When we saw an ad on Facebook for a ‘Free BBQ Opening Night’ at Jim’s Smokehouse, a new southern American BBQ restaurant it looked like a good destination for a cheeky after work dinner! I mean, who doesn’t love a) a free dinner and b) Texas BBQ food. We’re talking beef brisket, burgers, ribs and chicken. Jim’s Smokehouse has recently opened in the Lace Market area of Nottingham and is described as a Texas Smokehouse in which everything is cooked Low ‘n’ Slow.
We arrived at around quarter to 6 and there was a queue forming outside, this was promising. But as we peered through the windows we spied cheap red chairs and half full ketchup and mustard bottles. We then waited an extra 10 minutes in the cold after they said they would open due to the ‘band’ not being ready. I’m not being funny, but I don’t like to shout over some warbling bloke whilst I’m trying to eat my dinner. It was far too loud and the band were frankly, terrible.
This ‘Low ‘n’ Slow’ that was also supposedly how the food is cooked is a massive lie. Our food arrived within 5 minutes in a giant metal mess tin looking like it had never seen any smoke in it’s little life. It was all the same colour and we weren’t told what any of it was by the staff, we had to guess. All the meat was tough and covered in the same bland, salty and tasteless sauce. I mean, literally you could only tell the difference between the meat by how it vaguely looked.
It was served with a tiny enamel cup of chips which were fine, but it’s not difficult to fry some ready-cooked chips is it? The food was also served with a ‘salad’ of cucumber, carrot and gherkin which was grim but probably the best bit of the meal, bar the chips. Finally, we were offered a bun for the non-existent burgers which were stale and evidently so cheap.
The restaurant was cold and too big, there was no atmosphere and it just felt like such a botch job, really cheaply done. The toilets felt like awful nightclub toilets, one of the ladies loos was out of order already and there wasn’t any soap in the dispensers. I also nearly burnt my hand on the hot tap as I went to wash my hands as there wasn’t a sign that said caution very hot water on it.
The inexperienced staff who were all obviously really young and were probably in their first job. I felt sorry for them because it was embarrasing. They’ve all obviously not had correct training, and that’s not fair. For example, I asked for a Lime & Soda, the poor waitress came back to the table with a glass of ice and a bottle of Strathmore sparkling water, which is clearly not right. She took it back after trying to understand what a lime cordial and soda was and then promptly brought back a lime cordial and water after I’d ordered a Diet Coke in replacement and then preceded to charge me for both of the drinks that I hadn’t had. They apparently didn’t have soda water? Needless to say, we didn’t pay for this.
I’m really, really glad that we didn’t pay for any of the god-awful food that we served. I really don’t think that this place will last longer than a few weeks. Check out their Facebook page for more glowing reviews like this one.