Rub Review

Hi all,

I was invited back to Rub to try some of their latest epic food concoctions. I’ve been twice before, the most recent was to try their cocktail menu and the first time was when it first opened, we had a massive platter of food for four people and we ended up taking a whole chicken home for Sunday dinner!

This time around I had the priveledge of an invite and the chance to try a few of their best selling food challenges. I’d seen these on Instagram and they really are epic. We’re talking about meals such as their:

Belgian waffle burger: double cheeseburger, pulled pork, lettuce, slaw served between waffles and drizzled with maple syrup. Served with skin on fries.
Lasagne burrito: pulled pork, minced beef wrapped in a tortilla, dipped in nachos and fried. Served with fries and a sprinkle of salad.

Imagine a normal burger and a normal burrito but then double or triple it in size, that’s what we’re dealing with here.

These meals also make me think: I’m not going to be able to eat for days. We were pretty excited to be giving some of these bad boys a chance. Let the challenge commence.

First Impressions of Rub Smokehouse

As I’ve been before there wasn’t much difference to my previous visits, you’re greeted as soon as you step foot through the door which is a great sign. We were shown straight to our seats, one of the booths in the back of the restaurant and our drinks orders were taken.

Looking around it’s a proper mismatch of a restaurant, the way it’s designed. The chairs look like they’ve been bought from primary schools (plastic coloured ones) with the tables being wooden, all situated on a green floor that looks like fake grass. There’s an array of smaller tables and booths depending on the size of your group with smaller tables accommodating 2 and the booths doing 4. There are larger tables at the bottom, suitable for bigger groups.

Food

We were given a quick overview of how the menu works and our jaws dropped reading some of the descriptions, we were struggling to pick a dish to opt for. Bigfoot burrito? Giant pizza taco? Chicken nuggets? We gave in and asked for recommendations of the house and let the team make the decisions for us, based on what was the most popular.

Rub Smokehouse Nottingham Cocktail

Our cocktails arrived first, they’re all a little twist on drinks such as Pornstar Martini or Woo Woo (not technically a “traditional” but I’m betting you know what they are!) We had opted for a Walking Dead (twist on a Zombie) and a The Dog’s Bollocks (twist on a Long Island). Each one was fruity, sweet and very alcoholic. I was impressed with their cocktail selection the last time I visited too and I need to remember this place when we’re on a night out – 2 cocktails for £10 every day!

Shortly after our first round of drinks had been supped our food arrived. We were given an absolute mammoth feast with three epic dishes. They were:

Rub Smokehouse Nottingham Giant Taco Pizza

Giant pizza taco: served in a VW Bus, it’s a 16″ pizza stuffed with pulled beef, chicken, pork, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese, topped with fried chicken

This was a difficult one to eat, we didn’t realise, until the waitress told us at the end, that most people take the pizza out of the bus and place it flat on the tray that it arrives on. This would have made it SO much easier to eat. Anyway, we still gave it a good go. We started by eating all of the meat on top – fried chicken (delicious) and an array of pulled meats which were massive chucks. There was no scrimping on this dish, it was definitely epic and I started getting meat sweats from this alone.

We wanted to take this home but because of all the sauces (nacho selection of salsa, guac and sour cream) it would have made the base too soggy so make sure you finish this whilst you’re still in Rub! The pizza itself was good but a huge portion. I’ll salute you if you can finish this.

Rub Smokehouse Nottingham Epic NY Slice

Epic NY slice: a two foot pizza slice with BBQ sauce and mozzarella served with pepperoni and chips

This options comes as a veggie or pepperoni feast. The base is a sweet BBQ sauce with a generous topping of cheese and meat. It’s a good pizza. It was a bit disappointing that it wasn’t in a “slice” shape which I would have loved, just for the fact it would have looked like it came off a massive pizza, rather than being made as an individual one. The chips look a bit pale in the picture but in real life they were good skin-on fries. We dipped them in sauce and tried our best to finish them. We didn’t even make it to half of this pizza, poor effort from us. For those who don’t like greasy pizzas (due to pepperoni) I’d recommend you opt for the veggie one of this as the cheese would give you the moisture you need anyway.

Rub Smokehouse Nottingham Nugget Birthday Cake

Nugget birthday cake: 40 chicken nuggets and fries served like a birthday cake with a candle

This was a nice surprise and made me feel all special! It was a “birthday cake” made from 40 nuggets (sounds easy, doesn’t it?) and two portion of fries. It comes with an array of dips for you to use and help it go down a bit easier. There were two of us eating this and it looked as though we hadn’t even touched it by the end. This was where I disappointed myself the most as this epic dish was my favourite by far. The nugs were cooked beautifully, massive and seemed like good cuts of meat. If I went back I’d be tempted to have this again and see if I could finish it (I’d have to do a marathon or something first though!)

To accompany the food we order two more coctails, this time they were a World’s End (twist on a Dark and Stormy). Again, an awesome cocktail. I love rum and ginger ale and enjoyed the added sweetness of the mango juice, which you wouldn’t normally get in this type of drink.

Service

They knew who I was so I got a lot of check backs (“is everything okay?”) but the staff were all really friendly. Looking around they seemed to be doing the same to everyone else, more than happy to get additional sauces and napkins when requested etc.. It was so long ago since I ate food there so I can’t really comment on an unbiased time, however, I have always found the staff there to be helpful and I’ve never heard anybody say they’ve had bad service or a bad waitress/waiter. They tick the boxes on this front.

Overall

rub smokehouse’s rating: 8/10

This type of food is not usually my go-to food but I always find that when I have it, I enjoy it. The best thing for me was that each dish was different. I did find I was full until breakfast the next day but that’s what I get for trying to eat three epic meals!

If you’re into food challenges or want to completely stuff yourself for under £20 then take a look at their menu, I bet there’s something on there you’d love to take a crack at.

One final thing, we were asked how they could improve at the end and we provided some simple feedback in offering plates for the dishes that are shared. This was a bit of a rookie misunderstanding though as each dish we had is a one person dish so essentially you’d be eating your own meal and therefore not need a plate! The way this was explained to us did show me that the bar is interested in feedback. My only other point would be to advise if there is an easy way to eat something (the taco for example can be taken out of the van and laid flat which makes it easier to chop and eat).

£40 pp / £80 in total for two cocktails each and three epic meals

Will I be going back? Of course!

Recommended for: hungry people, food challengers, after a workout, cocktails
Not recommended for: healthy eaters, veggies (minimal options), vegans, gluten free
Why not try: the cocktails – I’d recommend The Dog’s Bollocks!

Please let me know your opinions on this blog post (I love feedback) in the comments or follow me on:

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Love for you all x

Nottingham coverage of Notts Foodie

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