Top Ten places I would like to eat.
I’m sure that just like me, many of you spend most of your time on the internet religiously scrolling through Twitter, salivating because every other Tweet shows images of some incredible burger, tasty ribs or a slowly smoked tender and juicy brisket. If you don’t, it’s probably because you are lucky enough to eat this food on a regular basis. I sit at my desk feeling very hungry and extremely disappointed with my miserable lunch 99% of the time. This does mean that, until now, I have kept a list of the top ten places I would like to eat in my head. Some of them are actually very nearby and some are much further afield and will probably stay on my list for a very long time.
I live in Newport, South Wales. As far as I know, the street food scene here in Newport is virtually non existent. Although the number of great street food vendors and restaurants in Cardiff is growing, it is still in no way comparable to London at the moment. It seems as though this has started to change thanks to organisations such as @streetfoodcdf creating pop up events around the city. Despite this, many on this list will be from slightly further afield.
1. First on my list, and probably the reason I became interested in street food and barbecue, is Franklin Barbecue (@FranklinBbq). I first saw it on the news because Barack Obama had visited and skipped the extraordinarily long queue to buy some brisket. I have never tried brisket cooked in this way before and naturally I was curious. I love BBQ and needed to find out more. Smoked for a long period of time, Franklin BBQ’s brisket is supposed to be incredibly tasty, tender…. the best you can get. I have never tried it, but I have to say it does look good!
(photo credit to Mike Sutter – Fed Man Walking)
Now you have to admit that looks tasty! In particular the brisket but the ribs and pulled pork too. Unfortunately for me it is unlikely that I will get to try this any time soon. Franklin Barbecue is based in Austin, Texas, USA. I am determined to visit at some point in the future and if I do… I will write about it! In the mean time, take a look at the Fed Man Walking blog linked above for a review by somebody who has tried it.
2. Second on my list is The Beefy Boys (@TheBeefyBoys). The Beefy Boys are based in Hereford, England but seem to get around a lot from what I can tell. I learnt of their existence thanks to @TheGrillbarrel, an excellent food blogger from Cardiff, and @CleanPlateBlog, another brilliant Cardiff based food blog. They did a review of The Beefy Boys burgers and frankly… I think the photographs speak for themselves.
The top image is named ‘The Beefy Boy Burger’ and the second is named ‘The Butty Back’. You can tell they are packed with flavor. Both look delicious and in fact ‘The Butty Back’ has only just come second in the World Food Championships’ Burger Championship for the best burger. They also won first place at @Grillstock. I think ‘The Beefy Boy Burger’ looks as though it would be my personal favorite. Needless to say these are high on my list of places to visit and getting there is not unrealistic at all. Expect a review soon!
3. Third on my list is the incredible Sugar Fire Smokehouse (@SugarFireSmoke). Sugar Fire Smokehouse routinely Tweet images of incredible looking food. What amazes me is that it always seems to be of something different! Each one looking as indulgent as the next, I just have to visit them at some point.
(all images from the @SugarFireSmoke Twitter account)
Ok, a few of them look as though they would be messy to eat but that’s great! I don’t mind it being messy if it tastes as good as it looks. Again, I might not be able to visit Sugar Fire Smokehouse for quite some time. They have three restaurants all based in Missouri, USA. Sugar Fire Smokehouse did however introduce me to a few barbecue places in the UK, including @smokestakuk and @hangfirebbq. Which brings me to the next selection on the list.
4. Hang Fire Smokehouse (@HangfireBBQ). Really I have absolutely no excuse not to have visited Hang Fire Smokehouse already. They are only based in Penarth, although I believe they move around quite often. In their own words, they are “two girls obsessed with barbecue” and it shows in the photographs. The food they post pictures of seems to be the closest thing to proper barbecue I have seen nearby and everyone seems to love it. Everything from ribs to pulled pork to brisket… I can’t wait to try it!
(Photographs by @HangfireBBQ)
5. For similar reasons to Hangfire, Smokestak (@SmokestakUK) is 5th on my list. The food look like good, authentic barbecue. All the greats on the menu including brisket and ribs. How can you not love it! Smokestak is based in London like many of the great food establishments on this list. Although it’s a little out of the way, going to London for great food like this is definitely worth the trip.
(all photographs by @Smokestak)
I think you will agree… that all looks phenomenal.
6. Next on my list is Mother Clucker (@MotherClucker). So far most of the items on my list have been BBQ type food. This is something a little different but equally as delicious. You can tell by the reviews and photographs available online that a great deal of care is gone into its preparation. In particular a review by Koray Hussein at ‘Maybe It’s Because’ (@MaybeLDNER) brought them to my attention. The blog describes how good the chicken is and also emphasizes how friendly they are. Here’s the review if you are interested http://maybeldner.com/mother-clucker/.
(All images by @MotherClucker)
The chicken looks crispy, not burnt and judging by the methods and techniques used to cook this… it must be tender and juicy. You have to say this chicken does look good. Miles better than KFC and I have to admit… I do enjoy some KFC. I for one am looking forward to the day I get to try it.
7. The Orange Buffalo (@OrangeBuffalo) serve chicken wings. They are also based in London and their reputation is what draws me to them. The award winning chicken wings look flavorsome, juicy and you get enough of them to satisfy that craving for definite. They are mentioned in countless reviews I have read and are due to open a permanent restaurant following the amazing success of their food truck.
Whilst these wings do look good in photographs, wings don’t have the same initial attraction to me as the real comfort foods listed above. That doesn’t make them any less tasty at all and I definitely want to see what the fuss is about. I know that I would love them.
8. Next on the list is Pitt Cue Co (@PittCueCo). Obviously, these guys are incredibly popular. With almost 30k followers on twitter, they have been one of the most talked about restaurants this year. They started off as a food truck and their success means they now have a busy restaurant serving their specialty BBQ ribs, pulled pork and sausages. Pitt Cue Co are at the top of a lot of peoples list of ‘Best Places to get American Style BBQ’ and I want to know why. They are based in London, so getting to see them would not be unrealistic and I’m curious. I am not as enthusiastic about Pitt Cue co as some of the others on this list because they don’t seem to post many pictures of their food on social media and I get very excited about food that looks good. I hope that a future version of this list will be full of food trucks, restaurants etc I have discovered by word of mouth but at the moment I am still new to this ‘scene’ and I would like to see them using social media to show their menu off a little more often.
(Photograph by Kang L @LondonEater)
I had a hard time finding any picture of the food at Pitt Cue Co. Normally, this kind of food is pretty well photographed. I pulled the above image from this blog http://londoneater.com/2012/08/03/pitt-cue-co-soho/. Please have a read if you want to hear something from somebody who has tried the food.
9. Big Easy, London (@BigEasyLondon). In contrast to Pitt Cue Co, Big Easy seem to make the most of social media and show off their food. The food looks delicious and even the website looks awesome. The interesting thing for me is that the food is not restricted to the normal menus you get with most BBQ places. You have the brisket, ribs etc but also crab and lobster which looks amazing too. The ultimate surf and turf! See for yourself….
(Photographs by @BigEasyLondon)
I have to say…. that does look good.
10. Last, but not least, Q Grill (@QGrillLondon), London. Q Grill is a new BBQ restaurant and bar concept from Des McDonald. There are four Q Grill restaurants, all based in London. As per usual, the food looks great. Juicy, tender, tasty barbecued meat with portion sizes bigger than most people could ever manage.
They also do an incredible looking brunch that I cannot wait to try.
(Photographs taken by @QGrillLondon)
I know that you will agree, all of the food featured on this list looked unbelievable. It is clear my food adventure is in its infancy as many of you will already have tried some of the places on this list. There are so many places to try around Cardiff, Wales London, all of the UK and even the world that it is almost unfair that this list is only ten long. I have no doubt that this list will change very rapidly when I have either tried the food featured on the list, or something else bumps it from the top ten. I have a lot to learn, much food to try and I can’t wait! I know that you will have your own version of this top ten list and I would be very eager to hear your suggestions. If you like it, I’m certainly willing to try it!
Because this is my first real blog, I would love to hear your thoughts. Constructive criticism only please. If you think something should be added or even left out, please let me know.
To be clear, as I have never visited the places on this list, none of the photographs used in the blog are mine. If the photographs are yours and you are not happy that I am using them, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will remove them as soon as possible. Every effort has been made to reference the owners.
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Written by Tomos Newland-Jones @MrNewland66