Brunch at the Big Easy is essentially an act of new-year-new-you defiance. I realise I’m supposed to repent for my festive indulgences by befriending the salad, but when there are waffles on offer…
The Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Lobstershack, established in Chelsea in 1991, serves up American-style, home-smoked barbecue pork and beef cooked ‘low and slow’, alongside some fantastic fried chicken and fresh Nova Scotian lobsters. A second branch opened in Covent Garden in 2014, and now, a third whopper of a site has opened in the new Crossrail terminal at Canary Wharf. It’s just seven stops from Greenwich on the DLR or, if you’ve made the wise decision to invest in Woolwich, 8 minutes by Crossrail when it’s up and running in 2018.
At 11,000 sq ft, the site occupies part of the top floor and roof terrace gardens of Norman Foster’s Crossrail Place, plus the vibe is laid-back, so it’s certainly ‘big’ and ‘easy’! It’s also a lot of fun, with a busy, buzzy vibe, friends sharing fishbowl cocktails (yup, even at brunch), and plastic bibs for those tackling messier dishes. My friend and I donned ours without question (when in Rome…).
There are two amazing boozy brunch offers – The Big Pig Gig with North Carolina chopped pork, pit-smoked barbecue chicken and St Louis pork ribs, ‘slaw, pit-smoked beans, fries and fresh-baked cornbread; or the Lobster Fest, with a whole fresh lobster, lobster roll or lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, served with fries and house salad. Both are accompanied by bottomless prosecco, Big Easy Brew or house wine for two hours, at just £29.50. A steal, especially considering the portion sizes – so go hungry and do linger!
We planned to order one lobster and one pork and share them, but my friend decided she couldn’t resist the waffles, and I feared food envy, so we both ordered the fried chicken with waffles, bacon and maple syrup. That’s two huge pieces of succulent juicy fried chicken on the bone, three mega-waffles and strips of streaky bacon. It’s a great dish, indulgent and fun, but the size of the waffles does seem to come at the price of moisture and fluffiness, so request an extra dose of maple syrup.
As soon as I left I immediately wanted to return for a second, more lobstery version of brunch, so I think this place will fly, especially in the summer when those terraces will really come into their own.
Words: Victoria Purcell
The boozy brunch is £29.50
Catching up with friends over whopping plates
What to eat…
The fried chicken is really good but the Lobster Fest seems the best brunch choice
What to know…
Get a seat by the windows for great views of the Docklands
1 Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf E14; 020 3841 8844; bigeasy.co.uk