It was not so long ago that Harbercue was a bit of an open secret that only Norwich foodies knew about. Now, however, all that has changed.
What started out as a pop-up smokehouse at the Playhouse in 2013 has taken up residence at St Benedicts Street’s Ten Bells every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and has a growing following. Part of me is sad, because I now have to book a table, but I’m happy that the food is getting the recognition it deserves.
With pulled pork, brisket and burgers on the menu, it is a carnivore’s dream. All of the meat is slow-cooked in a smoker and melts in the mouth, with its delicious sweet, salty, ever-so-slightly-spicy flavours blending with the smoke to create a moreish, addictive meal.
Although I don’t tend to order the same thing repeatedly, I usually opt for a pulled pork tray at Harbercue (£7). It comes with a generous heap of homemade slaw, a huge helping of seasoned fries and gerkins on the side. The sharp sweetness of pickle, plus the freshness of the coleslaw help to cut through through the rich meat to create a dish that I can’t stop eating until I’m ready to explode.
I will quickly mention that there is an option to have the meat served in a brioche, but I find it’s far too filling – although the lovely Harbercue chaps will give you a doggy bag if that’s the case.
Specials and sides
Alongside the main menu, there is always a range of specials on offer. This weekend it was southern chicken thighs and a delicious chilli con carne made with brisket (it was incredible and I nearly had a severe bout of food envy) but I have it on good authority that the buffalo wings are not to be turned down if you’re lucky enough to see them on the menu.
The sides are pretty incredible too. I nearly always opt for deep-fried jalapenos (just in case the main isn’t nearly calorific enough) because the heat from the chillis, mixed with the crispy, slightly salty, batter and soft, fresh, green flesh is just delicious. I really can’t explain just how much I love them.
I’ve just realised that I have waxed lyrical for a while, but till haven’t mentioned the condiment; Harbercue make their own sauces, from BBQ to chilli sauce, which comes in three levels of heat. I like my food spicy, but I tend to stick to the mild chilli so I can still feel my tongue!
You can keep in touch with Harbecue and find out more about what they’re up to on Facebook.