SMOKED meat is pretty much the entire menu at Bare Grills, but if you are a meat fan then this is definitely not a problem.

We spoke to Leon Critcher, 30, the General Manager at Bare Grills in Taunton all about this exciting venture that remains popular in Somerset, with restaurants in Taunton, Weston-super-mare and Bristol.

When Leon was younger, he worked as an area manager for Mitchells and Butlers but could never settle in one place. One day he started working in Taunton with a friend of his.

Leon said: “The job just wasn’t really for me anymore. I mean, I had done it for a long time.”

Leon’s friend left his job in Taunton and went to work for Bare Grills in Weston-super-mare, where he persuaded Leon to join him – and Leon has not looked back since.

Somerset County Gazette:

Leon added: “It is very rare I say I love a job, but I love this one. I’ve never really stayed anywhere more than 18 months but now I have been here four years and I have no plans to leave this company at all.

“We offer high-quality smoked meats and our ethos is great food, great service and spending time with the customers – it is more of a casual place.

“People don’t usually stay here for too long, it’s not a restaurant where people stay for two or three hours. People come in and eat and leave. It is more of a get together place, but we can cater for everything here.”

As General Manager, Leon overseas the running of the restaurant but also jumps in to help from time to time. He began his career at Bare Grills in the kitchen and was there a year before he became General Manager and so knows how to create the delicious dishes on offer.

The menu itself focuses solely on smoked meats, steaks and burgers. Care is taken over each piece of meat to make sure it is packed full of flavour.

The smoked meats are dressed with salt, pepper and olive oil before they are smoked to ensure a great taste.

Leon said: “My favourite dish is definitely brisket beef. All of our smoked foods are smoked for a while. Ribs are smoked for four to five hours, pulled pork is smoked from anywhere between nine and 12 hours, brisket can even hit up to 18 hours – depending on how big the joint of meat is.

“We have just launched this menu and it’s all really good. We do smoked meats, steaks and burgers – we could always add more but we have so much repeat custom it’s not worth it.

“This is the first company that I have ever worked with that has had an open kitchen. I think it’s great because you can see exactly what the chefs are doing – and these guys are great chefs.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Everything is made fresh from scratch at Bare Grills.

The ingredients for all three restaurants are sourced from the same places to ensure consistency throughout the restaurants.

The vegetables come from Wellington and the meat from Bath.

If you are not a meat fan, then Bare Grills also offer a prawn dish, and two vegetarian dishes – deep fried smoked cheese and a vegetarian burger.

Leon added: “Something that is quite new for us is dirty fries, they came onto the menu last year and now you can have them with anything. It is messy – but its good food.

“We are just as busy as we always were, so clearly people who come here enjoy what they get from us.”

To find out more or to book a table call 01823 253388 or visit