I've always dreamt of going on an American road trip with one specific reason - to try out their delicious authentic BBQ joints. I'm a sucker for Buffalo wings, a juicy burger and I love a good rib - all of which make up most of the menu at Southampton's new BBQ restaurant - the Red Dog Saloon.
I was invited to try the food at the Red Dog Saloon in Southampton and review it - now a gal is never going to say no to such a proposal! Everything about the Red Dog Saloon appealed to me - the BBQ shack vibes, the amazing menu which you can view online, and the location which is easily accessible. Now iPhone users - Siri totally lied to me when I typed in the postcode - it sent me to some NO PUBLIC ACCESS dock in Southampton! To make it easy for you guys to find, Red Dog Saloon is located in the new Watermark development in West Quay Southampton which is filled with eateries. You can find it outside of West Quay, if you're walking out of the exit by New Look and Waterstones - turn to your right and walk down some steps - et voila! I was travelling from Andover so used my Siri SatNav skills to get me to my destination but alas - he failed.
Liam and I were really looking forward to having lunch at Red Dog Saloon on Sunday, and we eagerly made our way to the Kansas BBQ restaurant. We loved the vibes of the restaurant - buzzing, lively, with excellent American inspired decor and comfortable seats. The staff were so friendly and helpful - we were instantly made to feel really welcome.
Red Dog Saloon in Southampton is the first restaurant which the brand has opened outside of London - and about time as we have been waiting for an American style BBQ joint to open near us for a long time!
We took our time with the menu - everything looked amazing. From wings to ribs, there was just so much to choose from! We finally settled for: a Wing Sampler platter to start with - this included 3 flavours of wings and we chose Blackened Cajun, Spicy Korean, and Maple and Bacon; a Ribs and Brisket Combo with Texas Chilli Cheese Fries; a Philly Cheeseburger with Jalapeño Poppers; and a challenge for Liam. Yes, you heard that right - it's a fiery, killer wings challenge. Keep on reading to find out more!
The wings platter was incredible - both of us love chicken wings and the array of flavours was just to die for. Blackened Cajun wings were a dry rub wing, crispy, soft and perfectly seasoned; the Spicy Korean wings were probably my favourite - smothered in a slightly spiced Korean BBQ sauce with fresh spring onion and a sprinkle of coriander; and Liam loved the Maple and Bacon wings which were covered in maple syrup and sprinkled with crispy bacon on top. Yes, you read that right. Doesn't this sound like a platter of heaven? Top it all off with a ranch sauce - which all the flavours worked with perfectly - this platter is my number one chicken wings platter of all time. Perfect for sharing to start with or to accompany your burgers and combo plates.
This was also the first time I have tried proper American brisket which was super soft, melt in your mouth and packed with flavour. The salt rubs they use on the meat really pull the flavours together - combined with the Red Dog Saloon BBQ sauce and Hot BBQ sauce, you're winning at food life.
On the side we had Texas Chilli Cheese Fries which were topped with jalapeños, pieces of pulled pork, sauce... heaven.
Now if you read the Dalry Rose Blog regularly, you will know that I cannot leave a new place without trying their burger. Red Dog Saloon have a whole column full of burger flavours, it's the go-to place if you want something different. I had such a tough time deciding what I wanted to eat - but when I saw the Philly Cheeseburger I felt like this was the one: Philadelphia's famous cheesesteak served on top of the Red Dog Saloon signature cheeseburger which is made up of 100% freshly ground, aged chuck steak. And gooey cheese. And oh-my-god-I-am-in-food-heaven-never-make-me-leave. A super soft brioche bun makes this burger complete - I'm sorry but I don't know who has time for crunchy burger buns these days, or ciabatta which some restaurants do - just give me all the brioche buns for burger perfection. Combined with jalapeño poppers which are delicious fresh grilled peppers in a crunchy crumb batter filled with gooey cheesy sauce - this combo has put the Philly Cheeseburger in the lead of my favourite burgers. The burger is typically cooked to be medium, keeping all of the juices and flavours, making this a messy and absolutely delicious experience.
Now I tempted you guys into reading further into this post by mentioning a challenge at the beginning - Red Dog Saloon in Southampton offer two challenges to the brave (and crazy): Devastator Challenge which is a massive burger, fries and a milkshake which needs to be eaten in 10 minutes in order for you to be crowned the winner; and the Hot Wings Challenge which is 6 chicken wings covered in fresh Naga Viper Chillies eaten in under 10 minutes. The winner walks away with a cool Red Dog Saloon t-shirt and a sense of pride at winning your own Man vs Food challenge. Naturally, my fiancé couldn't walk away from the Hot Wings Challenge because he loves hot wings, and when the Red Dog Saloon team told him about it he just couldn't say no.
Liam started the challenge after food because there was a genuine concern at his tastebuds not working after tackling the devilish chillies - so after signing a waver, and getting kitted out in gloves for protection (YUP) he cracked on.
To give you an idea, in the Scoville Heat Units a jalapeño pepper which most of us are familiar with measures at 5,000 - the Naga Viper Chilli measures at a whopping 1,382,118!
The 6 hell hot wings arrived and looked menacing - with time pressure against a stopwatch Liam got stuck in - I'll leave you with the below:
NAGA VIPER HOT WINGS CHALLENGE - THE WINNERS STORY:
"HOLY HELL!! Hands down the most hardcore hot wings challenge I've ever done.
I've taken on a few over the years, even across the pond in the US...but these little fiery devils absolutely blew my head off.
The first wing tasted great, smokey and sharp but that quickly disappeared as the napalm swept across my mouth like I was swallowing the flames of a blowtorch.
As I took my last bite of the first wing, I kind of went into a pain induced trance and thinking back the whole thing is a bit of a blur... apart from the ever increasing pain that got worse and worse.
This might seem like I'm being a bit dramatic but by the beard of Zeus, I was not expecting these wings to pack such heat.
Over the course of the 6 red little bad boys, my nose ran, my lips glowed and stung, my eyes streamed and even my ear drums throbbed from the Naga Viper death paste that was ripping though my head.
At the halfway point I questioned my abilities to finish, but not wanting to let down the missus I carried on just hoping it would end.
With two wings left, the suffering had really taken hold and quite embarrassingly I kept making really uncomfortable eye contact with random diners dotted around the restaurant. I'm guessing they were looking at me because of the thrashing about, the swearing and the desperate whimpers that were coming from me at this point... usually I'd have cared what people thought but the pain was too great and I really didn't care.
Once finished with two minutes to spare, I expected the jubilation of completing this task to numb the pain... but my god was I wrong.
The suffering went on for another 10 minutes, with the scolding only being cooled for a brief couple of seconds by the milk I was getting through.
So if you like a challenge, and think yourself a master of the spice - go and try these demon wings at the Red Dog Saloon, I wish you luck because you're going to need it!"
We finished the meal with an Avocado Margarita (designated driver means I had a sip to taste!) - well deserved tropical cool down for Liam and his poor mouth. The Avocado Margarita is refreshing, delicious and the perfect way to end the meal.
Red Dog Saloon in Southampton gets a 10/10 from us - Liam has spent quite a fair bit of time in Canada and America, and his feedback was that the meals at this eatery match, and are even better than some, restaurants which he has eaten in across the ocean. Perfect for a family meal, pig out with friends or a fun date night we will be returning to Red Dog Saloon in no time - I'm already missing the brisket!
*Thank you to the team at Red Dog Saloon in Southampton for having us and letting us enjoy this gorgeous complimentary feast - we look forward to seeing you again soon!