San Antone by Bludso's American BBQ in Crown Melbourne
San Antone hit the high notes for our blogger American BBQ dinner with American BBQ legend Kevin Bludso from Compton Los Angeles. A highlight was to meet Kevin himself, a larger than life personality, and hear his heart and passion for all things BBQ. After all Kevin Bludso and Bludso's is famous as one of the most popular and recognised BBQ destinations in America. We were invited as part of a Zomato meet up; so thanks to Emily and Zomato.
Rumour has it that Crown Melbourne seached far and wide for outstanding American BBQ before teaming up with Kevin Bludso from famous LA eatery of his own name. The fit out, as with other eateries in Crown, is first class and upmarket. This is not a dingy BBQ venue but fits in to the vibe of Crown Melbourne perfectly. Interestingly when we met Kevin, his passion was for BBQ not just American BBQ. He was equally passionate about how BBQ might look in Melbourne as well Los Angeles. Melbourne might have it's own stamp on BBQ. Why do we always have to compare and even replicate America? So I liked Kevin from the get go.
The World Loves Melbourne feels BBQ in this city always gets judged on some region of America, but why can't people bring their own twist or expression?
We began the night meeting with representatives from Crown over a beer and enjoying Mexican style food as starters. We were told we won't leave hungry, and never a truer word was said.
Some of Melbourne's top bloggers and media were present. Personally it's great to connect with fellow bloggers at a top class event.
So how was the BBQ? The World Loves Melbourne has been riding the American BBQ wave. (In fact we've been riding a few waves in Melbourne). So we kind of know what's good and what's not. When the first plate of San Antone BBQ arrived we wondered whether it would be juicy, spicy, melt in your mouth, quality, with kick, American BBQ? Well, we loved it. A good barometer is whether the chicken is awesome, and it was juicy and cooked perfectly.
Chorizo had real kick, how we like it. So far so good.
We find that brisket often steals the show, and it certainly did at San Antone. First class melt in your mouth brisket. They asked us whether we had any questions... So I plucked up the courage to ask where they got their meat from? After all some BBQ places hide behind inferior cuts of meat masked by their sauces basted all over the place. Not so at San Antone. The meat speaks for itself. Not masked. I was told the meat is prime cuts from Victoria's Gippsland. The best.
Kelvin is a delightful host and waxed lyrical with stories from the BBQ scene in LA as well as his appreciation of the foodie scene in Australia. He was one of the most engaging hosts we've seen at a media event. He pulled us in and engaged us personally through the dining experience.
Sides were on point wiht Beans, Slaw and Mac n Cheese compelling. This was a feast.
The trouble is that Aussies expect American BBQ to be the same as Aussie BBQ (judging by some of the comments on social media). The meat is served at room temperature, not burning hot like an Aussie chop or sausage.
Make way for the RIBS!!!!!
How good were the ribs! The best we've had. Melbourne is full of ribs basted in litres of sauce. OK we also enjoy that. But it was refreshing to have ribs where the sauce is served on the side and the slow cooked ribs are the hero, enhanced by a killer rub. Dry ribs are the best!
Melt in your mouth pork ribs.
Kevin in the blue shirt was inspirational and engaging.
Oh my! Banana Cream Pie for goodness' sake!
Not to mention Pecan Pie.
No apologies for calories, this is the place to indulge. Such a great night and a restaurant we plan to return to.