There’s been plenty of hype surrounding Side Door BBQ over the past year.
Due to open in early 2015, there was talk of delays and hiccups, whispers of management changes and then echoing silence. Finally, in early February, the (side) doors opened.
The interior is all wooden panels, exposed brick and beams painted over in speckled white and splashes of red. It’s a look that’s as suited to a casual brunch as it is a big night out, aided in no small part by the menu of Texan-style smoked meats cooked slowly over wood chips till tender and succulent.
“Our style of barbeque is the closest, we think, to what Australians would like,” says partner, Des Teague. “Not over-smoked, and with the use of simple rubs and spices.”
Chef Gareth Simpson, formerly of the South African steakhouse Hippo Creek, is in charge of the barbeque menu. Standards such as ribs, hush puppies and thickly cut brisket are offered alongside bacon popcorn, pork belly lollipops and other house creations. A comprehensive drinks selection of wines, cocktails and American beers complements the menu.
Impressive meat trays leave smoky trails as they exit the kitchen, delivered by ruby red-lipsticked waitresses and waiters in suspenders and bow-ties. Fat rolls of paper towels are conveniently placed on every table, ready to soak up sauces and meat juices while a jukebox armed with a soundtrack of American diner classics provides background music.
Hungry? You should be and you’ve waited long enough: grab a booth and prepare to get your hands dirty.
Side Door BBQ
497 Beaufort Street, Highgate
(08) 6162 3610
Thu & Fri: 11am–10pm
Fri to Sun: 7am–10pm