You must’ve been living under a rock these past few months if the arrival of MEATLiquor hasn’t come to your attention.
Over a year after the initial buzz started that they’d secured a premises on Stokes Croft (cue lots of mob rage about the arrival of a chain), the restaurant finally opened its doors to the understandably skeptical Bristol public (aside from those who’d been to one of their restaurants in London or Brighton, who in that case were indescribably excited). I’d never been to a MEATLiquor before, so was chuffed to get an invite to their opening evening and see what the fuss was all about.
First things first, they’ve gone to great lengths to camouflage the place into its edgy graffiti-laden Stokes Croft surrounding and go some way to ingratiating themselves with the locals.
They commissioned local graffiti artists to spray the interior of the restaurant, and have also incorporated aspects of nearby architecture into the logo (the carriageworks building, in case you’re curious) – nice touch eh? There’s also some impressive if creepy artwork adorning the walls.
After that initial impression when you walk into the dark and neon-lit restaurant, the next thing that strikes you is the great service – the staff are super friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Nice.
Anyway, enough of the fluff, onto the foooood!
The menu is has a good amount of choice without being too bamboozling, with a decent selection of starters, burgers and sides.
I was particularly impressed by the vegetarian and vegan offerings, from a halloumi & mushroom burger, to a spicy veggie burger, to seitan fingers with chilli sauce – yum!
One thing to note here is that the price of the burger is just for the burger alone rather than it coming with fries or anything – so a similar set up to Five Guys & Byron, but it definitely makes the costs mount up (I still prefer the all inclusive approach taken by Three Brothers, The Burger Joint & Chomp)
I went for the Dead Hippie burger (2 patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions) and we all got a selection of sides to share. I enjoyed the burger – it was pleasingly filthy and messy, with a good amount of flavour. However, I don’t think it quite crowbarred its way into my top 3 burgers in town.
I have to say, the sides stole the show for me – whether it was the deep fried pickles with proper blue cheese sauce (massive and pleasingly thinly sliced with a crispy and not greasy batter), amazing macaroni cheese bites (so gooey & very cheesy!) or the huuuge onion rings which had a good amount of crunch.
I also loved the chilli cheese fries, which arrived piled high and topped with lots of tasty chilli, jalapenos & mustard – huge pile, I’d go in for these on their own!
In addition to the food, I was really impressed by the beer & cocktail offerings on the menu. They’ve got a great choice of beers from Moor & Wild Beer which all go well with the food.
In terms of the cocktails, it was hard to choose where to start, so of course I went for one of the strongest-looking ones in the form of a St Lawrence – it was a punchy sour rum cocktail, my favourite kind, and it tasted goooood.
We were also persuaded to try some of the sharing cocktails, starting with a Game Over (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, pisang ambon, absinthe, lemon juice and red bull) and a Donkey Crunch (vodka, lime, pink grapefuit juice, ginger syrup, ginger beer) – both tasted good but were clearly pretty strong, so proceed with caution!
We also tried a few of the milkshakes in lieu of having room for dessert – to be honest they all tasted vaguely similar to me, although I was surprised that I wasn’t disgusted by the Jaegermeister-flavoured one!
Overall, Chomp still wins for me on the burger & booze front – but if you want a filthy burger surrounded by some good tunes in an edgy setting, MEAT Liquor could be right up your street.
77-79 Stokes Croft
Bristol, BS1 3RD
Disclaimer Doodle: Our food & drinks were provided free of charge, but this in no way affected our opinion of the place, and we were not asked to send any copy in advance, or do anything else that would compromise our super mega professional integrity*
*Aside from the fact that we drank more in one night than we have in the past month. But y’know, everything above is as close to accurate memories as we can recall, given the circumstances.