There’s a dish at Dicks Smokehouse I’ll get to at the end of this. It wasn’t on the planned itinerary, but once I’d eaten it and figured it out, I went to the pass to tell him it’s one of my favourite things I’ve eaten this year. He tells me not to say it if I don’t mean it but I do; it’s one of those exceptional three mouthfuls of food that works in total harmony. Perfect seasoning, loads of spice, the gentle kiss of smoke. I haven’t been back in a while and it’s so clear that the cooking has gone up levels. Richard can really cook.

But before that it’s the small matter of bottomless brunch. I’m not really a bottomless brunch kind of guy. It’s far too much fun for me, and whilst others see two hours of unlimited booze as a chance to leisurely open up their weekend to a assortment of opportunities, I see it as a challenge to drink as much as possible. I know it’s not big or clever, but I am both and I can handle my drink a little too well. And when the bourbon peach tea tastes as good as it does here I’m sure as hell going to get stuck in.

I’m roughly four cocktails down when the dishes arrive. A pinwheel of sausage puts the smoker out back to good use, sharing a space with a fried egg, a couple of hash browns, and tomatoes softened by low heat. There’s fried chicken – really good fried chicken – with batter that quietly suggests cayenne and garlic, on a waffle that can be soaked in as much or as little maple as you require. Best is the beef pastrami bagel; peppery bark with soft saline meat, bread and butter pickles, cream cheese. Simple, textbook, fucking delicious. More hash browns. More cocktails. At £35 there can’t be many better bottomless brunches anywhere.

That dish I mention at that the start is a pork and beef meatball, smoked slowly over oak, and filled with an oozy Dutch cheese. It sits on a potato and onion rosti, with a tomato sauce that smacks with tomato and garlic. It’s outrageous; one of the very best things I’ve eaten this year, and I couldn’t be more smug about sticking it on the front of lunch. I end lunch drinking neat whiskey, which isn’t a good idea for anyone. What is are the stuff before; the meatball and then the brunch, all the drinks you can manage, leaving knowing that £42.50 rarely buys anything as enjoyable as this.


Listen to The Meat and One Veg Podcast here