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“A very good BBQ experience”

Red's True Barbecue - Leeds
Ranked #148 of 1,982 Restaurants in Leeds
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $16 - $40
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed August 19, 2014

My partner and I visited Red's a couple of days ago, and as it was fairly early we got seated almost immediately. It had been a while since our last visit, so we were keen to see how everything went.

Having got a beer each on the table, we selected the small ribs as a starter - good choice and very tasty, but we both commented they were a little on the cool side. James. one of the partners, was seated about 4 feet from my young Texan and asked how we liked the starter - in response to 'great, but they could have been a bit warmer,' he said 'sorry about that, if they are hot you pay, but if they aren't , I do....' which rather impressed me.

We had the sausage, and brisket for mains with sweet potato fries and the beans.
Sausage great - fab. flavour, and the sliced brisket was a match for that served in Texas.
Fries great, but the beans had too much meat and not enough beans [never thought I'd say that!] Put another way, I think I could have had a portion of those as a starter!

I was full, but had a taste of my partners meringue topped desert which she pronounced great.

A good experience and I can well understand why this place is now an established favourite with the Leeds dining crowd, will definitely recommend and come back!

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Thank grarus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gary G, Guest Relations Manager at Red's True Barbecue - Leeds, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

Good Morning Grarus, Thank you so much for revisiting Red's True Barbecue & for once again leaving such an informed, constructive & positive review of our operation, your Texan connections add obvious heft & gravitas which is greatly appreciated. As with everyone who kindly takes the time to review our restaurant, all feedback is warmly welcomed. Positive, negative, or indifferent, we really need to know!

That you met Scott on your first visit & James on your second means that you only need to meet the elusive Clint to complete your "Red's Boss" collection. Seriously though, I'm delighted that James was on hand during your meal & proved in person what I have always said electronically on this forum, we want to know that everything is okay with your food because it is never a problem to put matters right almost immediately if that is what the situation requires.

You got lucky with the Pit Beans on this occasion, I'm not at all sure of what happened there, but as you correctly intimate, there should be far more beans than meat in that particular equation. I can absolutely assure you that this was an isolated anomaly & I hope at least that the flavour remained satisfactory for you

Best Wishes to you Grarus, I'm delighted that we have your endorsement & we sincerely hope to see you again very soon.

Gary G

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2,066 - 2,070 of 3,016 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2014 via mobile

Oh Reds, how you disappoint me.

This was my second trip to you and like you were an unfaithful lover, I regrettably gave you another chance after being severely heartbroken by your disappointing offering the first time round. With hindsight, I should have never forgiven you - things are always even worse the second time round but we live and we learn.

Service good, food pitiful at best. Bland fries, oil filled (unnecessarily large) steering wheel sized onion rings, and a smoked chicken 'hoagie' (translation - rubbish sandwich) which was quite frankly a chore to eat; dry, chewy chicken that resembled tinned tuna. And cheap tuna at that. Scattered with strips of bitter charcoal. Or was it bacon? - I wouldn't like to say - and the bread was drier the Sahara.

You might argue that one of Reds 5 sauces might aid this. Unfortunately I'll pass - each sauce is dreadfully disappointing, in particular the 5 chilli. Where is the garlic? Or any other ingredients?! Just a plain puff of lacklustre heat. As for the barbecue, way over sweetened. If you bring a tin of Lyle's golden syrup to spread on your sandwich that might do less damage to your dental bill.

Average Mac 'n' Cheese which I expected to be fighting over sat between us, crying for a kick of extra mature cheddar and a sprinkle of seasoning, staring pitifully at my mother's leathery burger. And at 3 pounds, I'd rather have spent the money on a family pack of tissues to mop up my tears from the disappointment of this over-hyped establishment on the way home.

All in all, the good service and great atmosphere is massively dampened by the dreadfully dry, bland food. Don't waste your money.

I tried to forgive you Reds, I really did. But as they say - hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

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1  Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gary G, Guest Relations Manager at Red's True Barbecue - Leeds, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2014

Good Evening Amy F, Thank you so much for giving us a second try, all that we can ever ask is that you give us a fair shot at trying to impress you & you've more than kept your end of the bargain.

If I could make one suggestion to you personally though, it would be that you should also try to write positive reviews too. I couldn't help but notice that your only other restaurant appraisal was another assassination of another popular Leeds eatery which will always call into question a reviewer's balance, opinion & impartiality in the eyes of an 'everyday' reader in my humble opinion. Wouldn't life in general be so much better if everyone tried to highlight the positives as well as any perceived negatives?

I wish you well Amy F - Gary G

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Reviewed August 18, 2014 via mobile

We visit here at least once a month the food is good with some lovely staff members. However sometimes you have to wait for your table but it's worth it.

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Thank Julias00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gary G, Guest Relations Manager at Red's True Barbecue - Leeds, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2014

Good Morning Julia, Thank you so much for being a Red's regular & thanks again for taking the time to post such a kind review of our operation, we truly appreciate your feedback.

We have experienced such a wide range of diverse reactions to the fact that there are waiting periods during our peak times, that rational assessments such as yours are almost hard to believe. Then again hunger, even mild hunger, does strange things to folk so we will always strive to keep our wait times to an absolute minimum in the unlikely hope that one day, everyone will be as understanding as you are.

Best Wishes - Gary G

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Reviewed August 17, 2014

I have visited here on numerous occasions, with my partner and with friends. The restaurant is very busy and do not accept reservations - be prepared to wait. We once arrived at 7:15 and were told the next available table would be at around 9:30! (That was a saturday evening). When you do manage to get a table it is well worth it! The food is american barbaque style, the ribs are amazing, however i'm not sure how much choice there is for vegetarians. If you fancy a challenge the metre of onion rings is a winner. If you love meat and you're hungry, it's definitely the place to go.

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1  Thank Tom R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gary G, Guest Relations Manager at Red's True Barbecue - Leeds, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2014

Good Morning Tom, Thank you so much for dining with us & thanks again for taking the time to post such an emphatically positive review of Red's True Barbecue, we really appreciate your time & sincerely hope to see you all again very soon.

Best Wishes - Gary G

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Reviewed August 17, 2014

We've been here a few times, mostly it's great but on a couple of visits all hasn't been right.

The last time was last night (Sat 16th Aug). We arrived at 7.15pm to find we could have a bar stool seat in the window table and we were more than happy with that as we have been in the past.

Our orders were simple (my wife had no issues) and I ordered the bucket 'o' bones as I normally do.

It was delivered and on the face of it all looked good, after a couple of minutes the waitress came by to check everything was good and we said it was. At this stage I was attacking the first layer of ribs on top so I didn't know things weren't right. After that rack I went for another and part way through that I went looking for the ribs tips (my favourite) but they were nowhere to be seen. I queried when I could eventually flag down a server and they went to check. They came back to tell me they had run out but had subbed it with other stuff.

The other stuff was just more parts of racks of ribs. I just wish this was communicated back to me at the time of order or when the kitchen got the order so I could've had to option to choose something else. The ribs tips are a nice break from having to constantly chew down on racks of ribs in this dish.

Reds, you have to tell people if you haven't got something rather than just sub it and hope they don't notice or say anything.

The other occasions I've been left unhappy has been with dried out ribs. When it's right here it is great but they get it badly wrong on occasions.

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1  Thank JR-Eng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gary G, Guest Relations Manager at Red's True Barbecue - Leeds, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2014

Thanks for flagging this up JR, you are quite correct in your assumption that customers should always be made aware of missing items, especially when such items form an intrinsic part of the make up of the bucket of bones as a whole. I'm so sorry that your meal on this occasion was spoiled by this omission.

In mitigation, it's easy for me to now state that on any given Saturday night, Red's True Barbecue is as standard rather hectic & these issues are sometimes unintentionally overlooked in the hubbub of full throttle service, but that is far from good enough & nowhere near the standard that we set ourselves. Let me assure you that we would never substitute an item in the vain hope that our customers wouldn't notice, as our customers ALWAYS notice...... EVERYTHING! Even more so if they've been waiting upwards of two hours for a table!

New customers especially come to Red's with expectations verging on stratospheric & seasoned customers like yourselves expect the same standard of which you've become accustomed over time. We aim to please everyone, every time & I can only apologise profusely whenever we fall short. All we ask of you as a customer is that you always flag these matters in the restaurant, as issues such as missing items or dry ribs are under normal circumstances, easily remedied.

Please contact me at gmorton@truebarbecue.com so that I might attempt to put this matter right for you.

Best Wishes - Gary G

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