This month’s EatFIFA was the turn of the good old US of A. The venue, chosen from hundreds of burger and ribs joints in London, was the Red Dog Saloon. Gourmet fast food seems to be the capital’s food fad of the year so we were really spoilt for choice. In spite of being told at a very late date that the Red Dog Saloon was in fact the brainchild of an East European, it certainly ticked most the boxes required for an authentic American meal.
Red Dog is probably most famous for its Man vs Food-esque eating challenges, rather than the quality of its food. These include a timed monster burger eating challenge (The Devastator burger + Milkshake in 10 minutes) and the hot wings challenge made with fresh Napa Rigo chillies.
Upon arrival we were shown to our table in what seemed to be the restaurant world’s darkest basement. We had a long table by the bar that was surrounded by American-style booths and single tables which were occupied by what looked like a lot of first dates.
Drinks were ordered and a couple of attendees ordered the very orange looking ‘Old Fashioned’ whisky cocktail which looked like Alexi Lalas had dipped his beard into it, while others opted for beers and rum milkshakes. The milkshake had a fair punch to it, we might add, and helped one EatFIFA co-founder into a light coma at the table.
For starters, some steamed shrimp that looked very appetising indeed and tasted as they should. For those who didn’t order starters, there was a selection of condiments to sample including Carolina and Kansas Sauces. From there the mains were ordered. We had one brave contender for the Devastator burger, however he wasn’t quite brave enough to do it against the clock. The Devastator consists of three patties, six slices of bacon, 200g of pulled pork and six slices of cheese, a monster which has to be held together with skewers. Despite costing a handsome £22.75, the burger doesn’t come with any sides. This left a couple of jaws to be picked up from the floor.
In the Devastator;s shadow, there were also regular-sized burgers and pork and beef ribs ordered. These were all very pleasant, however the sides that accompanied these orders were very small and not to a great standard! This included mashed potato that tasted ‘like Smash’ (the attendee that made this comment had good authority to judge this, given that his diet during student days featured this daily). The coleslaw was creamy and on the whole good, French fries plentiful and generally the right side of crispy. On to the scores:
Food – 70.9
Drink – 63.4
Service – 52.9
Atmosphere – 66.7
Value for Money – 56.2
Total – 62.0
Despite not scoring as highly as expected, (this could be down to EatFIFA’s marking system being as equally unpredictable as FIFA’s very own rankings) Red Dog presented no real surprises. The food on the whole was good and the drinks were lovely. The problem for Red Dog was the cost and the distinctly average service. There will, no doubt, be better American restaurants in London (many can’t accommodate large parties), but there will be a lot worse.
Up next is Switzerland, where the choice narrows somewhat. To one, in fact.
Have a nice day!