Bar-B-Barn [split from Ontario]
Went to the Bar-B-Barn last night. I liked the fact that the menue was simple and didn't try to do too many things. Stick to a few things and do them well is always a good thing to see on a menu.
The atmosphere was cool and I liked that the place was steeped in tradition for many people and seemed it. The place's own cocktail was nice and refreshing and I really liked it. It kinda reminded me of a more tart version of a Hurricane. Aside from that, I just didn't think the food was that special. I had a combo platter so I could taste as much as possible.
Honestly the chicken was typical. The skin looked like rotissery but there was no BBQ flavor to speak of in the meat. Sadly, I think I prefer St. Huberts then perhaps Chalet Suisse over theirs. It left me longing for Toronto's George's Deli & BBQ or Churrasco's Chicken in the St. Larence Market or a Nando's Chicken. For me these were not only nothing to write home about, they were dissapointing.
My S.O. was very critical of the ribs as he's usually the one who mans the BBQ here and works on it to perfect his version of southern style ribs. I was hoping for slow cooked BBQ ribs... these were way too fatty to have been slow cooked. My S.O. commented that it was like a bad version of an oriental BBQ rib. I disagree as with that dish you can still taste the food and this was like they had slopped on more and more of this sweet stuff to glaze them and it became overpoweringly sweet and the taste of the meat was lost.
To go on the ketchup based sauce for the chicken needed tweaking it was very basic and we feel it needed more full/roundness it was a decent starting point/base but still too close to its origins and was just a tangy ketchup. The saucy rice thing was just plain awful and I had no clue why an individual chala roll made its way to a BBQ place (I just didn't 'get it'). I found myself wishing for some coleslaw, beans and a biscuit or some corn bread or even a rustic loaf slice of sorts. Mebbe corn on the cob (in season) or something else other than the sad, likely frozen onion rings of little distinction. (I guess it was too much to assume that with such a small menu these would have been hand cut and battered yummies. *shrugs*)
It was definately not what I would have expected at a BBQ place, especially one that says "Home of the world's greatest spare ribs and chicken." Everyone is entitled to an opinion... I just don't disagree.
Me I wish I had saved the $ and tried eating something that was more "Montreal". I felt gyped being in such an incredible food city and having such mediocre food. I am guessing that if/when the starter of this thread went to Phil's Original BBQ she was hopefully pleasantly surprised.