Restaurant review: The Filling Station, Retford

The Filling Station smokehouse, Retford
The Filling Station smokehouse, Retford
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A taste of the good ole’ US of A has arrived - in Retford.

OK, so Retford isn’t exactly the first place you would expect an American diner to pop up, but it has and it’s good - infact it’s very good!

The Filling Station is a new American style smokehouse specialising in smoked and barbacued meats.

It was a thundery night when my partner and I visited the restaurant on Churchgate, in the heart of Retford. With the rain pouring down I expected it to be relatively empty, but to my surpise many of the tables were taken.

It was the start of the school summer holidays and the Filling Station’s kids menu was ideal for a celebratory treat. Children can have a main course including cheeseburger, breaded chicken or nachos with a side dish of either fries, mac and cheese or corn on the cob, a soft drink and then two scoops of icecream for dessert - all for just £5.

The menu was full of delicious sounding food, all of which appealed to me so choosing what to have was going to be difficult.

There were 10 different kinds of homemade beet patties and burgers to choose from - ranging from a classic beef burger (£7) to the chicken satay burger (£8) and persian lamb burger (£8) - all served with a side of fries, coleslaw - or ‘slaw - and a side garnish.

There was also a selection of ribs and wings with various marinades including Bourbon brown sugar wings (£4 as a starter and £8 as a main).

Sandwiches included The Rocking Ruben (£7) comprising of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and The Brisket (£8) made up of smoked brisket, tomato, onion rings and barbacue gravy, and there was also a selection of steaks and salads.

It was the specials that really caught my eye, including calamari (£4 as a starter and £8 as a main).

We decided to have the Habanero jacket wings (£4 as a starter or £8 as a main) to share as a starter.

The menu promised the mixed spice coating is designed to have a sweet tone, but with a firey kick - and they certinaly didn’t disappoint. Each mouthful was delightful, with a sweet taste with the first few bites and then the heat kicked in.

For our main course, my partner decided he was hungry enough to tackle The Might (£12) - two beef patties, cheese, garlic mayo, bacon, salad, relish and dill pickle.

I had been enticed by the chipotle barbacue pork soft tacos (£5 as starter and £9 as main) from the specials menu - soft tacos filled with sweet and spicy chipotle pulled pork with a salsa. I also decided that the chilli fries (£4) - with bacon, cheese and dragon’s breath chilli - sounded too good to pass up.

It wasn’t long before my partner’s towering burger was placed infront of him - his only problem being deciding which method to use to tackle it. He decided to go for the ‘try to fit it all in his mouth at once’ approach. He declared it ‘the best burger he had ever eaten’ and believe me, the man knows his burgers!

My tacos were absolutely delicious and stuffed with a delightful spicy pulled pork filling which melted in my mouth.

The only slight hiccup was my fries. A mix up meant they weren’t ordered, but the kind waiter asked the chef to create me version of them. They were so tasty, but because they weren’t exactly how the menu stated the waiter knocked them off the bill.

I put the mix up down to teething problem because The Filling Station only recently opened.

The restaurant also serves a breakfast from 7.30am to 11am.

Well worth a visit, and I will be returning.