Say what you will about American eating habits, but they sure know a thing or two about barbecue. When it comes to Kevin Bludso, it's practically in his blood. A third-generation pit master originally from Compton, Texas, Bludso is one of the most renowned barbecue chefs the United States has to offer, with his restaurant Bludso's BBQ declared the best in America by CNN, Fox News and The New York Times. Now, he's slinging Southern-style cooking to Melbourne's Crown Casino.
San Antone by Bludso's BBQ, which opened in late 2015, seats 187 people and serves genuine Texas-style barbecue, slow cooked over handpicked woods and natural charcoal in enormous Ole Hickory smokers.
The smoke pit section of the menu includes pulled pork, beef brisket and whole BBQ chickens, as well as a share plate that combines all of the above plus beef hot links, mac and cheese, coleslaw and green beans. We're pretty sure the greens make it healthy. There's also a bit of a Mexican influence, with tacos, nachos, quesadilla and ceviche, plus sides like ranch baked beans and fried green tomatoes. Assuming you haven't sunk into an irreversible meat coma, your dessert options include traditional American favourites such as blueberry cheesecake and sweet potato pie.
The drinks list, meanwhile, features a number of American beers including Budweiser, Miller Draft and Pabst Blue Ribbon, as well as signature cocktails such as the Jalapeno Margarita (jalapeno infused tequila, cucumber, lime juice, agave nectar and ciltrano salt) and the Redneck Rocket Fuel (vodka, moonshine, strawberry and cola). They've also got a healthy selection of tequila, bourbon and whiskey. Hell, even their non-alcoholic options, including the lime spider and the root beer float, come with the option of a vodka or rye whiskey spike.