Get your taste buds sizzling this summer with barbecue restaurants that are burning up the local food scene.
Hop and Cleaver
Got the back-to-work, Monday blues? Banish them away with Hop and Cleaver’s Meat Lovin’ Monday deal where you can tuck into lamb ribs, pork ribs, chicken wings, a pork slider, a brisket slider, a lamb slider, a braised beef slider, a side of fries, a pot of salad… And two cocktails, pints or bottle of house wine for £20. Let’s all rejoice!
Found on Newcastle’s Quayside, Hop and Cleaver is passionate about barbecuing, has an imported American smoking oven from Oklahoma and a selection of mesquite, hickory and fruit woods to create the ultimate smokey, barbecue flavours from the meat.
This restaurant in Durham is always thinking outside of the box when it comes to its inventive burgers. How about a Sunday Dinner Burger? Yes, you heard us right. Surely eating your Sunday dinner in burger form must be on your foodie bucket list? Or what about a the So So Greek Minty Lamb Kofta burger with roasted mince lamb, salty feta and roasted beets for a healthier option?
You’ll also find sizzling steaks, healthy kebabs, buttermilk-soaked fried chicken and falafel burgers on the regular menu.
Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse
You want barbecue? Longhorns will give you barbecue. Try the BBQ Meat Board sharing platter of all the meat (including beef rib, chicken wings, brisket, Andouille sausage, Memphis hog butt) and served with fries, slaw, rind, gherkins and a choice of pit beans or three-bean chilli. It’s a meat feast to remember.
All the meat is prepared using British livestock from Northumberland and beyond, rubbed with a spice blend and then smoked over hickory for up to 24 hours. The Newcastle restaurant is small and always packed, so expect to queue on busy evenings.
The Dirty Bottles
Don’t be deceived by this 17th century pub in the heart of Alnwick’s historic market town. Inside you’ll find self-service beer pumps, tasting walls (yes, the guest ales really do come out of a hole in the wall!) iPad ordering booths and a brilliant smokehouse restaurant. It serves up beefy house burgers, smokehouse specials likes brisket and ribs, and craft cocktails.
For a room with a view, take you dining to the roof terrace which looks out on the ancient walls of Alnwick Castle.
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Offering a European twist on southern American barbecue, come to Bierrex smokehouse in Newcastle city centre for low and slow barbecue from its wood-fired Fast Eddy smoker and a great selection of craft beers.
The atmosphere is friendly and low-key, and its open for lunch and dinner. The Bierrex Brunch of chargrilled sourdough, home-smoked bacon, free-range eggs, pulled pork, a grilled beef tomato and Boston beans is sure to cure any hangover, while the rack of ribs, which are rubbed in house spices and smoked for five hours over hickory wood, make for a mouthwatering but messy meal.
Man Vs Food Grill House
With three restaurants across the region, treat yourself to all the meat you can eat in South Shields, Newcastle and Consett. Portion sizes are ridiculously huge, the bad boy sandwiches come stuffed with fries INSIDE the sandwich as well as on the side, and the food challenges are epic – there’s always someone to cheer on every time you visit!
Favourites include the Coke Can Chicken and the BBQ Smoke Tray, and all meat comes with the choice of four sauces: house bbq, devil’s bbq, jerk bbq or piri piri. It may get messy, but enjoy!
Main image © Jonny Wilson for Tango