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Reds True BBQ Leeds Good or No Good??????

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

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


So overall.....................
Restaurant and staff 10/10
Food 7/10
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 

post #2 of 11
Not been myself, but we have one in Nottingham, which my son has been to. He brought me one of their menus home. Looks good, but without tasting. it can not give a judgement. From what you say the mark up is massive!
post #3 of 11

It is tough, and maybe unfair, to try to compare BBQ restaurants with home smoked food. Unfortunately I often find myself doing it too. there is a big difference with producing a single shoulder of pulled pork "to perfection" and cranking them out by the dozen day after day. The rubs tend to be more generic too, whereas we tend to use and tweak our own to suit our specific tastes. I know it shouldn't but it unfortunately discourages me from trying these places as I now go in with the expectation of disappointment. For someone not used to BBQ though they are often a culinary revelation.

Thumbs Up

post #4 of 11

Good review, cheers. I'm going to the Shoreditch branch tomorrow. I don't think I've ever had decent brisket in a BBQ restaurant in the UK, so I'm going to give that a whirl. 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just to go on the record the cooking standard was 10/10 it was just missing something along the way hence the 7/10


The brisket was very good and the star of that show but not outstanding!


I understand the theory about the PP in bulk but it was cooked absolutely fine just the "signature seasoning" was nondescript you just couldn't place it with what we all see as main stream rubs


A great place for a BBQ novice to try the unique food as it is at the moment on the high street! And I believe this would defo get them wanting to try and do their own I'm sure. It certainly wasn't a fail! 


Reds are now opening in London (Shoreditch) for the same reasons I assume that the butchers in London source their meat from North Yorkshire and sell in the City. People down the smoke will pay the higher prices and who can blame the the retailer?


I was doing "A Place in the Sun" expo at Olympia a couple of years ago and had a burger at Byrons and it was a cracking burger but it was a Tenner so go figure! I could have ate 2 as they wern't huge but for flavour town very good. Saying that the manager saw me pull some onion skin from my burger and was devastated!!!!!! I was OK but he wouldn't have it and gave me the burger FOC. Would I go back Hell yes!!!! now thats service for a chef rookie error! but £20 for a couple of burgers????????


There is a new BBQ joint opened in Sunderland (more of a pub with food than BBQ in the town centre) owned by my mate the meat wholesaler. Remember he didn't have a clue where to source a packer cut brisket and he supplies Longhorns in Newcastle or so he said! Will have to try but not hopeful

post #6 of 11

Hello Brian.  Great review.  We are starting to get "burger bars" here.  £40 for 2 burgers and 3 pints!  As Wade said turning out consistent quality Que for the masses can be tough.  You have to consider all the food allergies, folks on low sodium diets, ect., etc..  Many of the good old Que Joints in Texas just smoke the meat and offer sauce as a side.  The trend now does seem to be going to the places with the fancy rubs and sauces.  I think they could be losing clientele with this practice.  For instance:  pineapple is supposed to add a good flavour to a beef marinade and is supposed to be good as a tenderizer.  My Missus is allergic to it.  Many places add garlic powder to a grilled steak; I don't like it.  Hard to produce a quality product everyone can enjoy.


My Father in Law is allergic to nuts.  Can I use nut wood to smoke meat for him?  Seems no definitive answer.


7/10 is not bad AT ALL for the U.K..  May have to give it a try.  Will start saving my money.  :icon_biggrin:  Keep Smokin!


post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I Defo know I'm allergic to NUTs:yahoo:

post #8 of 11

I can't comment on the food at Reds but I have been in the BBQ Collective in Sheffield and the food was amazing, below is their price list for comparison.


My son and I had the 4 meat sampler for £25 and we struggled to eat it all so left with a small doggy bag. We are back there again tomorrow.



Edited by smokewood - 9/25/15 at 3:00pm
post #9 of 11
Val and Joe were in Red's at Manchester last month. They were with a group and went in very late in the evening. Service was mediocre (time ?) But food was good, I had PP and ribs from the doggie bag and it was fine reheated. Val and me went to Hickory's Smokehouse at Rhos on Sea, North Wales on Wednesday and had the taster platter for £35, the brisket was very good, but everything else was a bit bland and dry, but to be honest, I was on meat overload by the time I'd waded through it all, they have 3 or 4 outlets in the North West and we will try the one in Chester early next year. Would I go back, probably for the brisket or maybe a steak which looked good. There was a lovely smokey smell as we drew up to the restaurant but no smell inside and none of the dishes we had were particularly smokey flavoured though. The place was very popular considering it was a Wednesday night.
post #10 of 11
I'll be in leeds tomorrow for the USA/Scotland rugby match. Thanks for the review. Maybe we'll stop for a bite.
post #11 of 11

Went to Red's Shoreditch branch on Friday. I was a bit pressed for time so I opted for the brisket and burnt ends sandwich. I thought it was really good: the brisket was beautifully moist and tender, well seasoned and smoky. The burnt ends were smoked to almost industrial levels, but I quite liked that. I'm no brisket expert, I've only cooked it once and it was less than stellar. I've tried it in various BBQ restaurants around the UK and have found it mediocre at best and quite often it was downright poor. This was the best I've had in a restaurant in the UK. The staff were really friendly, efficient and knowledgeable and when I told my waitress I didn't have much time, the food was on my table in about 5 minutes. There was also a very impressive beer list, which unfortunately I couldn't try as I had to go back to work. All in all very pleasing. As Kiska said it was very expensive: £12.50 for the sandwich and a soft drink, but it was Shoreditch, what do you expect? I'll certainly go back and would thoroughly recommend it (if you can put up with the hipsters)

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