The closest to a solution then is to turn up at opening time. Due to traffic, our planned midday arrival turned out to be 12:03 at which point there was a queue outside but it was a queue that was at least being let inside. There were still 17 people in front of us but this looked like a sure thing. As it turned out, by the time we reached the door, the downstairs was already full so we were offered the window seats upstairs which was fine. Another group shortly took the remaining upstairs bar seats. Put another way, unless you arrive by 12:05, you're on the waiting list for the next round of service (approx 1 hour), that's how tight your non queuing window of success is here.
Foodwise, we like the fact that there were specials on the menu, at least we might have some original picures. Let's face it, this place has been blogged over 40 times and the food, trays, decor, interior and the queues have been dissected every which way so there's little to add. The specials are a Pig Head and Kimchi burger, and a Porger which seems to be a cross between a pork and beef burger with a special BBQ sauce including brisket and burnt ends and Red Leicester cheese melted into it all. We ordered some ribs too which the menu lets you have as a 'meat extra' which makes them very good value indeed at £5.50 instead of the £11 or so price tag if ordered as a straight main.
Undeniably, the food is excellent. The ribs were exactly what we thought ribs should be and while some reviews hold them up poorly to their US counterparts, all I know is that they are as good as it's going to get in the UK. The burgers too were exciting, original and messy. The serviettes they provide here seem almost industrial in size but they know their business and mine was suitably soiled by the time the burger came to an end as so much of it had run down my hands in a messy eating; always a good sign.
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