Big portions, big cocktails, big budget savings - who says all good things come in small packages…
Sticking to the approved formula, Belushis is in every sense a standard sports bar. Seven giant plasmas with the latest coverage dominate the walls meaning there’s no need to scout out the perfect seat or strain your necks, as every possible angle is covered. The bar is huge with a metal skirting and sticky edges. High stool tables seat early diners on the ground floor, while the disco balls and technicolour spot lights eagerly await action on the dance floor downstairs. Posters pepper the rest of the walls putting any student dorm to shame; from the iconic prints of Jimmy Hendrix and Che Guevara to comic book villains and Hollywood heroes, oh, and of course every band imaginable from AC/DC to the Sex Pistols.
Leaving little to inspire from the outside, peering through the windows Belushis looks little more than a student gaff. However, once inside, the mix-mash of people couldn’t be more diverse. Maybe it’s the combination of backpackers from the above hostel making their mark, but you’re guaranteed to meet some characters. Expect everything from office stripes to grungy wi-fi users, or metal-head pierced punters to chilled surf dudes. The staff are attentive, fresh and constantly smiling. It’s a good crowd.
Described as ‘global’, the food is predominately made up of American/Mexican favourites with the odd Italian dish thrown in. You may have to double check you didn’t order a main when the starters are put down in front of you – the quantity of food is more than generous, if not bordering on the over-zealous. To start the quesadillas (£3.95) are gooey with a tasty mix of cheese and vegetables, but the nachos (£4.95) are slightly on the cold side.
The meatball main (£6.95) is exceptional value for money and the meat is perfectly cooked in a well-seasoned sauce with a spicy tomato kick. The burgers have an unreal amount of combinations; diners select their meat, size and topping. Playing it safe, the classic beef cheese burger is cooked to a sumptuous medium and hits the spot. But with over 15 toppings to select from, more daring options can be explored.
By comparison, the dessert menu is tiny with just five classic options. The New York-style vanilla cheesecake (£4.95) is disappointing, with a foamy processed texture and soggy base, but the sticky toffee chocolate bomb (£3.95) is a beautifully rich combination of ice-cream and chocolate, all topped with a chewy toffee fudge.
The Vipra Rossa Merlot (£13.50 a bottle) is a smooth red with an aftertaste of spiced cherries. Lagers, ciders, ales and beers are bottled in the fridges or available on tap, but the big sellers are clearly the cocktails. There are over 40 classics, shooters, bombs and mocktails to choose from, but the cheeky five-pint fishbowls are incredibly tempting at £24.95, especially for the party hardy punters.
The Last Word
From the plasmas to the drinks list, it’s clear that Belushis believes bigger is better. Cheap and cheerful, with an eclectic crowd, the bar is pretty much always buzzing. And when it comes to food, if you’re a fan of hearty fillings and super-size deals (‘big-up’ your main for £2.50), your hunger will definitely be satisfied too.