Saturday 8 February 2014

Red's True Barbecue, Manchester

Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
I love being in the right place at the right time. This morning we popped into Solita for brunch, then strolled over to Caffeine and Co for a coffee and a nice slice of cake. Whilst in the area we decided to go to Brewdog. Then we saw it. The glowing neon sign that read 'Red's True Barbecue'. Angels sang. Yes, we had been eating all morning. Yes, Red's nearly killed us with their behemoth portions last time. No, we did not give a single, solitary toss.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
Today was the soft launch for friends and family, but we were welcomed in with open arms. We had travelled to Red's in Leeds back in March last year, so we knew exactly what was in store... More meat than you can reasonably throw a large bone at.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
Our lovely waitress Emma excitedly told us about their launch plans, and how much she was loving the buzz around Manchester getting their very own True Barbecue restaurant. My husband started with a Revolutions Dark IPA and I opted for the more sensible choice of marshmallow heaven milkshake...
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Drinks
The decor is fantastic. Running with the biblical vibe of their Leeds gaff, proprietor Scott told us that their seven grand neon sign budget sky rocketed to around forty to create the wonderful pieces below. There's even a bar area for customers to wait in during busier periods. Although they don't take bookings, this restaurant has space for around 180 covers, so has much more capacity than their sister across the Pennines.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
The kitchen is open plan, with one of their huge smokers on show. This one holds around 300lbs of meat - yes, that's heavier than Brock Lesnar! Even more surprising is the fact that they have another two in the back which do 500lbs each. That's space for 1300lbs of meat every god damn day. Hell fire.

To get to the prep kitchen at the back, you walk through the main kitchen (yes, this is allowed), and past more tables, ending up at the mortuary style booth - a chef's table with a difference!
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
Despite our food related escapades mid morning, we thought it prudent to start with some of the small plates.

Nachos: Crispy nachos with generous portions of cheese, guacamole, barbecue sauce, red onion, salsa and sliced jalapenos.

Cracklings: These come in a neat, branded bag so it's easy to carry home leftovers. Generous chunks of bubbled crackling with a hefty crunch.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Nibbles
Half BBQ Chicken - Herb-rubbed Yorkshire-reared chicken with Unholy BBQ glaze: Absolutely mouth-watering! Red's have done it again with their fragrant smoked meat that oozes moisture.

Mac 'n' Cheese: Lots of cheese melted over soft pasta with little wee crunchy bits. What's not to love?
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Chicken
Red's Classic Double Bacon Cheeseburger - House made steak burgers, with melted cheese, house-smoked streaky bacon, tomato, lettuce, red onion, dill pickles, American mustard and dirty sauce on a glazed brioche bun: Why did I go for a double? Why? Heed this warning - these are not the thin type patties which may be layered willy-nilly. They are big stonking burgers which will cause you to ache post consumption. This burger literally oozes with sauce and juice. Thank God they give you wet wipes. There was quite a scene.

Sweet Potato Fries: Sweet, crispy and perfectly seasoned.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Burger
Red's Banana Pudding - Sponge wafers topped with fresh banana, house made vanilla custard and grilled meringue: As if we weren't already at risk of heart failure, in our infinite wisdom we decided to share a dessert. Since we had already sampled Red's famous peanut butter cheesecake in March, we decided to try their new banana pudding. Research, not greed... I don't even like bananas, but was sold on 'grilled meringue'. This was actually very light and the sugar perked me up a little.
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Banana Pudding
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Iced Tea
Iced Tea
: I'm convinced my husband lived in Texas in a former life, as he has an odd penchant for checked shirts, country music and Southern food. I'm pretty sure he has that 'hillbilly bone' that Blake Shelton sings of. He felt compelled to sample the iced sweet tea - personally I think this tastes like a brew that's gone cold (yuk), but he loves the stuff. 

I just don't get it. 

After our meal, we were invited to stay for the 'Pit Masterclass'. We were joined by my blogging compadres Shaun from FoodGeekUK, Deanna from Foodographic and Liz from Things to do in Manchester

Scott and Clinton gave us a whistle-stop tour of the restaurant and kitchen before talking us through the wonderful array of meats they use in their dishes. They explained the finer details of beef long, St Louis ribs, baby backs, pork butt, beef brisket and their Texas sausage. Their suppliers at Sykes House Farm in Yorkshire must love these guys! 
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Behind the Scenes
Then came the fun bit! Liz and Deanna volunteered to have a bash at trimming a full rack of St Louis ribs and slathering them with the fragrant rubs before whacking them into the smokers. Sterling work ladies!
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester - Rib Master Class
What a wonderful chance encounter. I'm extremely excited about Red's finally opening in Manchester, yet utterly terrified that I may become addicted, lose my mind and insist on moving in. If I make too much of a nuisance of myself I fear they may do a Dexter on that special table out the back and sling me in the massive smoker. Best behave myself. 
Red's True Barbecue, Manchester
These guys aren't playing at barbecue food. They enter competitions - and win. The detail they knew about the food they cook was mind blowing. Here are two chaps who appear to love what they do, and get a real buzz from the reactions of their customers. We'll be back here in a heartbeat.

Red's opens on 13th February 2014.

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  1. Hang on you ate at Solita's, had coffee and cake and THEN tackled this place? My dear I salute you! :D ps this place looks amazing!


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