Tag Archives: ribs

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: 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…