Grillstock Bristol – Because Real BBQ is Served on a Tray
Now, I don’t normally write reviews. Not because I lack mental capacity in that particular area. I lack mental capacity across a whole spectrum of subjects, that much is obvious. Everyone loves rating meat though. That may sound like a sweeping generalisation and by all accounts it is – but don’t tell me you don’t feel the intense pressure of hungry eyes whilst cooking at even the smallest and most casual of BBQ’s. But Grillstock are professionals – and I shall show no remorse.
The Lock Jaw Trio
All three of us visiting went for the Lock Jaw burger so called due to its height. There were the 2 beef patties, some brisket, a handful of pulled pork, a few sliced gherkins and some ‘burnt ends’ which could quite conceivably win a Nobel Prize. There was also some decoration in the form of a garnish of fries (demoted from being an actual part of the meal due to lack of meat content) and some coleslaw which filled a nice corner of the tray, yes - ‘tray’. The ribs would hang over the edge of a plate and there would be all kinds of issues and tissues.
Other items on the menu included classic barbeque affair such as hot dogs and chicken and indeed it was the chicken that was the first disappear from the wall menu due to a shortage. As we sat and ate, we discussed the merit, or lack of, ordering chicken.
Nan-DOs & DON'Ts
There is only really one way to cook a chicken. No matter how much peri peri sauce you splash around the bingo wings and charge inflated prices. Chicken is chicken. Anyone who has been left unattended with a whole chicken knows that you can eat it forever, well at least until you run out. It is the Tardis meat.
Chicken is also something that you can cook pretty well yourself at home on a regular basis. Brisket on the other hand – preparation needed. Slow cooked and exquisitely seasoned pulled pork – deep analysis and preparation. Chicken – not so much. Don’t waste your visit to Grillstock on chicken unless you are medically advised to avoid red meat.
Burnt Ends – The Darkly Browned Highlight
If you are unaware of a burnt end then please don’t be put off by the name. They sound like you have been lumbered with the end piece of a stale loaf of bread, but they are the best bit of the brisket. The only downside of burnt ends is that there has to be something in the middle of the meat before the pit master can get to the other side and get more burnt ends. The brisket is in the way and you’re just going to have to eat it.
The Lockjaw burger patty itself wasn’t anything ground-breaking. It was a perfectly adequate burger, but when placed adjacent to say a rack of babyback ribs and a mound of pulled pork you see a burger for what it really is: A vehicle for cheaper cuts of meat, a relatively safe bet in a dubious Travelodge restaurant, an easily graspable chunk of cow…
Next time the burger is getting substituted for more ‘specialist’ meats.
I also enjoyed not paying £5.95 for a Peroni. Someone should tell Pizza Express that Peroni is literally available in every Co-op in the land. No Peroni here, just a lovely collection of American Craft Beers – I settled for a Flying Dog Lager.
Overall, Grillstock was a delicious delve into a world of meat embraced by America as a culture yet still seen in the UK as a novelty. The novelty is starting to wear off, not because people are getting bored of BBQ, but because they are accepting it as a genuine food group along with dairy, or fruit. I shall return and I shall order the ‘Grand Champion’… So should you. To be honest it’s big enough to share, just don’t eat all the burnt ends.