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May 19, 2009 02:05 PM

Where are the Best BEEF ribs in Toronto?

The search is on...Please help!

I used to love them at Max's at Bayview and York mills.

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  1. OK, this question, you might say, is right up my alley. I can say (and my wife would verify this, albeit with a snicker and a grimace) that one of my life's pursuits, is good beef ribs.

    The short answer is that the only good beef ribs in Toronto are ones that you make yourself. I have tried em all and they are all lacking. The closest that good beef ribs came, was at the now defunct Le Bifteque - which had all you can eat beef ribs and they were decent and I think a byproduct of their steak and/or prime rib menu.

    The ones that I wouldnt try for sure, are at Highway 61. They are the absolutest nastiest thing ever to grace my plate (See my review of Highway 61). Also not really worth trying, but arguably passable, is Bistro, as they are dried out and not very tasty. Dangerous Dan 's has them, but it is a revolting place (I threw out my pants after sitting there) and could barely keep my food down due to the lack of hygene and decor. I literally ran out of there, nauseous. Montana's is also passable, but not great and definitly underwhelming. Plus there sides and everything are pathetic big box style....

    Ultimatly, I had to go to mephis in tennesse, on a road trip, and even there didnt find any good beef ribs (even at Jim neely's Interstate).

    The best, by far, are slow cooking on a bbq at home, with wood chips, and excellent rub and sauce. the best beef ribs are from Cumbrae's, but Pusaterri's has decent ones sometimes, and other butchers as well.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Teffub

      I agree; they're easy -- and great to make -- at home. But I do remember having some very good beef ribs at Tony Roma's. I haven't been there in at least a couple of years, and the beef ribs tended to be inconsistent from one visit to the next (full of meat, little fat one time; fat and gristly the next), but it's worth a try. And when their fried onion brick is done properly (well-cooked and not dripping with grease), it's a great accompaniment. Their barbecue sauce is pretty good, too.

      Tony Roma's is located near the airport, on Carlson Court. I assume they're still in operation. Anyone know?

      1. re: Tatai

        Yes, still there. I agree they are better than most I've had. My suggestion is making them at home.... grill them low and slow.....

        1. re: vaiguy777

          okay - you've got me thinking.... can someone please post a recipe for them on the homecooking board? Please...

          I have never had them at home and we happen to be free this weekend....

          1. re: Apple

            Are what you are talking about called "Miami Ribs"? .. I think Nortown has them pre-marinated if it's the same thing. I have only had them at a friend's house and I believe that's(Nortown) where she got them and subsequently BBQ'd them..they were great! Let me know if they are what you're talking about or something entirely different.

            1. re: pearlD

              Nortown has Miami ribs, but what I think he wants are not the Miami Ribs. Nortown has these too. They are large boned beef ribs, not cut miami style.

              1. re: Teffub

                Teffub is right. The ribs that we're talking about are the large, meaty rib bones from a rib steak (i.e., the ribs that are cut off from the ribeye). Nortown does have these, as well, either cut into rib bones (in the self-serve meat fridge) or purchased as a whole rack (by request).

                Miami ribs, on the other hand, are very thinly sliced short ribs.

            2. re: Apple

              There are many ways to cook them, Apple. Do you have a smoker? Or do you want to smoke them in your grill? Or do you want to cook them through in your oven and then finish them on the grill?

              1. re: Tatai

                I've had good beef ribs from Churrasco Villa. But the ones at home are much better. Check out the ribs from the butcher at Stuart Carroll.

      2. My SO and I love beef ribs - only place to be found outside of my slow cooker is Miga korean beef ribs. Juicy and tasty.

        1. One thing to remember is that these ribs are the bones from a prime rib roast/steak. They do not need to be treated similarly to pork ribs.

          All anyone must do to cook them is season them up and throw them on a hot grill for a few minutes per side. These ribs can even be eaten rare. They are EXTREMELY easy to cook, whether grilled or roasted, and are also good smoked before grilling.

          Dipamo's on Eglinton did a pretty good job with smoked ribs, and so did Red Devil (also defunct).

          I have never been impressed with Montana's version. While they claim long, slow smoking, they have no smoked taste at all and are smothered in sauces ranging from very sweet through candied. They are not the gross, icky things people have posted about Highway 61, but they aren't at all special.

          Dangerous Dan's version is baked in a sweet sauce.Since these are already cooked to a very high temperature, it's no problem to nuke them at home. Note that I share Teffub's view of Dangerous Dan's.

          In short, I don't know where to get good restaurant-made beef ribs in Toronto and would also welcome suggestions.

          You can buy beef ribs at most supermarkets, though not necessarily all the time at any specific one. However, you will always find them at Nortown and at other markets catering to a Jewish clientele.

          Beef ribs are, essentially, a waste product derived from cutting boneless rib steaks and roasts. They will be expensive at Jewish-oriented stores, but should be relatively cheap in other neighbourhoods. This is one item that can vary greatly in price among different stores in a single chain. They are sometimes sold as full racks but, more often, are precut into individual bones.

          1. I like the Galbi at New Seoul House.

            Also enjoyed the beef shortribs at Nyood.

            1096 Queen West, Toronto, ON M6J 1H9, CA

            New Seoul House
            3220 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6A2T3, CA

            7 Replies
            1. re: phoenikia

              There is a reason for beef ribs not being good in a restaurant, mainly because they can be cooked sooo many different ways (unlike pork ribs - or chicken ribs they are either cooked or they are not cooked). It`s one of the reasons I only cook beef ribs at home because I like mine medium rare, my wife likes her`s medium done.

              1. re: BusterRhino

                So you never smoke beef ribs, BusterRhino? I love to do mine for 5 hours in the smoker, then finish them with barbecue sauce on the grill.

                1. re: Tatai

                  We never cook beef ribs here, and rarely ever cook them at home. I would rather cook a prime rib, more meat.

                  1. re: BusterRhino

                    But for those of us who adore gnawing on bones...

                    1. re: BusterRhino

                      My dad, a butcher for 35 years, would cut the ribs off of a standing rib roast, then tie them back on and cook the whole thing in the BBQ for hours. Then when ready to serve would cust thes tring and we would have roast beef and Beef ribs all together....

                2. re: phoenikia

                  Thank you All.

                  I have been known to cook them at home as well. I just thought it would be nice to have them out once in a while. Yes, I am not looking for Miami ribs but the big beef ribs. I have not been to Tony Roma's in years. I used to work with one of the owners father. I will give them a chance.

                  Again, Thanks to all for the posts.

                  1. re: bjinyyz

                    I believe that Tony Roma's is also AYCE Monday through Wednesday.

                3. I know that chain restaurants aren't often liked on these boards, so likely not everyone will agree with me, but I like the beef ribs at Montana's. 9 times out of 10 they're very good. I had Tony Roma's once and didn't like it all.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: EB_TO

                    I've had the beef ribs at Montana's. Unless they've changed in the last three or so years since I was last there, they are meaty short ribs, not long spare ribs. If I recall, they had to be eaten with a knife and fork; they weren't picker-uppers.

                    1. re: Tatai

                      When I last tried them, probably two years ago, they were huge, meaty long ribs. They seemed to be baked to well done (possibly in a combi oven, though I'm not sure), covered with a choice of sauces, all sweet and with smoke flavouring, and reheated.

                      Since the closest Montana's is on Steeles, I've not been in any hurry to go back there - if I'm that far north, Chinese wins every time.

                      BTW, do you (or does anyone) know anything about the "boneless rib finger meat" that Loblaws has been selling (in large packages) for several months? I asked several meat cutters at their service counters, and none had a clue. I've never heard of this cut. A friend hypothesized that this was meat cut from between the long rib bones.

                      1. re: embee

                        Yes, that is what it is, meat cut from between the long rib bones. I tried barbequing this once and had a very hard to control inferno. They've been selling them for a year or two now.

                        1. re: OTFOODIE


                          I'm thinking smoking to render the fat and then a quick turn on the grill.

                          1. re: embee

                            All this talk about beef ribs had me ending up at the Healthy Butcher early this afternoon. Bought 4 very meaty ribs (they called them "back ribs"; are these the same as rib steak ribs?) for a small fortune: $35!!! ($24/kg). They're in the Cookshack now and they'd better be good!

                            embee, have you tried beef ribs in your smoker? I've never enjoyed them just grilled unless they're attached to a rib steak.

                            1. re: Tatai

                              I've got 6 large, very meaty Certified Angus ribs from Loblaws in the smoker right now. They've been aging in the fridge for two weeks. They look gorgeous. They cost about $3 at 50% off. Yes, I'm gloating. Of course, they don't come with a birth certificate like your ribs probably did :-)

                              Rubbed with Butt Rub (commercial rub). Three hours in the smoker with a water pan and straight hickory. Smoker set to 170; internal temperature went to 130. I'll give them about three minutes on the infrared just before serving.

                              1. re: embee

                                I hide my head in shame... such a shandeh! My beef ribs have a better pedigree than my three dogs. And I overpaid for them, too. ;-)

                                1. re: embee

                                  embee + last post = Darryl Salivating at Desk at work!!!

                                2. re: Tatai

                                  Highway robbery. Stuart Carroll has'em for $3.99/lb.

                                  1. re: Chester Eleganté

                                    i have found that Baby Beef on St Clair just west of Caledonia has great beef ribs. My friend's from Chile and Argentina put me on to it. They also have great sausages.

                                    1. re: ribboy

                                      sounds great .........Do you have an address .......
                                      is it a restaurant or butcher shop ?


                                      1. re: itzi

                                        It's a butcher shop. Don't let the neighborhood or store-front keep you from going inside!
                                        #360-362 Old Weston Road, at St. Clair.

                            2. re: embee

                              I bought a package of Loblaw rib finger meat, shrink wrapped, for ground beef, and it was quite good. I think it was your suggestion, embee, to use rib meat for ground beef!