What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Friday, 30 June 2017

Red Dog Saloon Devastator Challenge and Amazing Brisket

Red Dog Saloon beside Lace Market Tram Stop 

We love American food and Nottingham has seen a rise of late in the number of new restaurants aiming to draw us in to spend our Dollars. Red Dog Saloon have chosen a fantastic building to site their Nottingham restaurant in the busy heart of an area with big flow of people heading up from the Market Square into Hockley and towards the Lace Market beside the tram stop. No need for alarm as the tram's barely noticeable when you're inside.

The menu is mainly split between a big selection of burgers with every imaginable topping and their Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q from the smoker. The menu is very much carnivore orientated so we wouldn't recommend the restaurant for vegetarians although there is the option of a spicy bean burger on the menu.

With such a big number of eateries in the city centre a restaurant has to often offer something different or with added value. Red Dog Saloon sells itself as offering authentic Kansas City Bar-B-Q food although I'm pretty sure most of us out there haven't really got a clue what that actually means. From a look through the first pages of a Google search a signature dish appears to be Burnt Ends which doesn't appear on the Red Dog Saloon Nottingham menu but you could have a thick tomato and molasses based sauce which is typical of the region and what's not to love for the carnivore in us about barbecue food when it's cooked properly.

Choice of Buffalo (Hot Sauce and Kansas City Bar-B-Q Sauce at Red Dog Saloon

To drink we opted for a Wild River Pale Ale and a Montana Red. We were tempted by the reasonably priced cocktail menu however for us you don't drink cocktails at an American Barbecue- It's all about the beer for a barbecue.

The Wild River pale Ale and Montana Red were both £4.45  a pint. Maybe a little pricey when compared to many of Nottingham's restaurants for a beer but we haven't noticed these beers elsewhere. The Wild River was a nice, easy drinking American IPA although the Montana Red for me was a little harder work to drink but with a lot more flavour. It worked very well with the red meats from my meal. Both beers were lovely and cold and work well with the food.

Wild River Pale Ale and Montana Red Beers

For starters at Red Dog Saloon we opted for the Mozzarella Sticks (£5.50) and some Spicy Korean Wings (£6.50) which whilst not something we would have usually considered at a barbecue their promise of some Asian inspired spice caught our attention. Wings are one of the best things American inspired food brings to the table for us so it was a no-brainer to try Red Dog's.

Mozzarella Sticks and Korean Wings

The Mozzarella Sticks definitely appealed as we were about to commence an all-out meat onslaught so something not quite so meaty sounded a good idea. In our bowl came 4 generous sized Mozzarella fingers of around 4 inches (10 centimetres) in length alongside a healthy sized pot of Marinara Sauce.

As a starter the Mozzarella sticks worked fine, as always with such a cheese there was a small amount of chew needed but without this the sticks would have likely fallen apart. The crumb coating worked well although we'd have liked to have seen it mixed with a little spice. Whilst the blended Marinara dip is something we haven't noticed offered elsewhere for us it lacked a strong flavour to add to the meal. For us either a sweet chili style dip or something with that little more spice would have worked better and as Mozzarella is very mild the dish came across a little bland as a result. We'd love to see a little more flavour either to the coating or the sauce to get more out of the dish however the house Kansa City Bar-B-Q sauce worked well for dipping.

The Awesome Red Dog Saloon Korean Wings

We were very impressed with our Spicy Korean Chicken Wings. Served with 6 sensible sized wings coated in a beautiful sticky, hot and sour sauce. That really worked well for our spice loving tastebuds.

The exterior had a nice crunch with the chicken itself almost falling away from the bone. By the time we'd had 3 each we were ready to ask for another bottle of water.

Main Meals at Red Dog Saloon Nottingham

When you go out for Bar-B-Q you really have to go for the meats and it's rare to see Brisket on the menu so we had to go for that option as well as taking on the Devastator Burger Challenge.

We opted for the Brisket and Pulled Pork Combo (£17.50) which came with a choice of 2 sides so we opted for the Smoked Ham Mac'N'Cheese (usually £4.25) and the Collard Greens (Usually £2.75).

To Go alongside our Devastator Burger (£18.50) we opted for some Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries (£5.75)

Devastator Burger with Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries

Featuring 18 oz of Chuck Steak, 200g of Pulled Pork, 6 rashers of smoked Applewood bacon and a further size slices of American Cheese the Devastator has taken many a victim I'm sure but as a committed food blogger it was time to take one for the community in an Adam Richman style although when it arrived at the table I was quietly confident. Apparently if you finish the Devastator Challenge you can get your photo up on the Wall of Fame.

Compared to a regular burger you do seem to get a lot with the Devastator. The Chuck Steak was in the form of six 3oz patties. All juicy and tender with a subtle pinkness of how a burger should be cooked. The cheese amalgamated with all the meat so it barely feels like there's 6 slices of cheese in there.

The Pulled Pork was some of the best I've tasted with a great flavoursome rich sauce full of the caramel of molasses. The bacon had a nice crispness too, not overly salty. All in the Devastator was a pretty good burger, topped off with a nice soft, toasted Brioche bun. I couldn't wish for a better burger to challenge me. I finished all the meat but left the brioche bun.

The Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries
We normally love a Ranch Sauce however for us the sauce really didn't work for us on the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Fries. We loved the bacon and Southern Fried Chicken bits but the Ranch Sauce used was on the sour side and really wasn't the best of choices with the dish.

For us the best part of our visit to Red Dog Saloon was the Brisket. The inch thick slab was charred round the edges for a smokey taste and had been beautifully slow cooked so your knife sled through like butter. It had a nice crisp to the edges and was definitely moist with lots of flavour. We'd happily come back for the Brisket alone.

The Pulled Pork featured a lovely, smokey Bar-B-Q sauce. It was moist, tender and very easy eating with a decent sized portion on the plate to accompany the Brisket.

Brisket and Pulled Pork From Red Dog Saloon Nottingham

As any selection from the grill comes with a choice of two sides we'd opted for the Smoked Ham Mac 'N' Cheese as well as the new to the menu Collard Greens.

We loved the breadcrumb crisp to the Mac 'N' Cheese which had a nice creamy texture underneath. The pasta for us was a little overdone instead of 'al dente' and we felt it was more a cream sauce than cheese. It was nice to have the smoked ham within the dish though in hindsight with the amount of meat already on our plates we didn't really need it on this occasion. As a side it was a nice addition instead of the standard of things coming with chips so hats off to Red Dog for giving diners the option.

The Collard Greens were a little overdone for our liking. They lacked a crunch and texture. They'd been salted and with the addition of smoked ham to the dish made it even saltier. We bought this to the attention of our server at the end of the meal and the feedback we received was very positive from the chef who had tried the dish and agreed with our synopsis. They're amending the dish for future which is a positive outcome from our visit so we hope our feedback has helped.

Oreo and White Chocolate Fudge Pie with Raspberry Custard Shake

We were struggling after such a big meal but were persuaded to try a dessert between us. The restaurant manager recommended the Oreo White Chocolate Fudge Pie and we definitely weren't disappointed.

It came with an amazing raspberry custard shake made with fresh fruit so full of flavour. We drizzled a bit over the pie but actually ended up drinking it instead of using as a sauce it was that good. The piece was a very generous size so a good sharing portion unless you have a huge appetite.

The Oreo's and white chocolate worked well with lashings of cream cheese and a chunky biscuit base. Definitely well worth being persuaded to try and with such a big portion it would be ideal to share.

Our Meal at Red Dog Saloon

We had a very nice meal at Red Dog Nottingham. Our highlights were the Spicy Korean Wings with a warming hot, yet slightly sour sauce as well as the Brisket and Oreo White Chocolate Fudge Pie. A few of the items on the menu weren't quite to our tastes but our main priority was the meat and that was very good indeed.

For an interesting meal out with friends or a relaxed date Red Dog would be a great place to visit- Most of the people around us were groups of friends out for a sociable evening.

Our Booth for the Evening at Red Dog
Red Dog Saloon is at 20-22 Victoria Street
Tel 0115 784 4844 or email nottingham@reddogsaloon.co.uk for bookings

We were invited along by Red Dog Saloon to enjoy their food and see what we thought. The feelings above are our true thoughts on our visit. We value our integrity and aim to review a restaurant based as though we're spending our own money even though on this occasson we didn't pay for food, only our drinks. We love to be invited to new and exciting places and the Nottingham Food Lovers Blog gives us and friends a great way to experience the city whilst telling our tales. 

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