Red Dog Saloon

37 Hoxton Square , London, N1 6NN

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SquareMeal Review of Red Dog Saloon

Feeding London’s current appetite for all-American BBQ feasts and Wild West shenanigans, this Hoxton hangout aims to be as authentic as they come. The dining room sets the scene, with cracked-leather banquettes, overhead fans, rodeo trappings and hunting paraphernalia on the walls adding to the log-cabin vibe. But it’s the food that sells the concept: mighty slabs of quality meat are rubbed with barbecue spices then cooked slowly in a hickory-burning smoker imported from the States. Otherwise, the hot chicken wings come highly recommended, blackened salmon brings two juicy fillets, and the menu also touts pimped-up burgers with names like ‘the devastator' – plus ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, comforting sides and salads. Wash it all down with bottled US beers, and save room for desserts such as ice cream sundaes or homemade apple pie. Service gets top marks for friendliness.

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7.5

Food & Drink: 7.8

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 8.2

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

LondonAJ silver reviewer 21 September 2013

Situated on Hoxton Square, this is a classic American BBQ restaurant. We visited on a Sunday afternoon without a booking and although busy were given a great table but told the time we had to vacate, which was plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon. Great selection of local beers, friendly staff and a great BBQ menu. It felt as though we were in a Canadian cabin, great interior and really good music made it a real authentic atmosphere. We ordered the mixed starters which were very good and all of our mains were huge, you could easily order one dish to share. For example, we ordered the blackened salmon and the BBQ chicken and you got 2 salmon fillets and 2 chicken breasts. The Ribs and steak were good but the pulled pork wasn't the best we've ever eaten. Overall a great laid back feel to the place, and look forward to returning.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

brian I. 27 November 2012

Lunch: £17.50 for 2 ribs and some pulled pork is not on. The 2 sides of Onion rings and cheese mac were very good… Ribs not good. Even If drunk I would comment like this. The rest of the menu may be OK. Service was uninterested except for one spanish looking girl who was fine. Athmosphere was great, lots of wood and ambience – even when empty. Go with a large group, drink lots and order something else I guess. But watch the price vs quality ratio BIG APPLE Hot Dog stall around the corner in Old street saved the day and for £4 we filled up.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Jonny Garrett bronze reviewer 30 September 2012

Red Dog Saloon has terrible reviews. Even easier-to-please-than-a-retriever Time Out only offered it two stars. But they must be doing something right, because it's constantly spilling out onto the streets, despite the Byron that opened opposite late last year, and I was determined to find out what. Jay Rayner had a nightmare there – involving raw chicken wings and reheated ribs – but the thing that really angered him was that the owners have never even been to America. It's shocking of course, but I'm not sure that matters in the end. None of its customers have either. Being on Hoxton Square, on a Wednesday night it's packed with suits from Old Street who fancied an “adventure” and who ignore the American beer list and instead down Amstel and worry about their ties. Nothing about the place feels authentic, even the cliche bulls' skulls on the wall, and sat outside at their Homebase garden tables, you could be in any Hoxton bar. In fact, the fact that the owners have never been to America keeps the message of the restaurant clear and concise. This is what Britain thinks BBQ food is. So far, so bad. But things improved. There website looks spot on, the menu extensive and appetising. In true Man-versus-Food fashion they even have a spicy wings and an all-you-can-eat burger challenge. I always worry about these places, because its often a sign that they are burying poor ingredients by loading as many as they can into each mouthful. Remember that later. We ordered a basket of their award-winning buffalo wings, which were genuinely excellent. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, so spicy that breathing near them caused fits of coughing, and served with a beautifully rich blue cheese sauce. It was mess at its best, and even two lemon wet wipes couldn't quite clean me up afterwards. I wish I'd ordered more than eight, because that was peak. For the main I plumped for the burger, simply because I wanted to see how they would compare to their neighbours Byron. The answer is not very well at all. My Bar-B-Q burger, aside from confusing the two recognised spellings of barbecue, was just a slur of mistakes in a slightly soggy bun. The pattie was dry, the onion rings raw and moist, the cheese virtually tasteless and the sauce slightly caked – like the spillages around the lid of a jar. As a whole it was satisfyingly trashy, but more in a 2am McDonald's way than a camp confession that the burger's next stop would be my thighs and I didn't two hoots. In a neighbouring basket the chips were delightfully crispy, but so oily that by the time we were scrabbling around the bottom of the basket, the paper they came in (bizarrely branded “letsdough”) was completely see-through. My arteries constricted as I looked through the paper and saw my friend's face in complete detail. If I were to be brutal I'd say you could get a burger just as good at your local Wetherspoon. That would be stretching things a little and to be fair I should go back and try the smoker part of the menu. But, the wings aside, it has offered me no reason to do so. Here's my advice – if you're hungry in Hoxton, get some wings at Red Dog, then walk the 20 metres to Byron. You'll thank me.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

paul s. silver reviewer 23 April 2012

went with a friend for lunch, greeted by friendly staff. we opted for spicy chicken wings which were epic!, lovley crispy skin, nice soft chicken on inside, then we had the whole rack of ribs, fantastic loads of meat and well presented on a wooden platter., we could only manage three quaters of them between us, great onion rings and macaroni cheese. A real good nose bag. burgers looked good aswell, will defo go back, 2 people with wine 2 beers water was £80, excellent value, plenty of yanks in here so must be good as i know they love there meat, will try the “devastator” burger when i go back in a try “man vs food” fashion!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

William H. 14 February 2012

This is a restaurant which has turned up out of nowhere and made a big impact in Hoxton Square. The food is authentic American barbecue, with the drinks and decour to match. I had the buffalo wings to start (probably the best I've ever had) before moving on to the barbecue beef short rib which has to be tried to be believed; falling off the bone as you pick it up. My wife had a pulled pork sandwich which was still a sizeable meal and at a very competitive price. With a real passion and emphasis on the food, the other aspects of the restaurant cannot quite match up. The staff are very friendly but seem quite inexperinced and perhaps haven't learnt as much as they could have about the food on offer. The decour is a little cheesy and on quieter nights the atmosphere can be a bit dry. Overall though, excellent food, good value for money and friendly staff. I will definitely be coming back!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 17 June 2011

I'm confident that in a few weeks my overall rating would be a 9 – but the RDS is just getting going… considering which, the results are very encouraging for the future. To my mind, the youthful and refreshingly unassuming and friendly people I encountered in this Hoxton comfort food “saloon” are already working well together and producing some impressive food in the Southern US style. I really enjoyed my starter of fiery steamed prawns, the firmness of the prawn to the bite evidenced that this was fresh and not the “flacid” consistency that makes me fear for my health. This was followed by the most wonderful short ribs, no kidding. They were tender, full of flavour and unctuous as well as appropriate in size (ie not mean – this is supposed to be American food!). I guess the fact we were drinking wine (good but for a Chilean sauvignon blanc, not cheap) shows our age – given the location and style, the 'target" demographic must be the stylish young hedonists that inhabit this part of the City fringe – and I hope that in due course there will be a cocktail list as well available to complement the beers etc. My wife thought her salad was just great, crispy, tasty and again not mean. She also thoroughly enjoyed her burger and fries – so for a new place, this shows an encouraging ability to please. I'm sure we'll be back shortly – the place is already buzzing and the value for money is very fair and that too is an incentive. Oh, and by the way, the American made ice cream is potentially addictive.

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