After my rave review of Hop & Cleaver on the Quayside a few months back, I was intrigued to see what Longhorns had to offer. We went along on Sunday afternoon, I had a sneaking suspicion that they would be having a busy weekend and an evening meal would probably be out of the question – boy, was I right.
We sat ourselves downstairs (staff weren’t taking you to tables, maybe something they’ll change soon to manage the footfall). A waitress was encouraging people to sit together at the larger ‘communal’ tables, a nice touch, reminiscent of traditional American smokehouses (my knowledge of which sparks solely from watching Man vs. Food). The music was great and fit in perfectly with the all-American, barbecue smokehouse atmosphere.
We went for a couple of barbecue boards, curious to see what we’d get for our money as we found it hard not to constantly compare it with the delicious Hop & Cleaver.
For £10, Longhorns offers two fistfuls of meat and two sides. There are five meats to choose from: chicken wings, smoked sausage, brisket, hog butt and ribs. We tried them all apart from the chicken wings and I’m really glad we did. The tables are well-presented, with two bottles of homemade sauce and your very own kitchen roll. Within ten minutes of ordering we were presented with two giant boards of meat, fries and slaw (chilli was sold out), and we soon tucked in.
We could sense that the staff were running out of steam, as it had no doubt been a crazy weekend for them all but we were forgiving of the frantic atmosphere – what do you expect on opening weekend? I honestly believe reviewers who go to restaurants during opening week and expect perfect service are kidding themselves (I’m naming no names.)
The draught lager was surprisingly tasty, and for just £3.50 a pint, you really can’t complain. All in all, I’d highly recommend Longhorns as an alternative to a relaxed pub lunch or quick meal in amongst Christmas shopping. All of the meat was juicy and tender, particularly the ribs (by far the best I’ve ever had) and having the sauces on the side, instead of mixed in with the meat, was a really nice touch.
Longhorns is a fine feather in Newcastle’s culinary hat and I’m dying to go back.