GETTING DIRTY AT SMOKE BBQ LEEDS // LEEDS BLOGGER EVENT!

Hey peeps I hope you’re not too hungry, as this post will have you ravenous within a few paragraphs!  Just editing the photos is making me hungry!  I was invited along to Smoke BBQ Leeds to try some of their yummy food and drinks and find out what they’re all about.

Smoke BBQ Leeds opened in October opposite the First Direct Arena, and they have a few other restaurants around the UK (such as their first one which opened in 2013 in Sheffield, and soon one in Glasgow as well).  They are all about good quality, authentic barbecue food.  I really liked the decor of the Leeds restaurant too – it was very industrial, pared back, exposed brick and metal (as you can see from my photos).  Now I might not be the obvious person to review their food as a vegetarian, but I took along a hungry, meat-eating husband to help me out!

The Drinks – Beer/Ale/Lager

We were greeted by a friendly waitress offering us a choice of beer, lager or soft drinks.  We went for a lager and a pale ale, both of which were really nice.  We were also presented with small tasters of their three draught drinks – Freedom Organic English Lager, Smoke American Red lager and American Saviour Pale Ale.  We both tried all three and it was nice to have a range from very flavourful and bitter, to something smoother and more ‘easy drinking’.  My favourite was the Freedom Organic, which was quite floral and citrusy.  My husband liked the Smoke American Red, which is literally a red lager!

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The Vegetarian Food

Next, and most importantly, food!  Other bloggers had huge sharing platters on their tables but as I’m vegetarian, we were presented with our own platters (smaller, but not by much!)  Mine contained Fiery Bean Chilli, which was a thick chilli with a great flavour – it was quite spicy but not overwhelmingly.  It had a really nice smoky, chipotle kind of taste and is definitely something I’d eat again!

Next up was a Sweet Potato & Corn Burger.  I LOVED that it wasn’t the usual, dull option of a spicy bean burger (I mean they’re ok, but they get kinda boring when that’s the only veggie option in every restaurant!) The burger was really unusual, but in a good way.  The corn kernels in the burger were kind of dried out but you know like when you sun-dry tomatoes and the taste gets really concentrated and yummy?  They were a bit like that, so flavourful!  There was a lovely burger sauce on it, and I added a bit of Smoke’s own bbq sauce for extra messy-goodness!

Smoke BBQ Leeds

Smoke BBQ Leeds Vegetarian Platter

I also had an amazing cornbread muffin – it was huge and filled with jalapeno which gave it a kick.  It was so fresh, crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth, and came with a wedge of butter – yum!  I’m actually not a big fan of cornbread normally, but this one had so much flavour that I’d definitely get it again. Last on the veggie platter was some coleslaw – I really liked the coleslaw but it came with something sprinkled on top (looked and tasted like maybe chilli powder) which I found a bit too spicy and it made me cough, haha!  It was absolutely fine for my husband, who eats quite spicy food usually.  As the staff are so friendly and accommodating, I’m sure you could ask for it without the sprinkle without a problem.

Now for the epically huge and meaty meat platter!  Obviously I didn’t taste this but I made hubby tell me exactly what everything tasted like and how it was.  Let’s just say… he was a happy man.  On his platter was a chunk of beef brisket, house hot link sausage, a pulled pork sandwich, baby back ribs, spicy chicken thighs, spicy pork crackling and some of the same coleslaw.

Smoke BBQ Leeds Meat Platter

Smoke BBQ Leeds Meat Platter

The MEAT!

The beef brisket was his favourite, as it was really meaty with a spicy edge.  Although it wasn’t fall-apart like the pulled pork, it was really well cooked and just right.  The pulled pork came in a rich bbq sauce and was really soft and juicy.  The burger bun was branded with a logo, which was quite fun.  The link sausages were quite rich and meaty.  Just after we started eating, they also brought over a big bowl of twice-cooked chips which were amazing!  I’m a big chip fan and these were some of the nicest I’ve tried.  No need for sauce or anything on them, as they were perfect.

A Sweet Note to End On: The Desserts…

There was SO much food that we only managed about half of it, thank god for doggy bags!  So we sat back, had a breather, and then were told there was dessert… at which point we laughed… but it wasn’t a joke!  Valiantly battling on (!), we went on to devour a tasting plate of four different desserts between us.  There was rocky road ice cream, chocolate brownie, s’mores and and peanut butter cheesecake.  PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE!  Life. Made.   All the desserts were great (I didn’t eat the marshmallow on the s’mores as it’s usually not vegetarian).

Smoke BBQ Leeds Dessert

A chat with owners Sean and Duka revealed that they were inspired by the TV show Man v Food.  Once the seed was planted, they went on a week-long trip to Texas and ate non-stop bbq food, picking up some tricks of the trade.  They learnt how important having the right type of pit was, to cook the meat just right, and Sheffield Smoke was born!  They were both really passionate about the restaurant and you can tell they pour their hearts into it, so I really hope they do well.  And with food like that, I’m pretty sure they will!

Have you been to Smoke BBQ Leeds?  If so, what did you have?  Let me know in the comments!

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