Now, I’m going to be honest with you here. Man Vs Food in South Shields (they also have a branch in Heaton as well) is not somewhere that I would ever choose to visit. I’m not into huge portions of meat smothered in BBQ sauces which is impossible to finish. However, I was not making the call for dining that evening – a group of friends were – and so I went along, bracing myself for a mammoth meal.
As you’d expect, the menu was laden with meat-heavy options that come packed with sides. I went for a ‘Bad Boy Sandwich’ of pulled chicken with two sides (I chose corn on the cob and onion rings), Mr J got the ribs with sweet potato fries and mashed potato (carb overload right there!) and our friends’ choices ranged from steaks to burgers.
No one was brave enough to attempt one of the food challenges, although we took great pleasure in watching a diner at a nearby table struggle through the Ultimate Burger challenge of 4x 6oz burgers… (he admitted defeat after about 15 minutes).
Ordering is easy, just like Nando’s, you go up the bar area and order, giving your table number. On our way we spied the cheesecakes and vowed to save room for dessert.
The service was excellent, the staff were friendly and explained the daily specials and all our food arrived promptly without an excessive waiting time. The boys were all oohing and aahing at their meaty dishes in front of them, while I tried to understand how to eat my sandwich. One the menu it said ‘pulled chicken with house coleslaw and a handful of skinny fries’ so I had presumed that they were my two sides options, but when I went to order my food I was told that the dish did come with two additional sides (hence the onion rings and corn on the cob). I didn’t realise my sandwich would come stuffed with the coleslaw and fries, with large portions of the onion rings and corn on the cob in additional side bowls. It was A LOT of food.
For the price you pay, I thought they might have scrimped on the meat and you’d be left with more bun and sauce, however this wasn’t the case. I mean, look at MrJ’s ribs!
Warning: messy food alert. Knives and forks can only help you so far. The rest is up to your fingers and a wad of napkins, and then a trip afterwards to the bathroom to get rid of all the stickiness.
I enjoyed the majority of the meal: the sides were excellent but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the BBQ sauce on my pulled chicken. However, everyone else loved their dishes and next time I think I’d choose something like a burrito or hot dog!
The cheesecake on offer was peanut butter-flavoured, but as we were feeling pretty full already we decided to share it between four people. (I’d recommend this in the future too, as there is no way that even two people could finish one of the cheesecakes after a meal!). I’m not kidding when I say it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, ever. (I remember Canny Food making a similar claim too!). It was the right amount of creaminess with the crisp biscuit base, and the peanut butter flavour was strong but not overpowering. It was utterly delicious and the perfect end to the meal.
We’re not exaggerating when we say we loved the cheesecake – since our initial visit we’ve been back twice to get them to take away!
Man Vs Food can be found on Hudson Street in South Shields (near Tyne Dock), and on 226 Chillingham Road in Heaton.