3 meats, 1 bun @ Black Hog BBQ

Now, I don’t always go looking for BBQ — sometimes, BBQ just finds me. We’re hanging out in downtown Frederick at Black Hog BBQ, this local chain with three locations in Maryland. This place has been serving up all kinds of smoked meat since 2007, but I’m only gonna eat here once, so I gotta make sure to get as many as I can shove down my piehole, bro!!!

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So, we’re starting off with an order of BBQ pork fries — these are like cheese fries gone wild in Flavourtown! They take fresh-cut potatoes, smother ’em in cheddar, and then pile bacon and pulled pork on top??? Shut the front, back and side doors, bro!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. They call this sammy the Triple Meat Mofo, and it’s a baaaad muthafucka! You’ve got beef brisket, pulled pork, country ham, swiss cheese, grilled onions and BBQ mayo, all stuffed between two buns. The beef was nice and tender, the pork was fall-aparty…but that country ham is what makes it, with the thickness to break up this flavour volcano!All this and a side of ooey, gooey mac and cheese for just $12.50!? Don’t tase me, bro!!!

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Of course, when you’re in Frederick, you’re in Flying Dog Country, so I had to check out this little feel-good hit of the summer, Numero Uno Mexican Lager. This light, easy-drinking beer is brewed with agave and lime zest, so it’s packing a lot more flavour than a Corona. And believe it or not, but after the pork fries, the three-story sammy, mac ‘n cheese and a couple of these, I actually did NOT have room for dessert!!!!!!!

“Say hello to ma lil’ friend!”

So, we’re back at Hogtown Smoke, the new location right in downtown Flavourtown. I see they no longer have the 22 oz pork chop on the menu, so instead I went with a sammy that combines two kinds of pork…and just so happens to be named after my favourite Al Pacino character. Say hello to ma lil’ friend Tony Montana 2.0, bro!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got pulled pork, back bacon and creamy coleslaw, along with beer-braised onions, pickles and some melty Velveeta, all smothered in their signature Hogmother BBQ sauce. And this is literally only half of it–there’s a second side to this sammy, son! Throw down a side of fries, and it’s a sandwich that eats like a meal for about 20 bucks (after tax)!!!!

Beach Hill Smokehouse: A Texas-style BBQ joint…inside a Toronto housing co-op???

So, we’re hanging out at Beach Hill Smokehouse, this brand-new BBQ joint that just opened up in the east end. This place is a short walk from Main St Station, or an even shorter walk from the Danforth GO Station, in case you wanna come in from Oshawa or something. And you might wanna do that, if you love beef brisket, bro! Lemme tell ya, this might not be the best Texas-style BBQ joint I’ve been to, but it’s the most authentic Texas-style BBQ experience you’ll get in Toronto. All that’s missing is some good ol’ country music…

But when it comes to the menu, there’s very little they don’t have: beef brisket, turkey, pork ribs, chicken, beef ribs (only on Thursdays and Saturdays) and all the sides like beans, coleslaw, potato salad and mac ‘n cheese. They might be sold out of some stuff sometimes—but not by 2 p.m., like that other place in town. These guys keep on smokin’ throughout the day, which means they might not have ribs at 6:30, but they’ll have ‘em again at 7 (which explains why I didn’t get any ribs).

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Instead I went with the Lockhart, their take on a traditional Texas BBQ sandwich. You’ve got both sausage and brisket on a bun, with some pickles, onions and raw jalapenos from the condiment bar. There’s a nice, fresh bun here, packed with chewy, tender brisket and a nice juicy snap from the hot link.  Not too bad for 10 bucks! And then I added another hot link on the side, along with some mac ‘n cheese, cuz you never turn your back on mac ‘n cheese, Stampede Bro!!!

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Like I said, this is the real-deal Texas-style meal. The prices even reflect the fact that BBQ is meant to be working man’s food, which is what you’ll find down south. (And yeah, they’re at the bottom of the Main-Gerard Housing Co-Op, not in the middle of Queen St W or something.) We’re talking 7 bucks for a half chicken, 9 bucks for ribs, 11 bucks for brisket. All the food you see here plus a bottled water and a couple bucks for the tip jar, and I’m going home completely not-hungry for just 25 bones, bro!!!

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But yeah, like most good Texas BBQ joints, you’re gonna hafta wait in line. The food’s at the back counter, and the line goes right through the middle of the room, so at least you’re probably not waiting outside. At 6 p.m. on a Friday, that line was a good 35-40 minutes long…but that’s still nothing compared to when I went to Franklin BBQ down in Austin!

Meaty quadruple decker on the Danforth, dude!

My motto in life has gotta be “Why eat one meat when you can have four?” Real talk, bro. But hey, that’s only because “When it’s right, it’s right” was already taken by Ron Burgundy. So, we’re hangin’ out at Greenwood Smokehouse, this cozy, homestyle BBQ joint just a Will Ferrell fastball away from Pape Station. This is probably the first BBQ joint I’ve been to–and I’m certainly no stranger to barbecue–where they had an open kitchen, so you come out of there smelling like hickory. But that’s the price you gotta pay for eating four meats between two slices of bread sometimes, y’know?

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They call this the Danforth Decker, and it’s like a house party upper decker in Flavourtown–this sandwich is the shiznit, son! You’ve got beef brisket, you’ve got pulled pork, you’ve got ribs, house bacon ‘n cheddar, all between dry white toast. And they don’t just give you one section, or two sections, or three sections, but four whole sandwich sections, dude! Because why eat one meat sandwich when you can have four is pretty much my life story, bro!

Now, I will say that when you get this many meats slathered in the same sauce, you can’t always taste everything. I really didn’t get too many bacon-y notes, and if there’s cheese on this sandwich, it clearly dissolved into the meat tsunami. Not that I’m complaining–meat tsunami was my nickname in high school. It’s sorta like a sharknado, except instead of live sharks, you’ve got beef brisket, bro!

(Actually, I did have a shark sandwich in Cleveland, and hey, it wasn’t bad…)