In April 2014 I took a little trip to the land of the free and the home of smokey, meaty, BBQ goodness, the U.S.A. Since then I have had a serious smoked BBQ meat craving.
Today It was well and truly satiated, when I made my way to The Oxford Tavern in Petersham, to sample Black Betty’s BBQ. Towards the end of last year, the crew from Drink ‘n’ Dine took over ownership of the Tavern. You may know them from past ventures such as Forresters, The Norfolk and The Carrington to name a few. In their most recent takeover, The Oxford Tavern has been through the signature Drink ‘n’ Dine make over, replacing topless waitresses, strippers and Jelly wrestling with bearded bar tenders in Hawaiin shirts, a taxidermied bear and a random assortment of stuff you’d find at Macklemore’s house. Most importantly they have introduced sweet sweet BBQ meats along with a new USA-ified menu featuring Bacon Sriracha Fries, Chilli Dogs, Fried Gaytimes and more as well as a range of beverages, local and imported to quench any thirst from Newtown’s Young Henrys Cider on tap to cans of Bud and St Moritz. In their trademark style, you won’t know what was actually brought in by the styling team and what was always there.
Enough chit chat about the “reno’d” venue, lets talk meat. Every weekend, Black Betty’s smokehouse takes center stage at the back of the Tavern in the newly refurbished beer garden, where you can still hear the faint sounds of the old pokies that used to take up residence. From 12pm Black Betty’s begins operations, serving freshly BBQ’d smoked meats until sold out. As you place your order, your meat is carved, weighed and plated in front of you.
We ordered 400gr of Pulled Pork, 200gr of Brisket, 1 Beef Short Rib, 1 Smoked Pork Sausage, 1 serving of Burnt End Beans and 1 serving of Kale & Edemame Salad to set some order in an otherwise meat filled universe. Accompanying the meal is a soft, sweet brioche bun and a good serving of ‘Slaw. Everything was delicious but the stand outs were the Pulled Pork, Beans and surprisingly the Smoked Sausage. The pork was juicy, stringy and served with just a dashing of BBQ sauce, which is just the way I like it. The beans were smokey, spicy and warming to the soul. It gave me greater pleasure eating them, knowing that each time meat was carved, the excess juices were scooped up and added to the bean pot, however, I would have loved some actual burnt ends thrown into the mix.
To accompany a truly decandent meal, $10 Bloody Mary’s (choose from 3 different styles) and a Young Henry’s Cider, oh and of course your token local crazy begging for money to pay her rent.
With all my favourite things in 1 place, The Oxford Tavern is now well and truly inserted into my eating roster.