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Real Texas barbecue in Toronto?

o
Overcast Jan 18, 2005 08:34 PM

I have some friends from Texas (as well as from Florida, for that matter) who swear that they have restaurants that do "barbecue" in a way that is unmatched -- in fact, they suggest that their way is "real barbecue".

Is there anything comparable to "real Texas barbecue" in a Toronto restaurant?

  1. t
    tuqueboy Jan 18, 2005 11:53 PM

    Dipamo's is pretty good, but then again, i've never been to texas. call ahead if a place intrigues you, and ask if they've got their own smoker, which is the real key.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tuqueboy
      b
      bin65 Jan 19, 2005 09:48 PM

      We don't have barbecue like they do in Texas. If only!

      1. re: bin65
        k
        Kerr Jan 20, 2005 06:39 AM

        No kidding. I lived in Texas and made frequent trips to the BBQ Mecca of the US, Lockhart, Texas. Nothing like that here. I make better in my backyard smoker than you can get in any restaurant here. DiPalmo's is not very good. As soon as I saw the pictures of Jazz musicians on the walls, it was obvious that they were very confused about BBQ.

        Proper smoking of beef (classic real Texas Q is never pork) is hard and time-consuming, but anyone can easily make good Texas BBQ sauce. The secret to a good Texas sauce is strong coffee, which makes it "red eye". They also make their sauce for BBQ chicken where the secret is to use a lot of pepper and then to throw in a lump of butter at the last moment to smooth it off.

        1. re: bin65
          d
          Dog_Man Feb 1, 2005 03:14 PM

          I've actually found a Texas like bbq place in of all places Barrie.

          Mike Love's
          Barbeque & Smokehouse

          Its on Mary street straight over from the Bingo hall in downtown Barrie.

          He's got real texas beef and pork ribs, brisket that is not over sauced and smoked in a real southern pit. I've spent quite a bit of time in the south with BBQ a passion and its about as good as you'll find in Canada.

          I smoke my own food so in the winter or in a rush this place is great.

      2. m
        Monte Jan 20, 2005 10:17 AM

        I spent several months in Texas and had BBQ 3 times a week.

        There is nothing in/around TO that compares. That being said I would recommend Phils (on College near Dovercourt) over Dipalmos.

        I believe one of the main problems is that they do not use good wood. I have a feeling they use a mix that is predominantly sugar maple to cut costs (where Texas beef would be strictly mesquite; Carolina pork: hickory). Other reasons it lacks are: Canadian vs. American beef, knowledge, experience, and lack of educated consumers to demand a better product.

        1. b
          bluedog Jan 20, 2005 05:46 PM

          Never had Texas BBQ but I can suggest watching the events at St. Lawrence market over the summer. They have a BBQ festival and a lot of americans come up to compete and sell their wears, perhaps some from Texas? Always buy a summer's worth of sauce from a place called Uncle Sam's Albequerque (sp?) ribs, or something like that. Lots of smoking going on during the day.

          I did try the Purple Pig once and was extremely disappointed: tough meat and too vinegary sauce. As I said, never had texas BBQ but I was sure that what they were serving wasn't it.

          1. d
            David Plaskos Jan 26, 2005 04:46 PM

            There is absolutley nothing that comes close in toronto to real texas BBQ, except if you can hit ribfest or any festival that features AMERICAN companies who traveled up here to show us how its done. I'm drooling even thinking about the last time i had real texas BBQ. Your only hope is to keep your eyes peeled for a bbq festival in the summertime, or buy a ticket to texas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: David Plaskos
              t
              Timpano Jan 30, 2005 11:43 AM

              Anyone know when the BBQ festival happens in Toronto (month, date)? I went a few years back & it was fabulous! I was cleaning up sticking leftovers for weeks. I have not been since.

            2. l
              live4food Jul 26, 2006 02:20 AM

              I agree, Phil's Original BBQ is it! However I did recently find another place thats also kinda neat. The place is a bit out of town and its called: Haugen's Chicken & Ribs Barbeque (http://haugens.com). Though their chicken didn't necessacarily rock my world the ribs were pretty good and the atmosphere definately reminds me of the south. If you're into classic cars or bikes, I'd rcommend going at least twice. Once on a regular night for a typical feel and once on their "crazy busy nights" where they have a Cruise-In ie/ Wednesday night Cars & Thursday nights bikes.

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