BBQ ribs are amazing. Slow cooked ribs – even better! Combine the two and you’re in Longhorn BBQ territory.
Straight out of Berowra, Longhorn has a strong core focus: slow cooked, high-quality meat at a very reasonable price. They keep costs low by partnering with cafes and restaurants: Longhorn provides the food, they provide the venue. These savings are passed on to attendees, and it’s made even cheaper still with BYO. Typically, Longhorn organises a BBQ night once a month that always sells out. After our experience, we totally understand why.
The event we went to was held at Cafe Luerella, a modest cafe tucked inside Berowra’s shopping centre. We weren’t captivated by the cafe itself, however we were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and Brad, owner of Longhorn BBQ. We noticed that Brad devoted a lot of his time throughout the evening to mingle with the guests, which transformed the space from a room full of strangers into a relaxed and friendly gettogether.
|Pulled Pork Nachos with guacamole and sour cream|
Not long after we were seated, our entree arrived: a massive plate of pulled pork nachos that was more main-sized than entree, even when shared. The slow cooked pork was succulent, smoky and truly melted in the mouth. It’s juices melded beautifully with the creamy avocado and crunch from the tomato, onion and nacho chips.
|Slow cooked beef and pork ribs with quarter chicken and a choice of chips, steamed vegetables or mash|
The real main event though were the ribs. We could choose between pork and beef so we picked one of each for variety. When the ribs arrived they looked so tender and smelled tantalising, we were almost tempted to forego documenting the dish and dig straight in!
Usually our experience with beef ribs is underwhelming. They either dry out or are under-seasoned. Neither of these points were an issue with these ribs. The tender meat came off the bone easily and was rendered to the point of perfection. The outside layer was coated with a thin layer of char which added smoky elements which we enjoyed. Its pairing sauce wasn’t homemade (we think Brad mentioned it was Sweet Baby Rays) but complemented the ribs with celery and tangy notes. We totally empathise with Brad in the amount of effort required to make a sauce for the event in addition to feeding over 50 mouths. Considering how outstanding the ribs were, we’d prefer the focus and care stay where it was.
Pork ribs are our favourite. Similar to the beef ribs, the pork was tender and fell off the bone, however we felt the sauce was needed to really lift the overall taste. There were definately smoke elements, however could have done with the same layer of char which characterised our beef ribs nicely.
The chicken that accompanied our ribs was smoky and well seasoned, though a little dry. We dealt with that by dipping the chicken in the sauce. Whilst the chicken was by no means bad, we felt the overall portion size of the main was huge and would have been just as satisfied if it wasn’t included.
There was also cake and coffee for dessert from the café’s selection. This was a nice touch for the cafe to get some further exposure. The caramel cheesecake we enjoyed lived up to its namesake– nice, velvety caramel blended well with the marscapone of the cheesecake. Its biscuit base was a little soft but still added some crunchy texture.
As we mentioned, the event was BYO so we bought some beers along. Young Henry’s left a lasting impression at the Central Coast Beer & Cider Festival so we paired our BBQ experience with their Real Ale. The malty-caramel notes from the brew complemented the smoky flavours of the meat nicely, and the bitter finish was great to wash down the tanginess from the BBQ sauce.
Overall this event was great. From the care that was taken in preparing and cooking the meats, to the level of hospitality the staff showed everyone, we were almost surprised considering the price of the event. We really can’t wait to go back!
Written by Lachlan Munnings (@mister_eats)