Red Hook, Brisbane City: Inspired by the New York neighbourhood of the same name, Red Hook is a casual eatery tucked away in Gresham Lane in Brisbane City. Taking its cues from the street food and cultural scene of New York’s boroughs, Red Hook delivers the goods when it comes to flavour and variety. Here’s the low down – Red Hook’s got burgers, tacos, hotdogs, cheesesteaks, chilli cheese fries, buffalo wings and mac and cheese squares. Can’t decide on what you want? It’s okay – it’s not a two party preferred system. You can pick a few bites to try each time you stop by, but for a limited time only Red Hook is offering a cheeky special. The ‘What a Load of Trump’ sandwich features a shit-load of baloney married with a Russian sauce, sandwiched between two walls of white bread.
Special Rub, Coorparoo: We could spend an entire article writing about American barbecue (in reality, we’ve already done that here), but Special Rub deserves another mention because it’s menu includes more than just its mouth-watering Texas-style dry rubs and lovingly smoked meats. Special Rub also serves up brisket burned-end beans, slaw, Cajun rice, fried chicken and waffles or stacked burgers. Take your pick – there’s no wrong choice here!
Louisiana Redclaw, Fortitude Valley: Those of you that have toured America’s southern states might already be familiar with steaming Cajun crawfish boils, and one of the few places in Brisbane to enjoy the experience is Louisiana Redclaw. Don a bib and get stuck into the Viet-Cajun fare, starting with the Louisiana Signature Boil and make your way through other menu highlights such as clam chowder, potato and bacon salad, corn hush puppy fritters or salt and pepper calamari.
Fat Belly Jack’s, Spring Hill: Fiery Spring Hill hotspot Fat Belly Jack’s is the spot to go if you’re craving a hit of Nashville-style hot chicken, beer, boilermakers and bourbon. Chook chompers can select from southern-fried chicken burgers, breasts, thighs, wings or tenders, then ratchet up the spice from mild, to medium, red hot and ‘really f$!king hot. On the side, Fat Belly Jack’s works up
Miss Kay’s, various locations: The only things you’ll need to decide on when it comes to Miss Kay’s is which location you’ll be heading to (Brisbane City, Mitchelton, Springwood or Birkdale) and just what kind of meal you are hankering for. American-inspired burgers such as the Ludakrisp (fried chicken), the Mac Daddy (beef patty and mac and cheese) and the classic double cheeseburger all pair well with fried chicken wings and onion rings – every vote is a winner here.
Tippler’s Tap, Fortitude Valley and South Bank: Many punters flock to Tippler’s Tap for its excellent range of craft beer, but don’t sniff at the food – it’s absolutely on par! Tippler’s Tap’s menu takes tastebuds on a tour of Chicago’s founding neighbourhoods, offering up the likes of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, chicken wings and much more.
Santa Monica, Brisbane City: This California-inspired joint keeps things breezy with a relaxed west coast vibe all year round. Refreshing cocktails with names such as the Southern Cali, Pacific Park and the Casa Del Mar are tongue tantalisers worth your vote, while the food ballot boasts delightful eats such as Santa Monica’s shrimp baguette, chicken wings and the pulled pork BBQ fries that will have you feeling like a bona fide Californian by the end of the meal.
Creole Soul Kitchen, Spring Hill: The vibrant flavours of Creole cuisine are a specialty at Spring Hill hotspot Creole Soul Kitchen. The crew here plates up some of the most authentic Cajun flavours in town, offering quintessential Creole morsels such as Andouille sausage, jambalaya, gumbo and crocodile cake.
5 Boroughs, various locations: The Big Apple is a veritable melting pot of food from all cultures, but one of the most popular and enduring aspects is the beefy American burger. Paired with a selection of slow-cooked BBQ meats, 5 Boroughs offers a serious selection of burgers to choose from as well as pork baby back ribs, brisket and Reuben sandwiches. A few bites of a 5 Boroughs burger will have you feeling like a genuine New Yorker, right down to the terrible “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” impression you’re bound to utter.
Fat Angel, Brisbane City: The Brooklyn Standard crew bolstered Eagle Lane with booze, burgers and balls with its New York City-inspired sports bar. Here you’ll find beef and chicken burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, mozzarella sticks, popcorn shrimp, buffalo wings, poutine fries, slow-cooked pork ribs, hickory-smoked beef brisket, buttermilk fried chicken with bourbon barbecue sauce, and a one-kg tomahawk steak.
The American Diner Co, Fortitude Valley: One would expect a spot called The American Diner Co to serve up some seriously good American-style eats – and one would be right! The cuisine of choice is barbecued meat – and lots of it. An in-house smoker cooks the likes of pork shoulders and ribs before serving them in a barbecue feast pack that includes cornbread, Memphis-style coleslaw and fries. That’s not all – The American Diner Co also offers baskets of buffalo wings, beefy burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries and desserts such as pumpkin, peanut butter or key lime pie.
PJ’s Steaks, West End and Fortitude Valley: For many Australians, our knowledge of Pennsylvania’s capitol city is limited to episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Rocky marathons. Did you know that the Philly cheesesteak is as – if not more – iconic than Rocky Balboa? Because it is! The combination of frizzled beef, onions and cheese in a baguette originated in the city of brotherly love and is the dish of choice at PJ’s Steaks in West End and Fortitude Valley. Subs, hoagies and hotdogs feature prominently on the menu, but it’s hard to go past the original cheesesteak – if it was a politician, it’d be elected to the top office in an instant.
Buffalo Bar, Brisbane City: Regardless of what part of America you are travelling, one common theme throughout each cuisine is the portion sizes – they are always large. Brisbane City’s Buffalo Bar offers a modern spin on American cuisine with some seriously hefty portions plated up each time. Snack on baskets of chicken wings, helpings of jalapeno poppers, racks of low and slow bourbon and honey pork ribs or The Big Texan smoked brisket burger and wash it all down with some American beer. Feeling full? That means you are also feeling American.
California Native, Coorparoo: It’s time to hang ten, dudes and dudettes! The coastal Californian vibes are present all year round at Coorparoo’s California Native, with a stellar menu of trendy SoCal and Mexican-influenced bites. Americana options include the SoCal Waldorf salad, the Malibu wagyu burger, pan-seared swordfish and key lime pie served with tasty meringue and vanilla cinnamon cream.
Twelve Boar, various locations: Cleveland’s Twelve Boar has been pumping out some top-notch American barbecue since 2015, with a good portion of the ingredients on the menu imported from the land of the free. What’s on the menu? The better question to ask is what isn’t on the menu! Let’s list what they’ve got – burgers, wings, hot dogs, ribs, fries, onion rings and jalapeno poppers. The care Twelve Boar takes with its meat is second to none – the ribs are slow-cooked for six hours, the pulled pork is smoked for 12 hours and the wings are coated in one of two sauces (buffalo or USA BBQ). Eating is thirsty work – Twelve Boar can help you out with a tall serving of American iced tea.
Honourable mentions: The ballot paper for best American food joint in Brisbane is long. Be sure to also check the menu at Ben’s Burgers, Betty’s Burgers, Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack, Ze Pickle, Fritzenberger, Greaser, The Manhattan Line, Bourbon Street, Brooklyn Depot, Hudson Corner and The Smoke BBQ.