Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Holy BBQ

Straight after the Festival of Heat and sampling some tasty hot sauces, I stumbled across Reds True BBQ restaurant, another of Shoreditch' little gems. Its a huge restaurant, along Great Eastern Street so there is no way you can miss it.

As soon as you walk in, there's a ginormous massive smoker beside the open kitchen and the Smokey BBQ smell  hits you right in the face and instantly gets your appetite going. I wish I took a picture of it.
The staff are all really cool, welcoming and helpful catering for any requests you may have. Not only that, they do a damn good job at explaining the menu and convincing you that you're making the right choices.

The menu itself is a little daunting but when it comes to BBQ's, it's what separates the men from the boys and there was little chance of me ordering small. But as you guys know by now, my eyes are always bigger than my belly.

There is so much food to choose from and the pictures above isn't even half of it. Apart from the burgers and little plates, you can also choose from (take a deep breath)  ribs, steaks, sandwiches, custom meat combos, BBQ plates, sides and desserts. (and breathe out).

I hadn't had a proper meal all day so naturally I was going go all out on the menu and obviously I couldn't do it all by myself so therefore help was needed, so who better to chow down all this food with me than to have the man himself Alex Reid.

Because I had a pretty big drinking session the night before and it was a Sunday I wanted to take things a little easy so I ordered one of these bad boy marshmallow and strawberry milkshakes. Take a look at this!!.

When it came down to the food there was no holding back. From the small plates, the both of us ordered a few rounds of mac n' cheese balls, some burnt ends and the Ox cheek bone luge.

The Mac N Cheese balls are covered in a nacho crumb and inside these golden nuggets the cheese is gooey and coats the tiny macaroni.
The burnt ends are a treat. The meat is tender, smoked to perfection and the slaw on the side is fresh and crunchy.
The Ox cheek bone marrow is to die for. Fatty, flavoursome and its definitely not for the peeps watching their cholesterol levels. Calories go straight out of the window on this one. And yes that is a shot of bourbon with it and there's a reason for it. Once the bone marrow has all gone you're meant to pour the drink down the luge and into your mouth. I gave it a go and failed. Half of it went down my arm, so in the end I just knocked it back. Bloody hell, It was strong.

After polishing up the small plates, the main event was upon us and this was a massive challenge and it was to no surprise that I couldn't finish it. I mean after all I did have a thick shake to go with all that rich tasty food before hand.

This is what came out of the kitchen......

Yep, that is no illusion, what you're seeing there is proper meat on trays. At the top is a half rack of Memphis - Dry St Louis. Basically tender ribs that fall off the bone coated in a sweet and salty rub and alongside are fries and smooth mash topped with white gravy.

Below that ladies and gentlemen is no ordinary burger, oh no. That is a donut burger! Packed between those sweet glazed donuts is two succulent mouth watering burger patties, melted cheese, smoked peppered bacon, crispy onions and smothered in some dirty sauce. (that's what is called, I'm not saying the sauce was horrible). And if that wasn't enough I got a huge onion ring, fries and bacon wrapped jalapeno. BOOM! Incredible stuff.

This restaurant is great for large parties and this is why.. take a look at this beast.

I bloody loved it. Served on a dustbin lid, that is what you call a meat feast. What you get is the following:-

  • BBQ chicken
  • Cheese and jalapeno sausage
  • Pulled pork
  • Beef brisket
  • Cornbread
  • Slaw
  • Fries

Along with all that meat, depending on the number in your party, you each get a shot of that strong bourbon or Iced Tea. If you're brave the bourbon would be a wild choice. However the iced tea is lovely and refreshing.

Oh and one last thing the food isn't complete without the help of these sauces.

For all of you FoodPunks out there if you fancy a bit of BBQ heaven and want to have a great time then look no further than Reds True Barbeque. Its a great hangout. From the staff to the food and drink, I had a great time. I may have failed first time round at not being able to eat all of my burger, but I certainly made up for it by having a good go on that sharing platter.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

Sup FoodPunks, just a short one today. If you love your chillies, spice and all things nice then the Festival of Heat in Shoreditch would have been right up your street. Fear not though, if you did miss out then there's always next year. Anyways we all know the year flies by, so before you know it, the next one will come around again.

On this particular occasion I was meant to do my latest FoodPunk video but unfortunately the venue was a tad too crowded and small for me to do any of it, so ultimately I've decided to write about it.

I've always had a soft spot for East London especially the Shoreditch/Hoxton area. The vibe and the atmosphere is always fantastic and with the weather being surprisingly on top form it made this festival even better for the people attending.

Inside the venue, you had small local businesses advertising and selling their fiery delights whether it was their own sauces or creating some mouth watering looking food with the humble chilli being the main event.

Crowds of people swarmed the area to get their chilli fix and it was difficult to get a look in but the food on offer looked fantastic and the aroma conjured up from dishes from all over the world was inviting. Unfortunately I didn't manage to try any of it as the queues were massive. Even the bar area was over run with people downing their pints enjoying the live music. It was great to see everyone having a brilliant time, relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.

However all was not lost on my account as I happened to have stumbled across an awesome chilli sauce company called Sidekick.

For three bottles it only cost me a tenner which in all honesty is a bargain!!. They're a great accompaniment to anything that you love. they have bags of flavour and if you really do like that burning sensation, then the screaming pepper is ideal for you.
But obviously if you can't take that much heat, Sidekick do offer the more mellow variety such as mellow pepper. As you can see from my picture below, I go for more than the soft option.  It's addictive stuff and I have it with almost everything especially with Chinese food. Once those bottles have run out, I will definitely be ordering more.

It was a shame I couldn't get more from the event itself and would have loved to have done some filming but I suppose there's always next year.
Events like this showcasing ingredients like chillies is a fantastic way of expanding peoples minds and getting them to be more adventurous. It's not all about the heat or the burning sensation, there's a whole lot more to do with chillies. There is a ton of varieties out there with loads of different flavours waiting to be tried. I hope next year I can be more involved and hopefully more people will be spicing up their lives.