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pulled pork sandwiches in Toronto?

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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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

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

      2. re: hungryabbey

        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

          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. 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

          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

            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

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

        2. 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. re: Brain of J

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: xtal

                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

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

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

                1. 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: ognir

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

                    2. re: goofibulator

                      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. 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. 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

                          They do sell it at church now ;)

                        2. 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

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

                          2. 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

                              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. 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

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

                              2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                                    1. re: porkmaster

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

                                                      1. re: idnas

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                            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. 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

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

                                                  1. re: alisonb

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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.