I am already a struggling addict to the legendary pulled pork baps from Grillstock in St. Nicks market. 5 minutes walk from work, I quickly filled up several loyalty cards carrying out collections for people from work. One day the addiction hit so bad I had to go and ask for a portion of pulled pork for an afternoon snack when I had already eaten my lunch. Not good. So… when I heard that Grillstock was opening a smokehouse on Clifton Triangle, which is 5 minutes from where I live, I knew that I was doomed.
Grillstock are complete geniuses when it comes to the cooking of meat. Starting life as a BBQ based festival in Bristol full of meat, music and mayhem from the BBQing masterminds Ben and Jon, They have now expanded to hold the festival in other locations across the country as well its permanent residence in the dangerously close locations to work and home.
The lead up to finally sampling Grillstock was tense. It took me a while to get there and in the meantime I was tortured by people describing how good it was, but also that they sometimes run out of certain menu options. By the eve of going my high expectations were coupled with a slightly panic stricken fear that I might not be able to try everything! This sounds like I am overegging it a bit, but I think the dinner date can vouch for the reaction when he had to work a bit late which would delay our arrival and consequently increase the risk of meat shortage. AAAAH! In my defence I freely admit I am not the best version of Kirsty when I am hungry. I warn when it is time to feed the beast before she comes out… 😉 Panic not me dear friends, all meat was indeed available.
I had my heart set on the Grand Champion: a spectacular concoction of ribs, chicken, brisket and their renowned pulled pork, served with sides of chips, cornbread, coleslaw, sausage (yes meat as a side dish), meaty beans and burnt ends! You are reading this correctly – I pretty much tried every type of meat on offer. The Grand Champion is meant as a challenge for one person, but after struggling to finish it between two of us, anyone who finishes by themselves is pretty heroic in my mind!
This food isn’t about airs and graces; this is pick it up and smother in your mouth kinda food. If you’re anywhere near as much of a messy eater as I am I would not recommend it as a first date: this is more a meal for eating with people who know you and love you for the messy food loving eater that you are.
These guys seriously know how to flavour and cook their meat. In my humble meat loving opinion I would put the ribs up there at the top of the meats at Grillstock, closely followed by the chicken. From now on I will also only accept beans with meat in.
I was also a little in awe of my friends hotdog (her choice on each of her three visits as it is too damn good to try something different) with which she chose a side of chilli cheese fries – practically a whole meal in itself. I’ve previously tried their epic hot dogs at BrewDog and they are pretty unbeatable!
They’ve got the look and feel pretty spot on too. A long table runs down the middle of the restaurant where you squeeze in where possible and try and be discreet as you drool over other people’s food as you wait for your meal. The walls are adorned with festival posters and country music, reflective of the meat festival music, is constantly on in the background.
The food is also great value for the amount of food you get. Sharing the Grand champion works out at £14 each between two (you can do the maths for the total meal price) and you won’t be able to squeeze another bit of food in. The rest of the meals work out even cheaper, with their famous pulled pork baps at £5 and a smokestack burger for just £7.
Can’t wait to go back for a full rack of ribs! Bring it on!