Another week another excuse to eat out, this time at Hop & Cleaver which is located on Newcastle Quayside.
Hop & Cleaver is a bar and eatery serving their own smoked meats, beers brewed in-house and amazing cocktails in a rustic/industrial setting with exposed brick and beams, lit up signage and all round friendly atmosphere... Definitely my kind of place!
I found it really difficult to decide what to order, as everything on the menu sounds so delicious!
After the starters there are Crates, Plates, Bread and Feasts sections of the menu to choose from...
The crates are various meats and sides served in a wooden tray, the plates are big portions of some favourites including mac & cheese and flat iron steak. The bread options are burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches and the feasts are the huge sharing plates of either tomahawk steak or beer can chicken.
The drinks menu is pretty exciting too, with hard shakes and slushies, cocktails, bourbon, whiskey, wine and beers... When I go back I am determined to try the American Pie cocktail or the Vanilla Oreo Bomb shake, but as I was the driver I had to settle for a pint of coke.
For starters we ordered two dishes to share; the buffalo rib tips which were recommended to us by the waiter and the triple cooked potato skins.
I am finding it hard to choose a favourite from the two, they were both really delicious.
The rib tips were much bigger than I had anticipated as the menu recommends four or five per person as a starter, but I only managed one and a half! They really are so tasty though, described as sticky, smokey and fiery they are roasted over the pit before being finished with the Hop & Cleaver buffalo sauce. The meat is so tender and falls off the bone as you eat it, the flavours are incredible... there's a bit of a kick but nothing too spicy to manage, I'd definitely order these again.
The potato skins were the perfect mixture of crispy and fluffy thanks to them being triple cooked, they were finished with the most amazing tasting cheese sauce, crumbled stilton to give it a bit of a tang and some scallions, the portion was huge, easily enough to share between two and it's fair to say I'd order these again too!
When it came to choosing my main course my eyes went straight to the crates on the menu and I soon settled on the 14 hour brisket variety with slow smoked beef brisket served with BBQ gravy, Texas toast and butter pickles plus two sides of your choice... I chose the skin on fries and grilled corn.
This again was mouth wateringly tasty, the brisket was packed with flavour, the gravy was that perfect mixture of smokey and sweet and the chips were delicious. I was just sad I couldn't finish it all because I was a little full from the starters (my eyes are always bigger than my stomach!)
Robbie ordered the smoke stack cheeseburger which consisted of an 8oz beef pattie, smoked streaky bacon, gooey cheese and all the fixings in a glazed brioche bun and a potion of the skin on fries. As a bit of a burger fan myself I have to say that this looked incredible, and he seemed to agree as it all got eaten!
Unfortunately we were both fit to burst and couldn't manage a dessert, but I will certainly be returning to try the salted peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake and I'll be making sure I sample a cocktail or two as well!
Have you been to Hop & Cleaver before?