The Big Gay Al's Food Adventures
Bodean’s BBQ Smoke House is a small chain of BBQ restaurants in the London area, famous for the selection of oak-smoked meats so tender that the menu proudly proclaims;
Need no teef to eat my beef
Certainly the flavour is good and generally the meats are so tender that they just fall off the bone. Certainly no gnawing required here. There is quite a varied menu, so long as meat is your thing – there is nothing here for vegetarians. I had occasion to go to the Tower Hill branch last night (not for the first time, and spoiler alert, not for the last time) with colleagues from work. Despite being of the fairer sex and mere slips of lasses, these girls know how to put away some meat, in a purely culinary sense of course. With that in mind, Bodean’s was the obvious place to take them.
Now, there is a small selection of starters or ‘teasers’ but don’t be fooled. These are no lite-bites and if you are going on to have a main course then sharing a starter is the sensible course of action. If you can bear to share of course! Knowing that we were heading towards an epic main course, we had a sharing starter meant for 2 between the 3 of us. This consisted of 4 large Buffalo Chicken Wings served wet and with a choice of Mild/BBQ/Hot/Diablo/Bourbon sauce. All three of us like it hot so went for the Diablo sauce – dark red, sticky, sharp and full of chilli seeds. Personally I would normally go for the hot but the diablo was very tasty – not just hot for the sake of being hot. Also on the platter was 1/2 a Quesadilla with smoked chicken, salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and a couple of BBQ Spare Ribs with a salad garnish with Home Made Blue Cheese Sauce and celery.
The Boss Hog platter is a sharing platter for 2 people – though I suspect it would feed 3 people easily! It’s a real ‘greatest hits’ selection of the menu:
“A full selection of our finest meats including Spare and Baby Back Ribs, a Jacob’s Ladder Beef Rib, Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork, Chicken Thighs and 2 smoked Sausages“
I hasten to add that Ebele didn’t manage to eat even half of it but Bodean’s are clearly used to this and were able to supply boxes to take away the remains – of which there were plenty!
Personally that was far too much for me, so I opted for a relatively modest Combo meal of 1/4 Chicken, ribs and pulled pork. Served with fries and coleslaw (though I swapped the regular fries out for Sweet Potato Fries) – for any normal person this would have still have been more than enough. However, being the absolute glutton that I am, and definitely having eyes bigger than my [ample] belly, I also ordered sides of Corn Muffins, Burnt Ends and Mac’N’Cheese. This was of course TOTALLY unnecessary and I totally deserved that uncomfortable bloated feeling I had for the next three hours. However, the cornbread muffins, hot from the oven and served with cold butter are truly a food from heaven. Likewise the Burnt Ends, Slow-Smoked chunks of beef brisket, crispy, tender and melty in texture are a delight. The Mac’N’Cheese on this occasion seemed a little too light on the cheese for my taste – not quite reaching it’s soul food aspirations. I bit more cheese, a little less white sauce and a little longer under the grill and it could be so much better.
I think that Bodean’s get so much right, and there is just so much of it! One day I will learn my lesson and order a reasonable quantity of food, it’s just when there is so much that is so good, I find it hard to choose. Really, they need to do a Big Gay Al’s platter with very small tastes of everything!
So having eaten a monumental amount of food, of course I still had to try a dessert, and I am glad I did. I had the Chocolate Fudge Brownie which really was very good indeed, and served with vanilla ice-cream from Jude’s of Hampshire.
I thoroughly recommend Bodean’s, it’s a great treat for the meat eater and glutton in your life. It’s not really a ‘date’ restaurant, its for serious eating of serious BBQ food. In the meantime, please excuse me, as I will be shopping for pregnancy pants ready for my next visit!
You can find details on their website at http://www.bodeansbbq.com