VUDU FOOD Opens in Brighton

Barbecue Smokehouse arrives on Queens Road

Stepping into Vudu Food on Queens Road for the first time was like discovering a hidden gem that had been waiting to reveal its culinary treasures to me. Positioned in the busy high street near Brighton Station, this quaint restaurant and takeaway place exudes a warmth and authenticity that is immediately inviting. It’s not every day you come across a place that serves food with such passion and precision, especially when it ventures into the territory of a smokehouse that caters to both meat lovers and plant-based diet enthusiasts alike.

Vudu Food’s menu is a masterclass in simplicity and quality, offering five different dishes that can be enjoyed in a toasted buttery brioche bun, on double-cooked skin-on chips, or on beautifully seasoned rice. The inclusion of homemade (vegan) slaw, mixed green leaves, dill pickles, and jalapenos adds a refreshing touch to each dish, making every meal a balanced culinary experience.

The highlight of my visit was undoubtedly the slow-smoked brisket, lovingly enveloped in a homemade barbecue sauce that was a marvel of balance and depth. Served on a bed of herby rice, fresh salad, and pickles, each bite of the brisket was a journey through flavours and textures that I hadn’t experienced before in Brighton, reminiscent of the best New Orleans-style barbecue. The brisket, tender to the point of melting in my mouth, was a testament to the culinary skills and dedication of the folks at Vudu Food.

Not to be overshadowed, the smoky pulled jackfruit burger, accompanied by double-cooked chips, was a revelation at £12. The jackfruit, marinated and cooked to perfection, bore an uncanny resemblance to real meat, showcasing the innovative spirit of Vudu Food. The double-cooked chips, with their perfect crunch, and the heavenly halloumi fries(£6), were the kind of sides that elevate a meal from good to unforgettable.

The stars of the show, the slow-smoked pulled pork and beef brisket, are smoked off-site using hickory wood, a process that imbues the meat with a depth of flavour that is hard to find elsewhere. The homemade barbecue sauce, a labour of love, is a blend of tang, sweetness, and toasted spices that invites diners to explore its complexity.

At this point I couldn’t eat any more! But I wish I could as I also noticed the chargrilled cajun chicken on another table – chicken thighs marinated in our homemade spice rub and grilled on the flat-top with plenty of lime juice. I was told they also offer a gorgeous four-bean chilli with fire roasted red peppers in a mix of their signature homemade barbecue and spice mix.

I asked how it started. In 2015, Jamie and Katy launched Vudu Food, aiming to revolutionise festival food with quality, affordable options served by engaging staff. Their dissatisfaction with existing festival food—overpriced, uninspiring, and poorly served—sparked this venture. Meeting at university in 2008, the duo shared experiences at festivals, which often highlighted the dismal state of food available. They envisioned Vudu Food as a solution, emphasising flavorful, satisfying, and inclusive barbecue cuisine that catered to all dietary needs. The name Vudu Food, inspired by the rich culinary and cultural heritage of Louisiana, reflects their commitment to authenticity and quality.

Their journey took them across the country, from small town fairs to major events, culminating in their current operation out of an airstream trailer known at various prestigious locations. Overcoming challenges such as extreme weather and high demand, they have established a successful brand recognised for its excellent service and food. The evolution from a simple gazebo to a bricks-and-mortar premises marks their significant progress and commitment to their original mission of enhancing the festival food experience.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through Brighton, a visit to Vudu Food is a must for anyone seeking a memorable dining experience.

For locals, this can be your new lunch spot and for the passers by, this is a great grab-and-go for the beach / train ride. Alternatively you can check them out at www.vudufood.com or order on UberEats and Deliveroo.

Vudu Food
55 Queens Rd,
Brighton, BN1 3XD

@vudufood

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