About 3 years ago, Ben and I were in London celebrating my 22nd birthday and during our weekend there, we were recommended a restaurant situated in Hoxton named Red Dog Saloon. An all-american BBQ joint in the midst of all the jazz bars bearing an old western front and a menu even a gunslinger wouldn’t challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed our couple of hours forcing copious amount of meat and fries down before finishing up with their infamous Key Lime Pie, a taste I have never quite found again since. Until now…
The family run business of Red Dog, who have three restaurants in the city of London, have dipped their toe into a whole new area and now have a residence in Nottingham. Now, Nottingham already has a few BBQ style restaurants to boot so why would they come here? In comparison, there really is no competition when it comes to BBQ for Red Dog and believe me when I say that as, and get ready for this, I am not a BBQ fan.
It had been months since the rumour mill produced the ‘Red Dog Comes To Nottingham’ gem and I couldn’t quite believe it when it finally emerged and I saw those red cowboy letters hanging down in front of me as I walked not even 50 steps from the Fletcher Gate car park. Faster than a bullet I was on Twitter with a snap of the place and exuding my excitement in 140 characters only then to receive an invitation in my inbox. It is times like these I love my little blog and the opportunities it brings, an evening of free-flowing meat and margarita’s – like I would say no to that!
I gave my name at the lobby and walked on through to a room decked out floor to ceiling with glossy wood furnishings, ye olde style wall lamps and retro posters, benched booths lined with leather and with a pretty much an all round view of the place from wherever you sit. And of course, the bar, home to so many bright bottles and more spirits than you could shake a stick at.
Frozen Strawberry Margarita in hand and having a quick blitz around with my camera before the place got busier than Brighton Beach in the height of summer, I was enjoying the country funk style music whilst my wandering eyes clocked our table. The smell of BBQ glaze started lingering in the atmosphere and quicker than a bandit we were sat with eyes locked onto the menu near on salivating at the thought of every choice. I remember from the press night the size of the ribs, imagine a rib longer than your forearm. Seriously, you could have told me that came from a dinosaur and I would have believed you. They were huge and OH SO MEATY, OH SO JUICY, and OH SO DELICOUS. The glaze was the epitome of it all. Although, the trigger to my memory from our visit in Hoxton made their rounds on a wooden platter to the table opposite. The burgers. The succulent burgers oozing with their sauce and melted cheese, gone in an instant. I had made up my mind.
To start, we opted for the wing sampler where you can choose 3 different options from the selection and you get four of each. The BBQ wings, dripping in a smoky marinade, certainly one to warm you up in the winter, following suit were the Cajun wings, crispy and garlicky just how I like them, bearing my mouth with the moistest of chicken and last but by certainly no means least, the Maple & Bacons wings. Hold. The. Phone. Did you just read Maple & Bacon Chicken Wings? Yes. Yes you did. Need I say more?
Onto the mains and my El Diablo Sandwich arrives, sitting pretty on its board surrounded by our sweet potato fries, Texas chilli cheese fries and jalapeño popper sides. SRSLY guys, so much food. The burger was undeniably delicious, probably the best I’ve had in a long while and although it was southern style smoked and covered in a special burger sauce, I ate every last morsel of it. The brisket, no word of a life, melted in your mouth and the taste and texture of the sausage was all kinds of good. Word of warning though guys, those Texas fries could be passed off as a main – they are a huge portion and the chilli is super meaty. We had to take them home! I didn’t think too much of the jalapeño poppers being a sucker for spice and all, I found they were quite mild and also quite wet.
Now, I could have eaten all those fries (as they were so darned delish) but the choice to take them home was so we could enjoy one of their epic desserts. Sadly though, the infamous Key Lime Pie was nowhere to be seen on the menu but instead, the Mississippi Ice Cream Cake took my fancy and the Oreo & White Chocolate Mud Pie for Mr C which came accompanied with the milk bottle full of shaken, not stirred, creamy custard.
I believe when it arrived, in all its creamy, chocolatey and rather huge glory, Ben said to me ‘You’re never gonna eat all that.’ All I could hear in my head was ‘Watch me, boyyyy’ and I would have licked the plate clean too. It was, in my opinion, the better dessert and I would have ate it over again. The size of it, although somewhat an ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ moment when it arrived, its just the right amount of naughty and with caramel, vanilla and chocolate flavours blending perfectly with each spoonful, what’s not to love right?
By this point, I was more full than I’d ever been and felt I’d eaten my body weight in brisket and ice cream, it was time to retreat back home where even a Neanderthal would be embarrassed by the lack of meat. After experiencing just a taster of what the Nottingham restaurant has to offer, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be back trying to make my way through the rest of the menu.
20-22 Victoria St, Nottingham NG1 2EX
*Red Dog kindly invited me to sample items currently available on their menu in return for exposure on my blog. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.