Dark Horse: It’s smokin’

The Americanisation of Britain is a deplorable thing, its worst manifestation being the inability of any teenage girl to construct a sentence that does not include the words ‘I was like…’ at least a dozen times.

There’s one aspect, however, of which I’m inclined to approve. The smokehouse.
Meat slowly – and correctly – cooked in this manner can develop wonderful flavours and textures.
They seem to have got (or ‘gotten’) it right at the Dark House just down the road from my ranch in Moseley.

The decor

It’s a deep, rather narrow and somewhat awkward room that’s housed many ventures, all of which have disappeared into the mists of time. But this place seems spot-on.
There are bare brick walls and bare wooden tables, but the place has a homely yet funky feel.
There was a great buzz about the place on the busy Monday night I visited.

The service

Bar staff are informed, efficient and friendly. Waiting staff likewise. It’s a pub as much as a restaurant so the Dark Horse is utterly informal and laid back.

The food

This is a place for carnivores – with generously-proportioned dishes from the smokehouse dominating the menu.
Though there are also pizzas, salads, burgers and a few other bits and pieces for those who don’t want to eat half a cow.
The beef brisket that I ate was glorious stuff – the meat succulent, the fat melting, the smokiness assertive without being overwhelming.
The chipotle sauce in which in lay had background smokiness, gentle heat and a little sweetness.
Pickles were sweet and tangy.
But the skin-on fries didn’t hit the mark for me – they never do, for skin-on chips seldom seem to gain the crisp surface of fully-peeled spuds.
Elsewhere on the table, a mountainous pile of beef ribs was eaten with enthusiasm and good things were said about a burger and pizza.
My dessert of creme brûlée with good home-made shortbread biscuits was pleasant, though the brûlée top was a bit thick and bitter.
Sticky toffee pudding and Italian ice cream were well received.

The drinks

The Dark Horse has a fantastic range of craft beers, decent wines, good cocktails and interesting spirits.

Need to know

Expect to pay less than £20 for a dish from the smokehouse and pint.
Cut costs by trying the £5 lunch menu.
The place is child and disabled friendly.
There’s a car park opposite.

The Dark Horse
145 Alcester Road, Moseley, Brmingham B13 8JP. 0121 449 6300.

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