The Handbook team headed over to Blue Boar smokehouse to try out their great menu which is inspired by American pit masters but uses only the best British ingredients, think pulled pork, burgers, and steaks. The restaurant itself is dark, with low lighting and decorated with little nods to its American and British inspirations.
We started with grilled Caesar salad and the sautéed mushrooms with crispy duck eggs. Both were delicious although the Caesar salad which rather than being tossed together as they usually are came as baby gem lettuce split in half, drizzled in the dressing and parmesan, one long crouton and disappointingly only three anchovies. Perhaps that is just a personal preference to have lots of anchovies, but since they were so flavourful it would have been nice to have had a couple more. The sautéed mushrooms were rich and creamy, although slightly overcooked leaving them a little chewy and it was a rather large portion for a starter that said the crispy duck egg was cooked perfectly.
We followed this with the Blue Boar Burger, it was a tough decision between that and the pulled pork. Oh the burger! As they said, if a smokehouse couldn’t get a burger right they would be in trouble… but they need not fear, because it was a heck of a good burger! Not a thin American style burger but a proper thick burger, with mature cheddar and barbecue onion relish. The fries that came with them were rather salty, not that I minded but if you are trying to cut down on salt, you might want to warn them before hand, because they were definitely on the very salty side of salty. For me though the surprise winner of the night was the barbecued bake beans, baked beans alone are a classic, something simple but everyone loves them. But the barbecued baked beans take this to a whole new a level, there were in a nutshell, for something so basic, fantastic!
Having both a dessert and pudding menu, we had to of course try both, in order to pass judgement. Well actually we had three, just to be sure. We had the Apple Crumble which came with custard and Burnt Cambridge Cream with Praline filled doughnuts. The Burnt Cambridge Cream was wonderfully rich and creamy but not at all heavy despite how much we had already eaten, and the Apple Crumble was perfectly crunchy on top whilst the apples were wonderfully sweet. The last dessert we had was simply named Chocolate and consists of chocolate: sponge, jelly, foam, ice, ganache and crunch, in my mind I was picturing a 70s monstrosity of a sundae glass filled with chocolate in every form but this was one of the prettiest, most delicate desserts I had seen, and as the waiter said, anyone who likes chocolate should try it. It wasn’t even in a sundae glass.
So if you want fantastic smokehouse food, the Blue Boar is your destination. I will be going again, the pulled pork is calling.
Reservations: 0203 3611 400