Tag Archives: BBQ

CHITOWN CHOWDOWN: This funky BBQ joint is honky tonk redonkadonk!!!!!

Man, I loves me some BBQ, so when I found out that Guy Fieri had visited Honky Tonk BBQ, this funky little joint in the Pilsen neighbourhood, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! That episode was back in 2009, but I gotta say, this place stands the test of time…

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I ordered the Delux Personal Platter, and my food was ready in about 5 minutes. You have a choice of pork or brisket, but I went with the brisket — and it was some of the most tender brisket I’ve ever tasted! There’s just a hint of dry rub here, but other than that, this meat really doesn’t need any sauces or seasonings…

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On the side, this dish comes with cornbread, a hot link and your choice of side — I went with the mac and cheese, which was nice n creamy. Cornbread was soft and easy to eat, once you got it out of the corn wrapper, and the sausage was smoky, crispy and more than a little spicy. Nothing wrong with that at all…

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Of course, when I saw they had Bacon Candy on the menu, I had to get me some, son! Thick, chewy bacon covered in brown sugar makes this equal parts sweet and meat — it’s a winning combination in Flavourtown!!!

Takin’ bacon & eggs to the next level…with beef brisket!!!!!

Now, we ain’t gonna change the name of this blog to Burgers, Bacon & Brunch or anything… but for the second Sunday in a row, we’re setting our alarms and heading out for some funky brunch, Marky Mark! This time we’re hitting up Liberty Commons, this brewpub in Liberty Village, which seems like the only place you can get Big Rock beer in Toronto now — you KNOW I gotta have my AGD, bro!!!!

We’ve been to Liberty Commons a couple times before, and I wasn’t that impressed with their BBQ back in 2017, but when I saw they were serving up brisket & eggs for brunch, I still had to order it — dude, this is body by brisket & eggs, bro! And I gotta say, they’ve gotten much, much better at cooking brisket over the past five years…

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Now, here’s where I should mention that we made a little menu hack. Since I didn’t wanna be shittin’ my britches after a night out drinkin’, I swapped out the baked beans for a side of bacon. The First Rule of Flavourtown is always add bacon, bro! And having that bite of pork on top of the super-tender brisket and sunny-side up eggs just takes it up another notch, son!!!!!

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And since the name of this blog IS still Burgers, Bacon & Beer, let’s just say this Breakfast Coffee Stout had my name on it. At 6%, it’s definitely stronger than a Guinness (which I had for brunch last week), and it’s got a stronger coffee flavour, too. Now, I don’t normally drink coffee, but if you turn it into a beer, I would have at least four cups a day, bro!!!!!

5 course tasting menu…at a BBQ joint!!!???

Now, The Carbon Bar has gotta be the swankiest BBQ joint I’ve ever set foot in. Forget picnic tables, butcher paper and lining up to the counter, this place looks more like some fancy nightclub. But that don’t mean the food ain’t legit — I ordered some real-deal ribs from them during second (or was it third?) lockdown, and even made a couple of their meal kits at home when I had to isolate while awaiting COVID test results after coming back to Canada. (Fuck, I’m glad that shit’s almost over!) So when I heard they were serving up a five-course tasting menu for the reasonable price of 75 dollars, I was all over that like beef on brisket. Dude, that’s like 200 less than I paid at Don Alfonso, bro…

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Now, this may only count as one course, but we’ve actually got three appys here: mozzarella sticks, shishito peppers and KFC — that’s Korean Fried Cauliflower, son! The KFC was nice ‘n crispy, and they added some chili flakes to the shishitos to give ’em a nice little kick. Believe it or not, but the non-vegan mozza sticks were my least favourite thing here…

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Course number two is also a two-for-one, as they put down some shrimp ceviche and pulled pork tacos at the same time. I’m pretty sure this is the exact same pulled pork taco kit I made at home a couple months back…except that they fried the tortillas, while I put them in the microwave. Carbon Bar 1, Greedo Catucci 0.

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Next up was a fish course, which you definitely don’t see at yer average BBQ joint. We only got one piece of salmon per person, but that’s OK with me, since I was saving room for the Pitmaster Platter anyways:

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Now, The Carbon Bar definitely deserves credit for giving their Pitmaster Platter an Extreme Makeover: Flavourtown Edition since I first set foot in here back in 2016. Y’see, six years ago they only gave you three meats — brisket, ribs and fried chicken — and there was hardly enough food to go around. But since then, they’ve upped the ante with smoked sausage and smoked turkey (which is exclusive to the tasting menu; the regular platter comes with pulled pork). Sure, they’ve raised the price to $38 a person for the platter alone, but I actually think that’s a steal, son. Just compare this sad little plate of food from 2016 to the following meaty monstrosity:

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And that’s not even all of it — there was enough food left over for me to go back for seconds! But you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro…

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OK, so these weren’t all just for me — everybody got a lil’ taste. We’ve got mini chocolate brownies, caramel fudge… but what makes it are the bourbon truffle skulls, bro!!!!!

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Dude, this might be the most badass dessert I’ve ever seen. You want my skull? You can’t have it, bro!!!!!

Now, this might already be the longest review in Triple B history, but you’re gonna wanna stick around for a few beers, cuz they’ve partnered with Blood Brothers Brewing to really kick their beer game up a notch…

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We’re starting off with an Autopop Cherry Sour, the only one of these three beers I’ve had before (it was in a smaller can, though). This one’s a nice way to ease you in, cuz it’s only 4% and tastes more like cherry soda.

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Now, I was trying to hold off on the heavy stout until the meat platter arrived, but the problem is, I drink beer too fast. So I polished off this Amaretto coffee stout, Under a House in Northern Italy, with the tacos and ceviche. Maybe not the best pairing… but dude, I could drink this with a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!!!

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But we’re saving the most funkalicious (funkaliciousist?) for last with this Ajji Majji nitro sour. This beer smells like vanilla and tastes like peaches — I dunno how they do it, but they sure do it good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EATING LAS VEGAS: Taking out some Memphis-style trash ribs…

Now, I might never have wandered into Virgil’s Real BBQ if the In-n-Out Burger across the way wasn’t closed for U.S. Thanksgiving, but I’m sure glad I did… You KNOW I’m always down for some southern BBQ, and the BBQ Combo is the way to go, bro! You get your choice of two meats and two sides, and they even throw in a mini little cornbread nugget for free! Now, I had to go with the sliced Texas beef brisket — dude, this is body by Texas beef brisket — but when I saw the trash ribs, I figured I would try those, too…

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Now, according to Virgil, “Real BBQ” is smothered in sauce. But for these chewy little spare ribs, the BBQ sauce adds a nice little kick, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

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Now, for me Texas brisket only needs salt ‘n pepper — and the fattier the better. So I’m a little disappointed at how saucy this brisket was. Still nice ‘n tender, but I’d say this brisket is about as Texas as Sam Hunt…

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Virgil’s side game is pretty solid. You can’t go wrong with Mac ‘n cheese, and the collard greens come with bacon — everything’s better with bacon, bro!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I still had room for dessert… We’re talking banana pudding, with big chunks of bananas, creamy pudding, crunchy cookie crumbs, and a handful of shortbread cookies, thrown in whole. Dude, this dessert is soooo bananas…and bananas is good!!!!

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Washed it all down with a few Moose Drool Brown Ales, coming straight outta Montana from Big Sky Brewing. Nice, rich flavour, sorta like Newcastle Brown Ale, but not too heavy at 5%. Then again, I guess 5% is pretty strong for American beer!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: BBQ Wednesday @ Cabana

Last summer, we hit up Cabana Waterfront Patio for a real-deal BBQ pork chop, so when I heard they were doing a whole Wednesday night BBQ menu, I was all over that like patio lanterns, bro! They’re serving up baby back ribs, smoked sausage and two kinds of chicken: fried AND BBQ!!!! Or, to get the most bang for your buck, you can order a ribs & chicken combo, like I did right here…

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Quarter chicken was moist ‘n juicy, a cut above Swiss Chalet, with a nice BBQ sauce on the side that kicks things up a notch. Can’t complain about that at all — but the ribs are what makes it, bro!

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Man, these baby backs had such a nice, smokey flavour that you don’t need no sauce, bro! This combo only comes with a half rack, but I’m pretty sure I could finish a full one…

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Now, I gotta give a shoutout to their side game. Instead of some sad french fries, they’re doing it up right with fresh coleslaw, only one(!) of those delicious garlic buns, and some corn on the cob with Mexican Radio spices. Only downside was they didn’t supply any skewers, so half the seasoning came off in my hand when I was holding onto the cob…

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Now, as I mentioned last time, their beer selection sucks donkey dick — Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Corona. So instead I went with this signature Ciroc Cabana Frose. Man, it almost feels like you’re not even drinking alcohol…until you’ve had at least three of these. 😉

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ ribs combo to go, bro!!!

Although patios are open in Toronto, it’s really hard to get a table right now. I mean, that’s great for the restaurants in this city, but not so good when you’re rolling out, looking for the greatest burgers, bacon and beer. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still be going out to eat as much as we can…but let’s just say the takeout reviews aren’t going away, either. 😉

Now, I haven’t actually been to The Carbon Bar since that one time, in 2016, when their Pit Master Platter failed to satisfy my hunger. But I’ve heard a few good things about them in the meantime, and when I saw they were part of the Toronto Premium Restaurants deal on DoorDash, where you save 7 dollars when you spend 30 or more, I figured I’d give ’em another shot. As it turns out, their pork ribs combo with two sides was $28, and when you add a side of gravy, it’s an even 30, so there you go…

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These ribs are served St. Louis style, which means you gotta bite through the gristly bits at the end. But they are still nicely seasoned, with a good, smokey flavour, and taste great with the side of sweet ‘n spicy sauce, which does what it says on the label. Plus, the metal catering tray kept ’em nice and warm on the way over, which is definitely a plus.

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This mac ‘n cheese is TheBomb.ca, bro! Creamy, crunchy, with a mix of mozza-cheddar and some breadcrumbs on top — again, the catering tray kept it nice and hot till it’s headed down my piehole!!!!

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Now, the thick ‘n lumpy gravy was probably meant for fried chicken, but it still tasted fine on these fries. And hey, if I’m spending two dollars to save seven, you can pour some gravy on me in the name of lard anytime, bro!!!!

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Now, because The Carbon Bar’s beer selection is basically just Budweiser, I reached into my fridge for a Clutch American Pale Ale from Redline Brewhouse. The light, hoppy flavour goes nicely with some smokey BBQ, I gotta say. And no, this brew has nothing to do with the heavy rock band from Maryland — but that does kinda look like their logo, though…

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ sandwich, ribs and an Irish Texan…

Now, we already know that Beach Hill Smokehouse has some of the best Texas BBQ in Toronto, so when I found out they opened up a new location on The Danforth that might actually be close enough to deliver, you KNOW I was gonna hit ’em up! I didn’t see any beef ribs on the menu, so instead I went with one of their classic BBQ sammies, along with a couple pork spare ribs and, because I’m still feeling the St. Patty’s spirit, this funkalicious side dish called an Irish Texan. More on that in a minute…

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They call this sandwich The Big D, and it’s a hot one! You’ve got BBQ brisket, turkey and sausage piled onto a bun, along with some slaw, and then they stick a smoked poblano pepper on top! Mind you, the meat really outweighs the heat — it doesn’t really seem spicy at all. But when you’ve got that brisket, some turkey and sausage all in the same bite, that’s Flavourtown Nirvana, Kurt Bro-bain!!!!

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The first time I went to the original Beach Hill Smokehouse, they were all outta ribs by the time I got to the front of the line. So I knew I had to get me some ribs this time! It turns out that a half-pound of ribs only gets you one great big bone and one teeny tiny one, but this is definitely a case of quality over quantity. The rib was super meaty, tender and chewy, with a perfect balance of smoke and pepper — it really doesn’t need any sauce, son! Next time, I could probably eat more than one, though. Will hafta order at least two pounds!!!

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And that brings us to this Flavourtown famine-buster, the Irish Texan. You’ve got a big ol’ baked potato all covered with cheese, brisket and sausage — they let you choose any two meats, but this seemed like the best way to go. Wrapping it in tinfoil and butcher paper kept it warm enough that you still got that meaty, potatoey goodness in every bite — it’s magically delicious!!!!

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And I washed it all down with a tallboy of Harp Lager…cuz I (mostly) ended up drinking AGD Red on St. Patty’s Day instead!

 

 

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: BBQ platter for two (but really just for one…)

Dude, I’ve been wanting to check out Meat & Pie Co., this funky halal BBQ joint that’s serving up two of my favourite things — meat AND pie — down on King St, where the Lone Star Grill used to be, for a little while now. Of course, they’ve been closed due to COVID-19…but on weekends, they’re doing free delivery on orders of 50 dollars or more.

Now, it’s not hard to spend 50 bucks on BBQ ’round these parts — a couple meats, a couple sides, and you’re usually set. I wanted to try a few of the best things they had to offer, so I ordered the 2 Person Platter. But the thing is, due to social distancing, there’s only one of me to eat it…

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Dude, this was so much food that I had to put it out on a cutting board, cuz I didn’t have a big enough plate! You’ve got a smoked half chicken with Tandoori seasoning, two big, thick slices of brisket — one on the leaner side, the other more medium — two pieces of jalapeno cheddar cornbread, a tin of mac ‘n cheese, a side of pickles and two little containers of BBQ sauce…and did I mention there’s pie for dessert???

OK, now let’s break it down…

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Now, the brisket wasn’t quite fork-tender — the leaner piece was more like eating steak — but it still had a nice, smoky flavour, good texture and a nice chew. It goes great with the crunch of the pickle, and while I don’t normally like sauce on BBQ, the tangy, smoky sauce on the side was pretty darn good for dipping!

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But the real star of the show has gotta be that smoked Tandoori chicken. Bird’s nice and moist, with just a bit of a kick… I could eat that all day, son!!!

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Mac ‘n cheese was nice and creamy, with a good breadcrumb crust — although it didn’t stay as warm as the meat did. And the cornbread was everything you’d expect, with little chunks of jalapenos and cheese…I can’t complain at all.

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Of course, because the name of the blog isn’t Burgers, Bacon & Unsweetened Tea, we had to wash this all down with an ice cold beer. This here’s a Firefly, a red currant habanero coconut gose from Half Hours on Earth, this craft brewery in the small town of Seaforth, ON…about an hour west of Kitchener. Now, the last habanero beer I had was pretty spicy, but that’s not the case here; if anything, I get more red currants, along with the slightly sour taste of the gose, which goes quite well with the heavy meat platter — and you KNOW I polished it all off, bro!!!!

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Aaaaand after clearing the table, I’ve still got room for dessert…

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This homemade apple pie was absolutely delectable! You’ve got a ton of apples in here, with some cinnamon, sugar, and a nice crunchy crust. And it’s about the right size after such a big meal — I probably couldn’t have eaten any more pie if I wanted to, bro! This also goes well with a nice glass of wine…

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…except that’s not wine, it’s another beer, bro! This Delirious Night sour DIPA, also from Half Hours on Earth, is brewed with Pinot Noir grape juice, Madagascar vanilla and milk sugar. It smells like a whole barrel full of hops, and is surprisingly strong, at 7%. I actually got both of these beers delivered from The Rosedale Diner, which makes this a delivery double down in Flavourtown!!!!

 

Riding these Cowboy Beef Short Ribs @ Smoque N’ Bones

Dude, this is body by beef ribs! I once ate beef ribs at Beach Hill Smokehouse AND Adamson Barbecue in the same weekend, and even polished one off with a side of Kitchen Sink Fries. But when I heard that Smoque N’ Bones, this funky little BBQ joint on Queen St, was serving up two Cowboy Beef Short Ribs for 48 bucks, you KNOW I was gonna ride that bucking bronco, bro!!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. These big, beefy beauties were pull-apart tender, slathered in a tangy sauce — but not too much sauce, hoss! They did give you more sauce on the side, though… Oh, and speaking of sides, their potato salad was so outta bounds, you gotta shut the back door AND buy a ticket!!!!

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Now, that’s not a spiky, bleach-blond hairdo on top of those taters — those are Hickory Sticks, the best chips ever!!! This secret ingredient adds a little crunch to this double-barrelled potato attack…and they’ve even got some pulled pork in there, too!

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Because you KNOW I’m not gonna walk into a funky joint like Smoque N’ Bones and order a Budweiser…this here’s some Truth Serum, a nice, hoppy IPA from Rorschach Brewing. Not too bitter, with a hit of sweetness, and not one, not two, but three kinds of hops, this brew will have you pass a lie detector with flying colours, son!!!!!!

Dry-rub ribs ‘n saucy brisket @ Stack

So, we’re hanging out at Stack, this funky BBQ joint on Yonge St, just a little north of Lawrence. A few years back, I had a bitchin’ grilled cheese bacon cheeseburger here…but it’s no longer on the menu, so this time, I’m gonna try some BBQ instead — starting with the Memphis dry ribs:

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Now, these babies are nicely smoked, with a good crust and a pink smoke ring on the meat — and I really dig the chipotle dip that comes with. I mean, I normally wouldn’t dip ribs in something, but this sauce is the boss, hoss!!!

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Speaking of sauce, though… I am really not a fan of sauce on beef brisket. If I had known the meat on their brisket plate was covered in sauce, I’d probably ask ’em to hold off. Plus, the brisket was thinly sliced, and it seemed like the coleslaw-to-meat ratio was pretty much 2-to-1 — that’s a whole lotta slaw, son!!!

Next time, I would try their brisket on top of a burger, though…

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