Bluebonnet Barbecue, Brunswick East

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MELBOURNE | Bluebonnet Barbecue has been one of our favourite American BBQ spots in Melbourne for many years, with owner/pit master Chris Terlikar consistently offering up an assortment of Texas-style BBQ meats and sides, along with few non-traditional items.

After a few years of moving around – from the original location in Collingwood, which burned down, followed by residences at the John Curtain Hotel and the North Fitzroy Star, Bluebonnet has finally found a permanent place to call home in a large space in Brunswick East, where Luxor and Sahara Nights once were. The large space is unrecognisable from what it used to be – it’s still quite dark but the high roof has now been revealed along with exposed beams, transparent sheets and corrugated iron. It combines with the party exposed, party plastered walls, wooden tables, and wooden seats salvaged from the sadly closed Longhorn Saloon to create a space that has just the right smokehouse vibe about it.

The front room contains a large bar, built from stacked 250 kilogram railway sleepers, while the archway towards the back leads to more dining space, an open kitchen, and the Ole Hickory wood fired rotisserie smoker.

For those who don’t know, Terlikar actually comes from a fine dining background, and was working in Michelin Stared restaurant PUBLIC in New York City when he discovered, and fell in love with American BBQ. He spent time in Texas learning from respected pit masters like Tom Micklethwaite and Evan LeRoy. Terlikar’s food reflects this respect for Texas BBQ, but he also leans upon his other cooking experience to create things you won’t normally find on a Texas BBQ menu.

Meat is sold in lots of 100g and 200g, and there’s a feed me option if you want a kitchen’s choice of several things. The Black Angus brisket is the star and is done very traditionally – smoked over ironbark and oak in a thick salt and pepper rub, and is fantastically tender with a beautiful crust. Berkshire pulled pork is another highlight – tender and flavoursome. Other items include things like lamb ribs, thick pork chops, sausages and chicken. For those looking for an actual steak, make sure you bring a few people and try the 1kg Black Angus tomohawk steak, smoked for 45 minutes and served sliced.

The house made BBQ sauce is a sweet, Texas-style affair which works well with the meat. While Texas-style BBQ generally doesn’t need much in the way of sauce, we’d like to see another option offered – say a tangy Carolina-style sauce for the pork.

For sides it’s things like bourbon glazed carrots with fried sage and roasted pistachios, apple and kohlrabi slaw with sherry mustard vinaigrette, and a very delicious black garlic cornbread with honey and thyme butter. The potato salad is a must order side – russet potatoes with Jerusalem artichokes, buttered leeks, horseradish aioli, and pickled mustard seeds. There’s also a few desserts – try the fried apple pie with cinnamon and almond ice-cream.

For drinks its an impressive selection of bourbon and rye, along with simple signature cocktails, traditional cocktails and seasonal classics rotating on a fortnightly basis. For beer, its 10 taps pouring a selection of core range and rotating Aussie and Kiwi beers along with a solid selection of cans. There’s also a few wines for those looking for something other than beer and spirits based drinks.

It’s great to see Bluebonnet finally have a place to call home (especially when it’s only a few minutes walk from our office). The food is as good as ever, the drink selection is fantastic, and the atmopshere and level of service spot on. Whether it’s a full meal, or just a drink at the bar and a 100g serve of brisket to snack on, we know we’ll be coming here a lot.

Bluebonnet Barbecue

124-126 Lygon Street
Brunswick East
Victoria 3057
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9972 1815
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Sat: 12:00pm to 1:00am
Sun: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

Bluebonnet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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