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Dukes Brew & Que, Hoxton or Dalston I get confused, a good start to Villa Steve's "not stag do"

And so it was the night of Villa Steve’s non stag do. After seeing many of us done over on various expensive overseas trips to celebrate upcoming matrimony Villa Steve was adamant he wanted something all-together more low key. Thus it was that on a bitterly cold December Friday we found ourselves in Dalston to eats barbecued meats, drink beer before heading to the NFT to watch a black & White dark comedy “Kind Hearts & Coronets”. I used to work near Dalston back in the late 90’s and was quite surprised to see how trendy it has become. It reminded me of how Brick Lane used to be before it sold its soul to the guys with trendy haircuts! So after a very cold cycle up there on my Bojo bike I came across Dukes Brew & Que. It’s right next to a neo-brutalist council estate but it is very welcoming once you step inside. I was a good hour ahead of Big Matt & Villa Steve so I took up a pew at the bar and sampled some of their really excellent Beaverstown beer. The place started to fill up with a pretty trendy crowd. The guys behind the bar were very much dishevelled posh but very friendly with it, letting me try different beers before picking one. The Neck oil proved to be the session beer of the night for us.

Eventually the boys turned up and we were led to our table in the now full dining room. The don’t have a proper full on open kitchen like The Electric Diner here it is tucked away in the back corner but open for the curious. It’s works well as the passe lights blaze into a fairly dark room. We order a mixture of mains and sides. Our favourite by far are the pulled pork sliders, in fact we ordered seconds of these. Lovely buns crammed full of juicy tasty pulled pork, just fantastic. The large beef ribs are also very good, all sticky and caramelised. The one dish we didn’t like were the pork ribs, these were served the same as at Pitt Cue, large ribs tasty enough but what we really wanted was a big slab of baby back. I wish this fad for doing the big pork ribs would end. A slab of the small ones are so much better. Unlike the pretty poor Red Dog Saloon, everything here was cooked to order and tasted fresh. The sides were also very nice, the fried pickles and okra and the smoked beans were particularly memorable.

The service was really very good, our waitress was friendly and fun. She ensured we weren’t hanging around for drinks. It had a really good atmosphere, helped by great food and drink. The bill was about £30 a head which we thought was fair. There are a lot of chancers in the American food market in London but Duke’s Brew and Que is the real deal. They just need to get some baby back ribs into the smoker. It’s a little bit of schlep for me to get there but it’s certainly worth passing through Hoxton Square to head here for a proper feed. And thus well fed and watered we set off into the cold winter night to watch a film in a very cramped NFT auditorium, Rock and indeed Roll….

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8

This place also introduced me to my favourite London beer Beavertown. 

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