Leeds BBQ Kings: Reds True Barbecue Review
If you happen to be a big, fat, gluttonous pig who loves to feast and gorge on mountains of calorie riddled grub, then there’s no time like the present. American food is everywhere now, with every Tom, Dick and Harry jumping on the bandwagon to cash in. Thankfully Greggs aren’t on the case just yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a pulled pork pasty before long.
Reds True Barbecue adopted the trend early, and had been open a good few months before I managed to finally to get in there to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve been back numerous times, and I have to say I really do love the place. The branding is genius, somehow encapsulating the US vibe, but with their own distinct stamp, that doesn’t feel forced- this place has got some soul.
Their phenomenal success has not been without its detractors, and you could argue they have suffered slightly from tall poppy syndrome. When you are turning people away in their droves and there is so much hype, there are bound to be some disappointed and slightly bitter customers.
I was blown away by The Pit Burger first time round. At 15.95 a pop, you should expect fireworks, and that’s exactly what you get. The combination of burger, brisket, pulled pork and all the trimmings was a sure fire winner. Shortlist Magazine also approved, and included this gem on their list of five star burgers. Elsewhere on the menu, the BBQ Pit Beans (2.95), which are apparently smoked for 12 hours, also hit the mark.
My favourite Reds starter has to be the Rib Tips (5.95), which are generous on flavour and meatiness. I can also recommend the Hickory Smoked Jumbo BBQ Wings (4.95), which are reassuringly massive and clearly come from one big ass bird. Spice lovers will appreciate the Jalapeno Poppers (3.95) which are also oversized, and come smothered in Jack and cream cheese and fried in bread crumbs.
There have been occasions when the group I’m dining with have been served soggy fries and the second Pit Burger I had wasn’t up to the first one. That said, any grumbles have been quickly resolved, and these occasions across the ten visits I’ve made here are few and far between.
As it stands, Reds is the undisputed BBQ King of Leeds. The atmosphere in the place is something that simply can’t be bottled and sold, with much of this credit due to their friendly and attentive staff.
With a new restaurant in Manchester booming, Headingley opening this week, plus several other ventures in the pipeline, world domination beckons. I await with baited breath the effect their recent US pilgrimage will have on their next menu. Only time will tell if they begin rivalling Levi Roots and launch a range of supermarket sauces.
Reds True Barbecue, Cloth Hall Street (top of Call Lane). www.truebarbecue.com
Tel 0113 834 5834 (please note you can’t book, unless you’re some kind of local celebrity, excluding Gareth Gates, Mel B etc.)