Rub Smokehouse is one of the latest contenders in the ‘dude food’ battle – basically the bigger the portion, the better. Think double cheeseburgers INSIDE calzone pizzas, towering mountains of belgian waffles and fried chicken and every man versus food (#foodporn) dish imaginable. Greed is good here people!
The restaurant is in The Gate complex, bucking the current trend to take up space in Eldon Square like George’s. I think Rub are going for the pre and post cinema crowd here and the bright colours and lighting will appeal to families and friends meeting up for a quick bite.
They have a vast selection of drink options, with 2-4-1 cocktails and alcoholic milkshakes catching my eye. I decided to try a oreo cookie milkshake with Bourbon (£6.95), which was delicious (and extremely indulgent!)
A kids menu, crayons and a balloon on a stick were given to Little Dude, who had a blast running round the restaurant and whacking the balloon off the floor (sorry other diners!)
We chose maple bacon popcorn (£3.95) and hardcore prawn cocktail – butterfly prawns coated in Rub spices on a bed of salad, drizzled in their signature dip (£5.95).
Service was very friendly, and the staff genuinely seeming to enjoy what they were doing. The popcorn had some interesting flavours and LD was a fan, although some bits were a bit burnt tasting which sadly spoiled it for me. The prawns were cooked well, coated in batter which could’ve been a little crisper but the sauce was pretty tasty.
Now for the main event. We’d gone with the waitress’ recommendation – ‘Hung drawn and quartered’ – The amazing MEAT taster platter which feeds 4 People or 2 Hulks – Buffalo wings, Full Rack of Ribs, Pulled Pork, Brisket, half a Rub Free Range Chicken, 2 Corn Dogs, 2 Sliders plus your choice of 4 sides (£37.50 for 2 sharing). For sides we went for sweet potato fries, pulled pork BBQ beans, Corn on the Cob and Spring Greens.
Little Dude had a mac & cheese from the kids menu (£3.95). He loved it, but ate most of our sweet potato fries too!
While we were waiting for our food there were some pretty epic looking dishes coming out of the kitchen, all adorned with giant sparklers. Something to try next time!
The platter arrived and was HUGE!!! The first thing we tried were the corn dogs, which brought back some bittersweet memories of our first (and only) experience of this all-American treat. We were eager to try corn dogs when we were in America a few years ago, but ended up getting them from a kiosk at Los Angeles zoo – which was a big mistake! They were miserable, disgusting and basically inedible. Rub’s corn dogs were none of those things. The notoriously fussy Mr Toon Lunch Club loved them, especially when he added some mustard to them.
The buffalo wings were melt in the mouth tender and came in a sticky BBQ sauce. The brisket was another big hit with the Mr, the 16 hour slow cooking process creating tender strips of beef. The half a chicken had a nice spicy marinade which added a different flavour to the mix. The pulled pork BBQ beans were good (although not as good as the ones at Longhorns, but still…!) The corn on the cob was simply cooked, no chargrilling here but luckily no dose of salt either like at Lane 7. The only side we didn’t ‘get’ were the spring greens – which weren’t cooked and basically consisted of some raw cabbage leaves with no dressing. I tried one piece and it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I think this is the sort of place where you don’t order greens. Go hard or go home!
We were well and truly defeated by the meat platter. They offer to box up your leftovers in true American style which is a nice touch – although we declined due to not needing to eat for another week!!
Rub Smokehouse is a fun, family-friendly restaurant for those who want plenty of bang for their buck. There are many, many indulgent dishes to choose from and what you can’t manage you can take home and have for lunch the next day. They have tapped into the ever popular American dining trend and the food is on the whole pretty darn good, so give it a go!
Rub is located in The Gate, 117 Newgate St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5RZ
We were provided with a complimentary meal for the purposes of this review. However the opinions expressed in this article are honest and true to experience.