A Hipster's Paradise - Bison Bar And BBQ


There is a trend happening in Dublin right now that I'm especially happy about. BBQ restaurants are popping up all over the place. Some are a complete bag of shit while others are high end and brilliant. There are now 4 restaurants in the capital that I know of dedicated to BBQ. The latest on my hit list was Bison which is just beside The Workman's club and practically on the dreaded North side. In fact even though its technically on the south side of the river its along that rough stretch of Temple Bar where you'll meet a nice selection of tourists mixed with a smattering of junkies and Spanish students at this time of year hanging around in packs annoying the life out of you.

Bison is another of these places that are so trendy they can't even be arsed building a website and who can blame them. Sure what can a website convey that can't be achieved with a simple (and free) Twitter account. I went with 5 other lads and we arrived after a bit of Go karting close to 9 o'clock which meant that we were all absolutely fucking ravenous. They don't actually have precise closing hours and instead tell you to arrive before 9 and even then all the meat might be gone. See they smoke all their meats overnight for 13 hours and when that days quota has been sold they close up shop and it's tough shit if you get there too late. You can't do BBQ this good to order, it takes a lot of prep.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 11.30.51

The place is based on Texas and out of all the people who claim to be BBQ experts all over the world (Aussies, Argentinians etc) it really has to be the Texans who take it most seriously to the point where they are nearly religious about it. Some of the touches in the decor are both quirky and brilliant such as the saddles as seats and a window that you have to climb out to reach the covered smoking area outside. The place is full of Hipsters and cool young things who are smugly smirking at themselves for being so in the know about this cool spot while sipping craft beers on a school night.

The menu is wonderfully simple with about 4/5 dishes on it. No bullshit and straight to the point with a meat and a choice of 2 sides. It doesn't look massively cheap until you see the size of the portions. The poor little waitress look lost carrying out the humungeous plates of steaming hot delicious BBQ. Nearly everybody went for the Brisket with one wise soul plumping for the pulled pork instead. There were no takers for the half roast chicken or ribs but you can only imagine they were just as devine.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 10.51.39

Sides are pretty simple and tasty but are all really acting as a fluffer to the main show that is the meat. Don't come here if you don't like meat by the way because they literally pile huge slice after slice on to the metal trays. It was absolutely melt in the mouth fucking awesome. You couldn't make the taste up and my brisket with a spoonful of the smokey beans and some of the homemade BBQ sauce transported me off to the plains of Texas where my horse was tieded up outside after a long day herding cattle. The paper plates and the rolls of kitchen paper on the tables with plastic cuttlery give this an even more authentic feel without cheapening the look.

The bill was dirt cheap at about 30 Euros a person washed down with a load of pints each. This is an awesome joint to come for work drinks or with a group of lads before a big night on the sauce. I'm not saying the food doesn't suit girls because to say women don't like BBQ is completely sexist but it does feel quite masculine. This is the lads version of ladies going out for a Caesar salad and a glass of Chablis. Its trendy, filling, unpretentious, fun and tasty as fuck and I'd suggest you go down there and kick a couple of the hipsters off their saddles and enjoy some real Texas BBQ. You'll love it. Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 11.32.06

The View From Others

I am only one person eating there on one night so to give the review some balance here are some other great blog posts and reviews on the place RTE Stitch And Bear Purple Page Go Food Yourself

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.