First, let’s talk venue. Expecting to walk into a dark, cavernous-like pit with blood splatters adorning the wall (like their Oxford street outpost) I was surprised to be transported to my school disco days. Glittery tassels adorn the walls and a snazzy DJ booth graces the back – if the Duncan pub and Back to Basics had a lovechild, it would look a little something like this. Co-owner Yianni explained that each restaurant is individual, with its own menu and concept. In his words; the Leeds outpost is based on “a working men’s club on acid.”
This is one of MEATLiquor’s distinguishing features that sets it apart from the other all TOO familiar BBQ/ American diner/ burger joints......blah blah blah. People come here to eat and party. The child seats at the door are surely there for decoration (or to comply with some EU Directive) and little scamps are not permitted past 7pm.
Anyway, enough chirping about the décor; “what to eat?!” I hear you bellow. Well, whilst mulling over the menu, I suggest you get some tobacco onions to sink with a pre-dinner pint. Deliciously thin and crisp, these sweet little wisps of fried vegetable get the taste buds juicy: bar snacks at their best.
Next, the lamb chops. Now, being someone that has had a bad time with lamb (thanks, Mum, for those stringy Sunday roasts), I was dubious to sink my teeth into baa baa stringy boy. However being a Freudian master in repressing bad memories, I figured me and lamb could start over, right?
The plate arrived with 6 spice-coated grilled cutlets and they were magnificent. The lamb was well cooked yet tender, with the right balance of meat to fat and packing a serious slap of spice.
Then, the burger. I sampled two classics from the menu; the cheeseburger (obviously) and the dead hippie; two mustard fried patties, hugged by sauce, lettuce and pickles. Both were an absolute delight, served pink in the middle and providing a satisfying drip when squeezed. To accompany; the deep fried pickles. Even if you’re the kind to discard these pickled vegetables from your big mac, I can assure you – you won’t be disappointed. Perfectly crisp, light batter compliments sweet and sour pickle lurking beneath; possibly one of my favorites from the menu. I washed these boys down with a Donkeypunch cocktail; a refreshing and sharp mix of vodka, absinthe and ginger beer. Lethal in quantities and after three, pretty much like a blow to the back of the head.
If you’re still wondering whether to get your arse off the couch and come down for a trip, then the temptation of a free meal should do it. For its opening weeks, MEATLiquor lets you roll a dice to detirmine whether or not you need to get your shekels out for your meal. A thoughtful touch that will go down well with us tight fisted Yorkshire folk.
This joint will do well in Leeds. It seems wherever MEATLiquor goes a flutter of excitement and queues inevitably follows. So beat the chumps and give them a call, the number’s below, and the dice are waiting to be rolled............
0113 8346 090
Trinity Centre Bank Street Behind Victoria's Secret | Leeds | LS1 5AT
FoodGoblin Northern Correspondent