I love the food trend for Americana. Hell, I just love Americana generally. In fact I've just booked myself a West Coast roadtrip for September, with the aim being to squeeze as much American, Mexican and whatever-else-they've-got food into me in two and a half weeks. And see some amazing cities and stunning scenery, obviously.
So after delicious ribs from Ribman and delicious ribs at Pitt Cue Co, I was delighted to hear that Duke's Brew and Cue had moved into my erstwhile neighbourhood of De Beauvoir Town on the Hackney/Islington periphery. And better yet, it's home to a micro-brewery: Beavertown, the old Cockney name for De Beauvoir Town.
I've been a couple of times - one for dinner, another for brunch - and I highly recommend it for both.
For dinner we shared Duke's Greatest Hits BBQ platter, encompassing pulled pork, pork rib, beef rib, homemade slaw, onion rings and barbecue sauce. We added some mac and cheese to round it off.
The meat was incredible - deeply flavoured , succulent, smoky, plentiful. It was tender to eat and tough to share. But we managed, and we were full up on the platter.
Booking is pretty much essential in the evening - we were lucky to get a table right at the beginning of service, but had to be done in just under an hour.
When we tried Duke's for brunch it was fine just to rock up at about 11.30 and get a table. It was steady while we were there, but nobody waited long for a table.
The menu encompasses a range of classic brunch dishes with an American twist (home-fried potatoes often), and some all-American outriders. I had a BBQ omelette - stuffed with pulled pork, salsa style salad and Monterrey Jack cheese. The filling was fairly generous, and the pulled pork a real treat in the morning. It could have done with some more BBQ sauce inside, and maybe some more cheese. It came with tasty home fries.
Pete had Mister Frenchie's Ravioli: french toast sandwiches, filled (literally brimming) with cream cheese and bacon, and doused in syrup. Sounds bizarre, but really very incredible sweet-meets-savoury indulgent brunch at its best. A true heart attack on a plate, but utterly delicious.
Next time I'll be having a whole plate of that to myself. And I'll be back again for more ribs and smoky slow cooked meat too. Mostly, I'm just pleased to have such tasty American food so close to home, and with tasty craft beer to boot.