Hungover in the North – Rebels’ Smokehouse

It is always a joy, when hungover in an unfamiliar land, that by accident you come across a smokehouse. Few foods are as competent at kicking a hangover into touch quite like BBQ. So it was with absolute joy that we walked into Rebels’ Smokehouse on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon.

The first standout for Rebels’ was its specials, which we needed to have repeated to us as our rum-muddled brains simply could not comprehend what we were being told. The day’s special was a double cheeseburger calzone. Which quite literally, was a double cheeseburger bun and all… inside a calzone.

The rest of the menu was all typical bbq, with a few choice exceptions. Nachos with pulled pork, fries and sweet potato fries. Burgers, which included a Belgian waffle burger, where the brioche bun is replaced with, you guessed it, Belgian waffles.

Once, as a group we had finally managed to get over the burger calzone, we ordered and immediately began drinking through their selection of craft beer.

Now as with the last review, I opted for their wings and ribs. Two reasons for this: one, I love wings and ribs; two, they are a good benchmark for a bbq restaurant. Wings are often overlooked or assumed to be a quick and easy thing, so you can learn a lot about a place by how they do them. Ribs are difficult to get right, the meat can easily be overcooked and dried out if they heat gets too high, and the sauce can be too thick, too sparse, etc.

So the wings arrived, served with a blue cheese sauce as standard. The wings are a good size, again a lot of BBQ places seem to skimp out on the size of the wings. These were a medium to large size wing, with a good slathering of their hot sauce, and what a hot sauce! Hot but not mouth melting, it coated the wings perfectly. Minimal napkins required while eating these, but still enough sauce to coat all of the wings. The meat was tender and moist, and I was immediately smiling. While these are not quite Blues Kitchen wings (in my opinion the best wings I’ve ever had) they are a good step up from almost anything else offered in the UK.

Onto the ribs! A full rack, done properly, came with fries and dirty rice. On pulling the first bone it came away from the meat easily, clearly low ‘n’ slow had been adhered to. The meat was tender but not quite melt in the mouth like One Sixty. The sauce was smokey, sticky and tasty, but slightly too thick for my preference. What kind of sauce is perfect for ribs is hotly debated and there is no “best” answer, so ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Overall Rebels’ was an awesome accidental find. A good BBQ far away from the overcrowding of BBQ in London, with fantastic staff who can make all the difference to the restaurant experience. A solid range of beers to compliment the meat and an inventive menu that stays true to BBQ but puts a twist on some classics. I seriously cannot get over the burger calzone.

If you are ever in the Hull area then go check out Rebels’ Smokehouse.

All in all despite a stonking hangover they get a 8/10

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