Keep BBQ weird

Red River BBQ Short Order @ The Workers Club

Cnr Brunswick and Gertrude St, Fitzroy


He Says
I let out a little shriek when I saw the tweet from the Red River BBQ guys announcing a new project with Burger Mary. Their previous collaboration, the ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ Fringe Food Festival event, was a venerable feast of BBQ delights, and I was dying for more. The annoucement came not a moment too soon as I’d had to start rationing the Red River BBQ sauce I’d purchased at the previous event. Their new project, called Red River BBQ Short Order, is a weekly Wednesday night event being run at the Newtown Workers Club.

Unfortunately, the group of us had to come straight from work, so the tight black jeans, ironic tees and thick rim glasses which are usually required for socially acceptable entry into the Workers were missing, but luckily we were able to slip in anyway. The inside was fairly busy, and unfortunately all the tables were occupied. We cursed at Tom’s reserved table, and after wandering around for a bit an older couple took pity on us and vacated their seats. With a table we were ready to go.


The four of us ordered almost everything on the menu, and it was a glorious feast of Texan delights. We were given so much ranch dressing that we ended up pouring it over all manner of items, and by the time we were done there was not a morsel of food left on any of the plates.

She Says
Like Gerard, I was pretty darn excited about the idea of more Red River BBQ. US-style BBQ seems to be popping up more and more in Melbourne lately (e.g. Fancy Hank’s), but in my experience nothing is as delicious and reasonably priced as Red River BBQ. I loved pretty much everything about the Don’t Mess With Texas dinner at St Ali so was looking forward to seeing how the idea would translate into something a bit more permanent and restaurant like.

Wednesday was the first night for Red River BBQ Short Order and everything seemed to go pretty well. The place was busy, the food was good and they managed to not sell out of anything until after we’d ordered. Win.

The menu is quite short, but I think it gives some good options assuming that you like meat. If you don’t, I’m not sure why you’d be at a BBQ dinner though. I think my favourite addition to the Don’t Mess with Texas menu was the chicken wings, they were definitely adding value. On the flip side, I did miss the sides, particularly the mac’n'cheese.

All up though, I really enjoyed the dinner and will be back. Probably not next week though, I’m still recovering. Also, when we were there we met Jess/BurgerMary who was really lovely. If you read this, please take this as my apology/excuse for being a little stunned and awkward. I think I was in a meat coma, lucky Gerard’s ability to construct sentences isn’t effected by how much he’s had to eat.


We Ate
As Gerard mentioned, we ordered almost everything on the menu on Wednesday. There were 4 of us so it’s not quite as excessive as it sounds (ok, it was actually hideously excessive, but in the good kind of way).

The standard menu is simple, made up of a couple of starters (queso & chips, wings) a couple of mains (pulled pork or brisket) and a dessert cupcake. I understand that there is also going to be a special each week, this week it was a cheese & chipotle biscuit,  more on that below.

Ok, so we started with the queso with tortilla chips ($8). It was a big bowl of trashtacular melted cheese dip. I’ll be honest, when it first came out I thought that there was no way we’d finish the bowl (especially given that by volume there was approximately a 2 part cheese to 1 part chip ratio going on). You may or may not be glad to hear that we in fact had no trouble finishing the dip. We actually finished it so quickly that we forgot to take a photo. Oops. Guess we’ll just have to go back for more.

We also tried to the fried chicken wings ($8 for 6). These come in three different sauces – honey mustard, Red River BBQ and Habanero Hot. Because Gerard is a wimp when it comes to spicy food (and spiders, and a few other things) we skipped the Habanero Hot and tried the other two options.

The honey mustard wings were suprisingly sweet. I know that anything honey mustard flavoured has honey in it, but I’m not used to honey being the dominant flavour. I really enjoyed them though, they were probably my favourite of the two we tried. Probably not a good choice for anyone who likes their chicken savoury though.


The Red River BBQ wings were coated in a thick layer of the Red River BBQ sauce. I really like the BBQ sauce, it’s smoky and rich and has a lot of flavours going on. You can buy a bottle at Short Order for $10. We ended up buying two bottles, it’s ok though, one was for a friend. I swear.

Next up were the mains. Gerard’s BFF and I both had the pulled pork sandwich – pulled pork, BBQ sauce, coleslaw, pickles and onion with a side of potato chips and jalapeno ($14). The pulled pork was just as great as it had been at the Don’t Mess With Texas Dinner. I don’t want to say any more about this because it may ruin the beauty.
Gerard and his friend S both had the brisket sandwich – much like the pulled pork sandwich minus the coleslaw ($15). This was also very popular.
For dessert we ordered some of the Sugadeux red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting ($4 each). I don’t think I need to say a lot about these, they are obviously delicious.
We also ordered the special cheese & chipotle biscuits (2 for $8?). These were ‘biscuits’ in the US sense, that is they were essentially savoury scones. They were served warm and made a good filler between sandwiches and cupcakes.

To Conclude
Red River BBQ short order is running each Wednesday at the Workers Club. Unless you’re busy cleaning oil off a seal or vaccinating orphans, you have no excuse for being anywhere else.


This entry was posted in Eating out. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • BurgerMary

    Great pics y’all (despite the redonk moody lighting) and a fantastic write up. Thanks for comin down, hope to see (and feed) y’all again soon.

  • Bob

    Great story. One thing I would recommend though – learn to use the white balance of your camera! :)

    • twomunch

      Hi Bob. Thanks for the feedback. I generally shoot all the photos in RAW, so I’ve gone back and tried to address the white balance on these photos. Hopefully they look a little better now.
      - Gerard

      • BurgerMary

        IN fairness – it was darker than candlelight in there. Y’all did a great job in difficult lighting.