In the deep, deep South (of Sanlitun), the ever-popular Home Plate BBQ has upgraded their menu, which invited another visit to the meat emporium. And boy what an upgrade it is. Instead of their old single-side menu we're now looking at a book with pages and pages of meaty treats and indulgent dishes. Every time the page was flipped more dishes that couldn't possibly be true were discovered.
Of the numerous new dishes we settled on: the pickled shrimp salad (RMB 58), the Texas chili (RMB 38), and two burgers: the Dixie (RMB 68), and the Cowboy Blue (RMB 58).
The pickled shrimp salad was a simple but solid salad carrying summer flavors, although it could do with a little bit more dressing. As for the chili, the accompanying piece of cornbread, soaking up the sauce, made a nice addition to just a straight bowl of the spicy stew. However, spice lovers may be left hankering for a little extra kick.
The burgers were really kick-ass though. Like really. The two burgers were devoured in what felt like seconds, and nobody had time to share a bite. The Dixie was particularly great: a meat patty topped off with fried pickles, pimento cheese, and crispy cured bacon.
The cowboy blue came with blue cheese, crispy cured bacon, and a generous portion of caramelized onion. Not enough meat for you? No problem, as you can now add another beef patty to a bunch of the burgers on the menu. Get the beefed-up Dixie for RMB 98 or the Cowboy Blue for RMB 88.
Some of the added items that we didn't get around to testing were the colossal 1kg beef patty burger (RMB 128), the increasingly large list of barbeque plates perfect for sharing, or any of the expanded veggie options (veggie burger at RMB 38, or the damn yankee with roast beets and caramelized onions at RMB 48).
The drinks menu has also been rejigged, with a few of Dave Bob Gaspar's new and dangerously delicious creations making an appearance. The Savannah sipper (RMB 55), for example, a mix of tea infused vodka, white wine, and juice, tastes like summer in an icy cup, with a slight buzz. These could happily be drunk all day long.
The Belmont breeze (RMB 45) steps in as the bourbon newcomer, a delicate mix of whisky, lemon, grenadine and soda, or the lock pick, a mix of bourbon pomegranate and ice tea (RMB 50). Pick your poison, as both of these retain that incredible taste of bourbon while letting a little bit of fruit through.
And last but definitely not least, the drink named after the bar, the Bullpen (RMB 55), was an innovative surprise. This drink mixes dark rum, beer, and strawberry jam. The combination was not too sweet, nor too bitter, but perfectly balanced. This, again, is something to be drunk on a warm summer's day.
With all these new drinks and eats Home Plate BBQ has really demonstrated their dedication to keeping things fresh and keeping a keen eye on American barbecue trends, with their owner heading over to the South of 'Murica multiple times a year to check out the latest offerings and recipes.
Regardless of our readers' concern over existing burgers' increasing prices at this establishment, which we were told is a result of increasing meat prices, we'll undoubtedly be back to try out the rest of the menu, and soon.
Photos: Margaux Schreurs
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