TORONTO BBQ BEEF RIB BATTLE: Adamson Barbecue vs. Beach Hill Smokehouse

Dude, is there anything better than Texas style barbecue, bro? Now, I can’t go to Texas every day (when I do, I hit up Franklin Barbecue), but there are a couple funky BBQ joints in Toronto doing it up right: Adamson Barbecue and Beach Hill Smokehouse. I’ve had a whole buncha smoked meats at both of these places, and it’s all pretty legit. But there remained one last meat kingdom to be conquered, and that’s beef ribs. So I figured, why not try them both, and see how they stack up?

Beef ribs are usually the rarest delicacy of the barbecue world–most places only offer them one or two days a week, and they sell out pretty quickly. When I went to Franklin, the guy three spots ahead of me got the last beef bone, so I can’t compare these ones to the best in the world… But what I will say is you can’t really go wrong either way.

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Adamson Barbecue

So, let’s start off in alphabetical order. The lineup outside Adamson for this Beef-Rib-Straganza started around 10:15–by 10:30, it was already a couple dozen deep. This Saturday afternoon special sells for 28 bucks a pound, and what you see above is about a pound of beef. Their meat was so juicy and fatty that they actually cut a chunk of pure fat right off it–but what was left was so tender than even the fatty bits were delicious.

adamson_beef_rib (32)

Basically, this was beef brisket on a bone, and it’s honky-tonk redonkadonk! The potato salad on the side was super fresh, and the (cold) macaroni salad added some nice little zip. Oh, and they also had burnt ends on special, seven bucks for a quarter pound. You KNOW I can’t say no to burnt ends, bro!!!!

adamson_burnt_ends (4)Mmm, meat candy…

beach_hill_beef_rib (4)

Beach Hill Smokehouse

Beach Hill’s beef ribs are an even rarer treat–they only serve ’em up on Thursdays. And while there was no one ahead of me when I showed up right around 11, I’m told these babies definitely don’t last until dinner. And it’s probably best to get ’em when they’re fresh. The meat you see here was melt-in-your-mouth tasty. Some of the stuff towards the back was a little tougher, maybe not as tender as Adamson, but they also didn’t need to take a big chunk of fat off, either. I think I probably got more beef for my buck at Beach Hill.

beach_hill_beef_rib (24)

FINAL VERDICT: This was actually a tougher call than I thought it would be. I kinda feel like if Adamson had served me up a meatier middle rib, I might be giving them the edge–but I have to judge them on the portion they provided. So that’s why I’m giving Beach Hill Smokehouse the title of best BBQ beef rib in Toronto…but you really can’t go wrong either way, unless you show up too late.

And when it comes to availability, it’s advantage Adamson. You might have to get there 45 minutes early, but you will be able to buy beef ribs on a Saturday. On the other hand, unless you live and/or work near Main and Gerrard, this blog post might be the closest you’ll ever get to a Beach Hill beef rib–unless you take a Ferris Beef-Rib’s Day Off


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