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pulled pork sandwiches in Toronto?

z
zia Sep 6, 2006 09:58 PM

I'm looking for places in Toronto that'll set me up with delicious pulled pork. Eat-in or takeout, it doesn't matter. Centrally located would be nice but is not necessary. Memphis BBQ is the only place I've tried so far and I was impressed with the meat (juicy and just saucy enough) and the value ($8 for a massive sandwich). But Woodbridge is too far, and they close at 9pm. I'm not a stickler for authentic southern US style BBQ. I just want some tasty pulled pork without a long drive. Any recommendations?

  1. h
    hungryabbey Sep 6, 2006 10:01 PM

    I think there are a few chowhounds on this board who will agree with me when I say go to HOUSE ON PARLIAMENT which is located in cabbagetown on Parliament. Its a really great neighborhood pub, where everyones a regular, you meet alot of great other couples while at dinner, and the food in great for the price, particularly the pulled pork (the fries that comes with it are amazing too). Ive tried alot of pulled pork sandwiches, but nothing compares to this one. Try it out!!

    6 Replies
    1. re: hungryabbey
      p
      pimentdespelette Sep 8, 2006 12:22 PM

      The chef who made the food at The House on Parliament so much better than your standard pub stuff just left, sadly. It really was one of the best secrets around town. Not sure who's replacing her . . .

      1. re: pimentdespelette
        t
        Tout Garni Sep 8, 2006 05:13 PM

        this is very bad news. HOP had amazing food; original and delicious. Any word on where she's going? I hope they can replace her.

        1. re: Tout Garni
          Googs Sep 8, 2006 08:15 PM

          Joan Olsen is tracked on Chefdb. It still says HOP, but I suggest staying tuned to this channel:

          http://www.chefdb.com/nm/1897/

          1. re: Googs
            h
            hungryabbey Sep 9, 2006 01:11 AM

            EEEEEEK, NO!!!! This is my favourite pub in toronto, i am actually devestated.

      2. re: hungryabbey
        Food Tourist Oct 19, 2006 09:10 PM

        Sorry, hungryabbey, but the pulled pork sandwich at HOP is over-spiced. I was so disappointed. I really, really wanted to like it. Way too much onion, and some of the meat wasn't moist enough, but texture was acceptable overall. Just way too salty/spicy.

        Yes, their regular fries are terrific! Also, their from-frozen sweet potato fries are the crispiest I've had, which is great, as most sweet potato fries are limp. Yes, the atmosphere is fantastic and I would definitely go back for drinks. But, I'm reluctant to give the food another try even though the rest of the menu sounds tempting.

        1. re: Food Tourist
          h
          hungryabbey Oct 20, 2006 01:08 AM

          oh really. thats too bad you feel that way. I kinda like salty and spicy things I guess. haha maybe thats why Im so taken by this sandwich. but do give it another try, i always order the sandwich, but apparently the steak and mushroom pie and the prime rib is to die for

      3. OnDaGo Sep 6, 2006 11:36 PM

        Black Camel on Adelaide @ Peter.... they only serve 5 sandwiches: Pulled pork, Pulled brisket, Pulled chicken, steak, grilled veg... Got the guys at work hooked on these...

        3 Replies
        1. re: OnDaGo
          a
          alleycat81 Sep 6, 2006 11:48 PM

          There's also a Black Camel right by the Rosedale subway station. Yonge and Crescent Road; 4 Crescent Road to be exact!

          1. re: alleycat81
            q
            qtxniki Sep 7, 2006 12:24 AM

            Black Camel DOES so an very good pulled pork sandwich (brisket great too!), too bad it's so unfilling for the price. Perfect if you're looking for quality and not quantity.

            http://streetfoodgoblin.blogspot.com

            1. re: qtxniki
              m
              mickeyj Sep 7, 2006 04:04 AM

              Black Camel for sure. I agree that it's a small-ish sandwich for the price. But delicious.

        2. l
          lister Sep 7, 2006 01:51 PM

          Another agreement on Black Camel. I visited the Adelaide location last Friday and while the pulled pork sandwich was indeed good, it is a little overpriced.

          If you don't mind paying the extra money (and you'd like a fine beer with your sandwich) then beerbistro has a really good pulled pork sandwich on their lunch menu.

          1. Brain of J Sep 7, 2006 01:55 PM

            Spotted one at Relish on Danforth:

            http://www.relishbarandgrill.com/menu...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Brain of J
              Full tummy Feb 14, 2007 08:12 PM

              Two people in our brunch group at Relish ordered and thoroughly enoyed the pulled pork sandwich. I'm not a pulled pork expert, though, so can't defend it myself.

            2. xtal Sep 7, 2006 03:42 PM

              I've tried both Phil's BBQ and House on Parliament, and I prefer the House.

              2 Replies
              1. re: xtal
                Food Tourist Oct 19, 2006 09:50 PM

                The advantage of Phil's (over HOP) is the milder flavour. However, Phil's lacks smokiness and both Phil's and HOP sandwiches contain less-than-succulent meat.

                1. re: Food Tourist
                  h
                  hungryabbey Oct 20, 2006 01:08 AM

                  hm.. Id probably like HOP more than, b/c Im not much for mildness

              2. TOfoodie Sep 7, 2006 06:40 PM

                I had a really great pulled pork sandwich last week at Cuccina on College at Grace. It's worth a try!

                1. g
                  goofibulator Sep 7, 2006 08:46 PM

                  A side note on Phils: I just walked by today (it's Thursday) and they appeared to be in the process of shooting an episode of 'restaurant makeover'. There was somebody outside roller painting some panels- get this- bright turquoise! Imagine Phil's Real Barbque... surrounded by turquoise walls... I like Phil's... but ugh...

                  -g

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: goofibulator
                    o
                    ognir Sep 9, 2006 05:16 AM

                    That place needs booths!

                    1. re: ognir
                      Googs Sep 9, 2006 06:48 PM

                      That place needs wine. Or at least it should participate in BYOW. I mean c'mon.

                    2. re: goofibulator
                      spigot Oct 20, 2006 01:19 AM

                      The makeover's done and it's not horrible. I was there last week - wasn't paying too much attention but I remember forest green walls and pine tables and chairs. Nothing garish, nothing too cute. They replaced the plastic squeeze sauce bottles with glass ones - boooo!, form over function ;-)

                    3. h
                      highlyunlikely Sep 7, 2006 10:28 PM

                      i second the house on parliament. in fact, everything i've ever had there has been fantastic. my boyfriend said that the old york on niagara street has a great pork sandwich too, though i haven't tried it yet.

                      1. o
                        ognir Sep 8, 2006 10:09 AM

                        I've tried them all and Black Camel wins, hands down.

                        (Also, if you are up at Bayview & Eglinton, go to Cumbrae's butcher shop for pulled pork. It is not a sandwich. They sell it in a Cryovac, so you have to take it home and heat it up. But man is it good!! Dry rubbed with rosemary and garlic. They need to start selling that stuff at their Church St store.)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ognir
                          c
                          cupcakez Nov 11, 2006 09:14 PM

                          They do sell it at church now ;)

                        2. f
                          FoodNazi Oct 27, 2006 06:42 AM

                          Talk to Steve @ Cumbrae's. Tell him you want a Berkshire pork shoulder (enough to last for 2-3 meals) and look up a good braised pork shoulder recipe on the net. Serve it up on a bun or crusty bread, you will love it.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: FoodNazi
                            Chester Eleganté Oct 28, 2006 07:48 AM

                            I'm with ya. We slow-roasted two pork shoulders a couple nights ago...it is well worth it. Some damn good extended eatin'.

                            1. re: Chester Eleganté
                              k
                              KitchenVoodoo Feb 14, 2007 07:36 PM

                              What was your recipe please?

                          2. a
                            Alektoronto Nov 2, 2006 09:35 PM

                            Must say that I tried out the Black Camel sandwich (Adelaide loc) and was surprised at how dry it was (with the sauce) I wondered if it was the same place that everyone is raving about? Totally uninspired sauce and tough meat.
                            I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a 2nd chance.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Alektoronto
                              spigot Nov 11, 2006 04:20 PM

                              I haven't found it notably dry Alektoronto, but I agree it isn't fabulous.

                              I've eaten the Rosedale sandwich twice and found it pretty good, although not really classic pp. There is a (to me) slightly unexpected, unidentifiable undertaste, presumably something in the sauce. But it's just odd, not unpleasant.

                              And I've eaten the Adelaide sandwich twice - once pp and once brisket. Both were okay - not quite as good as Rosedale, and yes, a little dry.

                              I'd love to hear other people's opinions - I do think BC is a bit overrated.

                            2. Food Tourist Nov 13, 2006 03:11 AM

                              I seem to be on a pulled pork tour lately. Tried the cold "Louisiana" sandwich at Clafouti - it comes with lettuce and cheese on baguette and is okay in a pinch but not chowish by any means. Also tried the asian bento box at Red Tea Box today - it includes pulled pork on phyllo, which is very tasty but again, missing oomph.

                              My main complaint about all pulled pork in GTA and NY state is that it's too dry. Rarely do I find juicy, perfectly cooked texture. The only time the texture was perfect was at Phil's in March 2005 (but it wasn't smoky-tasting at all, which was a letdown).

                              My friend's homemade pulled pork is ALWAYS juicy, smoky and perfect even after sitting in the freezer for months. Why can home cooks achieve perfection but nobody else?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Food Tourist
                                h
                                hungryabbey Nov 13, 2006 12:16 PM

                                so, which place that you have tried has had the best so far?

                              2. Wiley Nov 13, 2006 09:54 AM

                                I've been the victim of inconsistency with pulled pork sandwiches, and am wondering if restos shred the meat then leave it in a tray for the day while the juices drain away..if you get a serving early off the roast your good, but otherwise....?

                                1. spigot Nov 13, 2006 04:21 PM

                                  My personal experience is that with pulled pork, "dry" correlates strongly with "tough" - and toughness comes from the pork not having reached a high-enough internal temperature.

                                  Pulled pork is insanely easy to make, and make well. The only time I've ever failed have been when I've rushed the process, and not let the meat cook long enough to fully render the fat and break down the connective tissue. This results in dry, tough, chunky-rather-than-stringy pulled pork.

                                  Nine times out of ten, IMO that's the culprit.

                                  1. j
                                    jamieal64 Feb 14, 2007 07:00 PM

                                    Ok it aint pulled pork, but for a fantastic Ecuadorian pork sandwich check out La Fiesta at the NE corner of Vaughan and Oakwood. This little mom and pop hole in the wall is nothing fancy but Jose claims he has been making the pork with the same recipe for 16 years, and at $3.99 including soda price-wise it cannot be beat.

                                    1. o
                                      oakvillemom Feb 21, 2007 10:59 AM

                                      Well, its not a sandwich, but..... The Whole Foods Market in Oakville at Trafalgar & Cornwall has a hot bar and a salad bar. They rotate what they offer so its not the same every day, but often they have "pulled pork" on the hot bar. We love it. It is juicy, tender and flavourful. Not sure if the Toronto one has it or not.

                                      1. j
                                        jlevitt Feb 22, 2007 09:04 AM

                                        try the LESLIE JONES
                                        on queen east between , you guessed it, leslie & jones
                                        they have a gourmet version for 10.00 but worth it
                                        cool atmo to boot
                                        i do not have the exact address, just east of jones on north side of queen
                                        phone # is 416-463-5663

                                        1. p
                                          porkmaster Jun 17, 2007 11:18 AM

                                          Best Pulled pork is at a pool hall, called the charlotte room, one the the chefs friends smokes it for 16 hours over applewood, cherrywood, and coconut husks. Very saucy and North carolina style. It's a special, usually available in july and aug.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: porkmaster
                                            jayt90 Jun 17, 2007 12:00 PM

                                            Where is this pool hall?

                                            1. re: porkmaster
                                              i
                                              idnas Jun 17, 2007 12:05 PM

                                              I had never heard of the Charlotte Room (http://www.charlotteroom.com) but I'll check them out based on your recommendation. If you can let us know when the pulled pork special is on that would be great.

                                              Meanwhile, aside from the seasonal ribfests (where I can't imagine passing up the cheap and incredibly delicious pulled pork in favour of overpriced and often average ribs), I'll stick to Beerbistro for my pulled pork fixes. True it's a few more dollars than some ($10.95 with a little salad) but it's my favourite year-round pulled pork sandwich in town.

                                              1. re: idnas
                                                p
                                                porkmaster Jun 17, 2007 04:14 PM

                                                i ate the pulled pork at bistro on friday night... their pulled pork tasted boiled or dutch ovened...not cooked over an open flame.

                                                1. re: porkmaster
                                                  i
                                                  idnas Jun 17, 2007 06:33 PM

                                                  They have a smoker, which I think they use for the pulled pork (among other things) but I could be wrong. I can ask next time I'm in.

                                                  1. re: idnas
                                                    p
                                                    porkmaster Jun 18, 2007 12:54 PM

                                                    It "Tastes" Like a boiled or dutch ovened. I did ask. and they said they have a stovetop smoker..

                                                    1. re: porkmaster
                                                      i
                                                      idnas Jun 18, 2007 05:48 PM

                                                      Ah, ok. It tastes like bbq to me but clearly my palate isn't as sensitive as yours. :)

                                                      1. re: idnas
                                                        m
                                                        mstacey42 Jun 19, 2007 07:40 PM

                                                        Does anyone else have a little trouble with non-smoked pulled porks? The pulled pork at Black Camel is liked by many, but to my taste, without the smoke flavour you are left with nothing but barbecue sauce and tender meat....which is fine if you want an excuse for barbecue sauce eating. I guess for me it always feels a little creepy to eat a pulled pork without that smokey goodness. ersatz...or something.

                                                        1. re: mstacey42
                                                          Davwud Jun 20, 2007 04:18 AM

                                                          I don't like a lot of bbq sauce on my pp sandwich so it would be hard for me to get into something that is not smoked. Of course, I have a smoker and just make my own when needed.

                                                          DT

                                                          1. re: mstacey42
                                                            t
                                                            TwinklyTerrapin Jun 20, 2007 06:43 AM

                                                            Pulled pork is not, by definition, smoked pork. It's just pork that's been cooked for so long that it pulls apart. 'Though I do prefer the smoked pulled pork myself (with vinegar sauce, not ketchup-y BBBQ sauce), I certainly wouldn't refuse the oven-cooked pulled pork I had at Brigsten's in New Orleans because it wasn't "real" pulled pork.

                                              2. j
                                                jimmyb32 Jun 18, 2007 08:11 PM

                                                I'm not saying it's the best I've ever had but the Pulled Pork Sandwich at the Toronto FC games is mighty tasty. The bun is suitably squishy and the meat is tender and yummy. And when you take into account the usual sports stadium crap they pass off as food, this is miles and miles better. Add a nice cold Carlsberg, hmm.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jimmyb32
                                                  a
                                                  alisonb Jun 19, 2007 08:26 AM

                                                  I think Clafouti on Queen at Strachan makes a pulled pork sandwich...

                                                  1. re: alisonb
                                                    deelicious Jun 19, 2007 10:25 AM

                                                    Clafouti does have pulled pork with a few different other types of sandwiches.

                                                    That being said, it is not for someone in search of a traditional pulled pork sandwich. In fact it is not an exciting version at all...just a quick grab...maybe.

                                                    1. re: deelicious
                                                      pancake Jun 20, 2007 06:51 AM

                                                      Not that its a permanant venue (oh how i wish it was), but at RIBFEST, alot of vendors sell pulled pork sandwichs. I have never had one personally, but hear they are great. There is usually a variety to pick from, and they always seem to sell out first. www.torontoribfest.com

                                                      1. re: pancake
                                                        c
                                                        czthemmnt Jun 21, 2007 10:09 AM

                                                        After all the rave reviews, a colleague and I went to the Black Camel after work yesterday, and got the pulled pork sandwiches (with BBQ sauce & carmelized onions). Definitely a great way to spend $10 (if you include a soda). They were delicious and the pulled pork was very tender. They didn't scrimp, either, with the meat or any add-ons. That's always a plus in my book. We're looking forward to our next visit.

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