The Experience: Grillstock started life as a BBQ & Music festival in Bristol. The brand has now grown to include a sister festival in Manchester, a BBQ stall in the busy St. Nicholas Market, and now a proper sit-down smokehouse. Decor-wise the place was covered in photos and flyers from the various Grillstock festivals over the years. The seating consisted of a single long table with a gully down the centre which housed napkins and bottles of their legendary Backyard BBQ sauces.
Burgers Ordered: The Lockjaw Burger and the Smokestack Burger
The Taste: The Lockjaw Burger is so named due to the fact that you will likely get lockjaw trying to fit the whole thing into your mouth. The burger consists of two patties, pulled pork, brisket, and burnt ends along with some fry sauce and cheese. It comes served with fries and slaw. Once the I figured out how to get the thing into my mouth the first thing that hit me was the combination of flavours, the sweetness of the pulled pork in one bite, and the smokiness of the burnt ends in the next. The patties were nicely thick ground beef with a good flavour. They were well done which is usually an issue but not really a problem in a burger of this kind. The pulled pork provided any moisture that may have been lacking from the patty being cooked well done. Each bite provided a different combination of all the ingredients, which made it easy to devour the whole burger even though it was quite a lot of meat.
The Smokestack Burger came topped with Pulled Pork, fries, and coleslaw. I added a side of burnt ends as well. The burger was topped and tailed by a Hobbs House Ultimate Burger Bap, which to my mind is an excellent burger bap. It has just the right consistency and sweetness and holds up well to the end. The patty was a nice thick grind of beef, well seasoned with a great texture. The flavour of the meat was great, and I generally was very impressed by the burger patty, my only complaint being that it was too well done and dried out. More on the medium-rare side and it would have been just right. The burger came topped with Grillstock’s legendary pulled pork, fry sauce and american cheese. The combination worked beautifully and the pork didn’t overpower the burger, which is always a danger with toppings in that vein. I’m a big fan of fry sauce in a burger so I was really happy that they went with that rather than the usual ketchup or mayo. The fries were good and seasoned well with the addition of Oregano, and the chunky coleslaw was tasty. The side of burnt ends came in a tub and were delicious with a powerful smokey taste and a little kick from the rub.
The Verdict: Grillstock Smokehouse has proved to be immensely popular since its opening. People come for their awesome BBQ although it seems they know how to rustle up a damn fine burger as well.
Grillstock Smokehouse is located at 41 Triangle West, Clifton, Bristol, England.