Social Icons

Monday, 18 March 2013

WestEndGirl Eats: Smoak @ Variety Bar

One of the best things about visiting the States every year is the food. When I'm not there, I miss it and at home I try to recreate the taste sensations I experience across the pond with mediocre success. I watch episode upon episode of Adam Richman's Man Vs Food staring dreamily at the meals being dished up and count the days until my next trip abroad. I particularly miss dinners at the House of Blues, where the pulled pork barbecue sandwich is a must-try. It's such a shame we can't eat food like that over here, right? Wrong!

Over the last 6 months I've noticed southern style pulled pork pop up everywhere from pub grub menus to high end restaurants and it has been a welcome addition with ever-growing popularity. A year ago I used to have to explain pulled pork to the same work colleagues who are now suggesting it as a post-work bite to eat on a regular basis, and I think it's great that people are enjoying it - the more popular it gets, the more likely it is to stick around. Although after a trip to Smoak at Variety Bar it is clear that this is no food fad.

I was walking past Variety Bar on Sauchiehall Street when I first noticed the sign in the window saying that Smoak Food had opened a pop-up grill and were serving up gourmet Texan BBQ and street food-style grub. Now, I will admit that I had to convince myself that it wasn't a mirage - after all, Variety Bar and gourmet eating hardly go hand in hand (sort of in the same way Iggy Pop and a trip to your mum's wouldn't fit together, at least not before he did those insurance ads). But, after a bit of research into Smoak's already sterling reputation I was dying to go and try it for myself.

This weekend, The Boy and I paid them a visit. "I want everything on the menu", "I can't decide", and the ever famous "we can always share..." (famous as in, famous last words) were all phrases uttered by us in a meat-hungry daze until we finally made up our minds. I knew instantly that I wanted to try both the pulled pork and the brisket so opted for a pulled pork glazed brioche bun (£4.95) and a single brisket soft taco (£1.50, although if you want it for your main you will get 4 for £5.50). Both were delicious and generously portioned with yummy toppings like sour cream, salsa (the taco), in-house slaw and dill pickles (the brioche). Both came with nachos on the side, which was a refreshing change from the usual fries you might expect.

I also loved the 'Glasgow Mega Death' hot sauce on offer. Not the taste, you understand (too spicy for me) but the excellent name and packaging appealed to me!

The Boy decided to try both the brisket and the pulled pork too but opted for sliders (£5.50) - a brilliant touch to the menu. He managed to eat the three of them (two pork and one brisket) before I could photograph them but assures me they were very tasty.  Most of the menu is priced around the £5 mark, a very fair price considering how much food is jam packed into each meal and the obvious care that has gone into preparing them. Smoak use high quality ingredients such as rare breed pork from select British Farms and Pedigree Aberdeen Angus Brisket, and it certainly shows. The proof is in the pudding sandwich. 

Delicious food, made with attention to the details that matter and priced very reasonably. That's all there is to it. It's the closest thing to the House of Blues that I've come across back in Scotland (and believe me, I've tried a few) and I will most definitely be back for more.

Are you a BBQ lover? Have you visited Smoak at Variety Bar? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment