Get your fix of mouth-watering BBQ in Kent this summer…
Barbecue… What does it mean? Well, it seems that no one really knows, although plenty have tried to work it out.
It could be from the Spanish who landed on the islands in the Caribbean and found the locals cooking food out in the open. The Spanish named this cooking method barbecoa (see where we’re going with this?), and it basically meant that the meat was cooked for a long time, outside, so that it was as juicy and succulent as possible. That makes sense. But then again, what about the idea that the term ‘barbecue’ actually comes from the American deep south, and that it stems from a phrase that was originally written as ‘bar, beer, cue’ (as in a pool hall that sold liquor and cooked its food out in the open), which, of course, became barbecue (or BBQ for short). Yet another theory suggests that the word has a French origin (barbe a queue) meaning ‘head to tail’, which is certainly what the very first of these barbecues would cook.
Wherever the word and cooking style comes from, a barbecue is more than simply slapping some (possibly) marinated meat on a too hot grill and serving it up before it’s properly cooked, hoping that friends and relatives don’t get ill from it. No. A real barbecue is all about taking time – sometimes as much as 18 or more hours – to ensure that the meat is cooked in the most delicious, moreish way possible. A barbecue is not a quick meal, but it is a good one.
Although it may be the Southern states of the USA that boasts having the best idea of how to cook barbecue, we’re not doing too badly here in Kent – and there are plenty of excellent restaurants around that will prove that point perfectly, and juicily, with just the right touch of sauce and perhaps a side salad…
The Bull, Wrotham
The Smokehouse at The Bull offers plenty of excellent reasons to try their exceptional barbecue. They serve traditional, hickory smoked meat and only use the best quality meat (aged 6 to 8 weeks) and have a number of craft beers available to add to the experience. The menu includes smoked ox cheek, smoked beef brisket, spicy beef Bull banger and 10-hour smoked pulled pork with apple sauce.
Saint Smokey’s BBQ, Canterbury
This wonderfully authentic and tasty treat of a restaurant has been opened by a father and son team who understand exactly how a good barbecue should be put together. Here they share family recipes from the Caribbean that dates back for at least four generations. And you’ll feel like one of the family here – it’s a friendly, buzzing place to eat.
Meat American BBQ, Margate
Meat American BBQ is one of the most aptly named restaurants around. It serves meat, barbecued the American way with plenty of chilli and traditional barbecue sauce too. Some of the rather unique (and lovely sounding) delicacies include a mac and cheese lollipop with barbecue sauce!
Stanny’s Smokehouse, Rochester
The people in the know behind Stanny’s have travelled all across the American south and mid-west, including Memphis, Kansas, New Orleans and Texas. They brought the secret of a great barbecue back with them – it’s all about the hickory. And now they want to share their discovery back at home; which is great news for us!
The Burger Brothers, Canterbury, Dover & Deal
Started by Karl Wozny who not only wanted his customer to taste the delicacies that he had when in New York, but who always wanted (and wants) them to feel like family, The Burger Brothers may have started in a ‘shack’ in a pub garden in Deal, but it has grown substantially since.
Winner of the Taste of Kent Awards Kent Restaurant of the Year 2016, Googies has a lot to offer – and that includes a large selection of smoked food. In fact, the techniques used to create the wonderful dishes on offer is called ‘hot smoked’, which is an entirely different type of BBQ, and utterly delicious.
www.googies.co.uk / 01303 246188
Ques Smokehouse, Ashford
This traditional steakhouse with a twist began life eight years before it actually existed – just like the food served here, it took a long time to get it just right. But it’s now an incredible place to enjoy some real barbecue food served exactly as you want it.
www.steakhouseashford.co.uk / 01233 877610