Bubba QWhere Wildest Drams traded for a while, Bubba Q has taken over recently. This was not my first visit as I’d popped in shortly after it opened and found it on rather mixed form.
I’d spent a bit of time feeding back to the folks in the kitchen as while the place had some glints of promise, their brisket was like shoe leather and their mac n cheese rather underseasoned.I was keen to revisit to see how things were progressing so managed to do so on a rather dreich day.
The interior is as you might expect a barbecue place to be with rough wood seating and corrugated iron. It’s not really my style but this was one of the better renderings of it and it fitted the space quite well.Service was prompt to the point of over-quick. My backside hadn’t hit the palette seat before I was being badgered for a drinks order. But things settled down to a reasonable pace as things went along.
On the previous visit the chef had suggested that I should try the pulled pork on my next visit as that was the meat that he was most pleased with. I took that advice ordering the pulled pork meal. This came with slaw, pickles and barbecue sauce as standard then my choice of two sides. I opted for sweet potato fries and BBQ beans.
The meal promptly arrived looking like a hearty lunchtime feed. It was certainly an upgrade on my previous experience. The pulled pork was in the dry style that MJ likes. I’m not such a fan but with the addition of the barbecue sauce it was pretty satisfying.
The beans were good with pieces of brisket intermingled with the soft beans in a smoky tomato sauce. The sweet potato fries had good crispness, as did the slaw.
American barbecue is a very diverse cuisine and Bubba Q is packing in dishes in the southern, Texas, Louisiana and Carolina style, along with probably a few more. To have more coherence to the menu, I think things would benefit from them picking one style and developing it further – or doing something like what Reekie’s has done and put a strong Scottish spin on the style – as while things are on a decent footing now after a rocky start, it still has a bit to go to be a place that barbecue aficionados will value.
So overall, Bubba Q is worth a visit next time you’re looking for a meaty feast. They’re doing a solid job with the dishes I tried on my second trip. This is a tricky location to make work so I hope they can build an appreciative audience for what they’re doing.
Blythe scores Bubba Q
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: pulled pork meal – pulled pork, pickle, slaw, sweet potato fries, BBQ beans
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: crisp white shirt
Total bill: £13
Address: 209 High Street, Royal Mile, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1PE