MEATliquor Bristol, Stokes Croft: Review

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MEATliquor Bristol is now OPEN! We’ve been waiting for over a year (they originally said they were going to open in October 2014), but was it worth the wait…? You’ll soon find out…

MEATliquor began life as a not-so-humble London street food van, with the first permanent restaurant opening in Marylebone in 2011. Now with further restaurants across London (plus Leeds, Brighton and even Singapore), the team have made their way over to Bristol to serve their brand of burgers, chicken, sides, cocktails and more.

We visited during the first weekend, when those with a code were given 50% off their food and drink bill – our group of four arrived early so as to get a table (it’s MEATliquor policy not to accept reservations) and fortunately succeeded. We sat at a high table (could we have some handbag hooks for these tables please, guys?) in the middle of the restaurant which, according to our dining companions, is far more open plan than the Brighton venue, which they’ve dined at before. There’s a semi-open plan kitchen at the back, graffiti and exposed pipework all over the walls and ceiling, and the right hand wall is adorned with gothic-style backlit black and white artwork.

 

MEATliquor Bristol - Interior

 

At the left hand side of the restaurant, you’ll find the bar, which offers a range of cocktails, shots, shakes (nice boozy ones), wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks. In the interests of research, we tried a few different cocktails between us – I began with the Bristol Fizz (£7.50), which was a sweet and refreshingly fruity combination of vodka, pear, lemon juice, strawberry and fizz.

 

MEATliquor Bristol - Bristol Fizz

 

It was the Donkey Crunch, though (£7.50) that kept my attention for the rest of the evening: vodka, lime juice, housemade ginger syrup and ginger beer, with an absinthe rinse and plenty of ice. It’s always good when ginger-based drinks turn out to have a decent kick, and I’m pleased to report that the Donkey Crunch does.

 

MEATliquor Bristol - Donkey Crunch

 

And so, on to the food. Everything’s served on communal trays here – you can ask for plates, though, if you want. We did – we felt a bit too civilised. Individual napkins are foregone in place of rolls of kitchen towel…which we understood – we got through quite a lot. Our table was a bit small for the four of us, but by manoeuvring condiments onto the spare chair, we just about managed.

Deciding on what to pick from the extensive menu was a tough call. There were no Monkey Fingers on offer when we visited (much to the disappointment of our dining companions, who’d enjoyed them at the Brighton branch and for whom, it seemed, the promise of these chicken sides was integral to a great Friday night), but we all ordered a burger each and a selection of sides to share.

The sides were a mixed bag – we loved the southern-style house slaw (£3), with just enough dressing to coat but not so much that it was sloppy. The chili cheese fries (£6.50) were amazing: a portion of fries topped with a mound of beef chili, onions, jalapeños, French’s mustard and melted Cheddar.

However, we felt that the onion rings (£3.50), described on the menu as “big and fluffy” just didn’t do it for us – there was no fluffiness there at all, just an over-fried coating. The deep fried pickles (£3.50) were served with a beautifully tangy blue cheese dip and were nicely battered, but the slices of pickle themselves could have been thicker – the flavour was a little lost amongst the batter.

 

MEATliquor Bristol - Food

 

The burgers, though? Oh my god, the burgers. The boys devoured their huge buffalo chicken burgers (£8.50 each), while the regular cheese burger (£8) was met with equally enthusiastic noises.

I decided to go for the Dead Hippie (£8.50) – two perfectly cooked beef patties (pink in the middle, nicely charred on the outside and with an amazing melt-in-the-mouth texture) which had been fried in French’s mustard, along with the obligatory shredded lettuce, a couple of cheese slices, white onions, incredibly thick pickle slices and MEATliquor’s Dead Hippie Sauce – from what I could make out, it’s a sort of tangy, mustardy concoction. What I do know is that I’d happily have eaten another one the following day.

 

MEATliquor Bristol - Dead Hippie Burger

 

We didn’t have space for dessert (instead heading to Bar Buvette for a civilised glass of wine), but anyone who’s tried the Gourmet Sandwich Club will be pleased to know that it’s their very own Verity Foss who’s providing MEATliquor’s sweet options. We’ll be back soon to try more of the menu – there’s enough on there to keep us ordering different things for a little while – and it’s good to see that the team have embraced their Stokes Croft location by extending their vegetarian and vegan offerings for the Bristol restaurant.

Don’t expect gourmet, fancy-looking burgers here – if it’s messy yet great quality burgers and a great range of cocktails you’re after, then pay MEATliquor a visit. It’s just a shame that the sides were a little hit and miss.

 

2 Responses to MEATliquor Bristol, Stokes Croft: Review

  1. Now they need to come to Brum!
    If they do I’ll be going for the burgers and giving the sides a miss then 🙂

  2. Pingback: MEATliquor Bristol to close on October 22nd - Bristol Bites | Bristol Bites

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