In a nutshell:
There are six HUBBOX branches across the South West and the latest, with its chic, all-black frontage and monochrome tiling, has opened on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road. Expect delicious gourmet dogs, burgers, and craft beer.
Old meets new at this relaxed restaurant. High ceilings show the bones of the Georgian building HUBBOX lives within but now pendant lamps hang down from exposed metal strips, neon signs glare against exposed brick, and a shipping container is reimagined as a canteen-style serving hatch.
Booths and ’50s-diner-style chairs are almost all full when we visit on a Tuesday evening – and for good reason. Key ingredients at this fast food joint are carefully considered, their vital statistics shared on the menu. Hot dogs are made using high-welfare, outdoor-reared, free-range pork, smoked over applewood and tucked into organic bread rolls.
We start with the Hub burger – 21-day-aged beef is charred on the outside and succulent inside – and the dirty double dog, on our friendly server’s recommendation. Sides include a fresh salad of gem lettuce and avocado, plus a mug of mac’n’cheese with the creamy tang of West Country cheddar and a crisp parmesan crumb.
Old-school shakes for pudding are made with ice cream, malt and whole milk, and served with whipped cream on top. Thin enough to easily sip through a straw, yet decadent enough to satisfy sweet tooths (try the salted caramel).
The juicy dirty double hot dog appears almost impossible to hold, let alone eat, thanks to a heft of toppings. But, persevere. Lavish layers of low’n’slow pulled pork and ‘dirty mix’ (jalapeños, onions and mustard) prove impressively flavoursome.
Be sure to order the another-level BBQ burnt-end beans, too. They come in a thick, smoky sauce, mixed with a scattering of brisket and pork.
Servings are generous and, while mains sit between £5.95 and £12.95, sides range from £2.50 to £4.95, you’re in no danger of breaking the bank, or going home hungry.
Words | Rosie Sharratt, August 2017, Hubbox.co.uk
Photographs | Lizzie Churchill