Review – BBQ Shack
You may not instantly recognise the name John Hargate and there’s not much reason why you should as he’s certainly not a fan of celebrity chefs, nor does he ‘Tweet’ or ‘Facebook’.
However, after spending barely moments in The World’s End on London Road, I could see John’s fame and appeal with the local clientele. Charismatic, passionate and enthusiastic about producing the best quality BBQ food this side of Texas, John worked the room greeting regulars and shaking hands with old friends.
BBQ’ing since his butcher boy days and spending a lot of time the other side of the pond, John set up camp at The World’s End in 2009 after seeing a gap in the market for authentic, smoked meats in a pub setting. John is also not a force to be reckoned with – he is a three times British Pitmaster Champion.
Not content with offering the usual smoked fair of brisket, pork and hams, John offers burritos, salads, brioche rolls and quesadillas with all meats smoked on site. He also plays host to a fantastic burger selection which includes “Brighton’s baddest burger” the O.D.B. Launched earlier this year, the burger consists of a 9oz pattie with pork, brisket, chorizo, bacon, double cheese and onion rings. Not for the faint hearted.
John was kind enough to treat my friend and I to a selection of all the meats he cooks as well as some side dishes. I like to think I can put away a fair plate of food and after my BBQ Shack experience, I am not joking when I say I had to loosen my belt a notch afterwards.
Where to start? We feasted on glazed ham, beef brisket, pulled pork, chorizo sausage, hot sausage, ribs, macaroni cheese, baked sweet potato, charros beans, onion rings and fries, carefully garnished with red peppers, pickles and green chili.
The ribs were the stand out for me. The BBQ sauce dripped flesh fell off the hearty bones straight into my open mouth. It was complete meat perfection. Coupled with slices of pert, pink glazed ham and a mound of lush, greasy pulled pork, I felt like a pig rolling in filth and loving every second of it.
No meat feast is complete without complimenting sides and John produces wonderful accompaniments. The macaroni cheese was a cheese and carb lovers dream. I can never perfect this naughty side dish at home and John’s recipe is one I’d kill for. Scooping it out of the pot and slathering it across a melt in the mouth sweet potato was a highlight of food year.
John doesn’t need any gimmick or social media output to spread the word of his meat indulgence. Word of mouth serves him best and if this evening is anything to go by, I will be telling every Tom, Dick and Harry the animalistic joy that’s to be had at BBQ Shack at The World’s End.
Originally published in the Brighton and Hove Independent Newspaper 4/10/13
Words by Claire Beveridge