Tag Archives: ribs

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: Ringin’ in the new year with a rack of ribs!

Waaay back in February, when it looked like 2020 was gonna be just another year, I destroyed some beef ribs at a funky BBQ joint called Smoque N’ Bones. So, now that we’re hoping that 2021 will be just another year, I am ending 2020 with some baby back ribs, also from Smoque N’ Bones. This place was offering up a new year’s special of a full rack and two sides for 73 bucks, which is almost twice as much as the KISS PPV NYE concert…but at least it doesn’t start at 1 in the afternoon. Cuz you KNOW I’m gonna rock ‘n roll all nite and eat ribs every day, bro!!!!!!

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These bones were still smokin’ when my order arrived after about 40 minutes. Lots of char, but not too much sauce — although the BBQ sauce on the side had a nice little kick. I went with mac ‘n cheese and sweet potato fries on the side, and they definitely give you a full container of taters!

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These waffle fries were nice ‘n crispy, with a side of chipotle donkey sauce, son. You could put that on a flip-flop, and I’d still eat all of it!!!!

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This mac was Mac Daddy, with a sharp-dressed-man white cheddar and some garlic-herb bread crumbs. They don’t really give you a lot, compared to the rest of the food, but that just means more room for ribs, bro!!!

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Now that’s what I call a new year’s countdown in Flavourtown!!!!!

 

 

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Legit Middle East lamb ribs!

I’ve only ever had lamb ribs once before, and that was at Michael Symon’s BBQ joint in Cleveland. And to be honest, I didn’t think they were that great. But when I saw that Byblos, this funky Mediterranean joint in the Entertainment District, was serving up a middle-eastern take on these babies, I figured I would give ’em another shot:

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Now, this is definitely a different flavour profile than you’d get at a southern BBQ joint. These bones are smothered in molasses, and then you’ve got some dukkah — an Egyptian nut and spice blend — overtop, along with dashes of buttermilk and a few dots of zhug, a Yemeni hot sauce, although theirs is red, not green. Overall, these ribs were really tasty, but with just four bones to an order, I couldda used some cornbread, or some potato salad, or something…

BBQ beef ribs and beers… Oh my!

Now that we’ve reached a point where restaurants have reopened for indoor dining, it’s time for me to check out some funky joints that don’t have a patio. Like C’est What, one of the OG craft brewpubs in the city, at the corner of Front and Church. This place is soooo underground, it’s literally in a basement, bro! And they’re serving up all kinds of local craft beer, along with comfort food classics like poutine, mac ‘ n cheese, and these bad-to-the-bone BBQ beef ribs:

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Now, these ribs were boiled, not smoked, but the meat was still pretty tender. Sauce had a pretty decent kick, especially when you dipped the meat in the extra sauce on the side. Coleslaw and hash-brown potatoes aren’t things I would normally eat with BBQ, but they got the job done. After a few beers, I definitely couldn’t complain!!!

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And speaking of beers, we’re starting off with a Hopping Mad IPA from Granite Brewery. This copper cask beer had a nice punch, at 60 IBU, without being too puckery, and was still very crushable at 6%.

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Speaking of IPAs, this Surround Sound DIPA from Collective Arts kicks it up a notch with Azacca, Amarillo and Comet hops, coming in at 8.2%. Definitely a lot more juicy and citrusy, if you’re into that!

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But now we’re getting into the darker stuff, with a Long Shadow stout from Fairweather Brewing. They brew this one with coconut, vanilla and coffee, giving it a similar chocolately taste to Granville Island’s Lions Winter Ale, a personal favourite…although it’s not quite as rich. Would definitely try this again, though!

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Speaking of dessert beers, this home-brewed C’est What Mocha Porter is a pretty decent one to curl up in front of a fireplace with. Plus, they donate one dollar from every pint to feminism, so I did my good deed for the day, son!!!

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Even after that four-course liquid dinner, you KNOW I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This chocolate hazelnut brownie, with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top really hits the spot!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Fried chicken ‘n ribs from Uncle Ray’s

Now, I’m not gonna lie — I’ve got a big list of funky takeout joints that I’ve been meaning to check out. But sometimes, I come across a place that looks so good, it goes right to the top of the list…like this funky soul-food joint at the foot of Church Street, Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor.

Now, this place has got all the classics — grilled chicken, fried chicken, ribs, burgers, hot chicken, beef short rib, chicken ‘n waffles… But the thing is, you can’t order ribs on their own. They only come in a chicken ‘n rib combo — and that’s grilled chicken, not fried chicken. So, to buy a ticket to this festival of funk in Flavourtown, I had to order a chicken & ribs combo for one AND a two-piece fried chicken plate. Any more chickens, and I’d hafta ask for a Coke, blues bro!!!

But I put the grilled chicken in the fridge for later, cuz this is the star of the show, right here:

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Dude, this bird is the word! And believe it or not, but it’s boneless… which means more bird for your buck! Actually, I’ve had this fried chicken before — the chicken ‘n waffles Sunday special at Union Chicken uses the same recipe, which is super-crunchalicious! Only here, they throw in some pickles and a legit hot honey, which really kicks it up a notch!!!

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Now, this might just look like one giant piece of pork, but there are actually two bones to this order — which is good, because otherwise, I’d hafta file a complaint. Ribs were nice ‘n meaty, with a nice glaze, but not too saucy. And you definitely can’t complain about the size!

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Now, the chicken ‘n ribs combo comes with not one, not two, but three sides, which is just about enough to fill me up, buttercup! You’ve got some spicy baked beans with a nice kick, the mayo from the slaw to cool off the spice, and then a buttermilk biscuit with a nice honey butter — I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!

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Let’s just say that after all this eatin’ good in the neighbourhood, I might hafta save that grilled chicken for tomorrow…

 

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…

Cutting down a pound of ribs @ Woodlot

So, we’re hanging out at Woodlot, this funky little joint on Palmerston, just offa College Street. This place specializes in honest, simple, handmade food, with both a meat eater and a vegetarian menu. Yeah, so I didn’t even look at the second one…

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Man, these ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, with a Memphis-style dry rub and a side of crunchy slaw — so I guess I did get one serving of veggies. But you know I’m all about that meat, bro! Normally, I like sauce on my ribs, but that little dusting of dry rub really gave the swine a chance to shine!!!

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Washed ’em all down with a Janky IPA, a slightly hoppy beer from Matron Brewing. Dude, this brewski is like Fred Van Vleet’s defence on Steph Curry in the Finals, bro!!!

AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

Dirty Deeds, Done with Beef @ Yonge-Dundas Rib Fest

Now, some people might spend the May 24 weekend getting wasted at the cottage with the long-reigning monarch of a by-gone era. But for me, the unofficial start of summer is the Yonge-Dundas Rib Fest, right in downtown Flavourtown. You’ve got beef ribs, pork ribs, brisket sammies, a bloomin’ onion, churros…and even an AC/DC tribute band!? Shut the front, back, rear, side, aft, port and starboard doors, son!!!

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So, outta all the meat merchants, you KNOW I had to hit up Texas Jack’s from Arlington, Texas. Or, at least that’s what their sign said — the girl behind the counter was wearing a trucker hat from Martin’s BBQ in Nashville. Now, Texas BBQ is all about the brisket, and while you couldn’t get it lean or fatty, they were serving up chopped brisket sandwiches like they do after 2 pm at Franklin’s:

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Now, this sandwich might be like 14 bucks, but at least they don’t shortchange ya on the meat, shoving all kinds of chopped beefy goodness between two hot dog buns. The only thing I’d say, and I don’t say this every day, is that this brisket couldda used some sauce — but that’s actually my bad for not squirting some from the giant containers out front.

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Now, even though I saw em sitting right there on the grill, these beef ribs weren’t actually on the menu, which meant you had to make a special request. This also meant that the meat had probably been sitting on the grill too long — I had to really rip at it with my two front teeth. But hey, anytime you gotta fight your food, that just makes it taste better, right?

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Of course, even after putting more meat in my mouth than I did at the Montana Testicle Festival, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! These chocolate-covered churros were two for six dollars, and came with an all-you-can-sprinkle sugar bar. Since the wind was blowing, there was so much white powder on my clothes that I looked like I was partying with Charlie Sheen, son!!!

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As for the tuneage, The AC/DC Show Canada was the closest we’ll get to catching the Thunder from Down Under without somebody like Axl Rose singing. And hey, they might not have giant cannons, an inflatable Rosie or a swinging Hell’s Bell, but at least they didn’t play any of the boring AC/DC songs from the last 20 years!!!