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Good BBQ in T.O.?

  • d

I'm also staying at the Sheraton Centre. Any tips on good bbq places? What are your favorite Canadian/BBQ/Steakhouse type restaurants in Toronto general?

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  1. Forget it. There are none!
    See multiple threads on this topic.

    I deliberately except Portuguese Churrasqueria (predominanly chicken) from this discussion.

    1. estufarian is correct if you are looking for authentic BBQ ribs/beef/pork. But we have a few amazing steak houses. Harbour Sixty is an excellent steak house with a pricey menu. There are also many threads on this topic.

      Portuguese style BBQ is wonderful in this city as is Greek BBQ - especially fish and seafoods at Pantheon.

      1. So far the reviews of Cluck Grunt & Low have been pretty so-so. One of the threads magically disappeared, but there are still a couple that remain which include some very dismal experiences.

        Phil's BBQ at College and Ossington would be a better pick, and it would be only another couple of bucks in cab fare. They definitely don't come anywhere close to a real southern BBQ joint, but their pulled pork sandwich is the best in town IMO.

        5 Replies
        1. re: tartiflette

          Haven't been there in awhile but how about The Purple Pig (1 Richmond)?

          1. re: OnDaGo

            I'm on a BBQ message board, that includes professional BBQers on the circuit, and when someone asked about good steaks in TO, one was kind enough to point out that "Grilling ain't BBQ." LOL

            There doesn't seem to be any true, traditional Southern style BBQ in Toronto, (although I think Phil's is one that has an actual smoker in the back).

            So, for ribs and such, you can try:

            Baton Rouge (Eaton Centre)
            Purple Pig (Richmond)
            Black Camel (Yonge at Rosedale subway, take out only, pulled pork and brisket sandwiches)
            Phils BBQ (College)
            Red Violin (Danforth & Broadview - all you can eat Brazilian rodizio steakhouse)

            1. re: czthemmnt

              While I can't claim to be a BBQ expert, I think the pulled pork at beerbistro is pretty damn good. And they do their smoking & curing in-house.

              1. re: gregclow

                I second this. Plus, beerbistro is currently doing "AMERICAN BEER AND BARBEQUE FEST" (July 4th-29th). I haven't been in for dinner lately, except their American Beer & BBQ dinner with Lucy Saunders, but they probably have ribs and other treats from the smoker on the menu for the month.

              2. re: czthemmnt

                Don't bother with Baton Rouge. Very standard back ribs. You can get them just about anywhere you can get ribs in a chain.
                They aren't smoked either.


            2. You guys are awesome, thanks so much! :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: deesf

                One more option... If you've got access to a car, you could head out to Mississauga for the Rotary ribfest this weekend. A bunch of ribbers will be there so you can try a few. http://www.mississaugarotaryribfest.com/

                1. re: idnas

                  Ha! If I can get my friends to drive, we'll definitely hit that up! I'll have to post how it is. :) Thanks for the tip!

              2. Wake up & smell the Memphis BBQ!
                The term BBQ covers a lot of territory. Now maps google indicates that Memphis is not really very far south, but!
                Try Memphis Style Smokehouse http://www.memphis-style-smokehouse.c... on yonge just north of sheppard.
                It just opened april 2007 and is VERY authentic. The owners travelled the south, fell in love with BBQ and dragged a real live memphisite (Sam) up here to chilly T.O. to make real memphis style BBQ. Sam is quite a character (retired from the US Navy, has a few yarns) and is willing to spend as much time as you have talking about BBQ. Sam grew up making BBQ and is now dedicating his life to providing it for us.
                The plates are simple: BBQ, some beans & slaw & a bun. Several beers on tap a few in the bottle. Nothing more, nothing less.
                Have been several times & have always been happy. Nothing fancy, just good BBQ!

                2 Replies
                1. re: dancingTimmy

                  i dis-agree. i found the BBQ very dry and not with a lot of flavour. I have been doinw south and this is no Memphis (or k. c. or texas or...)

                  it is a want to be rest. with not much in terms of reality

                  my take on this anyways

                  1. re: galambo

                    I also found Memphis-Style anything but!
                    But my experience was very greasy. Including a perfect thumbprint on the edge of the plate.

                2. Hi all! new user,first post...just wanted to weigh in -- I don't think Phils is really worth the time...I brought my little brother there one time when I was really excited to try it and spending time with him, and he ordered the "chicken sandwich"..

                  It was shredded (dark meat only) chicken, very dry, and on a bun. It wasn't even a large sandwich, yet somehow he managed to almost choke to death on a small bone... I have no idea what kind of bone it was, or just a fragment of one, but needless to say he pretty much prevents us from having ANYTHING to do with the place...

                  The woman working there did seem genuinely sorry but didn't offer anything other than a new sandwich (which he did not want)

                  If theres a place to review individual restaurants I'd like to throw my 2cents in there,the quest continues!!!:)

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: duckdown

                    I went to Phil's yesterday for dinner and was not worth the money at all. I ordered the combo platter (3 ribs, brisket, quarter chicken, slaw and beans). Could not believe that it was $23! The ribs were dry, but tender. The brisket was OK, but hidden under the ribs and the chicken. The chicken was dry as well. Slaw and beans were OK. My wife ordered the pulled pork sandwich and it was dryer than the ribs and the chicken. I tried it and almost choked on it, if it wasn't for the extra BBQ sauce I threw on before each bite.

                    For the price we paid, we could've got two and a half "Elvis platters" from Memphis BBQ (which is a ton of food) and enjoyed better smoked BBQ.

                    1. re: demeen25

                      King Platters at Memphis are $17 so 2.5 would be $42.50
                      Platter and Pulled Pork Sandwhcih at Phils are $23 & $7 = $30

                      $42.50 does not equal $30

                      1. re: OnDaGo

                        Either way Phil's BBQ is not worth it in my opinion.

                              1. re: demeen25

                                That 's the one. I really loved this place, the best pulled pork I have ever tasted. Good ribs and coleslaw. Great desserts!!

                            1. re: galambo

                              That's your opinion and everyone is entitled...Memphis did take 3rd place at the Burlington Ribfest that just passed (that's what the person that worked there told me). As for me, I think it is the most authentic you can get in the GTA. I've had better from places outside of the city (Blazin BBQ, Camp 31). The BBQ here, in Toronto, does not match the BBQ down in the southern states.

                              1. re: demeen25

                                must have been a special day.

                                i have now went there twice....

                                driest barbque i have ever tasted, opps wrong word. NO TASTE

                                i have been to KC/Memphsis (the city) etc and even phils. as much i as i think phils is JUST ok.

                                Memphis's is just BAD

                                1. re: galambo

                                  Memphis BBQ usually has a booth at CNE where they grill ribs they smoked at the restaurant. Last yr they were pretty good. This year they were so chewy/dry I decided to avoid them from then on.

                    2. I'm so fed up being ripped off for the poor excuse of BBQ in TO I make my own most of the time.(well seasoned 5 spice & herbs rubbed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar)
                      If I'm desperate I'll make a short trip to swiss chalet.
                      It's moist tender & consistent has a smoked flavour & thier sauce is not bad.
                      I've had nothing but bad experiences with ribs everywhere, that includes Baton Rouge. (how authentic is that place anyway).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: World Fusion

                        If your idea of "authentic" is 5 spice and basalmic or swiss chalet then you will not find it anywhere.. not even in the south as that is not how they do it..