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Ribs at the Bar-B-Barn

  • j

My Mom loves the ribs at the Bar-B-Barn in Montreal. Anyone ever been? She is coming to Toronto to visit next month and I'd like to take her someone in Toronto with comperable ribs. Any suggestions?

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  1. Don't know about BBQ Barn, but the former Dipamo's on College near Ossington is the ONLY rib joint in town worth investigating. Due to a franchise deal gone wrong, the place is now called Phil's Original. The Dipamo's on Eglinton West might now own the name but the food is nowhere near the Original.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Not Dipamo

      I can't say with any authority that Phil's Original is the only rib restaurant in Toronto worth investigating - I'm not a Now Magazine lemming, and I haven't eaten at every single restaurant in Toronto that specializes in ribs (e.g., Tony Roma's, Purple Pig, RD's, etc.). If you want something beyond the standard pseudo-American rib grub, you can seek out some amazing ribs at various restaurants that are not "rib joints" - Korean ribs are delicious, as are Jamaican jerk ribs, and Xacutti's guava ribs. Enjoy!

      1. re: Alex

        Although I have yet to try much BBQ in Toronto, let me share one thing that I do know about ribs here. Tony Roma's ribs are not barbequed. They're baked. If you like baked ribs, you may like them. If you want ribs that have been barbequed in a smoker as they are done in the south and other BBQ regions of the US, then don't go there.

        I cannot comment on their quality but Phil's, RD's, the Purple Pig and Dipamo's do indeed use smoke to cook their ribs. If you go to any of these restaurants you will have ribs that will be barbequed in a somewhat tradition manner.

        1. re: Alex

          Please do tell where I would get Jamaican jerk ribs?
          I'm thinking now I will just make my own actually, good idea!

          1. re: tbone187

            i've had jerk ribs at the Olde York Tavern on Niagara. pretty tasty.

        2. re: Not Dipamo

          I would venture to say that only Dipamo's is the only authentic BBQ in Toronto. The restaurant specializes in side, back and beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked brisket and a variety of seafood from smoked salmon to talapia. In Toronto, there is only one spot for REAL southern BBQ. The Pit Master, Sean Simons brings over 15 years of BBQ experience and the company has gained a reputation as the leader in the Country. If and when in town, I think you would be missing out on a great experience if you missed out of Dipamo's on Eglinton West.

          Where did you get the franchise deal going wrong thing?

          1. re: Doug

            "I think you would be missing out on a great experience if you missed out of Dipamo's"
            Actually, you'd miss out if you went there. It's closed.


        3. I agree, Phil's Original BBQ (http://www.philsoriginalbbq.com) is it! However I did recently find another place thats also kinda neat and to me comes in 2nd. 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.

          1 Reply
          1. re: live4food

            Yes, Haugens is good bbq! My whole childhood consisted of trips there weekly.. i miss it :(

          2. Thank you for the heads up on the Bar-B-Barn in Montreal (http://barbbarn.ca). I've moved to Ottawa from Toronto and havne't found a BBQ place out here. We'll definately be making a trip there. Mind you my guy bought a Green Egg and has been slow cooking BBQ and has gotten damned good at it because of my and now our cravings. Woo Hoo! Short BBQ roadtrip!

            1. Jane:

              Yes, the Bar-B-Barn was a regular "haunt" when growing up in Montreal. Who was the obnoxious dj who promo'd the ribs there...this is going way back...Ralph Lockwood from I think CKGM...or was it later the "sports mouth" Ted Tevan or was it Blackburn?

              It became part of the "cholesterol tour" when I made trips back to Montreal: Bar-B-Barn for ribs, Magnon's for roast beef, Montreal Pool Room for steamies and frites, Schwartz' for smoked meat, barbequed chicken at Laurier or Chalet or the Chicken Coop, bagels from St. Viateur, souvlaki from Arachova [sp?, "baseball" burgers from Mr. Steer...never get away with that rare hamburger nowadays with ecolli concerns, Orange Julius from where else?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Mac

                Bob Mac, it was Ralph Lockwood doing the Bar-B-Barn commercials on CKGM. The last radio personality to do the Bar-B-Barn commercials was Andy K(that was around 3 years ago). Last I heard Andy K was working at a small radio station somewhere in Ontario. Nowadays their radio commercials are done by the owner.

              2. BLM, thanks for the assistance with "memory lane" and the radio listening during my "mispent youth".....

                1. i totally dis-agree with you. the Bar-b is just that. it does NOT claim to be southern Bar-b-que and thuis should not be comapared to anything except itself. As is smoke meat. it is what it is. either you like it or you don't.

                  I for one would LOVE to see a bar-b-barn in TO. not only was it the food i grew up with, but the distictive flavour etc. is just that.

                  1. Other somewhat close to Toronto BBQ joints more than worthy of note and well worth a jaunt:

                    Paris, ON: Camp 31 http://www.camp31.com
                    Barrie, ON: Mike Love's Barbeque & Smokehouse

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: live4food

                      Agree with your earlier post about Bar-B Barn in Montreal. I was there on Saturday and the ribs are still very very sweet. If you're looking for sweet ribs, best to check out a chinese restaurant for their bbq ribs. And if you're looking for more smoky flavour, head towards Camp 31. For something inbetween, I would recommend the ribs at Abbott on the Hill on Yonge.

                    2. Don't head over to Dipamo's on Eglinton West - it closed a few months ago.

                      As a former Montrealer (here 10 years now) I can assure you that there is nothing like Bar-B Barn here in Toronto. I actually had a craving for Bar-B ribs while in Montreal a couple of years ago. I headed to the branch on Guy St., and was hugely disappointed. They weren't as good as I remembered.

                      And no, the ribs at Bar B Barn have nothing to do with authentic southern barbecue.

                      1. I hate recommending a place I dislike intensely, but you might be happy with the ribs at Montana's (the Cara-owned chain - not the downtown Toronto independent if they're still around). At the very least, you won't leave hungry.

                        I didn't like Bar B Barn thirty-something years ago and I don't like it now. Way too sweet for my taste - as is Montana's.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: embee

                          Oh god no, not Montana's. Terrible stuff.



                        2. Oh god yes. And, yes, I agree, terrible stuff. But tastes do differ ;-)

                          1. The Real Jerk on Queen East has really good jerk ribs.

                            1. I would like to know what's the best in Toronto too. After much ado about nothing at Phil's. Honestly, the smoked ribs there are quite good but, the sides are AWFUL. Hushpuppies? No those were hard hockey puck consistency and bland, bland bland. They were horrid and NOTHING like any other hushpuppy I ever ate. The slaw was bland with a touch of curry in it. Truly a disappointment since I'd gone quite far out of my way after hearing raves about the b b que at Phils. He's a nice guy and good at ribs but, he needs a few lessons in the sides department and he also needs to stop telling people his iced tea is brewed! LOL! It was KOOL AID and really horrible. I took one sip and did the right thing, by ordering a beer instead. The sauce is also no big taste treat.

                              If Phils impresses the crowd I truly think someone could make quite a good living by opening a REAL bar b que joint around there someplace. The advertising of this place is selling something that the restaurant doesn't deliver at all. Sorry, Phil. You were a nice guy but, missed the mark entirely on a lot of counts with the meals we had there. I won't bother going out of my way to go back again.

                              Any other suggestions? I like the idea of trying the "Real Jerk"!! Thanks for that. I adore good jerk chicken. :)

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Foodietraveler

                                I'd be wary of the Real Jerk, which seems to be living on a past reputation it no longer deserves. For several years now, I've found the jerk chicken to be dried out and boring. I can't speak for the ribs, which I have never had, but the chicken is a definite pass. The owner knows how to do it well; they just don't bother. (Their roti can still be pretty good.)

                                For jerk chicken, I'd suggest Mr Jerk (takeout only, several locations around Toronto) or Raps on St Clair West.

                                  1. re: HarryLloyd

                                    I believe Raps is on eglington west near oakwood

                              2. You might want to try the Steak Pit on Avenue Rd.
                                Haven't been there for a couple of years, but they are not Southern B.B.Q (which I personaly detest)
                                I did like their ribs and they had some "tooth".

                                1. I have eaten at Phils and can assure u that the ribs are nothing like bar-b-barn. Personally i havent had any ribs in Toronto that are, but the sauce from Bar-b-barn is actually very easy to make on your own!

                                  1. Bar B Bar used to be a Montreal institution with line ups out the door...was there last year and it is a mere shadow of its former self...wouldn't go back

                                    1. In case anyone wants the recipe for the Bar-B Barn Ribs, let me know. A friend of mine knows the owner and got him to give her the recipe. It's one of my family's favorites.

                                      4 Replies
                                        1. re: SMJ78

                                          I would love and appreciate the recipe please

                                          1. re: SMJ78

                                            Please and Thank You!! I just found this thread (3 years late, sorry!), but I have been living in California for the last 10 years. I'd *love* to be able to make anything like the original Bar-B Barn beef ribs at home.

                                            1. re: SMJ78

                                              Folks just a reminder that recipes and cooking techniques are off topic for regional boards and are to be discussed on our Home Cooking Board.

                                              If anyone finds the Bar-B-Barn rib recipe please post it there and add a pointer with the link to the Home Cooking thread here.

                                              Thank you

                                            2. Yes please share this recipe. I am always experimenting with different rib rubs and sauces.


                                              1. I'm a big BBQ guy and the best that i've had so far is Memphis BBQ (Islington and Hwy. 7). It was the most authentic southern style BBQ i have had in TO and the ribs are smoked. I ordered the Elvis platter which was very reasonable (RIbs, wings, pulled pork, fries, a slice of cornbread, coleslaw and beans). I have yet to try Phil's. I have already tried Dipomas (BLAH), Baton Rouge (Decent), Tony Roma's (much better in the US) and Purple Pig (not worth what they charge).

                                                1. If you're up to doing some cooking, you can find copy-cat recipes for Bar-B-Barn ribs all over the Internet. They all seem fairly similar.

                                                  1. There is nothing comparable to the Bar-B-Barn.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Davedigger

                                                      Truth be told, even Bar-B-Barn isn't comparable to Bar-B-Barn anymore. I used to crave them back in the early '80s, but two visits in 1990 and 2000 were extremely disappointing...not even close anymore.

                                                      1. re: CeeQueue

                                                        We went there last April when we were there for UFC and we had some tasty ribs.. obviously not smokey, but sticky and sweet as I ever remember :)

                                                        probably good and bad days there

                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                          You could be right. Just unlucky, in that case.

                                                        2. re: CeeQueue

                                                          i lived in Montreal from '97 - '09. i couldn't see what was so great abt Bar B. mind u, i was coming from Chicago were there were some awesome rib joints.

                                                          1. re: dickiegreenleaf

                                                            Yea, they aren't smoked, but rather sweet and sticky.. so I would imagine Americans wouldn't think they're anything special at all.. USA rules for rib joints :(

                                                            On a recent trip to Montreal, I tried Bofinger. It is their "authentic southern smoked" BBQ place right downtown.. It was OK.. Probably had better in TO