Head to CLAW BBQ for the All-American Brunch and you’ll quickly discover it’s pretty much what you’d expect. If, by “All-American” you’re thinking a frat party-style gathering with red plastic cups (you know, the ones you see in the movies), large Mexican mixed drinks, hops pong and plenty of barbecued meats, you’re basically right.
Exposed brickwork, gingham tablecloths and plenty of comedy signs and slogans lend a laid-back vibe.
When we arrive it’s fairly quiet, with several families seated already, which is fairly incongruous given the party that awaits.
We pull up a stool at a high wooden table and consult the menu, which lists drinks and a few snacks (think mini sliders, jalapeño poppers, chilli cheese fries and chicken wings).
We order a few of these bites to kick us off, and they arrive quickly. The sliders are on the dry side, but the wings have a decent kick, while the veggie quesadillas are packed full of peppers and plenty of cheese, and topped with a decadent dollop of sour cream.
Overall, the food is fairly limited in variety. It’s not going to wow you, but it’s tasty enough and you’re unlikely to have come to this brunch expecting fine-dining, anyway.
A small room houses a buffet with live carving stations and a petite prep-your-own salad bar.
If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t be too impressed, though the live guacamole station is a fun touch, with mounds of smooth avocado studded with red onion and chilli, harbouring a nice, tangy kick. Scoop up the freshly prepared dip with some of the crunchy tortilla chips and thank us later.
Carnivores, on the other hand, will be more than satisfied. Mountains of ribs, pulled beef, carving stations, fried chicken and more will ensure that plates are piled high and devoured hungrily within minutes. And if meat, meat and more meat is your thing, you’ll be up for seconds before you know it, too.
Despite being called CLAW there’s also a surprising lack of crustacean on offer – the venue has gone big on the BBQ aspect of the name.
We’re too full to tackle dessert, but we do spy some tasty-looking chocolate fudge cake making its way past our table. The staff are unfailingly enthusiastic, and we can’t resist the huge, cloud-like portion of candy floss that arrives at our table.
As the afternoon goes on the atmosphere picks up (as do the decibels), with plenty of healthy competition in hops pong games and a few rounds on the retro arcades.
The live DJ plays some classic cheesy tunes that get everyone up and dancing before the afternoon draws to a close, too.
It’s not a brunch for foodies, nor is it the best value, but you’ll have fun here nonetheless. The bottom line Meat, cheesy tunes and games. Bring your party hat (not literally).