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PHIL`S BBQ REALLY DISAPPOINTING

i
itzi Feb 16, 2009 12:24 PM

As a lover of BBQ
I TOOK A COUPLE OF FRIENDS TO
PHIL`S ON Saturday NIGHT .
I REALIZE NOW WHY THERE WERE ON LY 6 PEOPLE IN THE RESTAURANT
THE SERVICE WAS VERY COOL AND MATTER OF A FACT - THE AMBIANCE WAS NON EXISTENT ,BUT THE BIGGEST DISSAPOINTMENT WAS THE FOOD.
WE ORDERED A COUPLE OF BEERS AS WE SAT DOWN , AND THE WAITRESS THREW DOWN 4 THIN SLICES OF BREAD . WE ASKED FOR MORE BREAD BUT IT NEVER CAME.
WE ORDERED RIBS - VERY DRY , COLD AND VERY MEDIOCRE , 1/2 CHICKEN PLATTER - NICE SMOKE TASTE BUT DRY AND LUKE WARM , BRISKET SANDWICH - THE BEST OUT OF ALL FOUR DISHES , BRISKET PLATTER WHICH TOTALLY BLEW US ALL AWAY WHEN THE WAITRESS BROUGHT IT TO THE TABLE - 4 THIN SLICES OF BRISKET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLATE WITH A RAMEQUIN OF TASTELESS ICE COLD ALMOST FROZEN POTATOE SALAD AND A SMALL RAMEQUIN OF COLESLAW ($14.99 ??) WE ASKED TO SPEAK TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER BUT NOBODY CAME TO THE TABLE ..- I EVENTUALLY HAD A WORD WITH PHILS WIFE WHO HAD A VERY BAD ATTITUDE

THIS PLACE IS DEFFINATELLY NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR BBQ IN TORONTO . I WILL N EVER GO BACK OR REFER ANYONE THERE

  1. h
    hungryforquality May 31, 2009 03:26 PM

    Feel like a ninety minute drive?? Mad Michael's in Midland will give you a friendly atmosphere, great BBQ, and Michael will bring out your food from the kitchen and sit with you if you invite him (unless he's taken the day off). His PASSION for the food shines.

    1. Charles Yu May 30, 2009 06:05 PM

      Gave up on Phil's years ago!!
      On the other hand, had a nice dinner at Southern rub smokehouse tonight. Nice food and service. Pork ribs, smokey sausages and chicken wings all excellent. The green beans side was the surprise of the evening. Very tasty with layers of flavour! Great value!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu
        duckdown May 30, 2009 06:36 PM

        Right on, I am a fan of Southern RUB as well. Great food when I've been there

        1. re: Charles Yu
          aser May 30, 2009 07:45 PM

          The midweek specials are a steal for the price.

          1. re: aser
            duckdown May 31, 2009 01:10 AM

            I've never seen any specials there?

            1. re: duckdown
              Charles Yu May 31, 2009 07:12 AM

              I noticed the posters promoting the specials on the wall next to the cashier counter. Agree! Some great deals

              1. re: Charles Yu
                aser May 31, 2009 05:33 PM

                You can see them on the website too....

                http://southernrubsmokehouse.com/spec...

        2. e
          ebay3392 May 30, 2009 10:14 AM

          I remember the one and only time I went to Phil's....was shortly after an Austin Tx. trip...could not believe the small portion of brisket 4-5 slices for 15 bucks....it wasn't bad, but should have been $4.99 for the small portion as an appetizer or something. Was underwhelmed, and never returned.

          1. d
            Digdug1 Mar 17, 2009 07:37 AM

            Memphis Smoke House 4916 Yonge St does it for me. Sun article dated Mar 15 pretty much says it all. Competent staff has now been hired and you get what you ordered and your food is delivered promptly.
            I like it.

            memphis-smoke.com

            5 Replies
            1. re: Digdug1
              duckdown Mar 17, 2009 11:37 AM

              *IF* they have ditched the non-English speaking waitresses who actually know whats going on, then that is definitely a good thing... I've had a good food experience there too once before but never returned because the wait staff was so brutal

              1. re: duckdown
                j
                jshels Mar 27, 2009 06:27 PM

                Check out R.U.B. at the south west corner of Pine Valley and Hwy 7 in Woodbridge (same plaza as McDonalds)...been a few times always been fantastic

                1. re: jshels
                  duckdown Mar 28, 2009 04:09 AM

                  yeah, i really like RUB. much better than Memphis BBQ which is less than a block away.. guys who own it are really nice and enthusiastic also

                  good tip for anyone who hasnt been

                  cheers

                2. re: duckdown
                  estufarian Apr 9, 2009 10:33 AM

                  There's been a slight improvement.
                  I was in the area last night and dropped by.
                  Still no sign of ANYBODY with a BBQ heritage. Similarly no servers who spoke English with any accomplishment. BUT (in their defence) they were good-humoured and smiled a lot - which is an improvement over many other places in Toronto - even if I only understood about half of what was said.
                  Nevertheless, the food came as intended (and ordered) so the comprehension has also improved.
                  Oh, the food - if anyone is interested in that, the meats seemed reheated and somewhet dry (even allowing for ordering the 'dry' version, rather than the 'wet'). But a significant improvement in the sides. The beans, cole slaw and fries were all fresh and the cornbread was acceptable.

                  1. re: estufarian
                    duckdown Apr 9, 2009 10:39 AM

                    My last visit there was in the summertime and I actually had a pretty decent pulled pork sandwich... Definitely re-heated in the saucepan, but it still tasted pretty good

              2. Matt H Mar 17, 2009 07:30 AM

                You all should really try to make the trip out to Buster Rhino's, this is the ONLY place in the GTA that I have found good BBQ.

                I split my life growing up between Florida and Toronto, so I have tasted really good BBQ down south and really horrible BBQ up in TO. Some cities are just not meant to do certain things right in my opinion, but Buster Rhino runs an operation that respects the way real BBQ is supposed to taste and his food is good not just by GTA standards but overall.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Matt H
                  OnDaGo Mar 17, 2009 09:08 AM

                  Makes it easier when you do not have to run a "restaurant".. Buster is a wholesale place with a basic counter out front.. they could not survive on that alone.. once you throw them into a space in the city, give them a liquor licence then add all the other menu items that you need to fullfil the picky public life gets a whole lot more complicated...

                  1. re: OnDaGo
                    Matt H Mar 17, 2009 09:40 AM

                    I can accept that to a certain extent and understand the challenges that a full scale restaurant operation faces. The thing is that I have tried BBQ at other full scale operations (granted I am speaking of Down South) and they face the same challenges and still put out a very good product, and I am not talking about your usual BBQ shack down south that has great BBQ but is a no frills operation, I mean a place with servers, regular operating hours, liquor license, full menu, etc. Heck I had a better pulled pork sandwich at a Sports Bar in ATL at 11:30pm than anywhere else in the GTA excluding BR.

                    Going back to BR, after speaking to the owner when I was there I very much doubt he would even undertake opening a full scale restaurant unless he was completely sure that the quality of his product did not suffer. Too many places just accept mediocrity and in Phil's case Mediocre would be an achievement!

                    1. re: Matt H
                      d
                      Dflip Mar 17, 2009 01:36 PM

                      I picked up a package of Buster Rhino's pulled pork at Buckingham Meats in Oshawa. Cooked it in a pot of boiling water for 16 minutes, one minute per pound, cut it open and it was very good. I added some of my own Mephis Style BBQ sauce, but it had a very good taste right out of the package. The xxx Rib rub also has a nice flavour. I'm not sure which BBQ sauce they use with the pulled pork, but it was good, could have more spice, but a good general sauce.

                      1. re: Matt H
                        OnDaGo Mar 17, 2009 03:44 PM

                        I agree about your commenst re down south.. the thing they have over Toronto is that they tend to have a "style" drevived from generations ie Texas vs NC and a larger market to pull not only customer BUT cooks (i.e. pit bosses) they do not have to guess which style of rib will satify their customers or serve many styles.. Like teh Toronto Street dog everyone knows what they are getting and all the vendors serve basically the same product... may not go over well in Califonia but it is what street meat is in Toronto..

                    2. re: Matt H
                      l
                      lister Mar 17, 2009 10:30 AM

                      I'm sure most people would love to try Buster Rhino's but a trip to Whitby during a weekday is out of the question. If BR ever opens on a weekend, I'll be out there for a visit.

                      1. re: Matt H
                        b
                        buckfan May 30, 2009 07:29 AM

                        I'll echo that Matt. Buster Rhino's pulled-pork, smoked brisket, smoked chicken & ribs are worth trying!
                        I live in Durham Region & me, my family & friends all LOVE the products!

                      2. Muffin__Top Mar 17, 2009 06:37 AM

                        Has anyone had the pulled pork sandwich at Gilead Cafe?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Muffin__Top
                          c
                          CoffeeAddict416 Mar 17, 2009 12:40 PM

                          I've had it before and it's a different beast than a "real" pulled pork sandwhich. It's very refined and tasty though. think of the difference between the real deal poutine and JK's version of the poutine. Both are tasty but I'd kind of hesitate to put the two in the same "food group".

                          One is not better than the other. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

                          1. re: Muffin__Top
                            aser May 30, 2009 07:47 PM

                            I would say it's a pass. It wasn't terrible or anything, but not really distinctive either, just very average. I know it's not a real "pulled pork" sandwich in the traditional sense, but I really can't disassociate the imagery since I'm kind of a traditionalist with things like this.

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/aser/271...

                          2. Baelsette Mar 17, 2009 06:05 AM

                            I've only been once and i was expecting so much and was so dissapointing. We shared ribs and a pulled pork sandwich. The sandwich was dry and had such little meat in it and the ribs were meh....... big dissapointment especially after hearing all of the hype.

                            1. m
                              markus19 Mar 14, 2009 10:44 PM

                              Are you kidding? I freakin love Phil's bbq! soooooo good

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: markus19
                                duckdown Mar 15, 2009 12:37 AM

                                I had a decent pulled pork sandwich there before... It is not one of my regular spots though

                              2. Bobby Wham Feb 18, 2009 02:42 PM

                                Phil's bbq is weak, i make better on my bbq, their vinegar based sauce is horrible, so is the slaw, i like the pulled pork NO SAUCE. 6 people in the restaurant? it's always packed with people who don't know any better. If someone says "I love Phil's" you know they have bad taste.

                                1. Muffin__Top Feb 17, 2009 05:48 AM

                                  Whenever I go there I only get the pulled pork sandwich/beef brisket sandwich. I prefer Cluck's ribs to Phil's.... am excited to try the Southern Smokehouse in Vaughan however since I live downtown Toronto I only wish there was a way better Southern BBQ place near me!!

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: Muffin__Top
                                    c
                                    CoffeeAddict416 Feb 17, 2009 06:23 AM

                                    im hoping highway 61 on the bayview strip will be our salvation!
                                    not quite downtown but closer than anything else

                                    1. re: CoffeeAddict416
                                      Davwud Feb 17, 2009 06:42 AM

                                      Hwy 61?? Do tell.

                                      DT

                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        TorontoJo Feb 17, 2009 06:56 AM

                                        Can't believe you missed this discussion, being the BBQ hound that you are!

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588747

                                        1. re: TorontoJo
                                          Davwud Feb 17, 2009 08:22 AM

                                          I've read other stuff on CG&L wasn't really all that interested in reading about it again. I guess I should've payed more attention since I work in the area.

                                          DT

                                          1. re: TorontoJo
                                            Davwud Feb 17, 2009 08:37 AM

                                            I found this:

                                            http://www.martiniboys.com/Toronto/cl...

                                            DT

                                      2. re: Muffin__Top
                                        estufarian Feb 17, 2009 07:55 AM

                                        Southern Smokehouse is indeed better. I'm not sure it's worth a 'special' visit - but is as good as anything else I've tried in Toronto - not exactly a resounding recommendation. Their ribs were 'acceptable' but the beans were awful. The pulled pork was underspiced (for my taste) - but still acceptable.
                                        I wouldn't rush back, but there isn't anything better that I've found in GTA.

                                        1. re: Muffin__Top
                                          e
                                          evansl Mar 17, 2009 05:48 AM

                                          It really doesn't get much worse than Cluck Grunt & Low.

                                          BTW: I looked at Highway 61 and their prices are ridiculous. Almost $10 for a sandwich with no sides.

                                          1. re: evansl
                                            y
                                            Yongeman Mar 17, 2009 06:55 AM

                                            That's not true, evans1. The menu states that all sandwiches at Hwy 61 are served with one side: http://www.highway61.ca/ .

                                            1. re: evansl
                                              duckdown Mar 17, 2009 11:35 AM

                                              I'm with you on that... The prices alone there make me sick

                                          2. Charles Yu Feb 16, 2009 03:49 PM

                                            What a waste of 'restaurant makeover' money and effort'!!

                                            1. b
                                              blindbunny Feb 16, 2009 02:06 PM

                                              I've never been a fan of Phil's, either. Quality is really poor...there are much better places for southern bbq!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: blindbunny
                                                estufarian Feb 17, 2009 05:11 AM

                                                Please, please tell us where!
                                                By the way, I also think Phil's was bad (Davwud's comment) - but haven't been for 2 years - hard to believe it was possible to go downhill from where it was then.

                                              2. e
                                                embee Feb 16, 2009 01:13 PM

                                                Phil lost his passion a few years back. Sad, really.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: embee
                                                  Davwud Feb 17, 2009 03:31 AM

                                                  Probably explains why it's gotten worse and worse over the last few years. Every time I go back it was worse than the previous. The last visit about 2 years ago was to be my last.

                                                  It's just furthering my belief that RM is a curse.

                                                  DT

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