Most states in the US have their own version of barbecue, whether it’s pork with a mustard-based sauce in North and South Carolina, unadulterated beef steaks in Texas or pork ribs in Memphis, but most would agree that when it comes to the best barbecue in America, Kansas City is king. Whichever side of the Missouri River you’re on, barbecue is a big deal in this part of the United States, which is why Kansas City native, Michael Gratz, decided to bring it with him to London.
Nestled under the arches in Wood Lane, Prairie Fire BBQ majors in slow-smoked, sauce-heavy Kansas City-style meats. Gratz is the pit master here and his passion for the whole process is evident, from the careful sourcing of quality meat to the rub, the char, the smoke, the sauce and, most importantly, the taste.
Take the smoked brisket sandwich, for which the certified USDA Black Angus beef is smoked over oak for 16 hours before being slathered with Prairie Fire’s signature tomato-based sauce, thick with secret spices and molasses. Or perhaps you’ll sample the babyback or St. Louis-style spare ribs, which are lovingly rubbed and chilled for 12 hours before their 12-hour session in the oak smoker.
While the menu is unapologetically meat-heavy – you’ll also find burgers, hotdogs, tacos and pulled pork on it – there are some vegetarian options in the form of smoked jackfruit, three-bean chilli, loaded nachos and various carby sides as well.
To drink, there’s beer in abundance thanks to the taproom on site. With 16 taps, a large selection of locally-brewed beers, and plenty of classic cocktails on offer, you’re sure to find something to quench your thirst.
Interiors have been kept simple with bench seating and tables for two, but if it means all the focus remains on the food, that’s fine with us. Word of advice: ask for extra napkins – you’re going to need them.