Brothers Juke Joint BBQ
Another great new food experience in Mt Eden!
Recently we enjoyed the fresh and zingy flavours of Vietnamese food at Sen Vietnamese Kitchen and Bar on Normanby Road, and now we have discovered the rich and flavourful American BBQ food on offer at Brothers Juke Joint BBQ on nearby Akiraho Street.
Tucked away just off busy Mt Eden Road is the new Brothers beer brewery. Unlike the city location, this location also makes food a feature. The owners and chef travelled in the USA researching American BBQ food and returned with a large smoker to create their own authentic offerings.
The brewery and Juke Joint BBQ is in a large space, but it has a comfortable feel with vintage lounge furniture and even an old Morris Minor for the kids to play in. In fact, the complex has a decidedly family-friendly feel – or it could have felt that way due to the early hour that we were there for dinner. The day we visited was a pleasant spring late-afternoon, and while the indoor space was popular with families, the very stylish outside patio area was filled with a child-free crowd enjoying the sun and sipping on drinks. There is also an outside fireplace which would add to the ambience on a chilly night.
We found a free table and a staff member stopped very promptly to explain the menu and the ordering system. There are menu cards on the tables. You mark your food selections on the card and then take it through to the cafeteria style kitchen, where they place the food on a large tray for you to take back to the table. Quick and easy.
The hard part was deciding what to order. We had been told that the Pork Rib ($7/100grams) and the Beef Brisket ($12/100 grams) were both available that day, so we ticked those boxes (actually you state how many grams you want). The Hot Sides all appealed, but the Tater Tots (we are all kids at heart!) ($6/small size) and the Burnt End Beans ($6/small size) won the day. We ordered both the small Cole Slaw ($5) and the small Sauerkraut ($5) as Cold Sides, plus a dill pickle ($2) for me. Finally we decided to try both the Thick and Fruity and the Thin and Spicy sauces ($1.50).
I really liked the sound of the Jam Jar Desserts, so the Lemon Meringue ($8) also got the tick from me.
When you are in a boutique brewery you have to try the beer (at least that is my opinion), so we each had a glass of the Pilsner. This was light and smooth and went down a treat with the food. There was also wine and soft drinks on offer for non-beer drinkers.
The chef carved and weighed our meat choices and placed them on the tray. The meat was a sight to behold and would delight the heart of any carnivore. Once the various sides had been added to the tray, and took my rather heavy tray back to the table. I was glad to see that other people had also ordered generous quantities of food.
We couldn’t resist the inviting look of the Burnt End Beans and both of us got stuck in for a taste. Divine! The baked beans were in a rich and slightly spicy sauce, and this perfection was improved by the addition of crispy end bits from BBQ’d meat. The small serving was very generous and I for one could have made that my meal.
All the small sides were generous portions. The Tater Tots were light and crispy puffs of deep-fried potato. The coleslaw was finely shredded with a lemony vinaigrette and sprinkled with celery seeds – a cleansing counterpoint to the richness of the other foods. My husband particularly wanted the sauerkraut and he was happy enough to eat most of it on his own. I don’t care for cold sauerkraut and felt that the flavour would have been much improved if it had been slightly warmed. However I was very happy with my cold and crunchy dill pickle.
The meat was beautifully cooked and the beef brisket was particularly tender. The meat on the pork ribs was chewy rather than falling-off-the-bone, but that is what teeth are for, and at $14 for two ribs it was not the most economical meat choice. Both of the meats were very flavourful with a spice mixture coating the ribs and a homemade sauce painted on the brisket. We really didn’t need our two extra pottles of sauce.
I was glad that I had the Lemon Meringue dessert jar on the tray because I probably wouldn’t have gone back to order it after all that food. The layers of tart lemon curd and crushed meringue were a perfect ending to the meal and between the two of us we finished it in quick order.
I noticed that other patrons were enjoying the Sandwiches, which are 100 grams of meat in a dinner roll with cole slaw, pickle and sauce. These would be especially perfect at lunch time.
We will be back at Juke Joint BBQ. While the meat may be the star, there are more delicious sounding sides to try! This place is definitely going on our favourite locals list.