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Toronto Ribfest

Any one been yet?? I plan to go tomorrow, and I'm looking for some advice....which vendor has good, or not so good ribs etc. Also, the best beans and corn bread!

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  1. Have been twice (can walk over), Had Camp 31 ribs which were good early Fri. evening and even better Sat. The beans were kind of so-so mushy from a can I was not familiar with and the cole slaw loaded down with way too much mayo. Bring your own is my suggestion and exactly what we did on the second trip. Think this year is the first for "sweet potato fries" which are kind of different, but the line-up was huge and at $7 per order a bit on the pricey side. Pleasant taste experience though. The roasted corn always smells so good, did not find it exceptional this time as it was in 2005. Biggest and best roasted corn I can remember having.......guy said it was brought up from Atlanta area. The cobs this time looked about the same as we get locally early in the season. All in all it was a favourable experience even though much of it overpriced. It is a charitable event so I don't mind so much as long as the profits are spent wisely. Some new vendors there this time, always get a laugh at the sayings at those T-shirt joints.

    1. Went yesterday. Tried 4 kinds of ribs (there were lots of us...), camp 31, KC smokehouse, Gator BBQ and Jack Daniel's roadhouse. Our favorite ribs were from Gator BBQ, very tender and smoky. Consensus was the best sauce was the spicy jack daniel's but their ribs were a bit tough and not as flavorful. Pulled pork from Gator BBQ was also very good but we found the sauce to be too sweet for our tastes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: h2o

        We're regulars, attending every year. Camp31 is the most consistently good smoker of ribs - but the pulled pork at all of the stands is generally forgettable. Love the fresh-cut fries and a freshly-squeezed lemonade is refreshing and nice to cut through the pork and BBQ sauce.
        Often some fun live music like Downchild Blues (some bad, too :-)
        It's a little pricey, but Rotary does great work, the atmosphere is very "county-fair" and there are precious few places in Toronto where you can get REAL BBQ that's cooked over actual smoke, long and slow til the ribs get yender and oh-so-flavourful.
        (As opposed to the soggy steamed then grilled ribs many Torontonians seem fine with).
        Go, have a good time, and enjoy a rack at Camp31 for me :-)

      2. Does anyone there have beef ribs and, if so, are they any good?

        1 Reply
        1. re: embee

          embee, beef ribs for 5 hours on your new smoker = delicious! I buy my beef rib racks at Nortown.

        2. Does anyone know if it will still be on tomorrow (Monday)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tara9000


            you can find all the info on there. it's open until july 2nd. starts at 11am daily.
            i want to check it out today!

          2. Went on Saturday and got pork ribs from 4 places also: Blazing BBQ (well cooked, sauce leaning on the sweet side which I like and they have beef ribs so we'll try those tomorrow when we go back), Camp 31 (very good as usual, perfectly cooked with the most cheerful service staff, too bad they never bring their delicious cornbread-guess I need to go back to Paris ON for that), Jack Daniel's (tasty sauce but not cooked long enough so the meat was chewy) and Bad Wolf (only place of the 4 with cornbread which was decent with ribs that had a nice smoky flavour). Hopefully we'll get to sample the other 4 places tomorrow if the lineups aren't too long.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fickle

              No luck with the beef ribs, they were sold out by the time I got there. Instead we had another order of the pork ribs from Blazing (just as good as Saturday's batch), Gator (nice smoky flavour), Silver Bullet (too sweet and dried out) and Billy Bones (well cooked but missing in flavour). The lineup for the blooming onion was too long so we gave up, which probably worked out in our favour since czthemmnt's was undercooked! We ended up getting 4 bags of Tiny Tom's donuts instead, one in each flavour. The apple cinnamon was our favourite, the icing sugar next, then cinnamon sugar. The chocolate was downright gross. Might have helped if it was real chocolate instead of hot chocolate mix. Ugghh.

            2. We went today and got pulled pork sandwich from Camp 31 which was very tasty. The sauce was mixed into the meat opposed to sauce at last minute. My only request would be a slightly toasted bun but i don't think anyone does that.
              We also got ribs and chicken dinner from Gators. The ribs were tender and moist and the sauce was... complex (?) and salty for a sauce that I'd expect from a BBQ place like that. I could tell the meat was smoked from the colour but not so much from the taste. Boyfriend said the pulled pork from there didn't look so good but we didn't try it and his chicken though moist wasn't anything special. Their baked beans were alright though more sauce than beans.
              I wish i had known about the beef ribs at Blazing. I love beef ribs.

              1. We went tonight and ordered the pulled pork as well as the ribs from Camp 31. The sandwich was tasty, but the ribs were tough and they didn't cut them very well so we had to rip them apart....the sauce on them was tasty though!

                2 Replies
                1. re: jen2202

                  We went this afternoon and picked up ribs from both Camp 31 and Gator's. First thing we noticed is that the gator line moved at half the speed of the rest of the booths. This was due to a single guy working while numerous others stood around. The ribs from camp 31 were wonderfully smoky however the sauce was very lightly applied, I prefer a wetter rib. The ribs from gators were massive and a much better deal for your buck. While the smokyness is less pronounced the sauce is wonderful. Camp 31's were probably cooked better but not significantly so.

                  We have to agree that the pulled pork from gator's was a little too sweet.

                  1. re: tellerium

                    My family and I went on Saturday, and tried ribs from Camp 31 (finally!), Kentucky Smoke House, Jack on the Bone, Wild Hogs (the official rib supplier for the Harley Davidson crew), and Silver Bullet (Texas). We also had the pulled pork from Camp 31.

                    We had a tie between the Kentucky ribs and Camp 31. I tasted cinnamon in the Kentucky rib sauce and that added a really nice touch.

                    The Jack Daniels ribs, we all agreed, were way too dry.

                    My only regret is that we spent $7 on the Bloomin' Onion, most of which was raw in the middle and we tossed it.

                    Next weekend my sister and I are headed to the Championships in Barrie, as she is a judge.

                2. Why oh why do I always miss the Toronto ribfest and end up having to go to the one in Markham? Just read the website (www.markhamribfest.com) and if you're planning (like me) to just go for the ribs, you should go before 5pm cuz they start charging cover after that for the headliners. Would it be at all worth it to even try the chicken? I've always been curious.... but of course always opt for ribs or pulled pork. Will try the beef ribs if they're available.