Cluck, Grunt and Low
James Chatto in Toronto Life briefly mentions this new "coming soon" BBQ restaurant on Bloor St. Supposed to be offering true slow cooked southern BBQ. Paul Boehmer ex of Opus and promising slow smoked ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork as well as biscuits and gravy, dirty rice and beans. No mention of where exactly and when it opens.
I went there the same day they screwed up the opening time. Very annoying. I finally got to eat and here's my 2 cents.
The meats are all smoked by Mark Tuet (Tuet Cuisine) offsite at his restaurant. I guess that's why there's no smoke smell. On the menu he's apparently responsible for some wild turkey ice cream dessert. Sorry, not for me. I guess I shouldn't judge without trying, but just the thought of turkey flavored ice cream puts me off.
We ordered a couple of half rack entries (each comes with 2 sides).
The beef ribs were spectacular. The pork ribs were a touch dry, but very tasty. This is REAL BBQ as done in various southern US s. Most Canadians think the meat should fall off the bone. The BBQ cognoscenti refer to this as stew on bones. Boiling meat is considered sacrilege! Why boil off all the flavor and fat???
The potato salad was tasty but the pots were not cooked enough - still crunchy. At least the waitress noticed I didn't eat much and offered to get me something else. Then the chef guy came over to apologize and said it won't happen again. Gave us 10% off the whole bill. Nice. Cole Slaw was great but I thought a bit slippery.
I was ready to hate the Caesar salad because of the bacon bits or whatever meat it was in there (crispy like bacon), but it was spectacular - smoky flavor all through the entire salad.
But the best was tonight - PULLED PORK sandwich. For ages I've been drooling watching food shows as they showed how they make it then rip it apart. Never had it before and finally got some. Of course I have no reference for what it should be like, but the meat was smoky, sweet and lusciously decadent. LOVED IT!
Yeah, they need to get it together and I hope they do. Normally I would give a place one chance only - I mean, if you're open I should expect no excuses. But this isn't fine dining, and except for as noted it was very good, so I'll be back to see if it all comes together.
looking forward to the place as well - for now i'm happy w/Phil's if i need my fix so we'll just have to see...
I'm not sure if this Boehmer guy from Opus necessarily qualifies as some sort of BBQ specialist though 'cause he is a good chef - i really hope it is good though since it's in my hood.