I first heard about Red Dog Saloon when someone at work came in raving about a new, authentic American BBQ place that had just opened up near Old Street. Not one to miss out on anything, I was keen to get down there and find out what all the fuss was about myself, but not before reading up some interesting reviews and articles online (the Evening Standard even did a piece on it where two reporters undertook one of the food challenges, comparing it to an episode of Man vs Food).
The reviews were glowing, the hype was ever-increasing, it was time to get over there and throw myself into the Red Dog experience - TO THE SALOON!
Some of you may be familiar with the challenges on offer at Red Dog Saloon, but for those that aren't, here's a run down:
The Hot Wings Challenge
You simply need to finish them - they come in three different flavours:
- BW1 – Mildest (still probably scorching hot)
- BWNapalm – Medium (burns through metal)
- Armageddon – Hotter than the sun?
Out of the two times I've visited, I've only seen 2 people take on the challenge - both failed.
The Devastator Challenge
You must eat the following in one sitting:
- A Devastator burger (3x 6oz patties, 200g pulled pork, 6 rashers of applewood smoked bacon and 6 slices of American cheese)
- A portion of French fries
- A pot of Coleslaw
- A milkshake
Sound easy? Try doing it in 10 minutes. If you manage it you win a tshirt and the respect of everyone in the restaurant that night - fail and your mugshot goes on the wall of shame.
Needless to say I didn't go for one of the challenges (not straight away, you gotta ease yourself in with these things - plus if I fail, I won't be able to show my face there again). I did get a little over-excited though and, along with my two friends, ordered the following (which seemed like a really good idea at the time!):
- Wing sampler x 1 (A selection of 12 wings in the following flavours: original buffalo, bar-b-q, and sweet & spicy mustard glaze)
- A 'Punisher' burger x 3 (6oz beef patty with 16 hour smoked pork butt, applewood smoked bacon and American cheese)
- French fries x 1
Now, I know what you're thinking - one portion of fries between three? Yes, they are pretty big sides, and when you see the burgers come out you wish you hadn't ordered any fries. Not to be outdone, we plumped for the Devastator's equally brutal little sister, the Punisher...
It certainly lives up to it's name, lulling you into a false sense of security when during consumption, deceptively making you feel arrogant that you're 'not even that full', only to come back with a vengeance an hour later, punishing your insides good and proper (in the nicest possible way - a bit like that good ache you get when you over-exercise).
Onto the drinks - I haven't tried any of the Saloon cocktails (yet - I'll be going back for more soon!), but I have tried their milkshakes. Their Peanut Butter & Banana shake is perfection and their Oreo shake has huge cookie chunks in, so technically it's more of a dessert really...
Only last weekend I went for a second visit to induct my little sister to this awesome eatery, when she came down to London for the weekend. She ordered the Blue Cheese & Bacon burger and practically inhaled it, so it must have been good - if you need it, here's photographic evidence of Courtney and I thoroughly enjoying ourselves (pre and during burger):
So to sum up, you should make Red Dog Saloon your number 1 choice for burgers (and I've heard they do some mean ribs too) and your next endeavour as you get delicious food, excellent service, and a great atmosphere all for a reasonable price!