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Food Blog: Red’s True BBQ

So it hardly feels like yesterday since I preached to you all about the delicious street food at Leeds Trinity Kitchen. Yet here I am with another of Leeds’ many restaurants, this time offering the authentic experience of American fast-food dining to tantalise your taste buds. This week, after a lengthy year since my previous visit, I returned to Red’s True Barbecue to celebrate my flat mate’s birthday. If the name is strange to your ears then give me a moment to praise the greatness that is the best BBQ joint in Leeds.

According to Red himself, ‘the people must be saved from bad barbecue.’ This was certainly true for myself, as prior to my first visit to Red’s I knew very little about the true BBQ experience, in fact I knew no more than my father’s blackened sausages from our failed family DIY barbecues. I was ignorant to the delicious BBQ sauces, to the slow cooked meats and flavoursome rubs. But oh my, how I have been educated!

The guys at Red’s have mastered the art of a great barbecue. After travelling great American distances they have developed their techniques in smoking and slow cooking, as well as perfected the punchy recipes for their sauces and glazes. These guys have learnt from the American BBQ Kings and now it is their mission to educate the folk of Leeds. Their broad menu offers a variation of BBQ classics, from pork and beef ribs, to pulled pork and homemade burgers, with an abundance of sides on offer to accompany your dish. They also helpfully advise upon refreshing beers and lagers which are designed to subtly bring out the flavours of your food. 

I have several times, since my first visit, suggested a return to Red’s, but-for reasons beyond my own comprehension-a year passed. I don’t even know where the time went, and how I managed so long without Red’s BBQ greatness in my life. So this recent visit was long overdue, and honestly, there was a lot of pressure on the food being equally as amazing…especially since I have been preaching about this place for the last year. Had I built it up in my head into something it was not?

No. Of course not. The food was amazing. Everybody, including myself thoroughly enjoyed the food. Last time I visited Red’s I ordered the slow cooked pulled pork, which I recommended to a friend. For myself, I ordered the Donut Burger. Yes, it may sound ridiculous. Yes, it may sound very wrong. But in fact, it was so very right! The utterly ingenious combination of sweet and savoury makes for an overtly decadent burger. It was a devilishly delicious choice accompanied by a portion of skin-on fries and a couple of hush puppies (spicy sweetcorn and jalapeno fritters). Three of us at the table ordered this unique burger, and we were each in awe of its creation.

Not only is the food at Red’s majestic, but I am equally, and unapologetically, swayed by the delightfully handsome kitchen staff. I don’t know what it is but there is something incredibly sexy and bad ass about a man stood behind the burning flames of a kitchen work surface. Prepare to swoon ladies!

Lastly, and sadly, I have one small quibble: Red’s policy for table bookings. Unfortunately, Red’s only take table bookings for groups of at least eight people. Although I understand their ethos as a fast-food restaurant, I find it rather annoying that you cannot book a table in advance for a small group. I have known that people have gone to the restaurant and have been told to wait at least an hour for a table opening. This is inevitably down to their popularity, that which I can’t fault, but it is somewhat frustrating that you cannot confirm a table in advance. Grrr.  But don’t let that put you off. If you manage to get a table, then consider yourself lucky and simply enjoy the experience.

So get yourselves down to Red’s for the ultimate BBQ experience. I promise you will not be disappointed…

Here is the website for further details: http://truebarbecue.com/

Also, here is an additional review which I wrote following my first experience at Red’s:

http://www.weekendnotes.co.uk/reds-true-barbeque/

Beth Marsh

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