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Feb 17, 2009 09:24 AM

Highway 61 Southern Barbeque

Hey Hounds.

So the topic is being tossed around on another couple of threads about the newest addition to the beleaguered BBQ scene in town.

I stopped by this afternoon and met a couple of the owners and got a general gist of things. Southern Pride smokers in the back and live Blues upstairs is a good start. I can honestly say, "It looks promising." So many other places looked promising too though.

The introduction of Southern RUB in Woodbridge is hopefully a good springboard. Mrs. Sippi has proclaimed it genuine although we've both had better in the south. Perhaps the newest entry can push us closer to that culinary alchemy that goes on down yonder.

It opens Monday and I'm thinking about calling it lunch that day. Until then, I keep my eyes crossed that this is indeed the place to take us into the big leagues.


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  1. having REAL blues and REAL BBQ in one joint might be too much for me to handle!
    I might start weeping on my first excursion!

    1 Reply
    1. re: CoffeeAddict416

      excellent news. Thanks for the update!

    2. Thanks for making this a seperate topic, for some reason the discussion on this place was under a Cluck Grunt & Low thread and I never even noticed it because I really could care less about CG & L.

      1 Reply
      1. re: duckdown

        That's how I missed it initially.


      2. Sounds and reads quite promising.

        1. Please be good,Please bring us good BBQ. I pray to the BBQ gods these guys know what they are doing. Please Bless Toronto with your smoky goodness.

          1. The thing is, the true test isn't how good its going to be in its opening week

            We need to see if the quality is going to suffer after a month or two of being open like so many of these other places do

            If you go on the opening day, things will be at its peak quality, everything freshly smoked and made to order and so on... But after a month or two, will they start cutting corners? Will they start serving previously smoked ribs? Will the pulled pork come from the freezer, or from the smoker?

            12 Replies
            1. re: duckdown

              Freshly from the smoker would be a great thing, but who in the GTA is busy enough to serve daily from the smoker? The freezer is altogether a different story.

              1. re: Pastryrocks

                So start conservative, theres no rule that says you have to smoke 50 racks at a time

                If they aren't selling THAT kind of quantity, just smoke daily in smaller quantities.. I'm sure they'd sell at least a few racks a day -- and as for the pulled pork, don't use gigantic pieces if you're not selling that much.. Just smoke a smaller piece at a time

                It seems that the average BBQ place has it all wrong; they do massive quantities but then because there isn't that demand it sits around for a few days

                1. re: duckdown

                  Running a large BBQ/smoker daily that is not full, I assume with wood and maybe gas, would increase the overhead cost substantially. I’m not sure how economical it is to run a large smoker/BBQ half full, and if done would there be enough customers willing to pay the higher cost? I know at least of 3 people including myself who would pay more for meat straight from the BBQ/smoker, but a business needs more than just Pastryrocks, Davwd, and Duckdown as customers to operate. I wish there was enough interest in BBQ here in Toronto that at least one place could BBQ/smoke daily.

                  I believe Lykn Chicken is smoking at least 3-4 times a week since that write up in the National Post, which is close to daily. I hope they are able to keep it up. I do know that Lykn Chicken does not freeze meat that has been BBQ/smoked.

                  1. re: Pastryrocks

                    I hear ya, but why would they have only a large smoker if they don't have that kind of turnover? Surely if Toronto has shown us anything (so far) its that the demand isn't there just yet to justify using a huge smoker anyways.. So start small and it can only grow from there! :)

                    I seriously need to head back over to Lykn Chicken, their hours seem to be random... The last time I drove by (at night) it was closed earlier than the hours indicated.. I want another pulled pork sammy

                    1. re: duckdown

                      I don't know if you can read anything into it but the girl who met me at the door said "Smokers." Plural. So they may have the ability to do smaller batches or use multiple smokers for bigger batches.


                    2. re: Pastryrocks

                      Whatever - it won't please all of us - I find Lykn Chicken to have meat that's 'too' tender - it lacks the 'tooth' (or al dente) feel that I prefer. So Lykn Chicken just isn't my style.
                      A number of us have dropped Universal Grill (OK it's not a BBQ - no smoker) from our regular places since they switched to that style for their ribs.
                      But if Highway 61 can please one group (or the other) then it's a win for some of us.
                      Here's hoping!
                      But if Highway

                      1. re: estufarian

                        I think that's the problem up here. No one group is big enough for the restaurant to survive so they try and cater to both. In doing so, they alienate both.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          Isn't something like what Caplansky did in his early days feasible? Small batches and running out is better than big batches and throwing out, no? Obviously, you risk alienating some customers, but if you're product is good you should build a stable following that allows you to plan your business better.

                          1. re: grandgourmand

                            Heck, even in Dallas, where BBQ is religion, the legendary Sonny Bryan's has a huge sign reading "Open 11 am until the food runs out". I asked if the food ever ran out, and the very large man behind the counter grinned and said "Every day, son!".

                            1. re: KevinB

                              Lots of places like that in the south. Not just BBQ joints.


                              1. re: KevinB

                                Oh Sonny Bryan's :) I have shown up there around 430 to find it shutted with a "we ran out!" sign on the door! drooool