As Australians we think we’re pretty handy around a BBQ. But there are three countries which leave our love of a hot grill in their wake: Argentina, Brazil and the United States. Luckily for lovers of the BBQ a few new BBQ joints have opened in town recently. I’ve already covered Melbourne’s excellent Argentinian BBQ restaurants – San Telmo and Piqueos. So here’s three more of our best BBQ joints – a pub serving up Texan BBQ, a Brazilian BBQ restaurant and a Texan BBQ food truck.
1. The Gem Bar and Dining
The owner of The Gem pub in Collingwood fell in love with Texan BBQ on a trip to the States next year. He sent his chef off to explore the state of smoky marinades and slow pulled pork and the result was The Gem’s Texas Barbecue Sundays. The meat is cooked in a Klose Smoker imported from Texas and for $28 you get a whole board of meaty goodness. I loved the melt in your mouth brisket, crispy burnt ends, house made sausage and mac n’ cheese topped with bacon. The house made BBQ sauce is so good the The Gem is going to start selling it for diners to take away. The only disappointment was the ribs which were over cooked and dry on my visit.
Details: The Gem Bar and Dining, 289 Wellington St, Collingwood (Ph 03 9419 5170)
2. Viva Brazil
The opening of this Brazilian BBQ restaurant last week in Prahran had the works including dancers in rhinestone g-strings with feathered head dresses. The bright yellow sign out the front and booth style seating doesn’t create the best first impression, but ignore the appearance, the important thing is the BBQ here is top notch.
Just like the churrascarias in Brazil the meat is cooked over a flame grill and brought around and carved at the table from a sword. For a set price of $56 you get as much food brought as you can handle. Just like my favourite Brazilian churrascaria, Porcao, you hold up a green card for more food or a red card to stop. The highlights were the the rump steak and lamb leg, not to mention the capirihinas.
Details: Viva Brazil, 01-209 High St, Prahran (Ph 03 8527 8222) Open 7 days. 11.30 am until late.
3. Fancy Hanks
Food truck Fancy Hanks serves up Texas style BBQ in a bun. There’s a great BBQ smoky taste to the pulled pork ($10) which is served in fluffy bread with some red cabbage to add crunch. The only difficulty is working out just where Fancy Hanks is going to be.
Details: Fancy Hanks BBQ, often found at the Mercart next to the Queen Vic Market or the Princes Park Bowls Club.
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Gem Bar and Dining and Viva Brazil.