Red Dog Saloon
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Jun 23 2011
The barbecue trend is gathering pace in London following the opening of Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa, then the Pitt Cue Co and Anna Mae's food trucks. Bodean's has been dishing up reliable US barbecue at its four London sites for several years now, and remains the leader in the field. And now Red Dog has coralled its wagons in Hoxton Square for a piece of the action.
It's billed as an 'authentic' barbecue restaurant, but on our visit it had run out of its main sell – pulled pork – on a quiet Monday evening. So we had to make do with the rest of the menu we were given, which was a lot more sparse than the one displayed on the Red Dog website.
A large chunk of the food offer is made up of burgers, something a real US barbecue joint wouldn't bother with, and which feels a bit of a cop-out here. With a new Byron about to open just over Hoxton Square, the burgers will have to be perfect to compete – but the signature Red Dog burger had little meaty taste about it, and was served rare instead of the promised medium rare.
The only ribs were St Louis cut pork, and we were given two for £12.50 – no offer of a half or full rack, no beef short ribs, and no choice of 'wet' or 'dry' as most good barbecue places in the US South would have (either with barbecue sauce or a spice rub respectively). The ribs themselves were good though, and came with authentically smoky beans and sausage.
Desserts, too, were a disappointment – the menu promised a 'pie of the day' or chocolate brownie, but neither were available. There is a decent choice of US craft beers, and the bar specialises in margaritas.
Red Dog had only been open a couple of weeks when we visited, but there was nothing that would inform the average customer the menu might not yet be finalised. It may hit its stride with time, but for now there are better places in London to put some South in your mouth.
Red Dog Saloon 37 Hoxton Square