jambalaya is perfect for when he feels disheartened about fighting his way up the political ladder. The spices will ignite his fire and allow him to focus on his path of total domination.

7. Pie

If he still has room after eating a meat heavy meal, he would probably enjoy a good old-fashioned slice of pie. It doesn’t matter if it is apple, blueberry, peach, or banana cream anything to satisfy his sweet tooth and top off a filling meal.

Pie is a quintessential American dessert and is just sweet enough to make Underwood forget the immoral decisions he has made that day.

No amount of power or influence will satisfy Frank Underwood. But maybe, just maybe, these meals will.

Gif courtesy of

Want to always eat like this ruthless politician? Check out these links:

‘House of Cards,’ or more like house of product placement?

These are heady days for the online on-demand entertainment service Netflix. The company’s stock recently surged 22% after a strong earnings report and news that it signed up 2 million new subscribers in the first quarter of the year. The company’s success has largely been credited to its move into original content -- particularly its political drama “House of Cards.”

With David Fincher on the creative team, the show follows the political trials and travails of mercenary Democratic House whip Frank Underwood and his equally mercenary wife Claire. Is the story a morality study on the price of extreme hubris? Of ethical cowardice? Of unrestrained ambition?

But after watching all 13 episodes, one can’t help but get the feeling that this is also a show about product placement. A total of 2 million new subscribers is all well and good, but is that enough to cover “House of Cards’” reported $100-million price tag?

In its show credits, “House of Cards” offers no disclosures of any product placement it may benefit from -- noting only that logos for products like Sony’s Playstation Vita were “used with permission.” A Netflix spokesperson says its company had no product placement deals in place. A spokesperson for “House of Cards” production company Media Rights Capital said the company does not comment on any element of production.

What if there is no product placement? Could the show’s brand-happyiness simply be Fincherian subtext?

Nonetheless, here are 10 of our favorite subtextual life lessons gleaned from a season of watching “House of Cards.”

Not only should you consider this a spoiler alert, but note that none of the following will make any sense unless you’ve watched the entire first season of the show.

1. Smart spunky women and artsy types use iPhones. Powerful men need a Blackberry.

They’re smart, they’re sexy, they can break a big story at the touch of a button. They’re the women of “House of Cards” and virtually all of them have iPhones on their person at all times. Reporter Zoe Barnes gets her powerful male boss fired with a tweet from her iPhone. Claire, meanwhile, arranges illicit rendezvous with lovers and lobbyists. Don’t mess with these women when they have an iPhone present. You won’t like the results.

To be a man, on the other hand -- a real man, anyway -- you’re going to need a Blackberry. Like Gogol’s lost nose, being without your Blackberry for even a moment is the virtual equivalent of castration.

At season’s close, Frank makes the tragic mistake of leaving his Blackberry behind for a few precious moments of nuptial bliss with his wife Claire. While he’s out, a huge story breaks that threatens his ascension to the vice presidency.

Peter Russo, meanwhile, alienates his constituents, struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, and is generally incompetent. But his real kiss of death is throwing his Blackberry out the window of his car. He was killed shortly thereafter, and deserved everything he had coming to him.

Blackberry: glue it your body or die horribly.

2. Mutually satisfying sex is impossible without a brand name mobile device somewhere in the immediate vicinity of your person.

Reporter Zoe Barnes, played by the lovely Kate Mara, has six on-screen sexual encounters (or implied sexual encounters) throughout the season. A mobile phone was present for four of them – and by present, we actually mean involved, sometimes intimately. Naturally, she had a blast, and/or an emotionally fulfilling time.

Barnes’ two encounters with no phone? Let’s just say she was displeased.

3. The couple that smokes together, stays together.

Yes, your iPhone/Blackberry bestows you with extraordinary sexual prowess. But sex is such shallow and ephemeral relational bellwether. The true hallmark of a stable relationship is cigarettes. Of course all relationships have their ups and downs. But that’s nothing sharing a nightly cigarette together out your bay window won’t fix.

Whether he’s off sleeping with journalists or sacrificing his colleagues’ careers to further his own ambitions, Frank always returns home to share a nightly cigarette with his wife Claire. Sure, she may have the occasional fling with an artsy iPhone user. But artsy iPhone users don’t smoke with her, so she always comes home.

Also of note, some worthy advice from Frank: “Never slap a man while he’s chewing tobacco!”

4. Pork: not only is it the other white meat, it’s the meat of billionaires and political power players.

Want to be vice president? Better “break bacon” with the president’s billionaire best friend. Need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars overnight for an amorphous nonprofit? Better have a whole load of pork ribs handy.

Franks favorite BBQ chef Freddy appears in seven of the show’s 13 episodes. Is he a narrative device that allows Frank to stay in touch with the little people? A humanizing element? Does he at least of offer the occasional nugget of folksy wisdom to keep Frank slightly grounded?

1. Scandal

The press is after the Underwoods after Claire&rsquos infidelity is printed in the tabloids. Claire gets in touch with Adam try to play damage control. She convinces Adam to deny everything and destroy all the photographic evidence of their affair. Adam appears on television and does as Claire asked of him. Frank and Claire give a press release and blindside Adam. They tell the press that they commissioned Adam to take the photo of Claire sleeping at their house. Adam can&rsquot believe that they are lying, especially because he denied everything. Adam is upset that Claire lied to him. Claire convinces him that the reason why she lied is because if they both had the same story, the press would think the story wasn&rsquot too clean. Remy comes and intervenes with a new threat for Adam against his fiancee&rsquos father. Adam releases a photo of Claire in the shower.

House of Cards: season six review – we still need to talk about Kevin

A t the end of House of Cards’ fifth run, Frank Underwood was almost dead. His wife Claire had replaced him in the Oval Office and was no longer taking his calls. Fans who had hung on through the increasingly silly years that followed Frank lying and murdering his way to the presidency, after which the show lost its fundamental reason to exist and resorted to empty excess, wondered if Netflix’s political potboiler was about to rise out of its self-parodic rut and refocus.

Now, though, Frank really is gone. He’s been unceremoniously killed off before this sixth and final season begins, thanks to the private disgraces of Kevin Spacey, the man who played him. With Robin Wright as the sole star, it’s a chance not just to refocus, but to reboot.

We rejoin Claire 100 days into her reign. She is already on the brink. Bill and Annette Shepherd (Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane), billionaire siblings in the Koch/Mercer mould, are incensed that Claire’s not as corrupt as her husband. The wider world, meanwhile, is angry with her simply for daring to be a powerful woman, as demonstrated by an arresting opening scene in which an aide reluctantly reads out that day’s most imaginative gendered death threats.

Who will win? The twin modern evils of ingrained misogyny and a super-rich 0.1% who cannot tolerate any dent in their privilege? Or Claire, cool, battle-scarred and quietly ruthless? (Let us not forget that she once poisoned her lover, then rode him one last time while she waited for him to die.)

The circumstances behind Spacey’s departure predispose us to not care that he’s absent, but it’s impossible not to miss his gnashing campery, as season six’s attempt to be more measured and sophisticated comes off as monotonous. Wright is so majestically dignified she’s inert, reacting impassively to blackmail and treachery, and only rarely turning to the camera for wall-breaking asides that, when they do arrive, are platitudes by writers who don’t know exactly who their new main character is.

Claire’s biding her time of course, but biding it with her is a slog, made worse by flabby story structure. Themes, plotlines and characters drift in and abruptly drop out as the show gets bogged down in re-litigating old Frank-related storylines. His former fixer, Doug (Michael Kelly), who clanks around lugubriously like the ghost of seasons past, is one of several indistinguishably peeved men who would, had the writers wielded their new broom with more conviction, have been swept away. Scene after scene is a muted, misfiring two-hander in which someone or other, straining stiffly for an epigram with every line, elliptically threatens someone else. That it’s only an eight-episode season implies pithiness, but, if you edited out the stagnant pauses and impotent staring matches, it would shrivel to five and a half.

Even the sex and murder is limp. There’s a mysterious death of a major-ish character and some illicit boffing, but nobody’s relishing the transgression in the way Frank would. Season six is a web with no spider at the centre.

There are frustrating glimpses of a searing, fresh drama, driven by its women. While Kinnear tries to be an eerily banal antagonist and ends up just being banal, Lane is in brittle Dynasty-villainess mode and is intermittently terrific, particularly when she and Wright face off. Annette and Claire were mates at school, but since then they’ve diverged, in the sense that one of them knows she’s given in to the dark side while the other, as befits the president of the United States, maintains a pretence that she hasn’t. But Spacey looms over Lane and Wright’s best scene together, when Annette tries to humiliate Claire by revealing how they’d shared Frank.

It’s still about him. House of Cards is free of the man who had become a toxic presence, but the awful truth is that without him, it’s weak.

Found It: Frank Underwood's Rowing Machine from House of Cards

As any House of Cards fan worth her salt knows protagonist Frank Underwood likes nothing more than retreating to the basement of his well-appointed home for a solitary interlude of exercise on his rowing machine𠅊 meditative release after a long day of philandering, eating ribs for breakfast, and menacing co-workers. That beautiful wood grain contraption is called a WaterRower, and is now being sold at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC ($1,500

Designed to mimic the feeling of a boat gliding along a river or lake, the rowing machine creates resistance with a tank filled with water, and the level of difficulty adjusts naturally to the user. It’s quieter than air resistance rowers, requires no external power, has a small footprint and can be stored upright when not in use.

The machine’s construction is worth noting too. It&aposs handcrafted in Rhode Island from sustainably managed hardwoods from the Appalachian Forest—let’s just say it’s far kinder to the planet than Frank.

Watch the video: Clare Underwoods purge (January 2022).