Surly’s American Tavern, Surry Hills

Bars, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 27 May 2015

Try not to eat all the ribs at Surly’s American Tavern we dare you.

“I’m not going to eat all the ribs, I’m not going to eat all the ribs” was my mantra stepping into the new American style sports bar on Campbell St in Surry Hills called Surly’s. I’d heard about this place. A place where they smoke their meat for up to 14 hours in a special smoker imported from Missouri. I also heard it’s the kind of place you easily loose track of time. Before you know it you’re waking up at 3am, face down in your bed, fully clothed with BBQ sauce all around your face thinking “not again”. I would not let this happen to me.

Surly’s 1 – Ms Darlinghurst 0

Those clever Canadians from the Stuffed Beaver in Bondi have opened a new bar called Surly’s and it’s fun, real fun. Taking over where Table for Twenty and Sticky Bar used to be Surly’s is spread across two levels. Big screens playing sport are stuck to the exposed brick walls and tend to draw every man’s gaze in the room.

Upstairs there’s some old school video games and a huge neon lit girl diving into a beer glass. It’s cliche Americana at its best. While the cocktails are fairly basic and need a bit of work there are plenty of beers on tap and tinnies including Coors and Blue Moon. The main reason to visit Surly’s though is the American BBQ Plates, smoked in house using selected seasoned woods in a fire-box smoker. Choose from any of the meat dishes including pulled pork, chunky spare ribs, beef brisket and chicken thighs. Each come with your choice of two sides. I recommend the baked beans and coleslaw.

The house BBQ wings are a good starter to share with friends before your meat plate arrives. On this occasion the brisket is a little dry but the pork ribs are fat, juicy and full of flavour. Be a fatty like me and order the bacon cheese fries to go with them. Turns out i’m not alone when it comes to loving ribs. American Head Chef Brendhan Bennison also LOVES ribs and has brought his knowledge of Southern American BBQ and meat smoking to Surly’s.
“What defines the BBQ at Surly’s is that it is not just a focus on the popular, yet small region of Texas, but brings all of the regions distinct styles and flavours together, Texas, Memphis, Carolina and Kansas City into one”, said Bennison.

Turns out I broke every promise I made myself that night. It wasn’t 3am and I was in my pyjamas but I did pass out face first in a food coma with the smell of brisket in my hair and bbq sauce around my mouth.
Oh the shame of it…i’m ready to do it all again!

Open Tuesday – Sunday 12 noon – midnight

*Surly’s has become so popular they’ve opened up their upstairs section to make it into a new bar called Smokey’s Cabin. Check it out!