This month’s business highlight features Supreme BBQ + Aunteaboba located at 2 Florida Ave. NE. Owned and operated by the Canlas family, the restaurant is approaching its one year anniversary on the NorthCap corridor in April. Supreme offers amazing Texas-style barbeque as well as a huge assortment of bubble teas, showcasing the family’s Filipino heritage. We spoke with father and son Juan and Jeremy Canlas to learn more about this family enterprise:
Tell us a little about your business. When were you founded and why?
Juan: Supreme BBQ was founded in the DC area 12 years ago with our first restaurant in Lanham, MD. The restaurant started as Leon’s BBQ: we discovered Leon’s while in Galveston, TX for a basketball game. It was the best BBQ we had ever tasted, and we had to bring it back to Maryland. We convinced the owner to let us franchise it, and after a few years as a franchisee, we became sole owners and turned it into Supreme BBQ. One day while driving to church in DC, we drove past the vacant Florida Avenue building. My wife (GiGi) thought it would be a great opportunity for a new location for the restaurant. We came back after church and found the info to call the real estate agent. We put in an application for the space and got the bid.
What is unique about your business?
Jeremy: Our food is great because of our high-quality meats and top-of-the-line smokers with high-quality wood. People always ask us where our smokers are and are surprised that we do it in-house. You can barely smell the smoke in the store. My dad also uses his original sauce recipes; his taste buds are strong! We started offering bubble tea a few years ago at our family’s other restaurant, GiGi’s Kitchen in Fort Washington. It was our mom’s (GiGi) idea to showcase our Filipino culture. We combined Aunteaboba with the location in Lanham and brought it here to the DC location as well. Barbeque and bubble tea are a unique combination.
What are the most popular items on your menu?
Juan: We are known for our brisket, which is the main attraction. We make it with a Texas-style dry rub with molasses. Our ribs and the smoked wings come in next. We were invited to participate in last year’s BBQ Bash competition at the Convention Center; we didn’t have to apply! That was an honor.
Jeremy: The fried fish is a sleeper on the menu: it’s some of the best fried fish you can get in the city!
How can the community support you right now?
Jeremy: Stop by and come get a great meal! You’ll get good food served by good people. Also, you can come check us out in the community. We’ve been doing pop-ups at local breweries, and were recently in Edgewood at City-State Brewery’s comedy nights on Wednesdays. We’re looking forward to all the changes coming to the neighborhood, are excited to see the growth, and are looking forward to meeting new neighbors.
(image: Supreme BBQ)