When I went to Texas I got bit by the BBQ bug bad. Coming back to Perth, knowing I wouldn’t get the same BBQ here was hard… Or so I thought until I discovered Side Door BBQ. Nestled in a side street off of the famed Beaufort Street restaurant strip in Highgate is an ambient, American-style BBQ joint, humming with activity; Side Door BBQ.
It’s not hard to see why it’s popular, in fact so much so, that we couldn’t get a reservation until 8.30pm. Folks tend to eat a little later in Perth than they do back home, so the restaurant was still packed at this time. Despite the fact it was incredibly packed, it was fantastic service from word go. We were promptly served upon arrival and seated at a large sharing table in the middle of the restaurant. We were taken through the menu, given a rough idea of serving sizes and introduced to an extensive drinks menu.
Considering I had already been on their online menu several times in the lead up to our meal, all we really had to decide on were drinks. We had decided to go for their sharing platter for four even though there were just two of us. This did incur some strange looks, but you can’t blame us for wanting plenty of leftovers! Plus, that way we got to try everything on the menu.
By now you all know that I’m pretty strictly gluten free when I go out to eat. This was no issue for the team at Side Door, since their meats are all gluten free as are their table sauces. Side Door has 4 house-made table sauces that sit pretty beside your meal allowing you to have as much or as little sauce as you like. From their smokey Espresso BBQ, to regular BBQ, tomato sauce and their Hot n Spicy, there is something for everyone. My personal favourite was their Espresso BBQ which was killer on the Pork Ribs!
As you can see, the platter for four is massive. It includes Beef Short Rib, Pork Belly Bites, Brisket, Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Smoked Sausage and Chicken Wings for the meat along with sides of two different Coleslaws, Creamed Corn, Mac n Cheese, Pickled Veg, Cornbread and Regular Bread. We also ordered their BBQ Beans with Burnt Ends since I’d be hankering to try those as one of their gluten free options for the meal. I skipped the Mac n Cheese, Cornbread, Creamed Corn and Regular Bread as these items all contained gluten. Plus, they would’ve taken up precious stomach space that would’ve been better filled with delicious BBQ’d meats.
Our platter came out in no time at all because all of the meats are ready to go. Most of them are 12 hour smoked prior so it really just is a matter of assembling the platters. This doesn’t effect the quality or taste of the meat at all. As you can imagine, the platters were incredibly impressive. Luckily, their restaurant is well thought out, and the tables were the perfect size to accommodate our food.
Of course the first thing I delved into was the Beef Short Rib; my all time favourite from my Texas trip, and it definitely lived up to my high expectations. It was succulent, flavoursome and melted off the bone. My only fault was that there was way too much salt on top, even after wiping the majority off, something I didn’t experience back in Texas. But it was a minor fault, and I could have easily just left the top layer to the side. The Beef Short Rib still remains king in my books. The Pork Belly Bites were soft, sticky and sweet and absolutely delicious too. In fact, all of the meat was. They have their slow cooking and smoking down to a fine art at Side Door and their meat is a delicious trophy of their skill.
I can’t vouch for all of the sides, however what I did have was delicious. Firstly, I tried their BBQ Beans with Burnt Ends and they definitely had good flavour, but weren’t what I was expecting. Unfortunately they were a little dry, and different to the photos I had seen on their website and social media. This was the only let down of the whole meal. Next, I moved onto the salads. I’m a huge coleslaw fan and make my own regularly, so I loved having that as a side. They stick close to traditional American BBQ with their two different coleslaws. One is a vinegar dressed Pickled Slaw and the other, your classic mayo dressed coleslaw with a twist: grated apple. Given my love of mayo, the latter of the two coleslaw options was my favourite but I definitely ate plenty of both!
We were checked on a couple of times during our meal and never left without a drink in hand, which is service that I couldn’t miss. I’m a real stickler when it comes to customer service and Side Door exceeded my expectations for such a busy place. They paid attention to each customer and were genuine in their approach.
Side Door is most definitely a place I will be visiting again. Excellent food, top quality service and a great atmosphere. Their BBQ was definitely traditional American and every bite was well thought out. I for one cannot wait for their table-sauces to be released to take home.
Side Door truly is the perfect place to go when you want BBQ without needing the plane ticket.