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Phil's Barbeque - Good Ribs

I've had a wicked craving for BBQ and since going to Kansas City is not in the cards, we went to Phil's -- I hadn't been in a looong while.

Gotta say, very pleasant surprise. The ribs were more tender than I expected, better than most of the ribs at the Burlington Ribfest. And I really liked the (regular) sauce, it wasn't too sweet.

The beans were amazing! Big chunks of meat in them too.

We also had the chicken and the pulled pork -- for BBQ chicken the chicken was pretty good, but really, ordering chicken at a BBQ place is a waste of bites. We were a bit bummed with the pulled pork, this is usually our favourite, and it wasn't quite brilliant. Also, didn't so much love the coleslaw -- that was too sweet and too watery.

We'll definately go back for ribs & beans. (now if they would only make burnt ends, I'd be over the moon)

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  1. im really not a beans person at all.. any idea if they have any other sides like fries or anythign they will sub for it?

    5 Replies
    1. re: hungryabbey

      yeah, they have fries (they're moderately chunky, not thin) and potato salad (which has horseradish in it). They also have hush puppies.

      1. re: hungryabbey

        Definitely try the cachapas (corn pancake with cheese) if it's still on the menu! I don't care for their other sides. Beans were amazing first visit and ho-hum the second visit.

        1. re: Food Tourist

          mm that sound good. is the cheese like melted on top?
          also, this is stupid i know, but what exactly are hush puppies?

      2. I haven't been to Phil's since before Dipamo's (which closed last year) opened up on Eglinton . It's probably time for a visit. From what I understand, Phil was forced to give up the Dipamo's name, which he started out with.

        8 Replies
        1. re: FlavoursGal

          Yes, Phil's was originally Dipamo's. I think it's his nickname. He got into a franchising deal with a couple of hotshot restaurant consultants. The place on Eglinton was, in some ways, better than Phil's own place. They had a greatly expanded menu and more finesse.

          But Eglinton strayed far from the original concept and into a much higher price category. When they first opened, they were serving free seltzer of all things, and bargain Dom Perignon. It may have suited the Forest Hill neighbourhood, but it was a very different kind of place.

          I don't know what happened, but there was a very acrimonious breakup and Phil lost the right to use his own name. He was never willing to talk about it. He was lucky, though, because most people who find themselves in that kind of situation usually lose their livelihood, and Phil got to keep his original place.

          I always found the owners of the Eglinton Dipamo's to be pretentious, and it never had the welcome that Phil and his wife provided. But it did have one very important menu item, beef ribs, that Phil, for reasons unknown to me, refuses to serve.

          1. re: embee

            pulled pork and ribs failing in forest hill? hmmm...how could this happen?

            Chow!
            HL.

            1. re: embee

              Those beef ribs were the only reason we ever ate at Dipamo's on Eglinton. It certainly wasn't for the atmosphere. And I never could figure out the free fudge-sicles on the way out.

              1. re: embee

                It was a very different kind of place! But to me it had a total wanna-be chain feel - the decor and the look of the menu - without the menu diversity (hey I love red meat, and even greasy sides once in a while, but I would never have brought a group with any diversity in diet to that place). Also their attempt at being Southern was sad. I think it probably just confused people who would rather have been at Montana's.

                1. re: julesrules

                  They did want to be a chain. They even had info on their website about how to partner with them and the types of locations they wanted. It seems that nobody ever bit. If anyone had been interested, I suspect that one call to Phil for a reference would have undone any potential deal

                  I disagree about the menu diversity, though. They had much more than red meat at Eglinton. While it wasn't optimized for a veggie, it would also have been possible to make a reasonable (if not exactly wonderful) meal out of the sides.

                  1. re: embee

                    Yes, later in their existence, the menu was expanded considerably. They offered salmon, shrimp, and veggie burgers, I believe, and main course salads, as well.

              2. re: FlavoursGal

                Dipamo's was nothing special. It survived on yuppy North Toronto families who were far from food lovers.

                Ive always thought Phil's was ok.I wouldn't rave about Phil's ribs even though I do think they are decent. Phil's merely accentuates what a dearth of quality bbq joints Toronto has.

                1. re: 88GK

                  Agreed Dipamo's on Eg wasn't special, and what they did to Phil (the "real" Dipamo) personally was awful. But Dipamo's on Eg had a wider variety of food that was often better and more consistent than what Phil was serving. On a good day, their beef ribs (which Phil wouldn't serve), cornbread, and onion strings were special. There just weren't enough good days.

                  Phil had real BBQ passion when he first opened, but his place is just another restaurant these days. The food he serves now is sometimes okay, but often badly cooked and served. And he still claims he "can't get" beef ribs, which is absurd.

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