Location: Highgate – corner Beaufort & Mary Streets
Side Door BBQ is located just down Mary Street, off Beaufort Steet, where Mary St Bakery is. Walking in, the interior is very open and has a warehouse feel with no ceiling, concrete floors, but lots of tables and booths, pretty relaxed and casual. Specialising in American barbecue meats I was keen to try more of the delicious food on offer and a prior visit earlier in the year. American barbecue is meat cooked long and slow, smoked and enjoyed with sauces, rubs, or marinades as part of adding additional flavour.
You have the choice of obtaining a serve of different prepared meats and choosing sides. Brisked, pulled pork, and ribs are some examples of the meats on offer and sides include cornbread, collared greens, and Mac & cheese to name a few. Sandwiches, starters, mains, salads, share platters, dessert, drinks and shakes round out the menu. They also have alcoholic drinks on offer too. They’re open for lunch and dinner but check their site for opening times.
Complimentary Caramelised Popcorn
To begin a bowl of complimentary caramelised popcorn was presented. I like when the simple is enhanced and the caramelised coating makes this pop. So yum! You can’t stop eating this.
SDB Platter For 2 $77 and Side of Fries with Chipotle Mayo $9
Brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, pulled brisket, hush puppies, pork belly lollipos and coleslaw
The platter for 2 is more than enough to feed 4. There’s plenty of variety and plenty to get through. I love the strong smokey flavour imparted into the pork belly, though, I find the pork belly has been slightly overcooked and is a little tough and chewy, particularly on the outside. The chicken wings also carry a very strong smokey flavour which adds additional flavour in concert with the delicious marinade.
The brisket is juicy and tender and there is a range of house sauces at the table to enhance the meat. The expresso BBQ is an excellent partner and makes things even more tastier. Underneath the brisket are the pulled meats – pulled beef and pulled pork. I’m a real fan of pulled pork and I really enjoyed the delicious marinade the tender succulent juicy meat is cooked in. The pulled beef is similar but allows the beef flavour to shine through.
There’s heaps of meat on the platter but that’s balanced out by the sides. There’s a tasty bowl of coleslaw to freshen things up, pickled cucumber and onions for some acidity and tartness to counteract the fatty juicy meat juices, and house made potato crisps for crunch. Then there’s the fries that were an additional side and these were delicious. I get really annoyed if a place can’t serve good chips. A universal favourite, if you can’t serve delicious crunchy well seasoned chips, don’t bother running a restaurant. Fortunately there is no complaints here and the lovely rosemary adds additional flavour along with the chipotle mayo.
The last item which I’ve not eaten before at a restaurant is hush puppies. They’re simply polenta squares which I’ve cooked at home before. These are tasty and have a smooth well cooked polenta with lovely flavour to compliment the variety of meats. There’s way too much food so we asked for it to be packed away. That leaves ample room for dessert!
Key Lime Pie with citrus cream $10
I’d eyed the key lime pie on my last visit but left empty handed but with too full a stomach. This time around there was no escaping. The key lime pie has a biscuit base with a tasty key lime filling but didn’t evoke as much lime flavour as I expected. Still it’s delicious and enjoyed with the cream which has been blowtorched for additional flavour and crunch.
Blueberry Pie with mixed berry coulis and berry cream $10 and a scoop of house ice cream $3
The blueberry pie is very different to the key lime pie with a thin pastry holding heaps of warmed blueberries,. It’s a tad rich but balanced by the blueberry cream and the optional house vanilla ice cream. It’s a very satisfying pie perfect for winter. Pretty tasty. Now full and satisfied. Finally, we were presented with tightly wound washcloths that look like little mints which you place in water and then they expand. Pretty cool and then you can clean your hands and face.
Side Door BBQ Food Review Summary
Verdict: Second time visit to a restaurant which does justice to American barbecued meats, prepared the way it should be and tastes like it does in the US. I ordered the platter for 2 which comes with a heap of meats easily enough to feed 4. Generous, tasty, delicious marinade coated slow cooked tender meats, smokey flavours imparted, there’s plenty of flavour going on here. The pork belly was a little overdone, though carried a strong smokey flavour, as too, the delicious chicken wings. The tender brisket is enhanced by the house sauces, in particular, the expresso BBQ sauce. There’s pulled pork and pulled beef, both succulent, juicy and tasty, oozing flavour from the marinades they were prepared in and really yum. With polenta squares (hush puppies), a refreshing coleslaw, acidic pickled cucumbers and onion, and chips, there’s plenty of food to keep you satisfied. We had the leftovers packed away which meant room for dessert and the biscuit based key lime pie was tasty. We also got the blueberry pie, served hot with a thin pastry holding a stack of warmed blueberries and enjoyed with cream and optional house vanilla ice cream. Totally full and satisfied, excellent service, another delicious feast at Side Door BBQ.
Price: Moderately Expensive
Side Door BBQ Restaurant Details
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