“The people of Manchester knew nothing of True Barbecue. Of meat smoked low ‘n slow, infused with joy. Of glazes, rubs and sauces so glorious that angels wept.
“The people of Manchester must be led to the light by a true saviour. Let there be Meat. Let there be flavour. Let there be Red’s.”
“The staff are American standard customer friendly good…”
This place is not for the faint hearted. It’s pretty theatrical. We’re talking cages, steel pipes, sand bags, fire, rock music and crucifix’s all locked in a carnivores paradise. To keep the demons out. And we battled our way through wind, rain and fire to get there on this ‘weekend eve’ day.
Already a beloved barbecue joint in Leeds, this place is faithful to some sort of ‘true barbecue’ gospal, it’s a good show. “Red swore that no rib, sausage, breast nor burger would be cremated in his name.” Cool.
Crowd favourites include the rack of ribs which are 24 hour dry-rubbed and marinated in their signature seasonings and smoked over hickory and fruit woods for up to 8 hours. Then slathered with their BBQ mop and finished over the pit. The Smoked Brisket & BBQ Gravy which is thick beef slices smothered in gravy on a hogie topped with crispy onions and sweet dill pickle. Glorious.
We think it’s all about the sides, though – BBQ Corn On The Cob, dry-rubbed and grilled over hickory and served with a knob of butter. And the BBQ Pit Beans – sweet, smoky beans finished in the smoker for 12 hours and laced with burnt ends, pulled pork, onions and spices. Victory.
The staff are good. American standard customer friendly good. That’s rare, actually. In fact, a few of them ‘are’ American. They know the menu’s very well and have clearly feasted until the early hours getting acquanted with all things true. Oops, I mean barbecue.
Don’t be surprised if your vegetarian companion is disappointed. However, there is, actually, some options for veggies and even gluten free. The protein comer enduring food is matched with something on the extensive drinks menu. For example, The Pit Burger goes down like a dream when washed down with a cold bottle of Dixie Lager.
The press night surprised us with a mid dinner flash mob and piano. Young, happy smiling people dressed in red singing their heart out and clapping whilst we were digging into brownie and cheesecake (looking at each other without chewing). “Your love, is lifting me higher…”
Do not leave without at least sampling their peanut butter cheesecake, please.
You come out feeling either violated and bloated or chanting “I’ll eat what I want, I’m [insert your name], I’ll eat what I want!”
I believe! I believe in true barbecue!!! Oh, they’ve got me. I’m one of them!
Let there be Red’s. A place to worship the truth. Believe in True Barbecue, all is forgiven. Ahum.
22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5WA
0161 820 9140