The Handbook
The Handbook

Over at the Blues Kitchen in Camden they are spicing up Monday nights with a ribs festival throughout January and February. Having invited the countries best rib chefs to come in and cook up some of America’s most loved food, The Handbook went down on its opening night to check it out.

From the outside it looks dark, the wood distressed, inside it was still dark with low red lights but it was packed – good work for an early Monday evening. A mix of bar seats, high tables, booths; we were quickly shown to our seat and explained which ribs were on offer that day.

 It was the Prairie Fire BBQ – which was created last year by a Kansas Citian who moved to London and missed the authentic taste of home, Kansas City Barbecue – we knew we had to get our hands on those.

But before we got stuck into the ribs we ordered crispy alligator – having never had alligator before there was nothing I could compare it to but it tasted rather like chicken, with the texture and consistency of fish – the sweet chilli sauce definitely gave it the kick it needed.

Then came the ribs, oh the ribs – a great hunk of smoked ribs with bbq and apple sauce. Fine food it may be, fine dining it is not – this is the sort of place where it is only right to get stuck in, use your hands, lick the sauce off and get every last little morsel off the bone – perhaps not the best place for a first date. It was served with bbq beans – a pot of smoky, nutty goodness which we couldn’t get enough of and cheesy cornbake – a tub of creamy, cheesy sweetcorn – prefect comfort food. We also ordered the southern fried chicken – to huge (and they were huge) bits of crispy skinned chicken on the bone with fries and coleslaw, all topped off with a couple of beers.

As much as we wanted to order pudding, we were just too full so thought we would share a milkshake – you know just a small little milkshake to finish off. What arrived can only be described as a small bucket of peanut butter and chocolate milkshake, it was simple yet delicious – I would go back for the shake alone.

Full and happy we rolled our way back to west London, so yes go to The Blues Kitchen, make sure it is on a Monday but definitely bring you appetites or a spare stomach – you’ll need it.

Value for Money: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Food: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Overall: 7.75/10