American-style BBQ is about dedication. It is about the right cut of meat and the hours of preparation that goes into it before it reaches the plate. And tucked away between Iffley Road and
Portions range from the approachable to the excessive. As it was a Saturday lunchtime we resisted the call of The Big Smoke Platter (two kinds of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausages, burnt ends AND honey roasted chicken... wow) and instead plumped for a combo each. My partner picked a quarter chicken, Jacob's Ladder (beef ribs), and pulled pork with a side of burnt ends (chunks of brisket meat), while I picked beef brisket, pulled pork and burnt ends with a side of Mac & cheese. I am a firm believer that all BBQs are only perfected with the addition of Mac & cheese! We complemented our orders with a diet coke for my wife and a mint Aero milkshake (there are a range of chocolate flavours to pick from).
When our food arrived it was quickly apparent we had picked very good items from the menu. The chicken was noticeably juicy and flavoursome while the pulled pork was a very good example of an ever-so-popular dish. While the Jacob's Ladder didn't quite cause my wife to forgo her love for baby back ribs, the burnt ends got an appreciative exclamation of "huge!" and were delicious, hefty chunks of meat. Her one improvement would be the BBQ sauce out on the table as a condiment; surely a compliment for the sauce itself. As for my meal, the brisket was delicious, tender and easy to pull apart (proof of dedication to the BBQ-ing process), while the pulled pork and, in particular, the burnt ends, were great accomplishments. And the Mac & Cheese was a very tasty side, affirming my belief in its importance. Overall our mains were delicious, served in portion sizes that almost defeated us. Yet we found room for a pudding...
And there are a number of tasty options in this department. I went for the Oreo cheesecake, while my co-eater went for a Daim ice cream sundae. The cheesecake was tasty and surprisingly light for a cheesecake, which was much appreciated. The ice cream sundae was appreciated by both my wife and our young daughter, complete with hefty chunks of chocolate amongst the ice cream and sauce.
The food at Oxford Blue Smokehouse is great, with the menu promising food for many subsequent trips. The staff are polite and friendly, but it felt understaffed, particularly when it came to paying our bill (as there were a number of other diners with requests and orders). I also managed to learn about the lovely floor tiles in the men's bathroom as this was where I had to change our daughter's nappy. This was due to a lack of any baby change facilities, as well as no disabled toilets. Certainly a necessity that feels missing from this establishment. Still the food and atmosphere won the day and it is a restaurant I will definitely return to.