Pork, pork and more pork! Memphis BBQ comes to Camden.
“Joy and Simon Brigg have always loved America. After years of road trips and excellent food, they decided to bring a taste of what they’d tried on their travels – in diners, drive-ins and dives – to Camden. The US has enabled plenty of dreadful things in its time (Sunny D, anyone?), but they’re damn good at the barbecue.”
The Porky’s team claim that the BBQ in Memphis is the best in the US and aim to stay true to the rich flavours of Memphis BBQ so that London gets a little of the great drink, great food and great company that’s so plentiful across the Atlantic.
The menu focuses around three main dishes, all smoked over hickory and served with house pickles. The Memphis Meaty Ribs & Tips (£9.50) served with Porky’s homemade BBQ sauce, their Pulled Pork (£8.75) that’s been cooked low and slow for a generous 18 hours in smokers imported from Oklahoma and Half BBQ Chicken for £8.50. For an authentic touch they also offer Catfish, spiced and fried for £9.80. That has to be worth a try.
Antonia and I met at Porky’s before a We Were Evergreen gig at the Camden Barfly. We were on a detox of meat and green veg, no carbs, no dairy, no eggs, no alcohol, no gluten, no sugar… no fun. Somehow we justified Porky’s as qualifying as part of that detox. We both ordered the Memphis Meaty Ribs & Tips £9.50 each as well as a couple of soft drinks – Ginger Beer (£2.35) for Antonia and a Root Beer (£3.20) for me. We also asked for a House Salad of mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, onion & avocado with mustard vinaigrette as a main to share for £8.
The decor in pretty authentic USA with a nice bar to one side, plenty of cool posters of musical legends covering the walls and plenty of great classic tracks playing in the background.
Considering the ribs were only £9.50 I was expecting a small portion. I don’t think I’ve ever stood so corrected! In keeping with the authentic american theme in here our massive ribs arrived in a blue rimmed white metal tray, with some pickles in one corner and ribs and tips taking up the rest of the space. The portions are great at Porky’s, especially given the price tag. The salad was a good size as well, with a whole avocado sliced on top.
The ribs could have been more tender and a little less fatty but they were tasty, the homemade sauce was lovely and rich and the pickles helped cut through some of the fat from the ribs. Personally I think I would have preferred more, smaller ribs rather than a few, massive ones but maybe that’s just how they do it in Memphis.
Porky’s have a Man vs Food style challenge, somewhat predictably called Man vs Ribs:
“Having been inspired by the legendary American TV show ‘Man v. Food’, Porky’s is inviting Londoners to a meaty eating challenge: Man v. Ribs. Every Wednesday we’ll be serving a ‘challenge’ portion of ribs and tips plus a big pile of our seasoned fries for £18. Anybody who manages to finish the whole lot (on their own!) wins a Porky’s t-shirt – all the better to do a victory lap in. The champion who manages it most quickly each month will win a voucher for a meal for two. At which they are not obliged to eat ribs. We’re not evil.”
I’m all up for eating challenges but knowing how much of an effort one portion was I don’t see myself taking this one on but best of luck to you if you decide to step up to the pork filled plate!
I really enjoyed our meal at Porky’s in Camden. It wasn’t particularly busy but there was still a nice atmosphere and the staff were very good. The low lighting, cool decor and excellent music make for a great place to meet up for some good BBQ. It reminded me of a couple of bars I’ve been to in New York. The ribs didn’t quite meat my expectations (get it) but I’m more than happy to go back and try the rest of the menu.