Walking into Bodean’s is an invitation to have a good time. Decked out with Americana – from beer trays and antler lamps on the walls, to flatscreen TVs showing baseball or the NFL – the Clapham branch of this mini-chain has gone the whole hog on its rib-shack theme, with country and western music and chummy staff to boot.
Much of the restaurant consists of leather booths, encouraging a relaxed, family-style approach to dining.
Sadly, the quality of cooking has slipped since the place first opened, but any lack of finesse is made up for in portion sizes. Buffalo chicken wings are large and meaty, and while some baby back ribs were rather tough, even a half rack (served with hand-cut chips) should satisfy a hungry carnivore.
Surprisingly, given the focus on meat, it was a rich, creamy slice of ‘Eli’s’ baked cheesecake that stole the show.
US beers include Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (bottled) and Blue Moon (draught).
In spite of the kitchen’s shortcomings, and an irksome no-bookings policy (except for groups), it’s a popular spot with twentysomethings midweek and families at weekends – a fun place to visit for a slice of American pie.