Review of Bare Grills Smokehouse The Bear Grill
What they say:
200g Beef burger topped with smoked brisket, honey glazed bacon, jack cheese, crispy onions, salad and BBQ sauce.
Weston-super-Mare. Synonymous with sandcastles, the Grand Pier, fish and chips and… dirty burgers!? Not many people would expect the latter, and that was our initial thought too at BLHQ. That is, until Bare Grills Smokehouse popped up on the radar.
|That’s a pretty bold statement…!|
After scoping out the menu we decided that this could be well worth the 130 mile-round trip to check out their signature burger – The Bear Grill. The weather wasn’t in our favour, but at least driving to Weston in torrential rain meant that we could give this burger our full attention, and not be distracted by building sandcastles or donkey rides. Hungry for barbecue goodness we set a course for Bare Grills.
This top independent restaurant opened in late November 2014, and boasts space for 30-covers downstairs with additional space for 30-ish more upstairs. They say that they were born from their deep love for American BBQ and the culture that surrounds it. Last year they started importing the best in BBQ smokers and Charcoal grills while testing local suppliers to refine their product. And this certainly shows in the food they delivered to us today!
|The menu at Bare Grills…|
Inside you don’t feel like you are in the middle of the popular seaside town. You almost feel like you’re sat in the middle of the mountains in a log cabin. The interior has a lot of wood inside to give you that smokehouse feeling with funky tri-style lightbulbs hanging down to your table giving a warm and cosy lighting. You’ve got the often seen, industrial copper exposed pipe leading to an open kitchen area which is adorned with glass containers containing their house rub mix.
|Host of good smells from the open kitchen…|
You know things are going to get messy and there’s going to be some serious meat involved by looking at your table. Alongside the Hellman’s Mayo, French’s Mustard and Frank’s Hot Wing sauce you’ve got every red-blooded carnivores essentials – steak knives, toothpicks and plenty of napkins and fresheners. Things will get messy…
The whole time we were there it was busy so they must be doing something right here in Weston. And looking at (and smelling) the food which was coming from that open kitchen it looked like we were in for a real treat. The only thing that seemed out of place was the big flat screen TV on the wall – a Moose Head or some other sort of animal skin or rug would have been more at home in this house of meat.
After a relatively short wait this extreme stack of a burger was presented to me and my goodness I nearly clapped my hands together in pure delight…
|The Bear Grill…|
What an absolute tower of Texas-inspired barbecue right before my eyes! Yearning to sink my teeth into this jaw-dropping build I took my best shot at biting as much as I could… and was blown away by the awesome-ness of the flavours.
The 2 x 100g patties were cooked medium to well-done but were absolutely incredible. Soft, good quality beef with just a hint of pink now and then, but I was amazed at the seasoning and spice mix they have used in their patty. I later asked exactly what was in them but was told it was a house secret. With an incredible flavour like this I can’t blame them, as this instantly shot into one of my favourite ever category. It’s that damn good!
|A mighty meat monolith…|
Crispy onions are one of my absolute favourite burger toppings. And it was brilliant to see that here they make their own instead of using the dried ones you get straight from a container. There was more than an ample amount of them on-board and they brought a slight crispiness and sweetness to The Bear Grill burger. Sort of like having loads of fried onion ring pieces added but better. Much better.
The burger is described as coming with jack cheese and this is certainly the case… but it also has American melted on it as well which is a welcome addition. I wasn’t expecting this, or the fact it was two patties so this really did make this the ultimate bacon double cheeseburger in my opinion.
|The ultimate bacon double cheese…|
This is complimented by some delightfully tender and meaty smokehouse brisket which elevates The Bear Grill into a very special place. In fact, we also tried some brisket burnt ends (£3.50) as a side and these were coated in their glossy signature BBQ sauce… and were quite simply perfect. I don’t think I can throw enough superlatives at these, but let’s just say I could have taken a bucket of them home with me. They were that freaking good!
The meat ménage à trois was completed by the honey glazed bacon (yes I did have a bit of a meat sweat going on after this). This was slightly smoky in flavour and there was a good amount of it (you didn’t need too much!). There was just a slight bit too much fat on the rasher for my liking and this is the only minor grumble I have for an otherwise excellent build.
|Beef + brisket + bacon…|
The heel of the bun never stood a chance and for most burgers this would be a sin. But just look at the ingredients piled on high here! When you taste the smoky, meaty goodness contained within you can forgive the bottom half of the bun for waving the white flag and giving up on this occasion. I didn’t care. And thankfully a good supply of napkins helped me through this incredible burger.
My meal today was served on a metal tray with the side of fries (£2.50) scattered out of a tipped over metal mug. The fries are also worth a mention. These again had been dusted in a top secret seasoning/rub and were a joy dipped in that BBQ sauce. As you can tell from this review there was very little, if anything we could fault from our experience at Bare Grills and we can’t recommend it enough.
|What you get for a shade over £20…|
The Bear Grill is a terrific BBQ/Smokehouse influenced messy, enjoyable eat and a beautifully presented dirty burger. The patties are really very good – the seasoning and spice rub they use in their blend is damn fine and you could just have a patty on its own and it would be packed full of flavour. They don’t need the other ingredients to make this burger but they make it an absolute joy to eat and you won’t walk out feeling hungry! Some might baulk at paying a tenner for “just a burger”, but they truly would not understand the love, care, attention and processes that goes into such a memorable creation.
Miss Milkshake very much enjoyed her Chilli Dog (£6.50) and a special mention must go to the crispy jalapeños – a coated and deep fried pocket of spicy goodness. As you can see from the picture below it looked top-drawer.
|Bare Grills Smokehouse Chilli Dog…|
Fine dining isn’t the first thing you automatically think of when it comes to Weston-super-Mare (apart from The Cove Restaurant in our experience). But this place should, and will put it on the burger-map for all the right reasons. If you want Ham, Egg & Chips in an elegant surrounding, with doilies and cloth napkins then stick to the Edwardian-style Tiffany tea rooms at the end of the pier. If you want excellent BBQ meats, dirty burgers and other smokehouse delights then get to Bare Grills as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed.