Bubbacue has long been one of Belfast’s hidden gems.
Tucked away in Callender Street, to the rear of Next and M&S, this American-style BBQ joint popped-up in 2012. Its popularity meant the location became a permanent one and it has recently been given a significant makeover which is sure to see them attract even more fans of slow-cooked meat served pronto.
Belfastvibe were there to sample the new menu and fast-casual concept that’s been introduced at Bubbacue. Here’s what we learnt…
1. Smoked slow, served fast
Bubbacue has reinvented itself as the UK & Ireland’s first fast-casual barbecue restaurant, the result of an innovative redefinition of ‘food on the go’ which has led to the creation of four new jobs.
Fast-casual restaurants have been gaining momentum across the USA and London for years now. They are a cross between casual dining with table service, and fast food.
2. A permanent pop-up
Since opening as a pop-up in 2012, Bubbacue has been a cult favourite because of their dedication to using only authentic slow smoked BBQ techniques practised in the best barbecue joints all over the the south of North American.
A recent refurbishment has seen an evolution of the Bubbacue experience from the former slow paced, rustic interior to something more urban but still with a Southern drawl.
3. Cooked from scratch
The meat at Bubbacue is prepared with a special rub of dried spices applied to quality joints of meat, which are then loaded into the smoker and slow smoked for over 12 hours.
Creator and founder John Blisard said: “There are no hidden oils or fats, the meat is simply cooked low and slow until it comes out of the smoker tender and ready for serving. We serve real food, prepared from scratch using wholesome ingredients. All produce is fresh, nothing comes into our restaurant frozen – we don’t even own a freezer.”
4. Prices to drool at
Bubbacue aim to deliver restaurant quality at fast food prices. We have to say they more than hit the mark. The portions are generous and you can more than fill your boots for £8 – which includes your meat in either a roll, a bowl or as part of a salad, plus two sides. Beef brisket is an extra 50p. If you just want to keep it simple and go without sides you can eat for £4.50. In saying that, it would be a sin not to order the Mac & Cheese!
5. More healthy options
As part of the transformation, Bubbacue has expanded its menu to include vegetarian options and healthier side items such as Black Bean & Corn or a Giant Couscous & Apricot Salad. The addition of rice or mashed potato offers an alternative to the standard burger bun, providing a healthy, gluten free option.
The corn bread is a must and will only set you back an extra pound, while the chicken wings are some of the best we’ve tasted thanks to the blue cheese dip and BBQ sauce. In fact, when it comes to sauces, there are so many tasty homemade marinades to choose from that more than one visit (a week) is a must!
7. Local suppliers
Bubbacue also believes in local and its ingredients are 100% locally sourced from suppliers such as Henderson Foodservice, French Village, Universal Produce and GB poultry in Crossgar.
8. They’ve got their own beer
Bubbacue have joined forces with Belfast brewers Boundary to create a signature Bubbabrew, which given its exclusivity is a bargain at £4.50.
Here’s a collection of snaps of some of the lucky few who were invited to the relaunch of Bubbacue…