Red’s True Barbecue – Manchester

I’m jumping belatedly onto the meaty bandwagon with this post, just as we could say that Red’s True Barbecue has jumped on the current Americana obsessed culinary zeitgeist. I know everyone’s already blogged about. I know most people cream over it. Whatever.

Red’s True Barbecue has apparently come to Manchester to rescue us from the bad British BBQ (what, who doesn’t like burnt sausages in soggy white baps?). Located on Albert Square in what used to be Livebait, they’ve installed traditional American smokers and grills and decorated the whole place like a bad 90’s barn dance.

St Louis Ribs

The menu consists of a range of meats, dry rubbed, smoked and finished with sauce. There’s the traditional ribs, chickens and wings padded out with burgers, steaks and some salads (most of which contain meat from the smoker). The sides are pretty traditional Americana fare – mac n cheese, fries, slaws, hush puppies ad nauseam.

Taste wise, Red’s food is perfectly ok; if you like salty, smoky, sweet meat doused in slightly cloying sauces. It’s the cooking skill that’s all wrong – one meat item being dry would be passable as a fluke mistake, however all three (starters and both mains) was unforgivable.

Half a chicken

Luckily the sides were bang on. Mac and cheese was nearly as good as my Mum’s, thick cheesy sauce and a good crispy crust; the slaw added a nice tang to the dishes and the heavily salted fries hit the heavily-salted-potato-products spot we all have. But for somewhere that bangs on relentlessly about how bloody good their food is and the religion of the meat etc etc needs to step up to that rhetoric and deliver.

Apart from that we were served by a series of nonchalant and not very tuned in servers, who must have been hired for their looks because that was the only thing going for them. And I’m not even going to start on the enamelled dishes.

All in all the only thing I like about Red’s is their clever marketing campaign, which says a lot about the place – all style, no substance.

Cost for one starter and two mains (sides come as part of the mains) – £30.40 plus drinks and service.

Ps No photos, it’s way too dark in the venue to take any so I’ve nicked ’em off Red’s website. Please note, our food didn’t look anywhere near as good as these staged shots.

Food – 5/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Service – 6/10
Value for money – 7/10

Total – 25/40

Go again – No thanks, they’re not doing anything special.

Reds True Barbecue, 22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5WA – 0161 820 9140.

Red's True BBQ on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Red’s True Barbecue – Manchester

  1. cinderellanjo / Texas Style Barbecue Sauce1/4 lb butter or maragrine1 cup vinegar1 cup water1/2 cup tomato ketchup2 tsp Worcestershire sauce1 tsp dry mustard2 tsp chili powder1/4 tsp cayenne1 tsp black pepper1 tsp salt1/4 cup sugar2 crushed bay leaves2 cloves garlic, minced1 large onion, gratedJuice of 1 lemonMelt butter. Add vinegar, water, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire and lemon juice. Mix mustard, chili powder, cayenne, pepper, salt, sugar and bay leaves. Add to other mixture. Add garlic and onion, Cook together for about 10 minutes. ====================================Jim Beam Barbecue SauceINGREDIENTS: * 2 cups tomato ketchup * 1 cup brown sugar, packed * 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce * 2 teaspoons dry mustard * 1 cup Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey * 4 tablespoons cider vinegar * 4 tablespoons soy sauce * 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper * dash liquid smoke, to taste, optionalPREPARATION:Combine all ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.========================================Honey Barbecue SauceINGREDIENTS: * 1/4 cup lemon juice * 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel * 1 teaspoon dry mustard * 1/2 teaspoon salt * dash pepper * 2 tablespoons honey * 2 tablespoons soy sauce * 1/2 cup vegetable oilPREPARATION:Combine all ingredients and let stand for 1 hour before using. Baste broiled or grilled chicken. Makes about 1 cup.=========================================Basic Barbecue SauceINGREDIENTS: * 2 cups water * 1/4 cup sugar * 3/4 cup vinegar * 1 cup finely chopped onion * 3/4 cup ketchup * 1 teaspoon black pepper * 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce * 1 teaspoon paprika * 2 teaspoons salt * dash ground cayenne pepper or hot pepper saucePREPARATION:Put all ingredients in saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce hat and simmer for 30 minutes. Use as a baste for grilled or baked ribs, chops, or chicken.======================================Southern Barbecue SauceINGREDIENTS: * 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce * 1/3 cup molasses * 1/4 cup vinegar * 1 clove garlic, minced * 1 teaspoon chili powder * 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper * dash saltPREPARATION:Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Makes about 1 cup of barbecue sauce, for ribs, pork chops, burgers, steaks, or wieners. For oven barbecued ribs, baste during last hours of baking.

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