Tuesday, June 11th saw the opening of the Grillstock Smokehouse on the Clifton Triangle – perfectly timed to coincide with a friend’s 21st birthday. A bunch of us headed up there on the opening night to enjoy a good feed…
The Triangle restaurant is the second venue for the BBQ festival team, whose takeaway joint in St Nick’s Market has proved incredibly popular since launch. The new location brings with it a few differences: somewhere to sit, an extended menu, and a range of alcoholic drinks available, to name but a few.
Diners sit elbow to elbow around one large table, a deep groove in the middle housing various bottles of sauce, cutlery (optional) and napkins (mandatory) to accompany your meal. The team are obviously going for a “down and dirty” feel, with meals served on trays, low lighting, the buzz of a communal dining venue and amazing decor – including old Grillstock festival posters adorning the whole of one wall.
The menu includes burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs, with prices ranging from £4.50 for the Naked Dog to £14.50 for the Lockjaw Burger – a beast of a burger ordered by one of our party, which includes 2 patties, pulled pork, brisket and burnt ends, with sides of fries and slaw. It really was a monster.
Alternatively, choose a Grillstock platter of pulled pork, brisket, chicken or ribs, accompanied by fries, slaw, cornbread and – get this – a hot link sausage. Sausage as a side to a plate of meat? Genius!
Those who are REALLY hungry can attempt the Grand Champion Challenge: a platter loaded with pulled pork, brisket, chicken and ribs, along with a hot link sausage, fries, slaw, cornbread, BBQ beans and burnt ends. It’ll set you back a hefty £28…but there’s a Grillstock t-shirt and a bottle of BBQ sauce in it for you if you finish the lot!
There’s also a Fixin’s menu including everything from dill pickles to Brunswick stew – perfect for those looking for a smaller bite – or those who want to top up their plates with a little extra…
Drinks-wise, you’ll be able to choose from beers from the Brooklyn Brewery, Flying Dog and Anchor Brewing, among others, along with Orchard Pig cider for those after more of a South West accompaniment to their meal. There’s a small range of bourbons available, and you can also enjoy the Boilermaker (a shot of bourbon with your beer) or the Pickleback (a shot of bourbon and a shot of pickle juice).
We’d been told that supplies were getting low after a busy first day, so we rushed up to the counter to make sure we could try the Smokestack Burger (£7) – a beautifully dense burger, perfectly seasoned, topped with a huge mound of tender pulled pork, mustard and cheese and served with salt and pepper fries. While some found the fries too salty for their liking, I really did enjoy mine, using them to mop up the amazing Grillstock BBQ sauce that can be found in huge plastic bottles in the middle of the table. The only problem was that they got quite cold quite quickly.
Our meals were supposed to come with slaw, but they had run out – instead we were invited to try the Brunswick Stew, which I’ll definitely be ordering again. Smoky and full of chewy (in a good way) meat and beans, the sauce really did pack a punch, heat-wise, but not overpoweringly so.
We visited on the first evening, so it was hardly a surprise that much of the menu had been decimated, and that the staff were – although friendly – still obviously finding their feet. We all came away happy and full, though, and for a really quite impressive price considering both the quality and the quantity of the food. I have a feeling this may well turn into a regular dining spot for us…