As I’ve said previously, the first time I visit a restaurant I am always full of hope – I want to enjoy it, have a new favourite and I’m willing them on to deliver the goods. On my second visit I am crossing my fingers that it wasn’t just a one-off and that I’m as happy as I was the last time that I left. I suppose it’s a bit like looking for a house though because the first viewing is all excitement and the second one is still excitement but also about practicality & checking other things.
With that said, last month Mr S & I returned to Meat Bar one rainy night after work because we had been hankering after the French Dip ever since. We snagged a booth again so we were off to a comfy start.
This time we also opted for starters as they all sounded as good as the main courses. We had the pit-smoked bourbon chicken wings with BBQ sauce and the crispy pig’s cheeks with piccalilli style veg. The chicken wings were – dare I say it – perfect chicken wings. They were meaty and tasty and the sauce had a lovely BBQ tang – definitely one that we would order again.
When I was choosing my starter I asked about the pig’s cheek and he described it to me as little cakes so I knew what to expect but I think the menu could do with some clarification on this. I thought the starter was nice but it just did not really do it for me. There wasn’t a lack of flavour or anything – I just was not crazy about the dish. I think I would have preferred the meat to take centre stage but the spices and piccalilli veg took over on the taste scale.
Crispy Pigs Cheeks £5.50
This time for main course we sampled the classic beef grinder burger (£7 + £1 for cheese) and the french dip smokehouse sandwich (£9). The french dip sandwich was as it was the first time – tender brisket beef with those onions – just delicious. I like that the bone marrow gravy comes on the side so that I can add as much or as little as I want. The only downside was that last time I am sure that the bun was toasted but this time it didn’t appear to be and it did affect the taste slightly as the bun couldn’t quite hold its own. Next time I will just make sure I ask for it to be toasted because I’m not sure if it is meant to be or not. The house slaw was as refreshing as last time and I’m glad that they serve it with this.
I completely agree with James VS Burger that the classic beef grinder burger is a tasty patty indeed. We both thought that it was full of flavour and the gooey cheese (add on £1) was delicious in it. Next time I think we’d go the whole hog (no pun intended) and add the pulled pork too for an add on at £2. Another menu item that I would be happy to recommend to people and will order again.
We chose the same sides as last time – the triple cooked fries & the dry rub crispy onion rings. The fries were crunchy on the outside & soft on the inside – excellent. The onion rings were not as good as last time but still nice. They were more in bits this time but last time they were big rings so I felt there was more crunch and outside rub than there was onion.
We were incredibly full again after our main courses so went without dessert. I had meant to try one of the meaty cocktails this time but decided against it on a school night.
So after our second visit we were full, happy and looking forward to our third. There were a few niggles – when isn’t there – but nothing even remotely big enough to put me off going again. One day I will try a meaty cocktail, one day.
My First time At Meat Bar can be seen here