Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

Smoke

(Natalie Imbruglia)

Bodean’s BBQ – Tower Hill

Bodeans @ Tolfalas.com

Bodeans

As you may have seen from the ‘Poppies‘ post, Val and I wanted to see the ‘field of poppies’ display at the Tower of London. So, on what was probably the last warm, sunny day before autumn’s chill, we headed up to Tower Hill.

Having spent a couple of years working near Manchester’s Northern Quarter and enjoying the various ‘street foods’ on offer, I had a hankering for something meaty and tasty so, having met up with some friends, we headed to Bodeans, which occupies the space on Byward Street, between All Bar One and Wetherspoon’s ‘Liberty Bounds’ pub.

It being a sunny Sunday afternoon, we had to wait for a table, but the greeter (Gabrielle) took my mobile ‘phone number and advised us to expect a 30-40 minute wait. So it was back to one of the aforementioned bars, and forty minutes later the text message arrived.

We were quickly seated, and then the four of us spent a full quarter hour selecting our dishes. I was conscious of the time because we had been advised that Bodeans operate a ninety minute table turnaround at busy times.

We decided to skip starters, and while the rest of my party considered the more exotic dishes on the menu, they all settled on the 8oz beef burger, one plain, one with cheese, one with cheese and streaky bacon. All burgers are served with Fries, Lettuce, Tomato,Red Onion and pickle, on a Sesame Seed Bun – no namby-pamby brioche for these boys! I decided to be a little more adventurous and went for the combo – a quarter chicken, spare ribs and pulled pork.

My guests all declared the burgers to be delicious, my wife’s – cooked ‘medium’ –  was moist and slightly pink, while the ‘well done’ burgers were slightly crispy and caramelised.

Burger - Bodeans @ Tolfalas.com

I was less fortunate with my combo, the pulled pork was fine, although I’ve eaten better, the ribs had hardly any meat, and the quarter chicken, while tasty, was over cooked and dry. It took the coleslaw on the side (and selection of chilli and barbecue sauces on the table) to make the chicken palatable.

Combo - Bodeans @ Tolfalas.com

Combo

That said, I also ordered side dishes of Macaroni Cheese and ‘Burnt Ends’ – bite sized pieces of tender, slow-cooked, smoked Beef Brisket. Both were generous portions, and both delicious, although the ‘Truffle Mac & Cheese’ at Cane & Grain in Manchester just edges it.

Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese

Burnt Ends - Bodeans @ Tolfalas.com

Burnt Ends

Despite having skipped the starters, we could barely finish our main courses, and I left with a few ‘Burnt Bits’ in a doggy box, all completed within the requisite ninety minutes, but there was little evidence that they planned to enforce it.

There was Sky Sports showing a live football game, which wasn’t too distracting, and the drinks were okay, the ladies enjoyed the house wine, while the men enjoyed a pint (each) of Charles Wells ‘DNA IPA’.

The Bodean’s website proudly proclaims a quote from Time Out magazine, pronouncing  Bodean’s to be ‘The Best Ribs this side of the Atlantic‘ – sadly not; I can think of at least half a dozen places in Manchester that trounce Bodean’s, but maybe Time Out hasn’t ventured that far north.

That said, my party enjoyed their meals, and it wasn’t too expensive, so we may return.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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