The Devastator, Red Dog Saloon, Hoxton

21 Oct

LOCATION: Red Dog Saloon, 37 Hoxton Square, N1 6NN [map]

PRICE: £22.75

BREAD: Seedless burger bun.

FILLING: 3 x 6oz burgers, 200g pulled pork, 6 rashers applewood smoked bacon, 6 slices American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles. Some sort of generic BBQ sauce.

PROS: Sweet titty Jesus, this is big.

CONS:  Sometimes I see something on a menu and it just looks so ridiculous that I can’t resist trying it even though I know it will be bad. It’s like gastronomic self-harming.

I mean, look at it. LOOK AT IT.

I round up 3 others – full informed consent obtained – to eat this with me. It arrives, skewered down the middle out of genuine necessity, which makes a nice change. We quickly decide that separating it in the traditional way is not an option so we just push it over and pick out bits of each filling.

I am assured by the owner of Red Dog Saloon that the meat is of high quality, which is a shame because I couldn’t taste it due to the sheer quantity of ingredients piled inside. The overall effect was the way London looks on a really shitty overcast day; dreary, grey, nothing. The pulled pork is what really annoys me though, particularly considering their claim to ‘authentic BBQ’. It’s a lesson in how not to do pulled pork; cooked for too long and saturated with sauce, leaving it with that curious texture , like chewing on wet cotton wool. The bacon is….I can’t remember.

They’ve tried to make a man vs. food style challenge here and have ended up with, well, a man vs. food style challenge, but one from the later episodes  - you know, when they’d run out of good places to visit and just ended up doing challenges with any old joint serving food in large quantities. Poor Adam Richman got tired of it and started approaching the challenges with a weary look; not just because he was tired of the sheer vast grotesque amounts of food but because it didn’t even taste great any more.

I’ve got nothing against food challenges per se, and this is obviously intended as a bit of fun. Fine! Great! No problemo. What I REALLY have a problem with is claims about the quality of the food. It’s AUTHENTIC! This is PROPER BBQ! That’s the real killer. Serve whatever food floats your boat but do not start pretending you’re something entirely different. There’s a handy little phrase that sums up what exactly what you’re doing and it is this:

‘Taking the piss’.

SCORE: 2/10

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32 Responses to “The Devastator, Red Dog Saloon, Hoxton”

  1. Catherine October 21, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Did you ask for your money back or at least a reduction on your bill? It looks terrible, and obviously was.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches October 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Nope, we took the hit. It was one of those situations where, if you start complaining about one thing, you would complain about everything. You know what I mean?

      • Andrew MacDonald October 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        I’ve been in that exact situation in that place (work lunch). Pregnant person complained about over-rare burger, leading to order loss, bill screwup, offer of discount which wasn’t actually applied, awkward hour long delay in which all but 2 people had eaten and angry boss back at the office. Avoid.

      • londonreviewofsandwiches October 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

        Crikey, there’s a lunchtime horror story if ever I’ve heard one

  2. Lizzie October 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    mmmm brown slop.

  3. Giang Cao October 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    I would never let anything that big near my mouth.

  4. Richard Dixon (@drdickdixon) October 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I wonder whether this meal was a forward-thinking attempt to get on telly as and when the inevitable happens and a) Man vs. Food goes “Worldwide” or b) a Man vs. Food clone is developed on UK TV. Can’t be far off, surely. Chap vs. Grub, or something.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches October 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Chap vs. grub. You saw it here first. Forward thinking they are not however as they’re certainly not the first to do it. Oh how I have suffered.

      • Richard Dixon (@drdickdixon) October 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

        Who else is doing competitive eating menu items (apart from the good old “Bargain Bucket to yourself” option)?

      • londonreviewofsandwiches October 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        Well Malmaison do a very similarly sized burger. Or they er, did. The Meateasy and Meat Liquor of course did the triple chilli challenge. That was some feat. And of course the food was a lot better…

  5. Tom November 8, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    Hello,
    you may have one of the most horrible jobs going. You do not see the immense amount of hard work that goes into running a restaurant. When you post your quite frankly slanderous views all over the Internet you adversely affect so many hard working good honest people. what u do is a truly terrible thing and u should be ashamed

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 8, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Hello Tom. Do you have anything to do with Red Dog Saloon by any chance? I do know how much work goes into it, actually, for reasons which I am not required to tell you. The reason I can do this, is because I am paying customer, and my opinion therefore matters. Sorry you don’t like it.

      • Tom November 8, 2013 at 10:48 am #

        Your options do count of course the problem is the slander which is illegal

      • londonreviewofsandwiches November 8, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        Please explain what is slanderous here?

    • Chris Pople (@chrispople) November 8, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Tom, “views” can’t be slanderous. Slander is stating something negative that is untrue. Opinion like this doesn’t apply.

      I was there for this meal and if anything Helen is going very easy on Red Dog. If she took into account the hideous overcooked prawns, the sickly cocktails and the inattentive-to-the-point-of-invisible service, it would have scored even lower.

      • Ed Johnson (@EPWJohnson) November 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

        Also, not to be nitpicky about it, but I think what Tom means is ‘libellous’ rather than ‘slanderous’ – either way, he’s wrong.

      • ash333 December 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

        To be fair to ‘Tom’, I went to Red Dog for the Devastator recently and whilst I would never eat it again due to competitive eating being a perfect way to ruin a meal, their other burgers looked pretty nice and made me wish I’d not been pressured into such a masculinity-proving freak show.. Your coleslaw is mingin’ however

  6. donald November 8, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Tom, Tom, Tom. Firstly I’d like to point out that I’m painfully aware of the hard work involved in running a restaurant. However I’m also aware that hard work and a coterie of staff dependent on me doesn’t make reasonable criticism of my endeavours unacceptable. All restaurants must provide a food/drink offering, and in doing so and accepting paying custom from people they must therefor accept that they will be judged. Further more engaging in a PR baiting menu exercise, of which the devastator is a prime example they are actively courting attention from people like Helen, and indeed are hoping for the oxygen of free publicity which inevitably comes with. To whit; if you will court this sort of attention then one ought to expect some sort of negative blow back, especially if that which you’re showing off is as ill thought out as the devastator.
    On an entirely separate note, slander is defined as verbal defamation of character which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t applicable in a written medium such as a blog.

  7. Tom November 8, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Pls email me directly

  8. jules November 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Have to admit, this place sucks. We went to the sandwich part of it last week and the hot dogs are criminal – totally crap! And £2.25 for a can of coke…shocking!

  9. DenaceMenace November 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Oh for goodness sake. I think Helen’s been pretty fair.Slanderous indeed. The only potentially slanderous comment could be “Sweet Titty Jesus” assuming that you are a member of the Spanish inquisition with a time machine (but then “STJ” may be the least of your problems with regard to the internet)…

  10. tom November 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Thank you Helen for changing the wording. i really have no problem with people voicing there opinions it should be encouraged and an essential part of the learning process. the reason my response was so emotionally charged was because of the effort we make in getting the best quality ingredients we can. For you to write in a factual context the meat was poor quality was not the right thing to do.
    Having said that i really appreciate you amending the review

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Tom. No problem at all. Hope this resolves the matter.

      • Lee November 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

        What did it say, what did it say!?

    • Fabian December 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      aaaand just like that anyone who read your comments will never go to your restaurant, ever. It’s almost like you could be one of RDS’s competitors acting like a righteous **** on purpose. “Slander”, ha!

      Anyways you do not have to worry that this story harmed your reputation: my brother suggested we go there for dinner once as he had been there years ago but even 5 minutes of online research clearly showed it would not be a nice evening. Seeing how you act on here makes me feel even better about the decision and by the looks of that picture your food looks disgusting.

      LROS, keep on doing what you are doing, don’t hesitate to call out something for what it is and don’t mind people like Tom!

  11. Dan November 27, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    I think this review is absurd and personally, I think it’s wrong. I eat out often at various restaurants with friends and family and and I’ve had The Devastator two or three times – each time I’ve found it delicious. If you can’t taste anything whilst eating this burger then I suggest you stop smoking and drinking so much as it must have annihilated your taste buds. Plus points to Red Dog Saloon for having the balls to try something like this. The only negative i can think of is that the price has gone up about £10 in the last year or so.

    Furthermore; the chicken wings are fantastic.

    There are far too many clueless idiots writing ‘food blogs’ these days. Why can’t you just go somewhere, eat and be happy? You don’t have to psycho-analyse everything so negatively. I can’t be bothered to read any more on this (can’t remember how I even ended up here) but I expect you’ve written a negative review about McDonald’s cheeseburgers saying they’re bland, too salty, the coke is too watery and the service isn’t polite enough? Ha.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches November 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Hi Dan,

      I eat plenty of meals out without writing about them. It just so happens that this wasn’t one of them. Big fan of Maccy D’s cheeseburgers, actually and they way they water down that coke is a revelation!

  12. Anna December 3, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Shame you didn’t bother to read more Dan, you might have picked up on the fact that the reviews on the site are both positive and negative depending on the eatery, which simply reflects the eating experience of the writer.
    It’s always good to push back on a review you don’t agree with especially if it’s of somewhere you go regularly but do actually tell me why you disagree!
    Otherwise you are just rubbishing someone (personally) who writes a nice blog on sandwiches. Which makes you look like a bit sad and not very pleasant.

    • ash333 December 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      Totally agree..

      “Why can’t you just go somewhere, eat and be happy?”

      Why can’t everyone agree on everything? Why all the killing and the wars? Why isn’t everyone all the same religion?

      Life isn’t perfect, Sugar Plum.. That’s why there has to be policemen and politicians and car alarms and army soldiers to keep you nice and safe whilst you go out to Red Dog and stuff your face for the 4th time. Ha.

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