Updated: Jun 17, 2020
As a self-confessed carnivore, Longhorns is pretty much my idea of heaven. If you haven’t heard of Longhorns before it is a BBQ smokehouse which sells, as you can imagine, lots of meat. When I think of this place or eat here I always get Joey from Friends playing over and over in my head
Longhorns have two restaurant locations in Newcastle, one in the city center and the other in Jesmond. They have done so well that they have started to branch out all over the UK, and I completely understand why it has become so popular. The quality of the food is second to none, the first time I ate here I was blown away by the flavours and the quality of the meat. They actually have their own ranch breeding free-range cattle, which I am guessing is a lot easier due the sheer volumes of meat they need.
So onto the reason for this specific post. A week or so ago I received a very cryptic email inviting me to the opening of the Slaughterhouse Speakeasy at Longhorns in Jesmond. I was told to RSVP and I would receive the secret password. Why was it so hush, hush I hear you ask? Well if you are not familiar with what a Speakeasy is, the term comes from the United States during prohibition when drinking alcohol was illegal. Basements and backrooms were used, usually by mobsters to give people a place to drink. You would have to speak very quietly if discussing it in public and especially when inside as to not alert the authorities.
Longhorns has very much an old American ‘deep south’ vibe so opening a Speakeasy cocktail bar is very fitting. The bar itself is underneath the restaurant at their Jesmond location and can be accessed by a secret door in the courtyard.
We arrived on the night and when we approached we were asked the secret password, so we whispered:
“I’m here to see Dr. Tarlos the Slaughterman”
We were led downstairs to the basement where we were either about to be murdered and turned into slow cooked sliders or we had been invited to a cool launch party. Luckily Longhorns do not use humans in their BBQ meaty goodness so I am glad to say it was the latter.
My first impression was that the bar is small and rustic with a very authentic vibe. The stone floor and wooden benches add to the overall character and being in there made you feel like you are in a secret club that no one else knows about. Jazz music was playing throughout as we sat and enjoyed a cocktail…….or three. You can also enjoy Wylam Brewery’s excellent Jakehead IPA (Thom advised me it was excellent, I can’t drink the stuff!)
Cocktail maestro Roy shakes up a mean cocktail and after chatting to him for 5 minutes you can tell that what he doesn’t know about cocktail making just ain’t worth knowing.
We tried the Hemmingway Daiquiri which was made with Brugal Blanco, Luxardo Maraschino, Agave, Lime and Pink Grapefruit. It was very sweet, fruity and quite tart. The Mai Talian made with Old j Gold Rum, Campari, Orgeat, Lime and Pineapple Syrup was up next; it was quite bitter and came with a small piece of Salted Tiki Fire Fudge to eat as you drank to sweeten it up. Finally, we tried the Corpse Reviver #2 (mainly because Thom found the name hilarious!) which is made with Haymans Gin, Cointreau, Cocchi Americano, Lemon and Pernod Absinthe. This one was very rich and tasted overwhelmingly of aniseed, not to my liking but Thom finished it off. In fact, he finished them all off!
To make the night even more perfect, the food started to arrive. First of all, a beautiful board of cold cured meats, cheese, and American pickles. It was the perfect accompaniment to the cocktails. We were having a great night chatting and listening to great music but we started to get really peckish so were deciding whether or not to go upstairs to the restaurant and have a proper Longhorns meal. We stood up and started to get our coat when we noticed the pièce de résistance being brought out: BBQ pulled pork sliders with house slaw. I would have been devastated if we had left 5 minutes earlier. They put down a full board of 16 on our table which was occupied by only me and Thom, we tried our best and got through 9 of them. They were so delicious I just wanted to keep eating them but my full stomach let me down.
The Slaughterhouse Speakeasy is open now and you can enjoy the delights it has to offer from Thursday – Sunday every week, and from the 4th June, they will be hosting their very own Blues Club on a monthly basis with the fist band being The King Bees.
I highly recommend you check out the Slaughterhouse Speakeasy even if it’s just for a drink before or after food, you will love every minute of it.
To book a table you can call 01912399187
7 Osborne Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE2 2AE