Whapping Wharf is fast becoming the ultimate spot to scoff in Bristol! Quirky shipping containers housing a multitude of culinary treats, they also boast an incredible view of the city’s iconic harbour. Cargo 2 belongs to The Pickled Brisket- the baby of Robin Slater and his Wife Flora. Here they serve hot salt beef sandwiches, reminiscent of the Jewish delicacy served in Brick lane and New York delis. They boast the title of being Bristol’s first salt beef eatery, which in a city that is overflowing with burger bars and pulled pork-gives them a really unique edge.
The space is cosy, with colourful lights and plants accompanied by a wonderfully warm greeting. Pictures of news headlines and festival clippings that belong to The Pickled Brisket, these guys are seriously making their mark on the foodie and festival scene!
The set up was designed to be a one man operation, but Robin admits that his Wife and Niece lend some extra pairs of hands when things get busy. The sandwiches are carved and assembled in front of us, with the blow-torched cheese adding a nice theatrical touch. The bread is handmade locally, as is the mustard, and the beef is also a local native to the county. Everything here is flying the flag for independent eateries, supporting locally produced produce.
The first thing that hits me is the wonderful aroma of the beef, I’m seduced right there on the spot! The menu is modest, as it should be- because let’s face it, if you’re coming here, you’re coming here for the salt beef. They also do have a vegetarian option, however, this place was designed to be a carnivores paradise. Robin informs me that the beef is brined for two weeks, before slow cooking it overnight. It’s a labour of love, but the end result is certainly worth the wait.
We go for a Southerner – beef, house slaw, blow-torched Monterey Jack & chipotle ketchup, and a Reuben- beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, blow-torched Swiss cheese, mustard, and gherkins.
The Southerner married the subtle kick from the chipotle with the soft beef and the delicious vinegary slaw. Perfect for those who don’t do Sauerkraut or gherkins. The Reuben has a very satisfying crunch from the mustard, gherkins and sauerkraut. The Swiss cheese complements the beef perfectly, together with the fantastic Russian dressing. The salt beef is simply delicious and cooked to perfection.
Both sandwiches pass the head size-to sandwich size-ratio test with flying colours! These are sandwiches that require two hands to hold them and a jaw extension to bite into them. We are advised to take plenty of napkins, and this was the best advice we got! This is certainly not a lunch to eat in a white shirt! Packed full of delicious handfuls of beef, with punches of mustard and finished with fire, these sandwiches aren’t delicate or refined. Quality oozes from every ingredient, with each sandwich assembled proudly with passion. In a world of skinny ramen bowl lunches, it is refreshing to see a loud and proud sandwich for meat lovers and carb lovers alike! It doesn’t apologise for being chunky or messy, so the best advice is to just dive in and enjoy.