Let there be meat! I am a meat eater. I love meat and I’m not ashamed of saying it. Meat doesn’t have to feature in every meal I eat but I could never give it up. It’s too tasty! Funnily enough, being a meat eater n’ all, I can’t believe that I’ve never set foot in a Red’s True Barbecue restaurant until this year. Spoiler alert! – I’ll definitely be back.
Red’s True Barbecue* kindly invited me and a plus one along to sample some of their new dishes as well as some classics. I was overwhelmed with the massive menu so really happy that someone had already decided what we were going to eat. I have never been so full in my life! Between the two of us we stuffed our faces with 4 starters, 3 main meals and 3 sides. Don’t ask me how I was able to eat a full load of chicken the following evening. Perhaps because my stomach was severely stretched.
I have walked past the Call Lane branch plenty a times and judging from the look of their restaurant from the outside, I guessed it would be a fast paced and buzzing kind of place. As soon as I entered, my perception turned out to be right. I love a place which transports you away from “real” life and gives a feeling of the place their food is inspired by. For Red’ True Barbecue, that means serving it up a la Southern America.
Red’s True Barbecue Menu
As I mentioned earlier, Red’s True Barbecue’s menu has changed ever so slightly and ‘New Discoveries’ have been added. For the better? I can’t say as I’ve never been before. The change has been made to accommodate to people who might not like meat as much as I and other meat eaters do. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favourite dishes turned out to be the vegetarian/vegan options but I would never suggest to go here with any of my friends who I know doesn’t eat meat.
As in any restaurant, we started off with drinks. Normally I’d go for a beer but an alcoholic soda and brand I’ve never heard of caught my eye. I’m so glad I tried Midnight Stage (Blood Orange & Passion fruit) from Crooked Beverages Co. – it’s delicious. Really refreshing with a burst of flavour. To was down the mains mains, I ordered Grandma’s Louisiana Lemonade (spiced rum, sweet and sour lemon juice and soda) and it lent itself perfectly with all the meat. A mix of sweet and sour it cleanses and refreshes the palette. I totally get why lemonade is a thirst cleanser on hot American summer days.
All the starters came out at the same time. A good mix between meat and vegetarian/vegan options to showcase the menu options. I absolutely loved the Honey Bourbon Pork Belly but the Popcorn Jackfruit stole the show just because if someone hadn’t told me they were made on jackfruit I would have said it’s chicken. Previously I’ve only seen restaurants serving jackfruit in pulled pork style so it is uplifting seeing this place trying a different approach.
The Smoked Mushrooms were also amazing. If you like a smokey taste you’ll like these. The melted cheese dust keeps you wanting to go in for another bite. The Hot-or-Not Baby Back Stack (ribs) were also served and they too went down a treat. Nothing extravagant about them but this might be because we chickened out and went for the mild sauce instead of hot.
I always say this and I’ll say it again. I could happily come here and order loads of starters and sides to make a main meal. One of the sides was my all evening favourite.
Mains and Sides
For mains we had Memphis Pork Belly, Stacked Alabama Fish Sandwich and the classic Pitmaster Tray and Hog Fries, Grilled Baby Gem Hearts, and Charred Broccoli Carolina sides.
I’ll be honest and say that as a fish lover, I was disappointed with the fish sandwich. I would normally go for a fish option but sadly it wasn’t executed well. The batter was soft leaving this and the bread with the same texture. It was sad because on paper, and in real life, it’s looks SO good! Hopefully just a one off.
I’m happy to let it slide as the pork belly was cooked beautifully and the spice (Memphis dry rub) on top, I want to compare it to a layer of crystallised sugar made it irresistible.
The Pitmaster Tray has the perfect amount and combination of different types of meat: smoked brisket, baby back ribs, pulled pork, cheese and jalapeño sausage. It is served with cracklings, meaty pit beans, pickled gherkins and red chilies. This is perfect for me as I love tapas style food. I’d happily order this again!, with a side of Grilled Baby Gem Hearts. They’re the dream. Just like the mushroom starters, they have that smokey like flavour and dressed with the Corn Chimmi, food orgasm is made!
I found the broccoli a bit of waste of time but the Hog Fries are a carb lovers dream! Fries on their own are great but topped with chipotle sour cream and pulled pork they’re heavenly.
Have you ever been to Red’s True Barbecue before? If you go, what would you order? I’d have Honey Bourbon Pork Belly for starters, the Pitmaster Tray for main with a side of Grilled Baby Gem Hearts. No room for dessert, although they and their shakes sound delicious. Ooh and I’d love to try their Donut Burger as well. Have you ever had that?
*I was kindly invited by Red’s True Barbecue and treated to all the food and drinks for free in return for this post. Words, opinions and photos (unless otherwise stated) are as always my own.