Well I decided to take the plunge and go to Reds True BBQ Leeds.
Me and Mrs Loshy had been on our Jollies with the dog and on the way back from Henley on Thames I decided to call into Leeds and get a BBQ takeaway. Well it would be wrong not to, just for testing :D
Now I thought I would be very objective about the food and Reds in general but the opinions are only my tastes and views which will differ to some other folk.
The restaurant itself was all dark planked woods and mysterious which had a nice ambiance; the smell sublime. I was greeted at the door like a long lost friend by the young guy serving who was very attentive. I chose various items from the take away menu ( I will describe later) and was expecting a long wait, it wasn't they were quick but were quiet at the time!. In the interim short wait the guy offered to show me the smokers and cooking area which was a treat. Rotating smoker grills not large but sufficient. and yes the briskets et all, were wrapped in paper just like Franklin's. Back at the waiting area (table) I decided to try the sauces and all were nice however the serving guy came up and said which one would you have at home? I said the KC sauce and he gave me a bottle to take home FOC :) So up to now Reds is getting 10 out of 10 for restaurant and service
To the food, I ordered................
- Beef Jerky @£3.50 small portion
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno @ £4.95 for 3
- Pit beans @ £2.95 small portion
- Pulled Pork @£5.00 for 200g
- St Louis Half rack @ £12.50
- Beef Ribs @ £8.50 for 300g
- USDA Black Angus Brisket @ £7.50 for 200g
So first observation is "Expensive" and yes I was just over £45 down on the take away and Mrs Loshy don't do BBQ :|
- The jerky was poor and not a lot of it. It must have been larger pieces dried then finely shaved, not Jerky as i know it bit more like SA Biltong
- Jalapenos were very nice and smokey but no cheese or anything in the middle so not ABT's as I know them and very pricey for only 3?
- Pit beans nice with lots of pulled pork mixed in but it just seemed to be ordinary Heinz beans and Kidney beans (????) with a bit of spice?????? again not BBQ pit beans as I know them
- Pulled pork very juicy, tender and smokey with what must be the signature spice good but spice left a hot nondescript aftertaste. At their prices they are selling at £25 per kilo ( but just £2.00 per Kilo to buy)
- St Louis half rack again very tender and meaty with good bark but not a huge taste profile as in the pulled pork. However they were the smallest half rack I have seen! bones only as thick as my little finger and only as long as my fingers and I have small hands @ £12.50 for a half rack so a full rack must be less than a kilo (750g?). Megga expensive at over £30 per kilo. Bear in mind a 10KG box of these ribs (which I have had) is under £30 quid,
- Beef ribs very tender but overwhelmed by what I think was Mesquite smoke. Tasted a bit like burnt motor oil, Not a huge amount of meat on the top of the rib (top muscle cut off) but a rich red all of the way through so huge smoke effect due to thin muscle on top. At their prices at £28.33 per kilo very expensive, when only £2.97 per kilo to buy.
- Brisket not sure about being Black Angus USDA and who would know the difference but it was the best overall item. Very tasty and well cooked, good smoke ring, moist without being over powered with spice not even sure they had used any S & P as it wasn't detectable and would have been nice. Again at the price they are charging its £37.50 a kilo. Sheezh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even Turner & George is only £8.10 per Kilo to Joe Public and I can get brisket for £4.00 to £5.00 per KG
- By the way Rib Tips are at £5.50 per 175g so £31.42 per KG and burnt ends at £6.50 per 250g so £26 per Kilo
Restaurant and staff 10/10
Price 2/10 for 10 times mark up (but they no doubt have expensive overheads)
I know the guys charge around £6.00 for a pulled pork or beef sarnie, which will have between 175g and 200g of meat so they are sort of in line with your pricing for PP but yours includes bun etc, theirs is £8.95 with the bun!
Food was good but just failed in a couple of areas so for the none BBQ type foodie its a lovely experience. But at the prices could you afford to do it on a regularly basis? You should as its not really a special occasion place. If you go for just one dinner item then its OK compared with the prices of Pizza Hut et al. but as a sampler menu its a wallet killer
Would I go again? No but just because I can and have produced better on all counts and of course the price. It has inspired me to keep improving my technique and possibly sell my wares.
By the way in comparison I stayed in The Black Boys Inn beside Henley on Thames and for just £60 per night per room (not per person including the dog) I had a great time had 2 massive full English breakfasts (also one for the dog!!!!) as well now that's proper value for money!!!!! :D