On a trip to New York last year I noticed an unusual habit. Not unlike the love we Limeys have for flocking to our nearest and dearest (or the pub) for a Sunday roast, New Yorkers seem to have developed a similar lazy day penchant for BBQ…
On entering Reds True BBQ in Alberts Sq Manchester this Sunday you’d been forgiven for thinking this American trend had rubbed off on our fair isle.
The restaurant has a “wall-less” concept, meaning that you can see not only the kitchen, but also the storage areas. This might not sound very exciting but the smokers in action were a sight (and smell!) to behold. These are 2 of only 4 of their kind in the UK according to our waiter/tour guide, Finn, the other 2 being in Reds’ sister restaurant in Leeds.
The décor was industrial chic, with iron, exposed light bulbs and neon lights, whilst the BBQ vibe was enhanced through the Americana music.
Onto the food. I went for Reds Classic Bacon Cheeseburger, with Mac-N-Cheese and BBQ Pit Beans on the side. Burgers aren’t Reds’ calling card, but I just fancied one and I have to say it compared very favourably other Mancunian burger purveyors. The Mac-N-Cheese was creamy and comforting, just as it should be, but the star of the show for me were the BBQ Pit Beans. Like a mini cassoulet, containing strips of pulled pork, this side dish was smoky/sweet and delicious, and I’d go back just for that!
I was still pretty taken with the chicken wings and my companion practically licked the plate clean so I guess he liked them too!
My companion ordered the more manly (and huge) option of a combo platter of Jumbo BBQ Wings and St Louis Ribs, washed down with a couple of delicious homemade sweet iced teas. Not being a huge fan of meat on bones (I know, blasphemy in a BBQ restaurant) I was still pretty taken with the chicken wings and my companion practically licked the plate clean so I guess he liked them too!
There are lots of other options on the menu but be warned the portions are BIG! Their most calorific option (for those of you on a food binge) is the donut burger. Yes, you’ve heard right, a burger with a donut as the bap! Apparently its very nice…
One thing to add is that, as the meat is all cooked “low and slow” on site (with the chefs working round the clock and preparing food 3 days in advance). This means that when it’s gone it’s gone (and we were disappointed to miss out on the beef jerky) – but there’s always a next time!
Finally, there’s a decent bar area to the back of the room which serves until 2am Thursday to Saturday, so if you fancy just soaking up the atmosphere and the delicious BBQ smells, you can settle on down with a few craft ales or cocktails.