Lonsdale Street Roasters’ new BBQ and BYO is all kinds of Canberra cool™ .* They sell various forms of smoked meats and sides, you bring your own grog and they’ll even loan you an ice bucket for $5. Outdoors, summer, smoked meat and not paying over-inflated prices for booze – seriously, what’s not to like?
*That’s right, I’m trademarking the idea that Canberra has it’s own kind of super-awesome coolness. Cos it does.
The ingenious idea kicked into gear last weekend, and I dare say that I’m guessing there’ll be a much bigger crowd this weekend. Good news spreads fast in the capital – and it’s unlikely that something like this will stay secret in Canberra for long.
Owner Alistair Evans is very proud of his Ole Hickory – it’s an American wood burning barbecue pit and it’s the only one in Australia. They smoke their beef brisket and pulled pork for 13 hours in hickory smoke.
The fried chicken comes very highly recommended, but was sold out by the time we ordered (went back and got it – see below.) I think the platter works out slightly more expensive, so we decided to order what we wanted individually. We got instead – two serves of brisket, one serve of pulled pork, fries, slaw, mac and cheese, corn bread and two serves of ribs. Total spend = $71 for six people. It wasn’t quite enough though, so we did end up having to go back and get some more ribs and some smoked chicken bringing the total spend to $101 for 6, not including BYO booze – but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a pretty damn good for a Saturday night out.
My recommendations would be the ribs, the fried chicken, and the smoked chicken. It’s mostly because the barbecue sauce that comes with them is so darn good. Our brisket was a tad dry, and the pulled pork lacked some oomph but they’re still good value at the price.
UPDATE: we went back for the fried chicken – it was frickin’ delicious, not to mention really good value at $8 a serve. Get it. Go early because it has been sold out before.
The barbecue sauce for the ribs is spicy and very moreish, while the one for the chicken is more traditional but just at delicious. I noticed that some tables got giant pork ribs, while others got smaller ones – guess that’s just the luck of the draw. I’d get a whole serve just for myself.
I’d recommend getting there early, once people are seated at a table, in good weather, at a venue with no corkage on booze and a bottle-0 next door, they’re unlikely to move on. BBQ and BYO opens from 5pm at Lonsdale #23. If you can’t get a table, there’s always the takeaway option.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the dessert though – the brownie was burnt – I overheard the kitchen saying they zapped it in the microwave for 45 seconds and it was well and truly charred by the time it got to us. You could smell it even before you tasted it. And it came with whipped cream (yuck!) when it says ice cream on the menu. I did send it back and they gave us new ones but they weren’t too crash hot either, sadly.
I love the fairy lights!
Lonsdale St Roasters #23
23 Lonsdale St, Braddon.
BBQ and BYO is on Fridays and Saturdays, 5pm to 9.30pm. No bookings.