Food review: Longhorns BBQ @ Head of Steam
We like Head of Steam here at Exposed. So much so, that after going to their launch night back in April we have barely left the place since. And it’s not even that close to the office. Much of the appeal comes from the extravagant array of beers and the excellent refurb job they’ve done on what was The Old Monk, which, let’s face it, had been looking rather tired. But outside of that, meat-eaters are sure to be drawn in by the fact they’ve teamed up with Longhorns Smokehouse to provide salivary servings of smoky sustenance. Yum.
If you like Smoke, Reds and the BBQ Collective, then this is going to be your thing. This is interesting, because I’m probably one of the few non-veggies in Sheffield who’s never really bought into the whole American BBQ vibe. But after tonight, Longhorns may well have changed my mind for good.
The menu threw up some tricky decisions: do we go for the badass brisket over the big ass burger? Or how about the Memphis hog butt instead of the Smokehouse patty? Decisions, decisions. Thankfully, they do what is simply known as ‘the board’ which means you get a bit of pretty much everything on the menu – which sorted out our party of three beer-guzzling thirty-something fellas just fine. We all agreed that the hog butt (slow smoked pork shoulder) was the best pulled pork we’ve eaten, while the patty (two beef and hog smoked patties served in a brioche bun with Monterey Jack cheese and ranch bacon plus trimmings) was just about my favourite burger ever. It’s probably a tie between that and the Dirty Cow, courtesy of street food specialists Cowboy Burgers.
So the meat was good, that’s a given, but what really set Longhorns apart for me was that a bit of thought had gone into balancing flavours, which isn’t always the case in other places that offer the American meat feast. There was an array of gherkins and pickles to offset the rich, sweet flavours of the meats and sauces which meant you wanted to keep tucking in. Clever, well thought-out and most importantly, damn tasty.
Washed down with a few pints of Cameron’s Sleepy Brewtea and a Citra Bale Ale, this was the perfect way for a group of discerning meat-lovin’ gents to pass a giddy Thursday evening. Folk already bang into their smoked meats will be in raptures, no doubt, but where Longhorns may really make it is by converting some of the unconverted. It worked on me.