With meat cleavers for door handles and a collection of cleavers hung jauntily like bunting around the restaurant walls, Bierrex Smoke & Tap House looks like something straight out of Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber’s of Fleet Street…
Pilgrim Street’s newest resident, Bierrex craft beer bar and smokehouse follows the same ‘trendy’ industrial-style decor rules as nearby venues Coop Chicken House and Hop & Cleaver, and its good looks and light, bright interior certainly livened us all up on a dull grey October evening.
The menu is small, but perfectly formed. Brisket ‘from the smoker’ is their hero dish – marinated in a medley of secret sauces and spices and left in a smokey slumber for 14 hours and then some. But tonight was all about catching up with friends, having a few drinks (Makers Mark bourbon with a dash of lime for me please) and getting stuck in to some finger food. We shared ‘wings n things’ – a glorious selection of chicken wings and thighs generously coated in a honey, ginger, chilli and sesame seed sauce before being oak smoked to seal in the flavour. We ordered a couple of sides of sweet potato crisps to nibble on and tucked in.
For just over £10 each, the portion sizes were spot on, the meat was well cooked and full of flavour and the menu was varied enough to make you want to go back again and try something new. With so many independent restaurants, bars and cafes popping up on our doorstep it can be hard to navigate the best places to spend your hard earned money. Happily, Bierrex is definitely somewhere I know we’ll gravitate towards again, whether for a bite to eat on a week night or for a get together with friends on the weekend.
Being a ‘tap house’, there’s plenty to choose from drinks-wise, although we didn’t see a dessert menu that night, so I’m not sure whether they do ’em. It seems Bierrex is on the NE Blogger radar as I spotted Jeff from Newcastle Eats and Kate from the fabulous High Tea and Heels across the restaurant about to order something from the smoker!