Review – BBQ Shack at The World’s End
We all know overconsumption of animals is bad for both your health and the environment, therefore the majority of us eat meat in moderation. But sometimes we want to indulge. We want to eat every animal there is out there, pig or poultry, we simply don’t care. And what better place to fulfil this carnivorous desire than Brighton’s original smoke joint: BBQ Shack.
BBQ Shack is run by John Hargate, a former British Pit-Master Champion, and trades out of Drink In Brighton pub The World’s End on London Road. Part of the ‘meat mile’, BBQ Shack was originally put on the map back in 2011 by a now infamous Jay Rayner review. Post publication, London Road was swamped with hoity fashionable Londoners searching for the location where “real barbecue food” can be found at.
Fast-forward four years and John and his team are still going strong. A partnership with food delivery company Deliveroo has only helped reaffirm BBQ Shack’s popularity – John has seen business double, and recently invested in a £30,000 kitchen refurbishment to keep up to date and ensure high-quality meat output. Has much changed since our last visit?
The World’s End pub could be viewed by some as not the most desirable eating location, but I kind of liked it. It’s messy, madcap, grubby and a bit grimy – akin to BBQ Shack’s food. With a pool table out the back and football on the big screen this certainly isn’t another craft beer and beards type boozer.
The menu at BBQ Shack is (predictably) very meat orientated. You name it, they smoke it. Platters, burgers, burritos, quesadilla, brioche rolls and deli-style sandwiches fill the two-page menu. Vegetarians, do not be put off – BBQ Shack do a selection of vege options, ensuring that herbivores needn’t miss out on this all-American dining experience.
Prices start at £7.25 for a portion of meat, and combo deals come in at around £15.25 (and includes a side dish). Burgers hover around the £10 mark, brioche rolls £5.95 and burritos £8.50. Salads, sides and snacks start at £2.95.
The pulled pork was the standout for me: smokey, juicy and fell apart when grazed with a fork, this cut had been cooked slowly with a lot of love. The hot link and chorizo sausages were slightly crumbly yet spicy and added a kick to the platter of meat. The glazed ham was sweet and intense and the rack of pork spare ribs were incredibly thick, packed full of flavour and slathered in a smokey BBQ sauce, rendering them another stand out of our plate. The beef brisket was disappointingly somewhat dryer than expected.
A summery smoked chicken and chorizo salad was loaded with crunchy lettuce, peppers and sweetcorn – although also slathered in a thick mayonnaise style dressing, so one to avoid if you’re trying to keep trim this summer.
The ABT’s – cream cheese filled jalapeños wrapped in salty bacon – were brilliant, one to easily recreate on the BBQ this summer. Other sides included a creamy potato gratin, which was a little under seasoned for my taste, a thick mac & cheese and a zingy watermelon, feta, mint and lime dish that was instantly noted as one to try at home for picnics and alfresco evenings.
Portion sizes are generous and you’re guaranteed to leave feeling exceptionally full. Can’t manage all your food? BBQ Shack provide takeaway boxes if you ask nicely.
The World’s End and BBQ Shack are a glorious Brighton pairing of boozer and BBQ. No gimmicks, no frills – just straight up BBQ food cooked with expertise, love and affection. Worth the visit for any serious meat lover in the city.
BBQ Shack at The World’s End, 60-61 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JE – 01273 692311
Claire’s food was complimentary, courtesy of Drink In Brighton.