Managing to find a place to eat that will suit a large group can be challenging at the best of times, even more so for a group of ten which consists mainly of 25 year old men. This was my challenge a few weeks ago when my brother celebrated his birthday and wanted to do something different for it. Where do you bring lads who are at their happiest in places like Zaytoon, BEAR and Gourmet Burger, where the food is dig your hands in, stuff it in your gob and end up with sauce dripping down your face style! I needed somewhere that could handle a group of big, noisy, hungry males who liked their grub and lots of it! Then in what can only be described as serendipitous timing, Stitch and Bear reviewed The Bison Bar & BBQ and I knew my dilemma was solved.
The Bison Bar is right besides the Workman’s Club and is only a short stroll from Temple Bar. The Bison Bar only take bookings for groups of ten or more and we were one of the first groups to take advantage of this. Being able to book for a large group on a Friday night was great as the place was packed when we walked in. The Bison Bar is as casual as they come with seating consisting of low wooden stools and booths. The tables come equipped with squishy bottles of mustard and bbq sauce and a big roll of kitchen paper – always a good sign!! The only thing that was slightly annoying were the booth walls, which split up the group a little, though we didn't dwell on that too long as we were starving.
The menu, while short, sounded delicious – smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage links, spilt chicken and pork ribs. Even at this it took us a while to decide with a lot of ‘if you get the brisket, I’ll get the pulled pork and we can share’ going on. There were also a few order changes when some of the lads realised that combo trays were possible. Let’s just say the staff were very patient with us especially when the food arrived and half the boys got confused about what they had ordered!! In fairness now the staff could have given them any of the dishes and they would have been happy, as it was they were ecstatic.
|Bring it on!!!|
The brisket had a beautiful smokiness, the meat fell off the ribs, the pulled pork melted in the mouth and the chicken was juicy. All this meat was accompanied by sides including great crispy chips, chunky onions rings, potato salad and coleslaw and to top it all off burnt end beans. These ‘devil beans’ have the brisket ends in them and are slow cooked to a sticky consistency. They were a little spicy for me, the name should have given it away, but one of the lads hovered them up!
After finishing every last morsel on our trays the lads decided to finish the meal off with dessert. The choices were peach cobbler or chocolate brownie, both of which came with ice-cream. When they arrived out I got dessert envy and ordered one for myself! Both were lovely and surprisingly not too heavy after such a feed. The portions were smallish but this was probably for the best. At €5.95 I did think the desserts were a tad on the pricey side but as was pointed out to me most restaurants charge this if not more.
All this meat was handily washed down by some great whisky sours and bison kicks which were on special that night for a fiver. The boys also put the fully stocked whisky bar to use and tried out a few different varieties.
The Bison Bar and BBQ was a wonderful place to start the birthday night out. My brother tells me his mates haven’t stopped talking about it since their visit and indeed myself and the boyfriend have already been back for more!! I earned some serious brownie points for organising it all!! I would also like to say thanks to the staff who put up with us for the evening – sorry if we had you totally confused it was just all so good we wanted more of it!
The whole meal cost us €218 which was for ten meals, some of them combos, a few extra sides and desserts. Drinks were bought separately. The BBQ is available everyday at the Bison Bar, starting at midday and lasting until nine o'clock or until the meat runs out! They are now also doing lunch so if a brisket or pulled pork sandwich takes your fancy you know where to go!
Bison Bar, 11 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2