With the summer months upon us, it feels only right that our thoughts should turn to barbecues in the sunshine. However the routines remain the same, year in, year out. You dust off your deck chairs and garden furniture, slap on your sun cream and strike up the barbie, ready to create some sizzling sensations. The sun is beating down, bringing a bead of sweat to your brow and just as you lay the meat out on the grill, the sky darkens and a year’s worth of torrential rain descends from the sky. Or perhaps you receive a yearly invite to a relative’s house whose barbecuing skills would be more at home in a crematorium. One short trip to the fridge for another beer and boom the grub is burnt – again.
To save yourselves the discomfort of politely gnawing through scorched sausage or preying to the gods for just a little spell of sunny weather, why not try out Bristol’s best BBQ season safe havens for guaranteed grilled greatness?
Our first safe haven of BBQ brilliance comes courtesy of Spitfire, who offer a flavoursome feast of meats, where taste is king over pretty presentation. Situated on Hannover Quay, this cracking place will have you flying high with its monstrous portions and magnificent quality. Check out the whopping butchers board – a sharing platter which has many mouth-watering bites such as spitfire bacon, spitfire wings and bossback ribs with superb sides of pickled chilli, slaw, onion strings and corn on the cob. This mountain of munchies will do no harm in helping you to forget all about the hassles of cooking at home.
With two ever-popular venues in Bristol, it’s clear that Grillstock is a great place to go for some downright delicious grilled grub. Both venues offer fresh meats, cooked over hickory and oak wood, which give them a sensationally smoky flavour. There’s great value to be had if visiting of a lunch or for an early dinner time, whether you’re eating in or taking away. From 12-6pm Monday to Thursday you can pick up their express meal deal, with a selection of rolls, burgers, dogs or a veggie option, with fries and a soft drink for a pretty nifty £6.50. Fear not if you are visiting outside these hours, their humdinger of a menu offers plenty of other exceptional treats for you to feast on.
What once started from humble beginnings as a burger van in London in 2008 has now burgeoned out into a mighty meat kingdom of 10 restaurants across the country with another due to open before the end of the year. MEATliquor has certainly got producing marvellous meals at a reasonable price down to a fine art, and with the added bonus of being able to have their yummy dishes dropped to your door via Deliveroo. If the barbecue season sounds like far too much like hard work for you to do at your home, you can at least show your love for mounds of meats by taking on the triple chilli challenge. You’ve got 10 minutes to eat all three; if you do, they’re all free.
Central Bristol’s Cabot Circus is a hotbed of activity, with shoppers spoilt for choice from numerous outlets that appeal to one and all. The food scene is much the same with a whole host of big names under one roof. However, one standout name in a week of grilling and face-filling is Coal Grill & Bar. Cooked over hot coals and using only the freshest ingredients, diners will wonder why they ever considered braving that rain at all. Choose from a range of skewers and smokehouse options, as well as the aforementioned method of cooking, which can all be washed down with plenty of brilliant booze. You couldn’t have done a better job yourself, so why would you?
As one of Bristol’s restaurant royalty, The Cowshed is not somewhere that you would initially associate with being a BBQ safe haven. On the popular Whiteladies Road, there are many eateries, however not many have the luxury of owning their very own butchers next door. Ruby & White supply the meat for The Cowshed as well as being open to the public – mega BBQ brownie points! If dining, the pièce de résistance is the steak on the stone. This is as close as you can come to barbecuing without all the hassle. A lava rock is heated to 420 degrees and you can cook your steak for as long or as little as you wish. Best of all, there’s no washing up for you to do afterwards, so everyone’s a winner!