IF you’re going to Side Door Barbecue for dinner, then it might be worth fasting for a few days beforehand.
The American-style portions are so gigantic that even Clive Palmer would probably raise the white flag and waddle back to his Learjet with a full belly.
The good news is that Side Door hasn’t scarified on quality and have doggy bags, so you continue your meat odyssey at home the next day.
Situated just off Beaufort Street in Highgate, it’s tricky to find parking beside the eatery, but we eventually nabbed a space in a nearby residential street.
Close to a nice row of shops, pubs and cafes, it’s a cosmopolitan little strip with lovely buildings and a vibrant feel.
Side Door specialise in slow-cooked, smoked BBQ from America’s south – beef short rib, brisket, pulled pork, pork belly, chicken wings and sausage.
I was inspired to go there after watching a few episodes of BBQ Pit Masters (picture fat guys from Texas, who are a sausage away from putting you in the electric chair, BBQing a cow the size of a small plane).
The menu was a meat-lover’s paradise with everything from pork belly lollipops to chilli and cheese sausages. They also had a range of authentic sides including collard greens, BBQ beans and cornbread mini loaf. There was even a token veggie burger on there and some salads.
A nice inclusion was the “plates for one”, an economical range of meats with sides that was a good introduction to the world of slow-cooked BBQ.
Service was brisk and it wasn’t long before my 500g beef rib “plate for one” ($39) arrived on a metal tray that looked like it was straight out of San Quentin prison.
The delicious beef came effortlessly off the bone and was succulent and crammed with flavour.
There was a bit of fat to negotiate, but I imagine that is normal to keep it moist, and once you extracted the meat it was delicious.
The accompanying Mac and Cheese was the best I’ve had since my gran’s house many moons ago.
Served in one of this kitsch baking trays, it had a rich cheese sauce with a slightly crisp carapace. A moreish delight.
The coleslaw was a proper homemade job and tasted refreshing and light – not like some of the mayo monstrosities I’ve had – and helped refresh the palate in-between mouthfuls of the smoky meat.
Rounding things off were some crisp, non-greasy chips and a good quality chipotle mayo.
A top-notch and huge dish. Across the table, my wife was enjoying her St Louis style pork rib “plate for one” ($26).
“It’s got a delicious sweet, sticky glaze and that telltale smoke ring,” she enthused.
“I really like the cornbread muffin with maple butter, and the corn cob is another nice touch.
“A delicious and filling meal.” We got Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles a southern fried chicken plate for one to share ($27) but even then they couldn’t finish it.
It came with cornbread muffin, fries, coleslaw and chipotle mayo.
They wolfed it down no probs and I can confirm the chook was succulent with a light southern-fried coating.
If you’re after something big, bold and brash to eat – the culinary equivalent of Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard – then Side Door Barbecue is a must.
Side Door Barbecue
497-499 Beaufort Street (Rear), Highgate
by STEPHEN POLLOCK