We recently paid visit to Bierrex which opened at the end of 2014. As part of the De Giorgi family empire, the hop and smoke venue is inhabiting the old Popolo premises on Pilgrim Street which is a handy walk away from the shops. It is in pleasant company along with the sister bars such as Dat Bar and it’s next door neighbours Alvinos and Paradiso.
Offering ‘brew & cue’, the meat is cooked on a special smoker all the way from Oklahoma and with over 30 guest ales on draft plus countless more cans and bottles, it is a mecca for all things hop.My eagle eyed readers may have already seen this review published on the Engage Tyneside website – rest assured, I did indeed write it for the magazine!
We visited on a quiet rainy Thursday and got a table without booking. We were actually the first people in the dining room at the back at 6pm!
Stripped back décor, heavy bar stools and a marble bar top give the space an uncluttered feel but when it was empty it felt a little cold and stark. There is a weekend-only cocktail bar in the basement that screams prohibition-era fun as well as a heated outdoors space at the back of the bar.
Seated in our booth we perused the meat laden menu and settled for a burger and a meat plate. We were surprised to see there was nothing that really passed muster as a starter or nibbles to get the meal off to a start.
I opted for the Joe Burger and Cheese (£6) and a side of beef fat chips (£3). The burger was cooked perfectly to my liking (well done!) and was jam packed with tasty toppings. The crisp thin American style bacon to the sharp cheese and crunchy pickle all added to the burger. The meat was juicy, oh so juicy, and tender and had a delicious charred taste. The fries were phenomenal. Super crisp on the outside and a very generous portion. Delicious!
Paul is all about the meat so he chose the Glenarm Brisket (£12) which included a side of Mac & Cheese which came served cafeteria style on a tray. The pile of brisket was plentiful, served with toast and a pickled jalapeno. The sauce on the brisket was sticky and tasty but didn’t overpower the taste of the well cooked meat.
We loved the choice of 4 sauces brought before our meal for us to work our way through. The sweet & tangy sauce was perfect dipping my burger and chips in whilst Paul enjoyed pairing his brisket with the vinegar & black pepper sauce.
We thought the food was very reasonably priced and very filling for the £21 we paid. We even bought a bag of locally made beef jerky to take home with us to continue the meat feast!
We can’t wait to go back so I can try the brisket bun and Paul can demolish a rack of ribs!