Because honestly, that’s often the reason I’m in a lot of places, really.
Earlier this year I went along to the Tower Hill Bodeans to try out some meat and beer pairings and had a pretty excellent time – so I was stoked to be invited to their Covent Garden branch for more food and beer tasting fun times.
The Covent Garden Bodeans is a fair bit smaller than Tower Hill, but still with the same American vibes. Taking a seat with some fellow bloggers and London foodie types, the table was soon filled with plates, multiple beer glasses and lots of enthusiastic chat.
When you think of Bodeans, you probably don’t think about leaves’n’veggies, right? And neither did I. So when we were offered up their Mexican Chicken Salad (£13.50 – and it’s bigger than the one pictured), I was actually pretty intrigued. The bowlful of crisp leaves with avocado, tomatoes, black beans, radish and wild rice and a honey, lime and coriander dressing definitely reminded me of the tasty salads I’d had in the US. It also worked really well with a dash of hot sauce to add some extra kick.
Although I’d never sacrifice a juicy plate of ribs for it, I’d definitely consider grabbing one of these as a side rather than fries if I was trying to be sort-of-good. Or, y’know. As well as the fries.
If y’like Pulled Pork (£6.75/£7.75), you gotta try Bodeans’. Super soft and bursting with meaty flavour, it’s just brilliant. I’d love to try this in a burger bun – not something currently on the menu, but I’d imagine it’d be easy to do. The slaw is great too.
The guys paired it with a Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, made from dry Amarillo hops – an earthy taste that worked well with the slow and rich pulled pork.
Next up was another slightly unusual Bodeans dish – Cajun Swordfish with Mango Salsa and Pan Fried Okra (£12.95). Last time I visited, it had been the first time I’d tried okra and I’m pleased to report I’m still a fan – although the Covent Garden serving felt slightly less well-cooked than the Tower Hill offering. But the swordfish was good, and the mango salsa gave it a quirky and bright taste.
Again, it’s not something I’d instinctively go for, but I love that Bodeans are offering up some dishes that are a little bit different to the usual BBQ fare.
The pièce de résistance of any Bodeans visit, is, of course, a big rack of their impeccably meaty Baby Back Ribs (£9.95/half slab, £13.95/full slab). Meat that pulls easily off the bone, soft and moreish, it’s a must-order on any visit. Whether you chow down on them au naturel or smother them in Bodeans bodacious BBQ sauce, they’re a staple part of the menu and always a great option – particularly for sharing.
Paired with a Single Wide IPA beer, this one was definitely my favourite course of the evening and I could totally eat these on every day that ends in y.
What’s a five course-meal without a tasty dessert? I’ve waxed lyrical previously about how good Bodeans brownies are, and I demand you order one on your next visit. Even if those ribs have filled your stomach to bursting – trust me, there’s room for one of these babies still.
The brownie was paired with a Black Cab stout – something I didn’t think I was a fan of, but this is a far cry from stodgy Guinness and had some lovely chocolatey undertones that really complimented the brownie.
Bodeans is brilliant for a no-nonsense BBQ experience, with some flair of unusual dishes that you might not be expecting, that are definitely worth a try.
Even if, like me, you’ll always end up back on those delicious, tasty ribs.
Bodeans BBQ Covent Garden
25 Catherine St, London WC2B 5JS
*I was hosted by the team at Bodeans – all opinions my own.