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Stockyards BBQ

There's a new BBQ place opening up at St Clair W and Chrisitie. I was driving by rather than walking last night so I couldn't read the full details, but the Stockyards http://www.thestockyards.ca/ has a sign in the window of the old Chico's on St Clair West.

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  1. Website looks really good. The offerings. Not clear if you can dine-in or if it's just a catering operation. If there's takeout, that's great.

    4 Replies
    1. re: grandgourmand

      Excellent. We live 5 minutes away. I hope it's good. I'm sure it will be better than Chico's.

      1. re: acd123

        The fact that it's a catering outfit is a good sign. Assures they can put through a lot of volume, which can achieve better quality. The alternative is a small place that doesn't do enough business and might re-heat stuff because BBQ takes so much time to prepare, etc.

        Seems like that's one of the main reasons Buster's Rhino is actually good (according to many on this board).

        1. re: acd123

          I actually really liked that Chico's. If you stuck with the pizza and rotisserie chicken it was damn good. The place was run like a kangaroo court -- it was a total mess. So I'm not surprised it finally died. I liked their pizza and chicken a lot, and even I never went as it was just too much of a production with them. When did they close?

          The new place looks interesting. Thanks for the info....

          1. re: magic

            Chico's at Mt. P and Eggs was really good at one time. The last time I went I swore would be the last.


      2. the proprietor used to post on this board. he truly knows what hes talking about. and he had a wicked blog about his process an meats. this resto has been his dream for a while iirc.

        i actually have faith in this one.


        2 Replies
          1. re: HarryLloyd

            Now that I see the name, thomasevan, I know the place will have integrity. I followed his posts on Ch and eG with interest; they were always very knowledgeable about the meat business.

          2. website makes it sound like its catering only... needs clarification

            7 Replies
            1. re: duckdown

              Doesn't look like the website for the restaurant is up yet.

              1. re: acd123

                I called and spoke to Charlie he said the place will be up and running in about 10-14 days..and yes it will be open to the public for individual take out.

                1. re: sandi123

                  I bet Churrasco won't be very happy.

                2. re: acd123

                  it's not,

                  I called the owner today to find out more about the restaurant. Apparently it's going to be more of a take out style BBQ place with seating available for anywhere from 12-20 people. He knows BBQ and I am looking forward to visiting when it opens for sure.

                  1. re: BusterRhino

                    SICK! Let us know when it opens so we can all go! We can have a chowhound BBQ lovers gathering =D

                    1. re: BusterRhino

                      I'm stoked about this. I built my own smoker (currently building version 2.0) so I can appreciate where he's coming from. I'm looking forward to this.

                3. i hope he has fried chicken on the menu!


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: HarryLloyd

                    i will die if they have fried chick. thanks for the heads up guys..

                  2. Here we go, yet again! If y'all can remember the Highway 61 thread, everyone went wild with anticipation and the place appears to be a dud.

                    Why not allow this place to quietly open and get its bearings before everyone rushes it and makes instant proclamations as to its authenticity and viability.

                    Just a suggestion.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Tatai

                      I feel really good about this place, guy has been bbq'in for a long time. I am excited to give it a try.

                      1. re: BusterRhino

                        If Buster is excited than I better be excited too. I will remain positive.

                    2. I've been told that Stockyards BBQ is supposed to open this coming Monday.

                      1. heard that the first day was yesterday and it was reasonably busy... surprised i haven't seen anything pop up here yet so i guess i'm fishing for a review!

                        might try to make it up tonight (open until 8pm) but don't know if i'll be able. really looking forward to tasting the products he's got. it's been years in the making and i have faith he's got it down to a science.

                        1. Stopped in today to check it out and I have to say I'm excited. Tom seems like a great guy who's passionate about what he does, so I hope he's successful.

                          Had the pulled pork, which comes topped with slaw on a 'classic store bought bun,' and the sauteed seasonal greens, which today was asparagus. Also had a homemade, mint-infused limeade.

                          The pulled pork was well-doused with a fairly thick, sweetish red sauce. There was a bit of a smoke ring on some of the meat I pulled out to look at, but the taste of smoke overall was pretty mild. Tom mentioned that they're still working out the kinks of how to get a consistently smoky product when they've got to keep already-smoked meat at the ready for whoever rolls in, so it's possible the meat will be smokier next time. All served in a cast-iron skillet, which is a nice touch.

                          After I'd taken some photos of my sandwich, Tom brought over a free sample of his fried chicken and waffles, which is nibbles of fried chicked drizzled with colelsaw dressing and chili maple glaze, served in waffle cone. The flavours were all very good - the colelsaw dressing is a great idea - but I would've preferred a little more crispiness. But, again, it's their second day of what seems to be a pretty soft opening, so I'm not going to judge too harshly. Also, it was free,

                          Finally Tom brought over a sample of his pastrami, which I had almost completely wolfed down before I remembered to take any photos. Again, the flavours were a little more subtle than I would've preferred. It didn't have the smokey oomph of Caplansky's smoked meat and the spicing was a bit mild. (Not that I'm looking for a duplicate of Zane's brisket. I believe in diversity.) The texture was pretty dead-on, though, and the nice ribbon of fat in the pieces I got was delish. Once he gets this nailed, we're suddenly going to be very well-fixed for smoked briskets in the west-ish end of the city.

                          One the produce side, the asparagus were just right: buttery with a bit of browning from the sauteeing. The limeade was tasty too, lightening up what turned out out to be very filling proceedings.

                          Here's a link to the shots I took, including one of the full menu, which should be available midweek (or else I would've had photos of the porchetta on a bun with sauteed rapini, which I'll definitely be trying next time)


                          Overall, there were a few things that could've been improved, but looking at the menu and talking to Tom, I get the feeling that he's the kind of guy who isn't going to stop until he gets it right. He mentioned he's a big fan of Zane Caplansky's and you get much the same vibe talking to both guys: their places feel like callings as much as they feel like businesses or 'restaurant concepts.' I went to Lou Dawgs at King and Portland last week and while it was not bad - the pork also lacked smokiness but the sauce and beans were pretty good - the vibe in the place was that it was a business. The people there seemed enthusiastic enough, but the only way I can explain it is to call it "retail enthusiasm", not, if you will, "chow enthusiasm." Happily, it seems like Tom's in it to make tasty things to eat as much as he's in it to make money. Here's hoping he does both.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: tbonetak

                            Excellent writeup and details, thanks alot. The pastrami looks great

                            1. re: tbonetak

                              nice to hear that someone did stop in as i didn't get a chance to later today. before i launch into a stockyards thing i'll just mention that at lou dawgs, if you carefully look at the wording on the menu.... there is very little mention of smoke. i'm not surprised you didn't find the pulled pork to have any bit of that flavour because.. it may never have been intended to have it!

                              as for tom and stockyards, it's very very promising. the mild smoke in the pulled pork isn't that surprising either as he's using apple wood with the hickory though there is also a loss in smoke from reheating i hear. isn't the limeade great? they gave us a sampler while we chatted and there is a wonderful tartness with a mild sweetness that has great balance. we also got to try a ginger iced tea they're doing and while i enjoyed it in the shop (great ginger flavour without the burn) i felt that it could have more tea astringency to really break through the smoky meat, by itself it was nice and refreshing.

                              i'm really looking forward to trying his charcuterie which he'll be debuting for breakfast. there was a mention of shirred eggs with bacon and trying out some fish in his smoker as well. he was very proud of his burgers and the flattop he's got for it. considering how much consideration he's put into his sourcing for meat before, it might be a contender.

                              the only day they're closed is monday.

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                whoa! I don't know how i mised this thread earlier! will definitely have to check this out after the kinks are worked out.

                                1. re: deabot

                                  Deabot, don't get me wrong: they're minor kinks at best, so I don't know it's necessary to wait it out.. I wouldn't hesitate to go back right away. I think it's just a matter of it getting even better.

                                2. re: pinstripeprincess

                                  PSP, so many good points you've raised! Didn't notice that about Lou Dawgs, but it sure does explain a lot. (The thing I noticed about their menu is they say they smoke their brisket "'til it falls off the bone." I could be mistaken, but isn't brisket almost always a boneless cut? I guess, in theory, every cut of meat comes on a bone, but still... Those kinds of in accuracies aren't terribly confidence-inspiring.)

                                  Thanks for your note about the combination of woods Tom is using. I wasn't sure when talking to him if the variation in smokiness came from the meat staying in the smoker longer and developing a stronger flavour or because it dissipates while waiting to be served. Interesting that it's the latter.

                                  Didn't hear about breakfast, but I'm jealous of people who live in the area. On weekends, perhaps, I'll be able to make it out that way and give it a try.

                                  1. re: tbonetak

                                    Another question: is this right at st clair and christie? For some reason the website has weston rd posted as an address? Just want to make sure it's a bit of trek for me.....

                                    1. re: deabot

                                      It's at 699 St. Clair W., which is just west of Christie.

                                      1. re: deabot

                                        that's his old potential spot, apparently they couldn't get water service there so it never got started up.

                                        the new one is along st clair west by christie just a couple doors down from the starbucks on the south side. it is difficult to see when not open because the name is in white on the window and they have white blinds down... should have mentioned this to them as it took us a while to see. it's probably the only spot along the strip that has what i would call a modern rustic look.

                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                          It will be easier to see once the construction on St. Clair is complete. That should be in about 2024.

                                          I'm REALLY looking forward to this place. We live close by. And we love BBQ. I just hope the BBQ sauce isn't too sweet. I hate that.

                                        2. re: deabot

                                          This is a long trek from Christie, but you might work up a good appetite!
                                          It appears as if the smoking and catering are done on Weston Rd, and the 699St.Clair W. spot is the new restaurant.

                                    2. re: tbonetak

                                      Please tell me about the chili maple glaze on the fried chicken! In Vancouver at Bin 941 I had the flank steak with a maple syrup chipotle glaze which was $&*@#$%*& awesome! It was a nice thick glaze that was a maple bomb that tickled the back of your throat with the chipotle on the way down. I loved it so much I got them to make another order without the frites and I licked both plates clean! It's been two years since I've had it and I've been dying to have something similar.

                                      How big is the maple flavour?

                                      1. re: lister

                                        Man I don't mean to make this jump off topic, but I'm stoked for the fried chicken and waffles. I heard an ad on the radio for a chicken and waffle hut on lakeshore or queensway and park lawn. does anyone know of this?

                                        I'm going to check out stockyards on friday. I'm pretty excited to see what this place is all about.

                                        1. re: goodcookiedrift

                                          The place is called Waffle Works and it's on the Lakeshore.Don't have the address handy and have never eaten there.Good luck and post if you try it!

                                      2. re: tbonetak

                                        thnx, will check this place out this week.

                                      3. Does anyone know the hours of Stockyards? Is it open on Sunday nights? I want to get take out. Really looking forward to giving it a try.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: acd123

                                          last week they said they were shutting down at 8pm on sunday. only day they're not open is monday and they're working out their hours to try to be open more from what i understood.

                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                              Apparently they're going to be open for breakfast at some point too.

                                              1. re: Wino In Training

                                                yup... think i reported it up top... shirred eggs, yum....

                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                  Approx. how many people does the place sit?

                                                  1. re: acd123

                                                    erm... not sure. it's quite tiny. when we were there they hadn't officially opened up yet for the day and so i assume they might normally have a table or two at the front by the cooler case. otherwise i think it was maybe half a dozen seats at a counter?

                                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                      They'll open for breakfast with 6 seats? Or it will be take-out-brunch?? I don't think I've ever even contemplated doing take-out for brunch. If I'm staying in for brunch, I do the cooking :-)

                                                      I stopped by yesterday to get some take-out. All the food looked great. However, the place was in such a turmoil that I left (after waiting around for about 20 minutes). They had run out of most things and the woman taking orders looked frantic and overwhelmed. So much so that she was kind of rude. They were serving the burgers on hot dog buns, no porcetta, out of pulled chicken, no more pastrami until May 12th, etc. etc.)

                                                      Strange that this happened considering that they do catering and have food business experience.

                                                      No sweat thought, it was only their second day and everything looked great. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Maybe next week.

                                                      1. re: acd123

                                                        perhaps they were overwhelmed with more customers than expected so early on? i won't make any excuses but first week or two in i'm not surprised they're trying to sort things out still. i don't think having a catering business makes retail any easier... with catering at least you know the number of people you will be feeding.

                                                        we didn't talk in too much detail about brunch and i assumed they would have a table or two out front so didn't ask how they expected to accomplish the service. he was very gung ho and excited about it judging from how many people he's told and so i assumed there is a place. there is definitely NO space in the back unfortunately. brunch take-out does not entice me at all....

                                                        anyhow, i'm glad you're willing to take the experience in stride. did you get a phone number for the location? it seems his personal number is circulating out there from his other gig rather than the resto and it sounds like one of those situations where it would be best to call in advance. i've been rather busy the past while and in the upcoming week so won't make it out for a little while yet. hopefully he wont' be so swamped and i can get a few more details.

                                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                          The phone # I gave below is from the menu, so Imagine that's the one to call.

                                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                            Of course no big deal abazout yesterday. You would have to be pretty uptight to get bent out of shape about service issues on the second day of business, especially is the food looks as good as it does. I usually give places a few weeks to iron out the bugs (sorry, bad choise of phrases), but I just HAD to try it. If the food tastes half as good as it looks, this will be an aming addition to the neighbourhood.

                                                            I saw someone eater a burger. It was dripping and the drips were not ketchup/mustard. Good sign.

                                                            I didn't get a number. They had run out of take-out menus too :-)

                                            2. Stopped by again on Saturday to try a few more things. Sadly, the porchetta, which is what I was really dying to try, was already sold out. But I did get a taste of the following:

                                              - Hot dog: It's... a hot dog. A tasty hot dog, to be sure, but it's nothing fancy. Nor is it trying to be. It's kind of why I like this place, I think. It's not trying to be anything it's not. It's not a foie dog or anything silly like that. It doesn't have a dumb faux-Southern name or some made up story behind it. It's just a good ol' hot dog. (Although I should point out that a) Tom like ketchup on his dogs, so if you consider that an abomination, you might want to speak up and b) the dog doesn't have the 'snap' that a lot of people seem to crave.)

                                              - The BAT (Bacon, Arugula and Fried Green Tomato): The menu says lemon aioli, but I didn't really pick up too much of it as I was eating. Great, crispy, thick-cut bacon. The arugula wasn't the pepperiest I've ever had, but it went well with the bacon. And the tomatoes were a little more yellow than green and quite mild, but their breading was crisp and tasty. And I have to say I enjoy the way the bread was toasted on the flat-top. It's - at least to me - a very homey touch.

                                              - The sausage on a bun: By this point, I was nearly comatose, so I could only manage a few bites. The sausage itself is great. Lots of fennel and garlic. The onions on top have a bit of char and bitterness. And the bocconcini, which I though might have been a bit of overkill, took the edge off everything nicely. And the bun - from Tre Mari, I'm told - was great too. My only complaint here was that it was a bit unweildly, although by that point I'm not sure I was the best judge.

                                              Photos from this visit here:


                                              Had the iced tea this time and I agree with pinstripeprincess that it could definitely have the ginger or astringency bumped up a bit to offset the richness of everything else. And had a little taster of the sweet potato flan, which was also very, very good.

                                              So again, really impressed. Tom and Monique, the owners, are really friendly, welcoming people doing some great, straightforward stuff. They're still working on having the full menu up and running and they should be fully staffed soon as well. I waddled home a happy and full man once more.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: tbonetak

                                                This review is pretty bang on.

                                                I really enjoy that there's no air of pretentiousness about this place and they are not "trying to be...(insert descriptor of choice)". It is what it is: a place to get well done comfort food, with a good atmosphere and good service.

                                                I had the pulled pork sandwich and while it's going to leave many a cue fans yearning for more, it really isn't that shabby all things considered. Sure, sure. You're going to want more smoke flavor and a brighter ring and a tastier bark. And it's not going to bring back memories of your trip to Memphis. But in all fairness, what place in the downtown core offers that level of barbecue? For a decent PP sandwich in Toronto, this is not bad at all.

                                                The fried chicken is good too. Although I would suggest ramping up the flavor. The batter was a bit bland as was the meat. Not sure if they are brining their chicken, but Tom if you are reading: Brine those cluckens! it will make a world of difference.

                                                All in all, it was a pleasant experience. It's not a true southern barbecue experience, but to be honest, I'm not really expecting that in TO.

                                                PS: the ice-tea and the limeade are killer. A must for sure.

                                                1. re: goodcookiedrift

                                                  I popped in to the Stockyards on Saturday, after having had a chat with the owner 10 or so days earlier, before they were open.

                                                  As noted above, they were sold out of a number of menu items, but those that I did try (the pulled chicken and the baked beans, plus samples of the sausage, limeade, and iced tea) were all very good.

                                                  The pulled chicken was tender and flavourful, and the coleslaw was a nice complement. The baked beans were very smokey and flavourful...maybe too strong for some, but I enjoyed them.

                                                  The service was warm and welcoming, and I'll definitely be back.

                                                  Ribs will apparently only be served on Fridays...I suspect there will be quite the line to get them before they sell out.

                                                  I'm very happy to have it in the neighbourhood.

                                              2. I really want to try this place... Are they still closed on Mondays?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: duckdown

                                                  As far as I know, yes. I think their hours are still being worked out, though, so you might want to give them a call. 416-658-9666.

                                                2. I'm looking forward to trying the homemade pastrami, but someone said they're sold out until May 12th

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                    It's delicious... but sometimes sliced a bit inconsistently. Some slices were against the grain, some with the grain, which made it a bit challenging to bite into a sandwich. But really tasty!

                                                    1. re: Wino In Training

                                                      He won't be cutting it that way intentionally. He is making this with brisket, decal on which is called, the fatty end (or point, not flat). If you cut a brisket the way it should be cut, you will always get this happening. If you remove the decal, cook it separately your flat gets really dry (which is why people always complain about the lean side being dry). Basically a whole brisket consists of two major muscles. that run at a 90 degree angle to each other, one overlapping the other.

                                                  2. Thought I would add my 2¢

                                                    Went for the first time Thursday night, about 30 min before they closed. Usually, when I go to a restaurant this late, the staff shoot daggers at me, but this was not the case, everyone was so friendly. Met Tom, and chatted with him a little. Really pleasant guy, didn't mind my very naive question about parilla (which I won't go into here, as I don't want to embarrass myself).

                                                    Lately I have been hankering for a hunk a (yes I know that I am dating myself when I say that) pulled pork. So I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, and onion rings as my side. They let me try a sample of the limeade and iced tea, both were so good it was a toss up, but I went with the iced tea. I really liked the flavour and it wasn't overly sweet considering it was sweetened with honey (I think).

                                                    I decided to eat in and took one of the stools for myself to wait for my meal. I know it has been said before, but I really like how they use skillets to serve the food. Sandwich and the onion rings were beautiful. I didn't know which start with first, so i tentatively picked up a ring. The only complaint with them, if you can call it a complaint, was that it needed salt. I added the salt myself, and only needed very little, and WOW! Were they ever good. You really felt the "hominess" about them. Better than any homemade onion rings I have every had, and I apologize to my mom ahead of time for saying that. It wasn't long before I finished them all.

                                                    My attentions then turned to the sandwich. My mistake was to take my time and concentrate on the ring,s because by the time I finishedthem, the bun of my sandwich started to get a bit soggy. It was a little messy, but manageable. With my first bite, I could get the hint of apple in the meat which was a nice surprize. The meat was moist and flavourful, really well prepared.

                                                    To give my opinions on the meat, I really did enjoy it, however, the sauce made it a little sweeter than I normally like. I really enjoy pulled pork that has a combination of sweetness and spice. The Stockyards pork just seemed to be lacking a little on the spice side of things. And, I think it was mentioned before, there seemed to be a lack of smoke. But it is nothing that I will harbour a grudge about.

                                                    Regarding the sandwich as a whole, I know that some people will say that the traditional pulled pork sandwich should have the coleslaw , and I usually do not like having the slaw in my sandwich. But in this case, I was pleasantly surprized. Other times, I find that the slaw overpowers or distracts, but not in this case, it really complemented the meat. Next time I will try the sandwich without the coleslaw, I am curious to see how the meat fares on its own.

                                                    Overall, really enjoyed the Stockyards. Was a little on the pricier side ($17 for sandwich, side and drink), but considering the quality of the food, it is well worth the scratch.

                                                    I can't wait for Tom to start getting chorizo on the men, and I wonder if he will ever consider add hushpuppies. That is the one Southern BBQ item that I have yet to see done well in T.O.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Lazar

                                                      $17 seems very expensive for a pulled pork,side and drink IMO. Sounds like a good place. Will check it out when I'm ever in the area - programmed into my GPS!

                                                      1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                                                        I agree, it does sound very expensive.

                                                        I've been waiting to try this place, but they are still out of their homemade pastrami apparently

                                                      2. re: Lazar

                                                        Buster Rhino's has Hushpuppies on the Menu, and I enjoyed them last time I was there.

                                                        1. re: Matt H

                                                          We might have gotten a bad batch, but while I absolutely enjoyed everything else at Buster Rhino's, the hush puppies were incredibly greasy. The first bite wasn't bad, but they were so heavy they gave my mother a gall bladder attack that night. Could have just been a bad frying job, though.

                                                      3. Visited last night and order the porchetta sandwich, chicken & waffle, half rack of ribs (only seems to be offered on Fridays) and the french fries to go. SO loved the fries, but I thought they were just okay. They're very small fries and very good for sharing because after we ate half on the drive home we still had a lot left over to pop in the oven. I guess since each piece is small, if you don't eat a bunch at once, it'll last a while and is awesome for sharing. I thought the ribs were kind of dry, not very succulent. Highlight was the chicken and waffle thing. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the waffle but since it was take out the fried chicken got a bit soft. Think it would have been a lot tastier to eat it right away. The sauce they use on it is really good, but I would have enjoyed a bit more. Overall it was interesting and it's affordable - not something that's dream inducing though. Just a note, there's currently construction going on so no parking spaces, we just parked at McDonalds across the street, even though there's a big sign that says NO parking there lol. In our defense, SO did end up getting a milkshake from there though.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Wino In Training

                                                            Had the porchetta today. It's my favourite of all the things I've had at the stockyards to date. Definitely add the rapini, as it gives the sandwich a nice bitter touch, but the pork itself is fabulous. And the crackling survived the walk over the the Wychwood Barns without losing to much crackle. Here's a couple of photos I took:



                                                            It seems like they've also added a bit more acidity to the limeade, which helps offset the richness of the sandwich.

                                                            1. re: tbonetak

                                                              That porchetta sandwich looks great. Are they roasting the whole pig and carving it? It so ... memories of Abruzzo are flooding back (minus the rapini).

                                                              1. re: futronic

                                                                I can't say for sure. The menu says "fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly and cracklings." I think if I were roasting the whole pig I'd make a big thing of it, so my guess is they're not.

                                                            2. re: Wino In Training

                                                              Very, very bland for me. totally didn't enjoy it. but if you're into lighter tasting things then go for it! i'm trying the pulled pork next time...

                                                            3. re: hippotatomus

                                                              Reviewing fried items like chicken and fries that have been eaten after take out...... I don't know. Not so much. Of course your chicken would get soft. Which to me, defeats the point of having fried chicken. Those foods really must be eaten fresh. I would personally never take fries to go. Even porchetta. You're begging for it to dry out if you take it to go. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

                                                            4. Hey everyone,

                                                              I went with SO on Saturday when it was super rainy. Owner seemed pretty friendly. I had the pulled pork sandwich and SO had the porchetta sandwich, with a side of fries to share. The pulled pork was more "smoky" than t he sandwich I had the day before at RUB, moist but not as moist as RUB, and more seasoned than RUB. The sauce was slightly sweet with the apple, but the sandwich just fell into a mess and was difficult to eat. As another poster said the bun got really soggy.

                                                              The porchetta sandwich was great, I liked the baguette style bun, but there was quite a bit of fat that we trimmed off. Still outstanding though.

                                                              Fries were freshly cut, and crispy.

                                                              Like the other poster I also parked at McDonald's and did not get ticketed. It was pouring at the time so I figured I'd give it a shot. St Clair is an absolute mess to drive through!

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Muffin__Top

                                                                Muffin_Top, I may be out of it, but are you referring to RUB in NYC? Do they have a location in T.O.? I would like to compare against Stockyards as well.

                                                                With regards to the PP, yeah, you pretty much have to start eating it right away before the sandwich starts to fall apart. Next time I may request that they use the baguette instead.

                                                                St. Clair is going to get worse before it get's better. I found that if you park on Ellesworth, right behind the stockyards, you reduce your chances of getting a ticket.

                                                                1. re: Lazar

                                                                  RUB is a BBQ joint in Woodbridge that ripped off the name of the NYC establishment. It does, however, get pretty good reviews on this board.

                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                    Really? Huh, I live near the Stockyards, and work near RUB. I think that this is fate...maybe I have BBQ sauce in my veins....it would explain my love of grilled meats and my colesterol levels...

                                                                    I will have to seek them out.

                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                        Yeah sorry that is what I meant.. Southern RUB in Woodbridge !

                                                                    1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                      Hopefully for their sake that is the only thing they ripped off from the NYC RUB, because the Cue there is horrible in my opinion.

                                                                      1. re: Matt H

                                                                        Well, name ripoff or no, I stopped into southern rub today for lunch to compare the pulled pork to Stockyards.

                                                                        The rub sandwich was about the same size as the Stockyards, but a buck or two cheaper. The Rub meat itself was definitely smokier than Stockyards, but I found it to be a lot drier. They did have a choice of sauces, I went with the medium, which I still found had a nice heat. But I was reminded by that saying "an ounce of sauce, covers a pound of sins". I also thought the sauce was bit "ketchupy", but not to the point of making the sandwich inedible. Still for the price it was very good. I also ordered some cornbread, which was great (love a good cornbread).

                                                                        Overall, both places were good for different reasons. I couldn't pick a winner. It will have to come down to other items on the menu. Can't wait to try the porchetta and the pastrami at Stockyards on my next visit.

                                                                2. I think it's "Southern RUB" , not the RUB that Bobby Flay visits on Throwdown

                                                                  1. Anyone know if they sell their products retail? As in meat by the pound, rather than in sandwiches.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Snarf

                                                                      According to the website, the pastrami is available by the half-pound or pound. No mention of the other sandwich meats being sold that way, though.

                                                                      1. re: Snarf

                                                                        I have asked them to put the pulled pork separate from the bun,and coleslaw on the side,with no problems.As far a buying it by the pound,you should ask Thomas the owner,hes a nice guy im sure he woulden't mind selling you just the meat.

                                                                      2. Well I got out here tonight... Traffic was an absolute nightmare, and the streets are a mess due to construction... let me also add that i am NEVER letting someone in front of me on the road ever again... i let THREE people in when i didn't have to, on st. clair W today, at 3 different times, and never even got a "thank you" wave... god damn people

                                                                        anyway, i will start by saying the staff were very nice, im not sure if the two people (tall skinny guy and a girl) are the 2 owners, but they were friendly, and the girl even asked if I was from this website, totally out of the blue... i got a kick out of that

                                                                        they were sold out of ribs, pastrami, fried chicken, and smoked chicken... :/ kind of disappointed in that... so we got the porchetta sandwich w/rapini, and a pulled pork sandwich, and an order of fries.

                                                                        fries were excellent and freshly cut and all that, even reminescent of Caplansky's IMO with the liberal coarse salting, etc.. but very expensive.. $5 for just a regular box of fries, same size or smaller that you'd get from most other burger joints.. pretty steep if you ask me

                                                                        porchetta sandwich w, with rapini, cracklings, and a garlic aioli... okay mixed feelings on this one... i will admit i haven't eaten rapini that many times. i liked it, its a tasty green and all that, but undercooked, and very stemmy. The stems were very "raw"ish still in the sandwich, and too much of it really. It needed pore porchetta. Otherwise though, the flavor was good and enjoyable.. the 'cracklings' weren't very crispy though.. i kind of expected it

                                                                        pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw topping and store bought bun... a decent sandwich. it's reheated to order in a sautee pan, tossed with barbeque sauce, and then a slaw topping.. It was a little dry, most likely because they aren't cooking a fresh pork shoulder every single day.. and its reheated... but still tasty. It's not "killed with sauce" and is more dry than wet, and the slaw topping goes well on it. It's not the best pulled pork I've had recently (I still say Sweet Smoke is great) but it's definitely acceptable, and they were selling a good few of them while I was there.

                                                                        Lime-Aid and Iced Tea were both good, but warm.. If it was only cold, it would have been great. no real complaints about this

                                                                        Also, they seemed to be selling loads of burgers... They are cooked on a flat top griddle, old school style, and is a mound of raw ground beef (not frozen) which is squished right at the beginning to shape the ball into a patty, then seasoned with some salt it looked like. it's cooked entirely on the flat top and the one i saw looked good

                                                                        so next time, i'll try the pastrami and a burger. those seem to be their specialties. they also advertise an "authentic pit chicken" which is cooked over an open pit, and its $13 for a whole chicken, but its ONLY on Fridays, and they just did their first one yesterday.. so thats something to try too


                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                          I can just picture you having a heart attack and nervous eye twitch dealing with St. Clair.... lol.

                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                            Yes the tall and thin man and woman,are Thomas and Monique,and the owners of the Stockyards,I think their backround is from Jamaica. Btw passed by yesterday to grab a burger,they have pastrami back on the menu, and as always quanteties are limited,I have 3lb on reserve for today ^_^

                                                                            1. re: chunkeymonkey

                                                                              If the owners are from Jamaica and they are advertising "authentic pit chicken" is there any chance they are talking about Jerk? (possibly with Pimento?) I think it is due time that someone in Toronto started cooking Jerk the authentic way with Pimento wood, leaves, sticks, etc...

                                                                            2. re: duckdown

                                                                              You've gotta try the fried chicken - it takes a while for them to make it, but worth the wait imo - for $12 you get 4 pieces, fries, and coleslaw. Alternatively the fried chicken and waffles is a delicious snack with similar fried chicken but in small popcorn chicken bits in a waffle cone, though the price is steeper for what you get.

                                                                            3. I was really excited to try this place out, as it's just at the end of my street. Went yesterday, and I have to say, was kind of disappointed. Got the pulled pork sandwich, with limeade. I thought that the sandwich was ok, but nothing spectacular. And it definitely is pricey. Pulled pork on a white "Wonder Bread" hamburger bun with the drink was $12. (Ordered fries, but they didn't arrive.)
                                                                              The decor is funky and the owners are really nice, so I wish them the best of luck. But I probably won't return - there are plenty of other places in the neighbourhood that I prefer.

                                                                              The limeade with mint leaves was delicious though - maybe I will stop by for that on the way home from work on a hot summer day...


                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                              1. re: TeaGran

                                                                                nowtoronto.com gave it a perfect review!

                                                                                1. re: TeaGran

                                                                                  The last time I was there (a couple of weeks ago) I asked if I could have the pulled pork on the baguette instead of the "storebought" bun. They obliged without any fuss and didn't charge me for the substitute (which some places do). I was joking around with the owner about the bun, and he is well aware of the issue. At the time, he said that they were trying to find a suitable replacement....sounds like that they are still on the search.

                                                                                  1. re: Lazar

                                                                                    Traditionally though a Pulled Pork sandwich is served on the cheapest, crappiest white bread bun they can find. In the south the bun is the afterthought and is simply viewed as a way to hold the pork together.

                                                                                    1. re: Matt H

                                                                                      In many of the larger BBQ restaurants in NC, SC, GA you order your meat and you get a half of a loaf (literally the bag has been cut in half) delivered to your table - the bread of choice, WONDERBREAD. The cheapest blandest tasting stuff in the world. Their belief is that the bread is a vehicle, nothing else. Shouldn't add any taste - the pulled pork should stand on it's own. Canadians are really big on different styles of breads and buns, we use strictly Kaiser buns, nothing else.

                                                                                      1. re: BusterRhino

                                                                                        At Dreamland in Alabama you get about a half dozen or so slices of Sunbeam bread and a cup of sauce right as you sit down. Sunbeam is like a cheap version of Wonderbread.


                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                          BBQ throughout Texas is the same. Cheap white bread, got to love it.

                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                            I took this shot of some ribs and requisite Wonder style bread from a rib joint in Buffalo. It had steamed in the takeout container and was the softest bread I'd experienced in my life. I white trashed it up and dunked it into the sauce in between bites of the ribs......


                                                                                            Save the baguette for banh mi, the ciabatta for panini, brioche for burgers, the challah for french toast, the rest need not apply..... Cheap white bread is all you need.

                                                                                              1. re: Everythingtarian

                                                                                                I don't get this wonder bread is used so the taste of the BBQ can shine. I can't remember the last time I had wonder bread but I remember it being really distinctly sweet. It must contribute some flavour.

                                                                                                1. re: jamesm

                                                                                                  BBQ is peasant food. There is a long tradition in many families, especially post depression, to augment a main course with "bread and dip". Wonder Bread would be the natural choice, and it's basic flavor was well masked by the intensity of the sauce or gravy.
                                                                                                  Our restaurants are actually slumming when they do this, and get a good price.

                                                                                          2. re: BusterRhino

                                                                                            Despite cheap crappy bread being the "right thing to do" down south, I've always preferred having a sturdier bun for my pulled pork particularly when there's a lot of meat and sauce. It's no fun eating sandwiches that fall apart. If I want to eat pulled pork off a plate I'd order a platter. :-p

                                                                                            1. re: lister

                                                                                              I'm a stickler for tradition as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day, it's a matter of personal preference. Although I don't like the meat itself, I like the bun that Black Camel uses. It's like a portuguese bun, I think. It's soft and chewy, but doesn't have the styrofoam-like qualities of wonder bread.

                                                                                              1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                I love that kind of bun too. The kind that Carousel uses.

                                                                                                1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                  Those are the kind I prefer. I like the texture and I think thay have less actual 'flavour' than wonderbread. Wonderbread has a distinctive taste, I think. I get that BBQ is peasant food and that's where this wonderbread tradition comes from but it seems that what was born of necessity is now held up as the standard to protect the unimpeachable sanctity of the meat. I really don't see how wonderbread would affect the taste of the sandwich any less than many other types of bread.

                                                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                    For me, Black Camel’s roll is perfect for its sandwiches. I love it. Feels good in your mouth, not bready at all, great soft slight chew, imparts just the right amount of flavour but definitely does not outshine the contents it houses, holds the contents including sauce well, and it looks pretty (due to an eggwash I’m sure). It’s not traditional, but to me it’s great – best roll for PP and the like I’ve had in Toronto. I welcome any and all. Wonderbread, Dempsters, Sunbeam, or Black Camel’s roll. As long as it meets the mentioned criterion.

                                                                                                    Look fwd trying Stockyards shortly!

                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                      i like the buns at sweet smoke

                                                                                        2. the "wonderbread" thing only works when the pulled pork is something out of this world.... almost impossible to get freshly smoked pulled pork anywhere down here :(

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                            I made some pulled pork two months ago and served it up on a calabrese bun from Nino D’Aversa, available at Highland farms, and some homemade sauce, it was wonderful. Put me into the good quality bread crowd, it really does make a difference.

                                                                                            1. re: Dflip

                                                                                              I agree that you can only get away with wonderbread if the pulled pork will knock your socks off. Otherwise I'll take a baguette or even a half-decent lightly toasted hamburger bun.

                                                                                              I don't think better bread would over gentrify BBQ sandwiches - it's sloppy pork dripping with bbq sauce - it's never going to be hip with the Toyota Prius crowd anyway.

                                                                                              1. re: victor page

                                                                                                I love pulled pork...does this mean I have to trade in my Prius for a Buick Regal?

                                                                                                But to get back on point, I agree if the meat knocks your socks off, then the bread shouldn't matter...however, I was raised in a "wonderbread-free zone", so for me, it is a matter of personal preference (note to all the wonderphiles out there, I am not putting down wonderbread...or the kind of car your drive....just stating the reasons for my own personal opinions on bread)

                                                                                                I say if they have the option for different bread, then why not take it if that is what you want?

                                                                                          2. Went for the first time today for lunch. They were sold out of many things due to Father's Day and the Special they have: "Black Box Special" - dinner for four including drinks and utensils for $60.
                                                                                            We had the pulled chicken sandwich, porcetta sandwich, onion rings and limeades.
                                                                                            Delicious. Good smokey flavour on the chicken.
                                                                                            Owners were very friendly.
                                                                                            Will definitely be back!

                                                                                            1. After reading the review in Now, I just had to go and find out what the fuss was about. I still don’t know. Toronto’s Best Barbeque is a pretty big claim. I went at lunchtime. There were about six people there, including us. They also did about five or six takeout orders while we were there. I had the porchetta sandwich with rapini and fries which is kind of pricey, coming to $14 altogether. I also had their iced tea. I like my tea without sugar but for some reason, even though they make it in-house, they fill it with sugar or syrup or something. The sandwich was really great, although I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t like fat because the meat was almost 50% fat. Luckily I like the stuff. The fries were run of the mill, I saw him pour them from the freezer bag, which surprised because the menu says fresh cut. Maybe they were fresh cut before McCain’s froze them? My friend had the pulled pork and onion rings. They reheated the pulled pork in a frying pan right in front of us. I guess it’s better than that boil in the bag catfood my girlfriend once brought home from Buster Rhinos out in Whitby. The pork was okay, but not very smoky. The barbeque sauce was pretty good, a nice tang to it. The rings were pretty good but I think frozen as well.

                                                                                              My biggest surprise was that the pulled pork was the only bbq item they had available, since they were out of the chicken (it was only lunchtime – chicken takes two hours to smoke). This was a surprise since they call themselves a smokehouse. They do ribs and chicken, but the menu says Friday nights only. The cook said that they were going to try to have barbeque on Tuesdays as well but there was no guarantee as to when. So in reality I guess it’s a smokehouse one day a week, and a pretty good burger and fried chicken joint the rest of the time.

                                                                                              Service was poor but very friendly. I thought this was because it just opened and wasn’t fussed about it but then they told me it’s been open six weeks now. My sandwich came first. At first I waited but it was getting cold so I began eating. When I was half way through my friend got his order. I got my fries near the end of the meal. The drinks also arrived half way through. The screwed up an order for one of the other groups as well.

                                                                                              Still wanting to check out their barbeque, I went back last Friday for the real thing. I figured since they only have it one night a week I better get there early. So I aimed for 6:15 after leaving work. Traffic was bad and I got there at 6:30. Waited in line for about 10 minutes. Only to be told they were all out of barbeque, except for one dried out looking little riblet in the window. Apparently they start serving it at 4 pm, not Friday night as advertised. So I still don’t know if it’s any good but it should be. Anyone with a backyard smoker can make good barbeque in this manner, selling it for a couple of hours out of a smoker. It’s much harder to make barbeque when you have to have it ready to serve at any time over an 80-hour week like the much-maligned Phils. Maybe I’ll go back some day and try it but I'm in no hurry.

                                                                                              1. Hi --
                                                                                                Hating to be high-maintenance, but I want to eat here with my partner, who's celiac (can't eat wheat gluten -- not faddishly avoiding wheat, but seriously and officially diagnosed with the disease). Does anyone happen to know if wheat or soy sauce are ingredients in the bbq sauce? It's fine if wheat is around, just not if it's a key ingredient. Thanks to anyone who might know!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Cass Porter

                                                                                                  If your partner is Celiac, you might want to call the resto, rather than taking someone's word for it here- just a suggestion.

                                                                                                2. The ribs here are simply fantastic...top marks.

                                                                                                  The Stockyards
                                                                                                  699 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: downtownfoodcritic

                                                                                                    Agree! The ribs are indeed pretty fine but unfortunately, the fried chicken was over-rated - underseasoned and skin/batter slightly over-cooked,

                                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                      Hmm, as soon as I heard that Stockyards opened, I had paid a visit with the hubby (he's a HUGE ribs fanatic).

                                                                                                      Although the service was great, staff friendly, I wasn't too thrilled with the ribs. We like saucy, tender, fall of the bone meat on our ribs and that wasn't what we got.


                                                                                                      1. re: romeschica

                                                                                                        They don't look very good in those pictures either. Fatty side ribs with all the cartlidge attached still, not my preference at all

                                                                                                        Looks like Bar-B-Barn ribs for anyone whos been to Montreal

                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                          I can't believe how negative everyone suddenly is regarding Stockyards. Oh how the tide has turned. I'm sorry, but I love that place. I get take out from there almost once a week, and look forward to it all week long!

                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                            I haven't had the BBQ yet,but both times I've had the fried chicken it's been delicious and I'd go back in a heart beat.

                                                                                                            1. re: petek

                                                                                                              the only things i enjoy at the stockyards, and quite a bit, is their burger, beignets and take on eggs benny. on the fence about the porchetta. the rest had issues though i haven't had the smoked chicken or pastrami yet.

                                                                                                            2. re: petek

                                                                                                              Maybe not in the "city" but the GTA....Buster Rhino's for BBQ and it isn't even close. Plus Stockyards BBQ wouldn't hold a candle to any decent BBQ joint in the US, above or below the Mason Dixon Line so no need to specify Southern US. Buster Rhino's on the other hand is about as real and good as it gets.

                                                                                                              As far as Fried Chicken is concerned? Stockyards is definitely my favorite, no argument there.

                                                                                                              Buster Rhino's
                                                                                                              2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                                              1. re: Matt H

                                                                                                                I'll definitely make the treck to Buster Rhino's to try their BBQ!

                                                                                                                Buster Rhino's
                                                                                                                2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                                                                              2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                still the best ribs within Toronto, if not all of GTA. Burgers are also very very good. fried chicken is the best I have had in GTA, but yes could use more seasoning, but then this is the way he does it. I have not had problem with the service, but they do get very busy and it shows.
                                                                                                                is this the best rib or fried chicken in north America? hahahaha NO! is this even a top notch rendering of these southern staples? again, NO. it is just good enough for people like me who are not regular visitors to the states, nevertheless crave the things like crazy.
                                                                                                                Toronto is better off having Stockyards. way better off.

                                                                                                            3. re: romeschica

                                                                                                              While food indeed is a personal preference, and I admit that I used to love saucy ribs, you have to understand 2 things about ribs:

                                                                                                              1. When smoked properly (i.e. slowly), the meat should NOT fall off the bone. It should come off with a little resistance. Falling off the bone is a myth when it comes to ribs.
                                                                                                              2. You cannot complain about dry rubbed ribs. they are as advertised. There are different styles of ribs. Stockyards does dry rubbed which, in my opinion, is more about the taste of the meat and cooking process than saucy/wet ribs (which are all about the sauce).

                                                                                                              1. re: atomeyes

                                                                                                                I have always enjoyed the food I've eaten here. It ain't fancy, but it is satisfying. Their coleslaw is always a highlight to balance the rich meaty (usually pulled pork) dish. The fries are done exactly the way I like 'em. My son, who loves meat, doesn't care for their menu, so I agree that it is such a personal experience when dining at these places. He finds their food too smokey.... I myself would be happy to eat right off the smoker, by contrast.

                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                  You've got reason to be disappointed in that chicken. It is seriously overcooked.

                                                                                                                  In their defense, it isn't usually overdone. I've yet to find better southern fried chicken in a Toronto restaurant, which may be faint praise, but it is truthful. And I really like fried chicken. I see that you ate it in house. Very wise. Those fries do not travel well at all. I miss the onion rings which I understand are sometimes offered as a special.

                                                                                                              2. I've only been once, and it was on a scorching hot day last summer when their exhaust fan was overheating and they could only trun it on to cook a large batch of chicken every once in a while. Their menu was minimal and I was drenched with sweat sitting at the bar eating.....

                                                                                                                Saying that I loved the fried chicken and the porchetta sandwich I sampled that day. The pulled pork my dining companion had wasn't up to par. I don't like pre-sauced pork.

                                                                                                                Just my $0.02

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Dr Butcher

                                                                                                                  The whole smoked BBQ chickens are much better than the southern-fried. But only available when the ribs are iirc