My last relationship was with a vegan. Now, I’m always happy to try new things and experiment with my cooking, so for the most part it didn’t bother me that most of my recipes had to omit any meat, eggs or dairy. I quite relished the challenge, in fact.
However, once I found myself single again, I seemed to gravitate towards the meatier, greasier and downright dirtier end of every menu I perused. Luckily, there has recently been an influx of fantastic meat eateries to Bristol, so naturally I had to try them all. And this is what I thought.
The first vendor to bring perfectly executed barbecued meats to Bristol, Grillstock is where the city’s obsession with all things slow-cooked and smoked began.
With their own smoking pit, you know this is an establishment that takes their meat seriously. They rotate their offerings throughout the week, but you can’t go wrong with their pulled pork bap (£4.50), which comes stuffed with a generous helping of gorgeously juicy meat and crunchy slaw – there is an option to further stuff your roll with other toppings such as jalapenos, but this simple sandwich is already packed with flavour.
Their homemade sauces are superb too though, so it’s worth chucking a good helping of those on the side for dipping. Other recommendations would be the 18hr smoked lamb, and their beautiful BBQ Beans (beans with bbq sauce and pulled pork, oh my).
Meat and Bread
Famous across the city for inspiring queues across College Green owing to sandwich creations such as sambal brisket, chipotle pork and roasted pork belly, you can’t help but get very excited about Meat and Bread.
The meat man moved from a cart to a permanent residence at the Three Tuns in Hotwells (and occasional appearances at events such as Bristol EATS every Thursday evening – I wrote a review of Bristol EATS here) but the quality and inventiveness didn’t suffer one bit. He’s on sabbatical at the moment, but will back soon – look out for his latest adventures and concoctions on Twitter. Be sure to check out the latest meat purveyors at the ‘Tuns – Hickory Pig are just as superb, their steak sandwich being one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in a fair old while.
You’d be mad not have heard of of Chomp‘s famed burgers or steak sandwiches yet. Finely-sourced meat matched with other high quality ingredients put these burgers and sandwiches far above anything you’re likely to have tried before.
My first experience of Chomp was a bacon roll from their van, which is parked by the side entrance of Temple Meads every Weds & Thurs. As expected, the meat was fantastic – thickly cut and beautifully smoked bacon on a soft, toasted ciabatta roll, with just the right amount of butter and brown sauce (you ketchup lovers pipe down, it’s got no place in a bacon roll and you know it). I was the envy of all commuters on the platform that day. The blue cheese burger that I sampled at one of their Beef and Beer events with local brewery Wiper & True still stays with me to this day, mmm.
Whilst Chomp may be one of the better known burger stars in the city, we’re lucky enough to have quite a few fantastic places to go now, my top tips being The Burger Joint on Whiteladies road for a reliable and affordable assemble-it-yourself meal, Atomic Burger for an indulgent feast and geek fest, plus some great choices from street food vendors Burger Theory (now also based at The Golden Lion on Gloucester Rd) and Soul Burger.
I’ve made a few trips to the Hobgoblin since it came under new management in 2012 and started touting itself as Gloucester Road’s foremost establishment for fine ales and mouth-watering barbecue.
Aside from a couple of blips with food running out , the food is tasty with generous portions, you shouldn’t need to order any sides after one of their hefty burgers and massive portions of fries. The drinks aren’t that exciting, but the meat dishes on offer should raise an eyebrow or two – plus there’s the option to take on their mega Kraken Challenge – more info on that and other Bristol food challenges Here.
Some of my other food and drink guides for Bristol…