One note from the New Orleans trumpeter as he begins his jaunty lap of the restaurant, swaying jazz band in tow, and the grey Shoreditch sky outside fades away. Mint julep in hand, and with a smoky spread of burnt beef ends, brisket, pulled pork and juicy ribs stretching across the table, this feels more like Austin than East London (bar the interchangeable bare light bulbs and beards). This BBQ mecca takes you on a meaty tour of the American Deep South, stopping in St Louis for a Creole bean burger and New Orleans for jambalaya, munching on corn bread and ‘slaw as you go.
If that’s not escapism enough, the list of bourbons is as long as the sliding arm on a jazz trombone – a mere 50 to deliberate over – with special varieties to tempt those with a chronic whisky weakness (guilty as charged). Ask the boys behind the bar for a
Jeﬀerson’s Ocean and they’ll regale you with tales of spirits aged on a ship at sea, the porous barrels absorbing the salty breeze as they traverse the Atlantic. End the night by stumbling onto the impromptu dance ﬂoor, where bluesy live bands never fail to get diners on their feet. After all, it’s still early in St Louis, so go ahead and boogie.
The Blues Kitchen, London
BBQ and bourbon from €20 theblueskitchen.com