Bluegrass Real BBQ, 15 GUN ST, READING,RG1 2JR.
Pulled pork, pancakes and Hershey’s ice cream. This western-styled diner is everything students dreaming of a trip to America need to try, and it’s served without the hefty plane cost.
Bluegrass Real BBQ- located next to Purple Turtle- does exactly what it says on the tin. Its unique menu flaunts a variety of slow cooked barbecued meats, as well as burgers oozing with flavour, homemade sauces, and even deep-fried pickles, which you’ll be delighted to know are called frickles.
My choice of main course was suggested by the waitress as a fun way for my dinner companion and I to trial the meats on offer. The Pit Boss Platter (£26.95) is the perfect sharing option, and- unless you have the stomach of a lion- I highly recommend not ordering this for one.
The smokehouse platter consists of a succulent combination of glazed baby back ribs, brisket, sticky pulled pork, burnt ends and barbecue chicken. The pulled pork option was particularly impressive and with its silky texture complemented the crispness of the accompanying sweet potato fries.
The dish was also served with deliciously crunchy coleslaw and mini corn on the cobs which- having been grilled with the meat- offered a satisfyingly smokey flavour.
My dinner companion opted for the Pork Belly ‘n’ Burnt Ends (£11.95). This dish comprised hickory-smoked pork belly served with pork belly burnt ends, fries and coleslaw. Pleasingly, the pork belly was both juicy and sweet, whilst the burnt ends provided a unique contrast of texture which emphasised the meal’s exotic nature.
She also trialled Bluegrass’ famous frickles (£2.95), which- with the pickles’ ripe, vinegary flavour, and the batter’s crispy touch-went down a treat.
The dessert menu offered an equally difficult decision for our taste buds. While the Oreo ‘n’ salted caramel pie (£4.95) did tease our tastebuds, we both went for one of Bluegrass’ speciality sundaes.
My option was the Hershey’s Strawberry Sundae (£4.95). At first taste, the smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream was highly enjoyable. Not to mention the tastiness of the white chocolate cake chunks, marshmallows, and refreshing strawberry sauce that followed. The perfect concoction!
The Peanut Butter Sundae (£4.95) was my companion’s choice. The authentically nutty flavour was a particular stand out bonus, and the peanut butter syrup, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chocolate brownie ensured a irresistible sweetness.
The chain’s drinks menu is also intriguing. A selection of ales are available, including Bluegrass’ own sweet but refreshing APA (£4.75). A variety of sodas, floats (soda served with scoop of vanilla ice cream) and flavoursome alcoholic beverages are also on offer.
My favourite was the ‘Low and Sloe’ (£4.50)- slow gin served with lemonade. Not only did it carry an inviting tang, but the sweetness of the lemonade made the perfect accompaniment.
While Bluegrass do not currently offer a student discount, they have a weekday specials list consisting of offers which differ each week day. Pop along to the diner on Monday for an enticingly cheap steak served with fries and onion rings (£10) or come on Wednesday for a stack of wings, fries and a drink (£10).
For more information about Bluegrass, to view the menu, or to book log on to www.bluegrass-bbq.com. You can also call 01189 599112.