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The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder

t
theresah Jun 13, 2009 06:27 AM

I am going to try this place today, can anyone tell me what is the "must have" dish? Corey Mintz seems to love this place based on today's Toronto Star article.

  1. m
    ManAbout Oct 7, 2013 10:04 PM

    I had a burger here a couple of months ago. I don't remember what it was called, but it was the one with chopped jalapenos.

    The burger was too dry and if that's not enough, the chili and and cheese topping was way too salty. I was not impressed. BP does a better burger. Heck, even the burger I had at Five Guys in Vaughan was better than the Stockyards version. I might try their fried chicken, since that is what they are famous for, but I don't think I will give the burger another chance.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ManAbout
      Davwud Oct 8, 2013 04:15 AM

      You had the smoked jalapeno pimento cheese burger I would think. I've had it and it was really good although I didn't like his version of pimento cheese as much as actual pimento cheese.

      DT

      1. re: Davwud
        m
        ManAbout Oct 8, 2013 05:36 PM

        Maybe you got lucky, or I got unlucky. Mine was far from good.

        1. re: ManAbout
          d
          disgusti Oct 9, 2013 04:52 AM

          Burgers at stockyards, when I was going often (pre-burgers priest opening), were kinda hit and miss. When they were on the were great but I remember the first time I had the bone marrow butter burger or whatever and was soooo let down I didn't go back for a while. Now if I go there I don't bother with burgers

          1. re: disgusti
            y
            ylsf Oct 9, 2013 06:47 AM

            Yeah, there was a lot of raves here about their burger but when I had it a few months ago (the "cheapest" one) I wasn't that impressed. Will stick to BP and Holy Chuck even and go for other stuff at Stockyards (I am still a fan of the fried chicken although I haven't had it in a while).

            1. re: ylsf
              Food Tourist Oct 12, 2013 07:31 PM

              Had the green chile pimento burger a couple of weeks ago - the best burger in the city right now - I had had a Burgers Priest jarge-style the night before so had a good comparison! Stockyards burger was juicy, flavourful even without the toppings and really addictive. Still thinking about it ages later.

              1. re: Food Tourist
                Food Tourist Nov 2, 2013 02:23 PM

                Today's patties were a little on the dry side even for medium doneness. However, my friend proclaimed his green chile pimiento burger better than Burgers Priest. I thought my butter burger was average today. Based on today's butter burger I will assume that burgers at Stockyards can be inconsistent in quality.

                1. re: Food Tourist
                  scarberian Nov 3, 2013 01:54 PM

                  How do they make the pimento burger? Are the other ingredients just added on top of the burger OR are they mixed in with the ground beef? If mixed in with the ground beef then your friend can't really compare the two burgers (Stockyards vs. Burger's Priest). They are two totally different camps of burgers (only if the Stockyards' burgers are mixed with other ingredients) : meatloaf or meatball style vs. pure beef burger or American style). BP only makes American style which is just pure ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper. Sorry for going off track here it's just personally I feel you can't compare these two styles unless you say I prefer this style over that style of burger not this is better than that. I just keep seeing these comparisons.

                  1. re: scarberian
                    d
                    disgusti Nov 3, 2013 02:22 PM

                    It's a griddles burger with shit on top

                    1. re: scarberian
                      Food Tourist Nov 6, 2013 06:36 PM

                      Pimento is a condiment not ingredient.

        2. re: ManAbout
          duckdown Oct 9, 2013 09:38 AM

          I don't care for their "smash burgers" either.. Tried them a couple times and they are just bland as anything

          Matter of fact the ONLY thing I've ever had there that was above average was their chicken.. Their pulled pork and porchetta is among the worst I have *ever* had

          So yeah, I'd recommend you stick with that. Still want to try their ribs though, now that their smoker is finally functioning again

        3. j
          JJSundown Oct 7, 2013 06:05 PM

          I really liked the fried chicken and I would recommend this place and I would also be back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JJSundown
            d
            dubchild Oct 7, 2013 07:21 PM

            Welcome to chowhound. What was it about the chicken that you liked? Or to word it another way, what made it better than other fried chicken?

          2. kwass Jul 21, 2013 07:44 PM

            Went by Stockyards this morning and there was a sign on the door that they're closed for renovations. Does anyone know anything about this?

            10 Replies
            1. re: kwass
              y
              ylsf Jul 21, 2013 07:49 PM

              Weird, and the website seems to be down. Anything on their twitter?

              1. re: ylsf
                kwass Jul 21, 2013 07:54 PM

                That is weird that the website's down. I wasn't aware of that. They're not very active on Twitter, but I'll check.

                1. re: kwass
                  kwass Jul 21, 2013 07:58 PM

                  The last time they posted was on July 12th, and it was just to answer someone's question as to whether they were open (which they were).

                  1. re: kwass
                    d
                    Deep Puddle Jul 21, 2013 08:03 PM

                    A July 11 tweet mentions being closed for renos from July 13-25 (https://twitter.com/thestockyards/sta...), and follows up with mention of adding A/C.

                    Same message still up on their homepage.

                    1. re: Deep Puddle
                      kwass Jul 21, 2013 08:07 PM

                      How did I not see that. Thanks Deep Puddle!

                    2. re: kwass
                      justsayn Jul 21, 2013 08:03 PM

                      From what I had read they reopen on the 25th. It was planned renovations

                      1. re: justsayn
                        kwass Jul 21, 2013 08:08 PM

                        Weird, because I go quite regularly, and they didn't mention a thing the last time I was there, which was just a few days before they closed.

                        1. re: justsayn
                          kwass Jul 21, 2013 08:09 PM

                          That is what the sign on the door said though. Re-opening on the 25th.

                          1. re: justsayn
                            kwass Jul 21, 2013 08:12 PM

                            So it's just to install a/c. That's good, as it does get pretty hot in there, and the fans they have running only help so much.

                    3. re: kwass
                      a
                      Arcadiaseeker Jul 22, 2013 08:49 AM

                      The phone message says they're closed til the 25th - was massively disappointed since we had planned on their fried chicken for a dinner party last night. Had to go for churrasco instead.

                    4. kwass Jun 23, 2013 10:36 AM

                      Already posted on "the best thing I ate today", but wanted to post here as well. I had the fried chicken and waffles today for breakfast, and it was nothing short of sublime :) It comes with a citrus glaze that just pushes this dish completely over the top!!

                      1. PoppiYYZ May 13, 2013 07:37 AM

                        Whats with the "unforeseen circumstances with our smoker" notice on their website. Ahhhhh !! Fire, Inspector problems, Maintenance ?

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: PoppiYYZ
                          duckdown Jun 23, 2013 06:50 PM

                          My girlfriend works right across the street from Stockyards on Humewood Avenue and says their smoker has been out of commission completely for months now. They no longer have any smoked foods at all and no longer call themself a smokehouse of any sort.

                          Every time she asks about the smoker they have some story about how it stopped working, but I don't understand why they just don't buy a new one or get it fixed? These guys must be making a ton of cash, so what the hell are they doing?

                          All they really have now worth trying are the smashburgers (which are only OK in my opinion) and their fried chicken (Good, not the holy grail like most here think though)

                          1. re: duckdown
                            kwass Jun 23, 2013 06:54 PM

                            I think the smoker's been fixed. The sign on the door is no longer there.

                            And I had the chicken today, for the 1st time in a long time. I'd actually forgotten how good it was. Hate to disagree duckdown, but if it's not the holy grail, it's pretty damn close :)

                            1. re: kwass
                              duckdown Jun 24, 2013 07:41 AM

                              I do like it, I've just had better.. It definitely would be (and is) what I order any time we still go there

                              My mom makes a mean fried chicken, maybe I'm just nostalgic about it

                              Thanks for the tip about the smoker, I'll try and get the GF to pop in there this week and see if some new stuff is finally available. Cheers!

                            2. re: duckdown
                              Charles Yu Jun 23, 2013 10:17 PM

                              Agree with you Duckdown on the chicken. Good by GTA standard but tons of room for improvement when compared with some of the great ones States side. For one, the coating and the chicken are both 'underseasoned'!!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                MissBingBing Jun 24, 2013 04:23 AM

                                Doesn't Stockyards have two types of chicken — southern fried and BBQ smoked? I prefer the latter.

                                1. re: MissBingBing
                                  kwass Jun 24, 2013 04:27 AM

                                  Yes they do. But the smoked chicken is only offered 3 days/week. I think it's Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

                                2. re: Charles Yu
                                  duckdown Jun 24, 2013 07:41 AM

                                  Indeed it's good by GTA standards. I agree with everything you said, Charles!

                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                    Davwud Jun 24, 2013 07:59 AM

                                    I've had fried chicken all up and down the I - 75 corridor and in the South and Stockyards chicken is as good as any I've had. Short of Champy's in Chattanooga.
                                    I didn't find it underseasoned however i haven't had it in about a year. So maybe they've changed it.

                                    DT

                                    1. re: Davwud
                                      TorontoJo Jun 24, 2013 08:21 AM

                                      I've had an order where one piece was perfectly seasoned and one was underseasoned. So I can imagine getting an underseasoned order and being disappointed.

                                      Still one of my all-time favourite brunch spots.

                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                        justxpete Jun 24, 2013 05:24 PM

                                        What do you recommend for brunch there, TJ?

                                        And re: fried chicken - I think Charles had it only once and has been upset about it ever since.

                                        1. re: justxpete
                                          kwass Jun 24, 2013 05:43 PM

                                          Sorry, I know you were asking Jo, but the chicken and waffles are ridiculously good, as are the griddle cakes. And you must get a side of the house smoked bacon, as well as a biscuit. You can't go wrong if you order any of those things :)

                                          1. re: justxpete
                                            kwass Jun 24, 2013 05:44 PM

                                            And just to echo Jo, it's one of my favourite brunch spots as well!

                                            1. re: justxpete
                                              TorontoJo Jun 24, 2013 05:45 PM

                                              Everything I've ever had there for brunch has been fantastic. My faves:

                                              - biscuits and sausage gravy with scrambled eggs
                                              - "the stockyard" breakfast sandwich: a fried poached egg, sausage and aged cheddar on one of their ridiculous biscuits
                                              - chicken and waffles, of course
                                              - chicken fried breakfast burger: a breaded and deep fried burger topped with a poached egg and sausage gravy, served on an english muffin. I go super decadent and ask for it on a biscuit.

                                              This is the only place in the city that I'm aware of serving good Southern-style sausage gravy.

                                              None of this is light or healthy, and is probably an entire day's serving of fat and calories. But I don't care. :)

                                              And just a note if you don't like waiting for a seat -- get there when they first open and there's never a wait.

                                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                                kwass Jun 24, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                Agree with Jo. They open @ 9 and you can always get a seat @ that time.

                                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                                  justxpete Jun 24, 2013 05:52 PM

                                                  Nice. thanks guys!

                                                  ps. Scott Vivian at Beast makes an amazing breakfast sandwich - fried chicken thigh with sausage gravy on a biscuit. I order it without the cheese - finding it a bit tart.

                                                  Also, the gnochi poutine there is amazing, if you've not tried it already. And you can end your brunch with some of Rachelle's donuts, which are great as well. :)

                                                  1. re: justxpete
                                                    TorontoJo Jun 24, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                    Ooh, yes, the Beastwich has always been on my radar, just never made it there for brunch. Have definitely had the gnocchi poutine and enjoyed it muchly. Also like Rachelle's donuts -- all her pastries, actually.

                                    2. Davwud May 12, 2013 11:05 AM

                                      Did anyone catch the episode of DD&D on this place?? Guy really seemed to enjoy himself and clearly loved the food. Mrs. Sippi thinks of all the places she's seen him visit in TO that he appeared to enjoy that one best.

                                      DT

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        kwass May 12, 2013 11:08 AM

                                        I go to Stockyards all the time and one of the girls who works there told me that he seemed to genuinely love the fried chicken. He told them that it was one of the better pieces of fried chicken he's ever had.

                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          s
                                          squirms May 12, 2013 11:34 AM

                                          Really!?

                                          I thought ddd only visited the ace, lakeview, caplanskys and hey meatball.

                                          Which episode # was the one with stockyards???

                                          1. re: squirms
                                            Davwud May 12, 2013 11:56 AM

                                            This is not so be snarky but the one that aired Friday.

                                            DT

                                            1. re: squirms
                                              m
                                              magic May 12, 2013 12:40 PM

                                              DDD also visited The Rosedale Diner....

                                              6 Toronto places altogether.

                                              1. re: magic
                                                Davwud May 12, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                I think that one has yet to run.

                                                Out of the 5 so far, 1 fail, 1 so so and 3 hits. From what I've been able to glean from what I've seen and heard.

                                                DT

                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                  m
                                                  magic May 13, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                  Yeah I guess it'll be last to air....

                                          2. y
                                            ylsf May 11, 2013 08:25 PM

                                            I haven't been in ages to this place. I was in the area of Black Camel today and I was going to go there for a brisket sandwich but they sold out. I had never been there before... but, I still had a desire for some BBQ to I headed over to Stockyards. I was there around 7:30pm and ordered a brisket sandwich to go. The wait was 30 minutes (knew in advance it was going to be at least a 25 minute wait). I had never ordered the brisket before. It tasted good but I wouldn't order it again. It was a thinly sliced brisket (i.e. think roast beef type texture). The sandwich had WAY too much sauce for my liking making it hard to really get a taste for the meat itself and making it a very messy eat. At $12 it was filling but I wouldn't order it again.

                                            Really enjoyed the fried chicken and ribs when I had them a while back. Still want to go back and try the brunch. The place was JAMMED though, I guess the DDD publicity is helping them but maybe it has been busy like that for a while.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: ylsf
                                              kwass May 11, 2013 08:27 PM

                                              Brunch is awesome @ Stockyards ylsf!! You have to try it!!

                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                kwass May 11, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                But get there early. Like between 9 and 9:15, because it gets pretty busy.

                                                1. re: ylsf
                                                  Charles Yu May 11, 2013 08:32 PM

                                                  For 'Fried Chicken', I was told this 'new??' place - "Electric Mug BBQing" offers a superb version. Ultra Crispy, nice seasoning and juicy, moist interior. Have you tried? ( and may be compare them with other GTA's finest?? )

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                                    kwass May 11, 2013 08:39 PM

                                                    I've heard great things about Electric Mud's fried chicken as well. Unfortunately, I haven't had an opportunity to try it yet.

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                      d
                                                      disgusti May 11, 2013 09:40 PM

                                                      electric muds chicken is better than stockyards, which is still good fried chicken when all is said and done

                                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                                        MissBingBing May 12, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                        +1 Electric Mug BBQing

                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                          p
                                                          pourboi May 12, 2013 06:32 AM

                                                          lol Charles... I guess you do not know everything... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892411 This place "Electric Mud" by the same people as "Grand Electric" has been the talk of the town for months!

                                                          1. re: pourboi
                                                            y
                                                            ylsf May 12, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                            :) I just noticed he said "Electric Mug" earlier. To be honest, Electric Mug is a better name... I normally would never go to a restaurant with MUD in its name :)

                                                            1. re: ylsf
                                                              Davwud May 12, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                              So by extension does that mean you would never eat Mississippi Mud Pie??

                                                              DT

                                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                                y
                                                                ylsf May 12, 2013 10:44 AM

                                                                You got me on that one.... :)

                                                            2. re: pourboi
                                                              Charles Yu May 12, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                              I am only mortal my friend!! I am only mortal!
                                                              Besides, no way I can go through ALL the postings especially I am interested in other boards as well!
                                                              PS: I just noticed the posting date on Electric Mud which was 1 March. I was in Hong Kong at that time for a month, so did not check all postings! Good Excuse!! Ha!!!

                                                          2. re: ylsf
                                                            a
                                                            alienxx45 May 12, 2013 10:29 PM

                                                            How is the seating and food served? I went by before and it was just packed to the door. People were standing around waiting, no one was at the cash and all i saw were limited seating. Aside from takeout...Is it cash and carry then you find your own seat or do you Seat In and get served but just have to wait a long time?

                                                            After seeing the crowd i kept on walking and got brunch at Pain Perdu, which was great!

                                                            1. re: alienxx45
                                                              y
                                                              ylsf May 12, 2013 11:13 PM

                                                              If you are eating in you wait for a table then order at the table. On Saturday night there was a take-out line and a "eat in" line. They were askin take out customers to comeback in 25 mins plus to check on order. I guess because DDD episode aired on Friday they were getting slammed even more this weekend.

                                                          3. scarberian Aug 12, 2011 06:47 PM

                                                            Wow, I was finally able to try this place. I've been reading the very positive reviews about this joint so the wife and I with our daughter decided to venture over and try their fried chicken dinner. I rarely have fried chicken, but this place does it right. Excellent coating, great flavour and it was moist. I thought that the price was steep at first, and then I saw how much you get. At ~$15 this was a bargain considering it could feed 2 people. Embarrassingly I will ask all ye chow hounders, "Is the fried chicken dinner actually for 2 people?" I embarrassingly ask because I did manage to finish an order all on my own (in 2 sittings). I am now a fan of Stockyards and the wife, who doesn't really like to travel (we live way in the east end of Toronto) just for a meal said she'd go back again to try the other items on the menu. I love their fries and find them to be one of the best in Toronto. When we go back we're going to try the pulled pork sammie and the brisket. Any other suggestions?

                                                            BTW how does their porchetta compare with Porchetta & Co. ? Just curious.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: scarberian
                                                              Underdog Rally Aug 12, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                              Go for the smoked chicken and ribs when they're available (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday evenings). The ribs are pretty good if you like that dry smoked style, but in my opinion, the smoked chicken is more of a "signature" dish. Whether they're extremely skilled (likely) or I'm just getting lucky with the timing of my orders (less likely), it comes out moist and flavourful with a texture I'm yet to replicate at home. My other favourite item on the menu is the green chili pimento cheeseburger.

                                                              Also, if you like the fried chicken, go back for brunch and try the chicken and waffles with the spicy maple syrup.

                                                              1. re: Underdog Rally
                                                                j
                                                                jeff316 Jan 11, 2012 07:09 PM

                                                                The fried chicken and waffles is top class - perfect mix of savoury, sweet, heat. Waffle has a decent weight to it,not too light not a leaden brick either. Absolutely perfect.

                                                                Also great are the pot beans, hollandaise sauce, green chili pimento cheeseburger, any of the other hamburgers and the normal fried chicken dinner which is the best value-for-dollar on the menu. A found the lack of salt to really bring out the flavour in the actual chicken but I guess that's all just personal preference.

                                                                I like both their brisket and pulled pork sandwiches but find these two sandwiches to be a bit on the small side. Definitely tasty but not the best value. I thought the brisket had a perfect BBQ flavour. Pork ribs are ok too. Not too smokey, fell nicely off the bone, very moist. Pulled pork is less memorable.

                                                                The sausage gravy and biscuits on the breakfast menu isn't my favourite. It was extremely heavy and I found the gravy to be a bit bland and gelatinous.

                                                                The porchetta sandwich is the enigma. Hit or miss. We've had some really good sandwiches, particularly with rapini, and we've had some very bad ones - the combo of the mayo, the cracklins and the porchetta itself can just be a sweaty, salty, fatty mess in the worst sense. More than a few have hit the green bin after a few bites and we generally don't order it anymore unless we're feeling nostalgic for the first few we had.

                                                                1. re: jeff316
                                                                  justsayn Jan 11, 2012 07:54 PM

                                                                  Check out the fried chicken and french toast at Hadley's! You just need to add the heat. Thicker breading than Stockyard but not "leaden" and its super tasty good! Always juicy!

                                                            2. meatnveg Jun 5, 2011 08:23 PM

                                                              Finally, 2 years after first seeing and hearing about this place, I went for dinner. This being sunday, I got the ribs and the smoked chicken and their pit beans. It met my expectations btu did not exceed them in any way.
                                                              - The beans were the star. very differrent from anything I have had before.

                                                              - The ribs were so-so and the dry rub option was the only redeeming characteristic (don't like saucy BBQ)

                                                              -The smoked chicken seemed not to have 'taken the smoke', meaning that the flavour stpped at the skin and did not permeate. I must add that as I stood there, they promptly sold out of the chicken (60 min into opening), so either they had a larger crowd or they need to up their production.

                                                              I did taste the BBQ dipping sauce they provide, and it horrible as I expected it to be. Sweet with some heat thrown for the heck of it.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: meatnveg
                                                                w
                                                                wherejessate Jun 5, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                                Stockyards is my favourite brunch spot, but I find their dinner to be just okay. So, if you get a chance, I'd recommend going back for brunch. They make my favourite eggs benny in the city (which they call the eggs tommy) - deep fried poached eggs with house cured andouille, butter poached shrimp, on buttermilk biscuits smothered with hollandaise ($13). The hollandaise is delicious, and the entire combination of all the ingredients piled on top of their buttery biscuits is just ridiculous!

                                                                I'd also recommend their beignets (which I believe they only have during brunch) - love these too!

                                                                1. re: wherejessate
                                                                  TheDewster Feb 10, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                  Sadly they don't make the Beignets anymore and the last couple of times I've been there the qualtiy has dropped. The Butter burger was ice cold and horrid, the lemonade with mint was great. Stick to the chicken and waffles. Expect a wait and to be horribly cramped.

                                                                2. re: meatnveg
                                                                  a
                                                                  ascendance Jun 6, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                  Hahaha. You must have been there at the exact same time I was. I was there too when they sold out the chicken.

                                                                  I think the margins are better on ribs, so they smoke more of them.

                                                                  I didn't find the BBQ sauce sweet at all. I found it vinegary. St. Louis style, I guess. It had a lot of heat.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  St. Louis
                                                                  595 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G2C2, CA

                                                                  1. re: ascendance
                                                                    meatnveg Jun 6, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                                    this is why I think we should have chowhound toronto t-shirts!

                                                                    FWIW, I was the guy sitting outside on the grass (infront of the apartment bldg).

                                                                3. Charles Yu Apr 10, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                  After reading all the rave reviews about this place, I finally made an effort to drive down there and try them out.

                                                                  We ordered the Fried Chicken dinner, half rack of B-B-Q pork ribs and a sauteed bacon and kale veggie side.

                                                                  Initially presentation of the food wrapped in red checkered paper and placed inside cast iron pans with generous containers of hot sauce, B-B-Q sauce and Ketchup really raises our hope of a great meal. Unfortunately, the food did not live up to expectation!!

                                                                  The chicken, with overcooked crispy batter/skin were fortunately still moist inside ( at least the dark meat ). Tastewise, it was just OK. A touch bland and lacking in spicing. My daughter commented that the ones she had on Carnival Cruise line were much much better!! Ha!!

                                                                  The pork ribs fared better. Lovely smokey aroma and flavour, with tender moist meat. The dry rub seasoning was quite delicious. Pretty good by Toronto standard but just run-of-the-mill stuff if compare to the ones found in the southern states.

                                                                  Overall, an OK experience. But will I drive all the way from Richmond Hill to eat there again?! I don't think so!!!

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                    t
                                                                    theel Apr 11, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                    I was in the area 2 weeks ago and ordered the fried chicken dinner for take out. I was told it would take 15 minutes. When I returned 10 minutes later it was already sitting at the counter. I walked around the corner to my car and opened it up right away. The everything must have been freshly done because the amount of steam built up in the container had already made everything soggy, from the skin to all the fries (unless the fries are served soggy there to begin with). I can't really say much to recommend my experience. The skin was soggy, the flavour was ok but not great, fries where a wash. The slaw was, however, quite good. Perhaps they need to learn to leave freshly fried foods open in the container until the very last minute when the customer is ready to pick it up. If I have to go far before eating it and it gets soggy, then it is my fault. But if you say 15 minutes and it is ready in 5, don't let it sit in a closed container steaming. That just ruins all your hard work preparing the food and doesn't make the customer eager to return again.

                                                                    1. re: theel
                                                                      Charles Yu Apr 11, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                      Yes! Forgot to mention. The slaw indeed was pretty good!

                                                                      1. re: theel
                                                                        n
                                                                        neighborguy Apr 11, 2011 04:26 PM

                                                                        I find it unrealistic to expect any take-out to be anywhere close to what you would be presented right out of the kitchen. Unfortunate, but not the only matter concerning food that is time-sensitive.

                                                                        The Stockyards' fried chicken dinner (including a separate order of slaw), enjoyed on-premise, was the best fried chicken I've ever had.

                                                                        1. re: neighborguy
                                                                          Charles Yu Apr 11, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                                          I hope your comment regarding 'best fried chicken I've ever had' applies to Canadian experience only and does not include the States?! IMO, just the lack of seasoning of the batter alone is enough to relegate them to second best or worse! Also, where is the chicken gravy??!!
                                                                          If you have a chance in the future to head South, give ' Watershed' in Decatur, Georgia or Babels Chicken House in Roanoke, Texas a try. Their really, really, yummy Southern Fried Chicken will change your mind!!!

                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                            petek Apr 11, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                            I've been to Stockyards twice, had the fried chicken both times,and thought it was excellent.Well seasoned,crispy batter and juicy meat,didn't really care for the coleslaw though,too peppery for my taste.

                                                                            i would love to do a fried chicken and BBQ tour of the States! That's on my bucket list.

                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                              aser Apr 11, 2011 09:52 PM

                                                                              I am a fan of the fried chicken there, but I must admit Charles is right about one part, it is under-seasoned. I've had it 5-6 times and it's been consistently under-seasoned. It's just the way they do it.

                                                                              Chicken screams for salt, it needs A LOT. Fried food requires a lot of salt also, you put the two together.........

                                                                              Everything else about it is on point, crispy skin, juicy meat, etc.........Using the provided hot sauce fixes the under-seasoning problem.

                                                                              Charles, this might interest you.....

                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfcBU9...

                                                                              1. re: aser
                                                                                Charles Yu Apr 12, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                Awesome!!! Many thanks aser!! Guess I have to make a special trip there one day! Michelin 3* Fried chicken, if there's one?! Ha! First thing I noiticed watching that youtube show was the mentioning of ' seasoning! seasoning! seasoning!! "
                                                                                Hope Stockyard takes note and seasoned up their version a notch!!

                                                                                1. re: aser
                                                                                  Underdog Rally Apr 12, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                                  I love the chicken, but initially missed the seasoning too. In the end, though, I've realized that I prefer flavouring the chicken with their sauce if it means the chicken itself feels lighter. I think that the way they season (or underseason) also contributes to the quality of the crispy skin and juicy meat. Unless you're getting really good penetration with a marinade/brine, you don't want to be drawing all the moisture out with a surface seasoning. Maybe they can find a happy medium.

                                                                                  I like the other items on the menu (sandwiches, burgers, etc.), and those have always been well seasoned, so I assume the underseasoned chicken is on purpose.

                                                                                  Charles, your original post brought a moment of silence to my home. I read it to my wife, and we both realized that there isn't a single place in the GTA for which we would go out of our way to visit after the initial taste test. It was a sad 5 minutes. It turns out that my interest in eating something more than once is inversely proportional to the commute. So your comment about not wanting to drive from Richmond Hill sounds fair.

                                                                        2. d
                                                                          dale_ Dec 31, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                                          Went here a couple of days ago for the first time. As soon as I walked in all seats were taken so I decided to get some takeout. I ordered the Porchetta Sandwich and the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. I was told it would take around 10-12 minutes and it came in that time. The Porchetta sandwich was pretty darn good, I'm glad I spent the extra for the rapini, it added the proper flavour and texture needed. The BBQ pulled pork sandwich was very good too, the meat was moist and plenty, just wished it had more spice.

                                                                          All in all, I had a great lunch and will be back for sure.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dale_
                                                                            kwass Dec 31, 2010 10:21 AM

                                                                            I was there a couple of weeks ago and had the fried chicken. Initially, I was a little disappointed that the chicken wasn't coated in a thicker batter, but I got over it soon enough. The chicken was truly amazing! I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, and can't wait to go back.

                                                                            1. re: kwass
                                                                              petek Jan 7, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                                              Went for lunch on Thursday(Jan 6th).Got here around 11:30 place was empty,15 mins later the place was packed.Had the fried chicken mm mm good.Can't wait to try the BBQ.

                                                                          2. y
                                                                            Yum2MyTum Nov 25, 2010 04:52 AM

                                                                            Heading here for brunch on Sunday with a group. How many people can be accommodated? Thanks in advance!

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                                                              shekamoo Nov 25, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                                              I think best bet is to call and ask them. personally I would not go with more than 4-5 people tops

                                                                              1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                                                                Herb Nov 25, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                IIRC It's counter seating, no tables and no reservations and usually VERY busy, so the likelihood of even four people sitting together unless you show up early is slim. Not really a "group" brunch spot IMHO.

                                                                                1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  kwfoodiewannabe Nov 25, 2010 05:52 AM

                                                                                  Went for lunch Saturday, 2 of us waited about 20 minutes for 2 seats at the "grill counter". Definitely worth the wait! really nice staff, Great Fried Chicken (but I am still a fan of BROASTED...) great fries, Coke in glass bottles (yay!) Burgers and pulled pork looked great. Party ahead of us was a 4 and did get seated (not sure how long they waited though) I'm guessing going for Brunch with a party of 4 you will have to be patient. Good Luck!

                                                                                  1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                                                                    y
                                                                                    Yum2MyTum Nov 25, 2010 06:57 AM

                                                                                    I just learned that it's a party of 8 or 9 ... so we'll be headed somewhere else. I am definitely headed there soon with a smaller contingent!

                                                                                    Thanks shekamoo, Herb and kwfoodiewannabe : )

                                                                                    1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                                                                      Herb Nov 25, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                                      With a group that size, I'd go somewhere that takes reservations or is very large (ie not 24 seats). Most brunch places don't take them I've found.

                                                                                2. sugarcube Nov 24, 2010 07:19 PM

                                                                                  While it may be cramped, especially on Friday nights, I love the frenetic energy of the place. The best seats in the house are in front of the grill where the cook staff are. It`s like watching a well- oiled machine in action. The owner is always extremely hospitable even with all the patrons overflowing the tiny place. My favourite dish is the fried chicken. I was a little weary about ordering it at first because they're cooked in advance during the rush evenings, but the chicken was moist and tender on the inside and crispy on the out. I still have to try the ribs!

                                                                                  http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: sugarcube
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    Degustation Nov 25, 2010 02:44 AM

                                                                                    The owner is great! He really understands the concept of customer service. A few weeks ago I ordered takeout - fried chicken, grilled cheese, and the beef brisket. I asked if I would have to wait 15-20 min for the chicken as that is what is indicated on the menu. He said it would take 5 minutes because they continuously cook the chicken so there is always some available. After waiting for 10 min., he came back and apologized because apparently they had run out and a new batch had to be made. I really didn't mind waiting since it would have been a fresh batch, but he kept on coming over and updating me and apologizing.

                                                                                    25 minutes later, my order was ready. He said he threw in some "extra stuff" as an apology. I was curious because the order was put into a huge, paper shopping type bag, with two handles. Well, when I opened it, I was flabbergasted. He had added a whole BBQ smoked chicken and a couple of biscuits, on the house.

                                                                                    If the service wasn't enough to get me back, the food definitely would. The brisket was small but pretty good (Buster Rhino's is better but this will do in a pinch). The fried chicken was crispy and juicy as advertised....but...that BBQ chicken..! Succulent, tender, fall off the bone with a hint of smokiness. Biscuits were also fabulous. The only meh was the grilled cheese, but partly because it doesn't travel well.

                                                                                    I know next time, I'm going back for that smoked chicken and ribs....and the fabulous service enhances the experience.

                                                                                  2. p
                                                                                    pgroom Nov 24, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                                    The Stockyards is amazing!!! My buddies recently picked up lots of barbecue for my bachelor party from here - we had 18 racks of ribs, 5 lbs of pulled pork, 5 lbs of smoked brisket, plus salads, sauce, and buns to construct our own sandwiches. Some of the best barbecue I've ever had - certainly the best north of the Mason-Dixon line - and I've traveled through the US many, many times looking for good barbecue. Note that their sauce is more like Carolina barbecue with a thinner, more sour sauce - which I prefer - instead of sweet and sticky Kansas style.

                                                                                    It's too bad their ribs are not always available, but they are worth the wait.

                                                                                    1. shekamoo Oct 21, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                      They just added Saturdays to their Rib/Chicken days, for those complaining about limited offer

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                        estufarian Oct 21, 2010 05:23 PM

                                                                                        If that's so (and I have no reason to doubt you), it might have been a good idea for them to update their website.
                                                                                        It doesn't include Saturdays!
                                                                                        And I checked last Saturday as I was in town (unusually).

                                                                                        1. re: estufarian
                                                                                          shekamoo Oct 21, 2010 06:40 PM

                                                                                          came up on twitter couple of hours ago, saying it starts this weekend. I expect the website update should come anytime?

                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                        madhatt Oct 21, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                                        Tried the Pulled Chicken sandwich last night. $8 + $2.50 for fries came to about $12. Nothing spectacular about the meal, the portions I found were rather small. I didn't expect to be hungry leaving a place with "Larder" in the name. A friend had the Animal Burger, found it unremarkable. I'll have to try the Ribs or Buttermilk Chicken next time. The pulled meat sandwiches at Black Camel are larger, tastier and cost about the same.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Black Camel
                                                                                        4 Crescent Rd, Toronto, ON M4W1S9, CA

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: madhatt
                                                                                          Herb Oct 21, 2010 09:52 AM

                                                                                          No one goes to Stockyards for a sandwich.

                                                                                          1. re: Herb
                                                                                            estufarian Oct 21, 2010 10:45 AM

                                                                                            That's pretty much all they had last time I was there - that and fried chicken.

                                                                                          2. re: madhatt
                                                                                            duckdown Oct 21, 2010 11:14 AM

                                                                                            I've only had sandwiches on my visits as well (pulled pork, and porchetta), both were lackluster.. I am disappointed they stopped selling their pastrami that so many people had raved about

                                                                                            1. re: duckdown
                                                                                              t
                                                                                              Tatai Oct 21, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                                                              I can't quite figure out the rationale behind removing two really good and popular items (the pastrami and the onion rings) from quite a small menu and limiting the availability of one of the most popular items (the ribs). Where's the logic?

                                                                                              1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                duckdown Oct 22, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                                                I don't get it either, at all.

                                                                                                Maybe jamesm can tell us more

                                                                                                1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                  BusterRhino Oct 22, 2010 02:55 PM

                                                                                                  it's a guess, so don't shoot me over this.

                                                                                                  1) Pastrami - home made, very hard to make well, lots of time to do it, lots of loss. No money in it OR it was just popular with the people who talked about it here (I heard it rocked)

                                                                                                  2) Onion rings if made fresh KILL oil, oil isn't cheap, labour to change oil daily - loss...onion rings were no longer viable as a product (reason almost NO other restaurant makes them from scratch).

                                                                                                  3) Ribs are his thing on those days, it works, he sells out. Good for him. Remember he has to cook all that other food he makes on the smoker too, if you go by cooking cycles and he did ribs every day he would have to cut back on other products in house - which would it be?

                                                                                                  As I said - no shooting me, just an insiders perspective on maybe, just maybe why he doesn't.

                                                                                                  1. re: BusterRhino
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    Tatai Oct 22, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks, BusterRhino. Everything you've said makes a lot of sense. It's easy for those of us who've never been in the restaurant business to offer criticism. You're there, and in a very similar business.

                                                                                                    1. re: BusterRhino
                                                                                                      w
                                                                                                      wontonfm Oct 22, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                                                      Really great perspective. Always nice to get an "insider's" view.

                                                                                                      WON
                                                                                                      http://whatsonmyplate.net

                                                                                                      1. re: BusterRhino
                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                        mstestzzz002 Nov 25, 2010 10:37 PM

                                                                                                        When they pulled onion rings off the menu, I asked the woman at the cashier why and she said that the onion rings took so long to cook (not sure if it was time/labour) that it slowed down the orders. She did say that they bring them back as a daily special once in awhile.

                                                                                                        I love their onion rings, I prefer thicker fries though, so I pass on the Stockyard fries. Same with the Burger's Priest.

                                                                                                2. c
                                                                                                  canadianbeaver Sep 29, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                                                  Went to Stockyards for the first time on Tuesday. I ordered the whole BBQ chicken (tuesday special) and my dining companion had the half ribs with potato salad. Service was friendly and the lady taking my order asked me, "Do you really want the whole chicken?" I said yes, but she was right - it was way too much food. I though the tenderness of chicken was great, not dry at all. That being said, the ribs were far superior to the chicken. I wasn't a huge fan of the BBQ sauce (I ended up dipping my chicken in ketchup...shh don't tell) but my DC finished his entire bowl of BBQ sauce. The homemade limeade was great and the paper straw was a nice touch. We dined in and sat at the counter (it was about 6 pm) and although by 6:30 or so the place was filled up, we didn't have much of a problem and the turnaround is really quick. As I live downtown, it isn't a super convenient location, so I probably won't make special trips out there, but I had a good time overall and would recommend if you live close by. My meal (whole chicken + limeade) was $18.

                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                    SUZANNEFOODIE Sep 12, 2010 02:58 PM

                                                                                                    try the ribs

                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: SUZANNEFOODIE
                                                                                                      mbe Sep 17, 2010 05:45 PM

                                                                                                      Went tonight, expected a big linup but at 5:00pm was barely full. Ribs were very good, smokey but not too much, tender, nice sauce a bit thin in consistency but well balanced between acid and sweet. Chicken was great too, very tender and juicy, although a bit of crispy skin would have been nice. Found that both meats benifit greatly from a dip in the sauce otherwise they're a bit plain. Fries were winner, crispy, not too salty. They no longer make onion rings which is a shame as I hear they were fantastic. Brussel sprouts as a side, not overly exciting. Lime-aid with mint, not too sweet, it is what it is, they could work a bit on the beverage options.

                                                                                                      Overall I thought that $50 for 3 ppl (1 whole chicken $14, 1/2 rack ribs $13, fries $5, sprouts $4, 3 limeaids $8.25) after tax before tip was a fair price but I've been in Vancouver for 2 yrs so protein at this price seems like a steal. Would go again.

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

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      1. re: mbe
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        jamesm Sep 17, 2010 06:28 PM

                                                                                                        Shame about the onion rings, they were amazing. Those ribs look really good. Might hit them up this weekend after baseball.

                                                                                                        1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          millygirl Sep 17, 2010 06:47 PM

                                                                                                          WHAT??? They discontinued the rings???? WHY????

                                                                                                          Not to change the topic BUT the next best onion rings can be had at Great Burger Kitchen. There's are almost a tempura like batter. Should be outlawed, they are that good.

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Great Burger Kitchen
                                                                                                          1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                                                                                          1. re: millygirl
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            sbug206 Sep 18, 2010 06:42 AM

                                                                                                            +1

                                                                                                            Those onion rings were the best! Next best rings are the ones at South St Burger.

                                                                                                            1. re: millygirl
                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                              mstestzzz002 Sep 29, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                                                                              I asked the same question when the woman told me that they had removed onion rings from the menu.

                                                                                                              She said that the onion rings slowed down the order processing flow of the cooking staff.

                                                                                                              But she said that onion rings would be added as a special item once in a while.

                                                                                                              Darn.

                                                                                                          2. re: mbe
                                                                                                            shekamoo Sep 17, 2010 07:15 PM

                                                                                                            spot on on every point!

                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              jamesm Sep 18, 2010 04:33 AM

                                                                                                              I remember some people were complaining about the price of fries there but that's a generous portion for five dollars. Can easily feed two people.

                                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                                          danieljosef Sep 11, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                                                                          After numerous glowing reviews and reccomendations from friends, we finally tried it out. Got take out, had the porchetta/rapini sandwich and pulled pork. Side of fries. Wasn't impressed at all, the bun used for the pulled pork was your cheap grocery style wonderbread hamburger bun. By the time we got home (10 minute walk) the sauce/juices from the pork had made the entire sandwich soggy, had to eat it with a knife and fork. They really need to use a sturdier bread for the pulled pork, something with a thicker crusty outside. The porchetta sandwich was also disappointing, the porchetta was dry and didn't have much taste. Fries were good, but lukewarm by the time we got to them.

                                                                                                          Next time I'll try the ribs, seeing that is what people seem to really like, and will try to eat there so the food doesn't get cold.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: danieljosef
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            Tatai Sep 11, 2010 09:08 AM

                                                                                                            I've tried the ribs but was not blown away by them. It's their fried chicken that keeps me coming back. And their hamburgers are pretty decent, too.

                                                                                                            1. re: danieljosef
                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                              Arcadiaseeker Sep 11, 2010 04:50 PM

                                                                                                              Don't judge on the porchetta - it's not the greatest. The fried chicken is amazing as is the coleslaw that comes with. Still waiting to try the ribs etc as per my earlier post.

                                                                                                              1. re: danieljosef
                                                                                                                duckdown Sep 11, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                You tried the exact same items I did, porchetta with rapini, pulled pork, and french fries. I disliked all of them as well, so at least that makes 2 of us that goes against the general population

                                                                                                                How about that rapini? Was it horribly undercooked and woody? It was like eating a tree branch when I had it..

                                                                                                                Still mildly curious about their pastrami I suppose.

                                                                                                                1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                  curnonsky Sep 12, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                  Do tell!

                                                                                                                2. re: danieljosef
                                                                                                                  Rabbit Sep 11, 2010 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                  We (finally) visited this place for the first time about a month ago.

                                                                                                                  I agree that the pulled pork sandwich is dragged down by the quality of the bun. We ate it open faced and left that sad piece of wonderbread aside. But I thought the pulled pork itself was quite good. The ribs are satisfying too, and we were surprised how much we liked the smoked chicken (which I thought would be boring). I like the bbq sauce, which is a vinegar version vs. a tomato-y rendition. Collards were pretty good too.

                                                                                                                  What we ordered was good value for the money. We did get there very early for takeout dinner (I think there was still a 5 on the clock) and the wait was not insignificant, but not unpleasant since it was one of summer days when everyone seems convivial and relaxed. We'll be back when the mood strikes.

                                                                                                                  Note that if I remember correctly they do not have AC (or it was so bloody hot in there you couldn't tell the difference), so while summer lasts I would recommend planning to take out. It's pretty squishy either way.

                                                                                                                3. s
                                                                                                                  somewhere4 Sep 9, 2010 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                  The food is great. But the creating demand by limiting supply routine (offering limited amounts of smoked ribs and chicken 3 nights a week) is starting to wear a little thin.

                                                                                                                  I showed up with a couple of friends at what I thought was a reasonable hour (7ish) a couple of weeks ago. Not only were they out of ribs and chicken (BBQ and fried), but all the pulled pork and just about everything else was cleaned out. They were only offering hamburgers.

                                                                                                                  If there's that much demand, then why not increase the supply? Is the owner running it as a business or a hobby on the side? Still, it's his to do what he wants with it, I guess.

                                                                                                                  20 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: somewhere4
                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                    Arcadiaseeker Sep 9, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                    I agree - we live around the corner and would love to try the ribs but I can never remember the nights they offer hence we never go anymore unless we want fried chicken (which is rare). It's kind of just become another chicken place for us (it's the only thing they always have consistently). With two small kids at home, we are out of synch with their service model which requires MUCH more organization and planning on the part of customers.

                                                                                                                    1. re: somewhere4
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      jamesm Sep 9, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                      I don't think the strategy is to create demand by offering a limited supply. They just want to be able to produce a manageable amount of food to ensure quality control. I'm sure if they wanted to they could just pump out mediocre food but they care about the quality. It's the same as many BBQ places in the south. When they run out, that's it. It's actually a commendable practice if you ask me.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        somewhere4 Sep 9, 2010 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                        I appreciate the focus on quality control: I get that they're not out to compete with Swiss Chalet or Baton Rouge.

                                                                                                                        But surely there must be a happy medium between quality control and limiting your signature dish to 3 nights a week. I've been to a few good southern BBQ joints in the U.S., including a couple that blow the Stockyards away in terms of quality, and they were able to maintain the integrity of their product without hoarding it like the chocolate rations in Orwell's 1984.

                                                                                                                        1. re: somewhere4
                                                                                                                          Googs Sep 11, 2010 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                          No. There's no happy-medium. You either deliver high-quality, fresh ingredients, prepared at the right moment; or you compromise. What choice would any artist make?

                                                                                                                          1. re: somewhere4
                                                                                                                            Davwud Nov 24, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                            One thing that no one seems to understand about the smoked items. It takes a long time to do this stuff right and there's only so much room in there. I have a smoker at home. I max out at 3 chickens or 3 racks or 2 shoulders. I'd love to do extra stuff from time to time but it would mean smoking for a far less amount of time and then doing the next batch.
                                                                                                                            So it's really more about doing it right and maxing out the amount that can be done. Not trying to create demand. That said, the creating a demand thing would probably be a "good problem" for the them.

                                                                                                                            And while we're at it, people have to decide whether they want authentic or not. BBQ in the south has 2 things that we just don't seem interested in. First and foremost, BBQ (aka pulled pork) comes on a Wonderbread style bun. Serve it down yonder on a chiabata and they'll be out of business. Secondly, it's a known fact that a lot of places are open until the food runs out. Be prepared to go wanting if you don't get there in time.
                                                                                                                            If you're not interested in those things, that's fine. But don't cry for authenticity. Those are not directed at anyone in general but you hear these arguments in a lot of different threads.

                                                                                                                            I'm starting to notice that as Q pops up in non traditional areas a distinct style is (maybe on purpose, maybe happenstance) starting to develop. In TO, as we can see, you can't sell it on crap burger buns. It's infinitely more difficult to sell side ribs (seen here as inferior). Things like that.

                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                              scarberian Nov 24, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                              "I'm starting to notice that as Q pops up in non traditional areas a distinct style is (maybe on purpose, maybe happenstance) starting to develop. In TO, as we can see, you can't sell it on crap burger buns. It's infinitely more difficult to sell side ribs (seen here as inferior). Things like that." - Davwud

                                                                                                                              Which is a shame because say what you like about Wonderbread, their buns just fit right in with pulled pork and creamy coleslaw. Although if your Q is authentic and the flavours are just bang on then I can't see anyone complain (well maybe a couple of snobs) about the buns. Scarborough definitely needs a good real southern Q place with real smoke. =(

                                                                                                                              1. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                estufarian Nov 24, 2012 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                I HATE the texture of Wonderbread/buns. It sticks to the roof of my mouth and distracts from the meat/filling. And similarly I find the lack of texture in creamy coleslaw to be a deterrent, compared to crispy coleslaw.

                                                                                                                                Why does that make me a snob?

                                                                                                                                Give me a good Portuguese bun (a la Black Camel) anytime.

                                                                                                                                And I always substitute the Texas Sourdough for the bun on the pulled pork at Stack (currently my local pulled pork favourite of choice). Their Carolina pulled pork is the best I've had locally - as long as it's served on the Texas Toast - that contrast in texture makes the dish for me.

                                                                                                                                1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                  scarberian Nov 24, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                  I've had the bbq in the southern states at those mom and pop bbq joints and the Wonderbread as well as just plain white slice just works. I just don't understand, if they are piling on the pork, how can the bun distract you from the filling? But I guess to each his/her own.

                                                                                                                                  What I mean by creamy coleslaw is coleslaw made with mayo not vinegar. The texture itself is crisp and fresh not that mush from KFC.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: scarberian
                                                                                                                                    Googs Dec 1, 2012 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                    The thing is, the wrong white bread really does detract from the flavour. What makes Wonder work as a platform is that it's completely neutral. Its pretty much texture only. Now if you take the same food and put it on Ace Bakery white of any kind all the flavour gets sucked out of the dish and you wind up pounding flavour back into something that shouldn't need fixing. Aside from regular grocery store white, the only brand I've found that works is the Montmartre Bakery white hamburger buns. Smaller than today's norm, but perfectly sized for me. Hey, you can always have two. If anyone's found anything else (I'm lookin' at you scarberian and davwud) please do share

                                                                                                                          2. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                            shekamoo Sep 9, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                            I am under the same impression: that it is about quality control. Their website says their wood burning smoker is difficult to operate on a daily basis without more trained staff. now, I dont know anything about operating smokers, but I expect there is something to what they say.
                                                                                                                            having said that, the limited number of days and the relatively early hour they run out of ribs is the reason I frequent this place far far less than I would like to.

                                                                                                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                              Full tummy Sep 9, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                              I guess better that than them employing improperly trained staff and disappointing everyone. Which seems to have been the pattern for so many Toronto establishments serving smoked goods.

                                                                                                                              When I go, I arrange my schedule to get there early--ribs are served beginning at 5 p.m., so that's when I get there. Not the ideal time for me to eat dinner, and logistics make this arrival time difficult for me, but at least I know I'll enjoy what I'm served.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Full tummy
                                                                                                                                shekamoo Sep 9, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                I do the same, making a point of being there before 6 p.m. That means I can make it there maybe once a month tops. if the ribs lasted post 7:30 p.m., I would go there maybe every week

                                                                                                                                1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                  jamesm Sep 9, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                  I can imagine it would be frustrating, but I've never experienced it myself. It's too bad because I have really liked everything I've tried -- which I think is pretty much everything except the fabled pastrami. shortly after their opening a group of us ordered literally everything off the menu and sampled it in Wychwood Park with some beer. Pretty good way to enjoy good food in the summer.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                    shekamoo Sep 9, 2010 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                    I like everything on their menu as well, but it is just the ribs that make me travel all the way from home. if I am in the hood, the fried chicken will get me there too

                                                                                                                                  2. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                    GoodGravy Sep 9, 2010 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                    I went there on a whim simply b/c I wanted fried chicken and I hadn't ever been there. We arrived around 7:30pm, ordered chicken and a burger and were treated to a sample of things to come. They seemed to have plenty of pulled pork left and there was a constant stream of people coming in for take out so it seems the neighborhood is propping them up which is good to see. Their brunch menu looks very promising (biscuits & gravy!) so that'll give us a reason to wake up early on Sunday.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                      jamesm Sep 9, 2010 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                      I've been meaning to try their brunch because I liked the sound of it. Once I'm off my Hoof Cafe obsession I'll make an effort to get out there.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                      torontofoodiegirl Sep 9, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                      Another option is just to call first to see if they have whatever you want left -- you can even call in your order. That way, if they're all out, you don't need to be disappoitned and can just go elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                                                                                                                        shekamoo Sep 9, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                        I do call first, my general experience has been that the ribs are out by 7:00ish. I dont do take out because I live too far away and the ribs will be too cold by the time we get home. and they dont hold the ribs for you for more than half an hour, so you cant call at 5 and ask them to hold the ribs for you until 7:30 when you can get there. therefore, calling first is good for only what you say, that is, avoiding disappointment.

                                                                                                                              2. re: somewhere4
                                                                                                                                duckdown Sep 9, 2010 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                That's the exact reason I got sick and tired of this place. Drove all the way from west GTA twice to try out all the stuff people are ranting and raving about, and they were out of every single thing I wanted to try. I had to settle for the porchetta sandwich with rapini which was downright terrible, and on visit #2 some dried out, grey pulled pork with 5 dollar french fries.. Then they entered this 'deli duel' in the summer, yet removed the pastrami from their menu promptly after.. What the hell are they thinking?

                                                                                                                                1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                  Snarf Sep 12, 2010 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  Sorry, but if you're going to drive a long way, why wouldn't you order it in advance to ensure availability? There are some things that you should expect to run out in the city if you don't order in advance, or aren't there before a certain hour. The cakes at Jules and La Cicogne, the pain au chocolat at Rahier a few years ago, the fresh smoked whitefish at Kristapson's.

                                                                                                                                  On the other end of the scale, I've experienced what happens when inexperienced people are put at the helms of smokers to meet demand. On opening, I raved about fabulous thin cut brisket and bacon at Highway 61. Within weeks, the chicken dried out, the brisket turned to greasy jerky and the bacon vanished from the menu. I think I'd rather have them run out than be served crap.

                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                  Rahier
                                                                                                                                  1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                                                                                                                                  Kristapsons
                                                                                                                                  1095 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

                                                                                                                              3. GoodGravy Sep 8, 2010 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                BUMP!

                                                                                                                                So I finally made it to this place and had the fried chicken. It's juicy, crispy, tasty, comes w/ good slaw and fries and since it's the best fried chicken in Toronto, worth the price. But you already knew that. What made the visit worth the traffic jam to get up here was the two new additions being added on certain days. One is a creamy corn product that's hard to get here despite all the corn grown here. The other is something fried like chicken, but isn't chicken, and served w/ a nice peppery white gravy.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                  EarlyDrive Sep 8, 2010 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                  Hunh?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                    Tatai Sep 8, 2010 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                    Do you mean grits and country-fried steak? If so, why didn't you just say so?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                      sbug206 Sep 9, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                      What days??

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sbug206
                                                                                                                                        GoodGravy Sep 9, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                        Grits @ brunch and CFS on Tuesdays I think. Check w/ them before you go. The sample of shrimp & grits was nice and creamy, but I think he's still working out the recipe. Same w/ the CFS, but it was crisp, not too chewy, soft on the inside and covered w/ a nicely peppered pan gravy.

                                                                                                                                    2. y
                                                                                                                                      ylsf Dec 27, 2009 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                      Just a heads up that they are closed until the New Year. I don't know why they didn't update their website but I stopped by today to see the sign saying they are closed and see you in the new year....

                                                                                                                                      I came back to check if it was on their website (since I did check this morning and I thought maybe I missed it) but nothing up there. However, I checked their twitter and there was a note about it on there...

                                                                                                                                      1. p
                                                                                                                                        philly cheeze Dec 10, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                        1st visit had whole rack... AMAZING
                                                                                                                                        2nd visit had whole rack... Did you run out and sneak out to Loblaws HORRIBLE
                                                                                                                                        will give them a 3rd try though

                                                                                                                                        1. y
                                                                                                                                          ylsf Dec 7, 2009 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                          I went last night for the first time around 7ish pm. I figured by that time they would be sold out of their ribs, smoked chicken, etc they do on those special nights so I wasn't disappointed. I was going there for the fried chicken anyway.

                                                                                                                                          My friend had the burger. I don't think she was too happy with it. She found it too sloppy. It was REALLY wet. Like, sliding out of the bun. I didn't take too close a look at it but something was making it really wet (fat content/grease?) . Anyway, it looked like a pretty hearty burger. With so many other items on the menu I wish she had tried something else she hasn't had before (she is from Europe so never had pulled pork, etc).

                                                                                                                                          The fried chicken was great! I really enjoyed it. It was a substantial portion too. I probably should have taken at least 2 peices home instead of just keeping the one :) I gave my friend some chicken to try and also some of the fries and she said the fries were some of the best she has ever had. She said they reminded her of the ones her dad made back home. I enjoyed them too but for me, they were a bit too salty (I usually don't add salt on food though).

                                                                                                                                          Lastly, the service. I was impressed by the service for a counter style restaurant. We ordered, paid, they took out name and then actually delivered the food to the little window spot we sat down at. In addition, I saw one of the guys bring wet naps to some people eating. One of the waitresses offered us water too and brought out two glasses which was nice (we already had other drinks, but, when those were getting low). The staff seemed friendly.

                                                                                                                                          I will definitely be going back there. I don't think I would eat a whole order of the fried chicken myself again because I loved it a bit too much and it probably isn't the most healthy thing in the world but I would definitely share it with a friend and share something else too.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                            juno Dec 9, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                            As ylsf has pointed out, anyone on a restricted diet should probably stay far, far away from the Stockyards fried chicken, but my, as I discovered last night, it is damn tasty - with one portion (and its accompanying fries and cole slaw) enough for two. Good quality bird expertly prepared, the best example of fried chicken I've ingested in a long time, though I don't think my system could handle it again till my cholesterol count goes down in another six months or so. The fries and cole slaw were acceptable enough. The $12 price for the dish is certainly modest, though it's not too pleasant dining on the premises unless you score one of the seats at the main counter. Little wonder most of the action last night was takeout. But I find BBQ, like most other foods, tastes better if consumed immediately out of the kitchen, so I'll just have to suck it up the next time I'm in there and try to inveigle more comfortable seating. Those counters at the window and along the east wall are brutal.

                                                                                                                                            A friend ordered the half rack of pork side ribs, but didn't care for them at all, at all, probably because he's not a BBQ buff and is, accordingly, more diet-conscious than I'll ever be. So I got to dive into them as well, and found them most satisfying. Ribs in most Toronto restos aren't up to much, but these were much superior, well-crusted, moist and meaty. Also well-priced at $13. A separate order of potato salad ($5) was, well, somewhat different than the conventional, with good mouthfeel but not much taste. The soft drinks could be served colder.

                                                                                                                                            Good, cheerful service in cramped quarters. Having the proprietor on the premises makes a difference. He came by with small samples of a new hotdog he's trying to develop and it was quite go-o-o-d. For dieters, worth keeping an eye on, should it turn up on the menu, because it can't possibly have as many dietary no-nos in it as the fried chicken platter.

                                                                                                                                            It helps to be young, healthy and without blocked arteries to enjoy this food. I'm none of the above, but I'll foolishly be back - without my much more prudent friend - after I recover from last night's visit.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: juno
                                                                                                                                              shekamoo Dec 10, 2009 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                                              the fried chicken is just awesome. too bad, I too shall perish on an accelerated rate should I venture that way too often(that is more than once a year perhaps !)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: shekamoo
                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                childofthestorm Dec 10, 2009 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                I stopped through today with every intention of trying the smashed burger that created a kerfuffle in this thread, but the magical words "we have pastrami today" swayed me.

                                                                                                                                                In short, fantastic, and certainly should be in the conversation with Caplansky's, Goldin's, etc. I did not experience any problems with the hand-slicing, the meat was well-cut. The pastrami was moist and very aggressively spiced with a ton of black pepper in the rub and a fairly strong applewood smoke flavour, so those who prefer a more subtle traditional Jewish style might be disappointed. The best pure deli pastrami I had this year was at Kenny and Zuke's in Portland, and they certainly have a more traditional way of doing things. But as a BBQ/deli hybrid, Stockyards' pastrami is one of the best sandwiches in the city.

                                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                                            Arcadiaseeker Nov 18, 2009 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                            I went to Stockyards for lunch today and had the Caprese sandwich with a side of coleslaw. It had terrific flavour but two major flaws -- it was very small for the price and the bread was too thin. Although the menu said it came on a ciabatta roll it was served on what seemed to be two very small and thin slices of bread that didn't hold up well to the wetness of the smoked tomato jam -- it got soggy and fell apart. It tasted very good though. Overall it was a very small sandwich for $9 and I was glad I ordered a side otherwise I would have left hungry (and I am not a big portion person). That smoked tomato jam is really really good though. I also love the coleslaw.

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                              Boodah Nov 19, 2009 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                              That upsets me to hear that, I loved that sandwich when I had it there. Mine was fairly big and definitely was served on ciabatta. Luckily, I now own smoked tomato jam and just make my own :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Boodah
                                                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                                                psyrel Nov 19, 2009 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                I've really enjoyed the pulled porked sandwich but the last time I went they were out so I opted for the salt cod chorizo fritters. They are divine! Salty, spicy morsels of deep fried goodness. They will be a must-get item for me when I'm there from now on.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: psyrel
                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                  magic Dec 19, 2009 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Sadly they do not make the salt cod fritters anymore. Bummer. I liked them too.

                                                                                                                                                  Tried the burger for the first time the other day. Asked for it medium, came almost raw. Despite that it was really quite good.

                                                                                                                                                  What irks me a little bit are some, but not all, of the staff. Some are real sweet, some are not so much. The gal at the flat top doing my burger was personality plus; a real drag. I think if your joint is set up to have customers interact with the staff (by design or otherwise), the staff have GOT to be good with customers. Not so sure I've gotten that vibe my few times there. In fact, I know I haven't. The staff are on display and representing the restaurant. Especially when the customers can see their every move and remark in an open kitchen. From the couple of sourpusses I've run across there so far I gotta say it'd be nice to see some staff with more common sense and a better ability to pleasantly interact with the customers, who are after all 2 feet away and staring right at them as they eat.

                                                                                                                                                  Food is good though, I appreciate the effort going into it.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Boodah
                                                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                                                  Arcadiaseeker Nov 25, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I hear ya Boodah -- I think it might have been ciabatta but they'd obviously sliced and sliced the bun into thin wedges! Maybe they were trying to stretch it out. Who knows. I don't think I would order it again -- I would like to find that smoked jam (we got lost on our way to buy it a couple of weeks ago!!).

                                                                                                                                              2. BusterRhino Nov 10, 2009 02:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                I went there a couple of months ago, talked to the owner. He is a good guy who knows his stuff. I tried the porchetta sandwich. I would drive back for that. It was a great sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                1. n
                                                                                                                                                  NoraRebecca Nov 8, 2009 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                  We tried this place last week. I had the bbq brisket sandwich, which I loved...great sweet/smoky bbq flavour, sloppy with sauce, etc. SO got the special which was a corned beef hash, i believe, topped with a deep fried egg. This wasn't great, the deep fried egg had no flavour except "fried", and the hash was meh. It didn't come close to my sandwich, but it was only a special. Onion rings were great, if you love them super crispy and hate over-coated, soggy rings...you'll like these.

                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NoraRebecca
                                                                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                                                                    Vinnie Vidimangi Nov 8, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Went today. Had a burger- fried -which surprised me,- which was small , albeit tasty, and overwhelmed by the one small step above Wonderbread bun. I was overwhelmed by the price, $7. $3.50, no $3., would have been more than enough. Obviously I chose the wrong thing.

                                                                                                                                                    Then I got a half lb. of pastrami to go. Look, I know that that the guy is not a Roumanian Jew and entitled to do it different. But I thought that the spicing was to aggresive and not altogether complementary. But at least it tasted of meat rather than chimney soot and SALT!, and I could eat it, indeed with some pleasure. But I didn't have it, and I will forever not truly know how it is, with French's mustard, on a baquette.

                                                                                                                                                    Continuing in the vein of doing it different, how does his Reuben sound, with creme fraiche!
                                                                                                                                                    VVM

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                                                      duckdown Nov 8, 2009 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Flat top Griddled, the traditional US way of cooking the burger (not grilled)

                                                                                                                                                      I was interested in their pastrami but on my visit they didn't have any, along with about half of the rest of their menu

                                                                                                                                                      The pulled pork didn't taste smokey at all, just like a crock potted pulled pork tossed in sweet sauce.. fine but not great.. the porchetta sandwich was decent but the piece of rapini they stuffed in there was like chewing on wood bark.. the home made iced tea / limonades or whatever were good, if i recall

                                                                                                                                                      parking sucked too from what i remember, a construction nightmare

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                                                        y
                                                                                                                                                        Yongeman Nov 9, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I ate at the bar/counter this weekend and watched several of the burgers being made on the flat top. He took a ball (premeasured, I assume) of ground beef, flattened it on the cooking surface and cooked it. There wasn't a lot of fat-content, so the burger didn't shrink much. Not sure that I'd describe it a small, though. $7.00 might be a bit steep, but where can you get a $3.00 burger made from fresh meat, Vinnie?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                                          malpeque Nov 9, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I had the burger recently and loved it - seasoning was perfect, and great toppings. I actually like the wonderbread-like bun for a griddle burger. Too many "gourmet" burger places use oversized dry rolls that are impossible to eat, if you don't have a big mouth.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                                                            jayt90 Nov 9, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                            "Where can you get a $3. burger made from fresh meat?"
                                                                                                                                                            That's an easy question, Yongeman:
                                                                                                                                                            Collegiate diner, Gerard and Jones

                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                            Collegiate Lunch
                                                                                                                                                            1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                                              y
                                                                                                                                                              Yongeman Nov 10, 2009 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Ya got me, jayt90.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                                                              v
                                                                                                                                                              Vinnie Vidimangi Nov 9, 2009 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Fresh meat is not more expensive than frozen meat. It is only a question of whether you have enough respect for the customer to go to a bit more trouble.
                                                                                                                                                              The offered toppings were ketchup and mayo, on which I passed . I took the others offered, the tomato (sliver), lettuce (scrap) given in lieu of the promised pickles (sic), and onion (shred). I passed on the paid extras, carmelized onion, cheddar, bacon, $1 each.
                                                                                                                                                              The ingredients in my burger cost between 70 cents and 90 cents and probably closer to 70 cents. I thought that the meat was fatty, perhaps 30% , or there was fat added, but it was tasty and if flavoured, very gently.
                                                                                                                                                              Frying a patty is easier than using a char-grill , not that one needs to be a graduate of Paul Bocuse for this.
                                                                                                                                                              With respect to price, I wrote about what should be, not what is . There is a line from Hamlet about the price of this hamburger,- the fault is ours, dear somebody , etc,- and I am too lazy to look it up.

                                                                                                                                                              VVM

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                childofthestorm Nov 10, 2009 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Just so you know, the technique for the burger they are using, "smashing" it against a searing hot griddle, is all the rage in the US. Shake Shack leads the revolution and many many others are cropping up, including a chain, Smashburger, out of Denver. It's my preferred technique for burgers as it results in a very crispy and flavourful crust. And make no mistake, it is a technique, maybe not one that requires a Bocuse to master it, but certainly easy to screw up.

                                                                                                                                                                Of course I can't speak to price. Shake Shack hovers around $6 using a blend of dry-aged LaFrieda beef. But a diner might charge $3 and make an excellent burger too. I have tried Stockyards burger yet, but I will, to see if he gets it right. If he does I will happily fork over $6 - to each their own.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                                                                                  y
                                                                                                                                                                  Yongeman Nov 10, 2009 05:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I stopped at a Steak & Shake chain on my way up I 75. That's how they did it too.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                                                    childofthestorm Nov 10, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    They were one of the originators of the style...Roger Ebert wrote a loving tribute to their burgers after his cancer left him unable to eat solid food. Johnny Rockets is another chain that smashes their burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                  Carruthers Nov 10, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  VVM, I think it's confusing to refer to the Stockyards burger as fried. No fat is added at time of cooking. It's griddled. I don't know myself which is easier but I can't think of many Toronto restaurants that do a better griddled burger.

                                                                                                                                                                  To say that fresh isn't more expensive than frozen is just silly. If you know where beef of this quality can be had for $1.50/lb. please let us know.

                                                                                                                                                                  But these back-of-the-napkin, highly-speculative cost estimates don't really strike me as useful, anyway. Eating at (or commenting on) a restaurant is not an exercise in choosing the dish whose food costs are closest to its menu price. It is a matter of eating food which is better or more convenient than what you would otherwise cook at home (or eat elsewhere) for a price you're willing to pay.

                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't travel from NYC for a Stockyards burger but I'm happy to say that I think it is easily one of the three best griddled burgers in this city and I'm happy to pay seven bucks for it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Carruthers
                                                                                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                                                                                    Vinnie Vidimangi Nov 18, 2009 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Response to Carruthers.
                                                                                                                                                                    Please tell me the difference between "griddled" and "fried".

                                                                                                                                                                    This is a free country and someone can charge whatever they want for thier product. The rule-of -thumb in an ordinary "nice" restaurant is to charge three times ingredient cost. Less of a markup is required with burgers because they require less labour , and unskilled labour at that , assuming of course that the operator can get volume.

                                                                                                                                                                    Costco's ground beef is AAA and excellent. The wholesale price is about $2.20 a lb.
                                                                                                                                                                    If I want to grind my own, sirloin tip is about the same price.
                                                                                                                                                                    The Costco ground beef is less than 15% fat; I understand about 11-12%. Sirloin tip is a bit leaner. Costco does not sell shoulder cuts, but the cost is comparable and they can be had elsewhere.
                                                                                                                                                                    The (good paying) restaurant wholesale price of brisket at European Meats is $2.40 a lb. I don't know the fat content of a typical brisket, but it is a lean cut . Brisket is an excellent cut to grind.
                                                                                                                                                                    If I wanted to go "gourmet" I would blend cuts in the grind. The average price without too much shopping would be no more than $2.30 a lb. and probably less.
                                                                                                                                                                    I would end up with a lean ground beef. The burger at Stockyards had far more than 15% fat , say 30% and may have had something more, such as ice ,as a moisturizer. Extra fat for the grind is essentially free. Alternately, but unlikely, there may have been a pat of butter or maragarine put on top of the patty whilst cooking.
                                                                                                                                                                    So a lean grind is $2.30 a lb, or 14.5 cents an ounce, and 86 cents for a Stockyards size six ounce patty. But the Stocktards patty is fatty, so the cost is reduced by the 20% extra fat, making the cost of a six ounce patty 69 cents. And according to my thinking, this is a maximum cost.

                                                                                                                                                                    A good, big Silverstein sesame seed bun, the last time I knew, is 25 cents. The miserable bun at Stockyards cannot cost more than 10-15 cents, but this is a guess.
                                                                                                                                                                    The cost is inconsequential for the shreds of onion, etc, mustard ; the pickle didn't appear. So the extras cost, not to leave anything out and recognizing tomato prices have a winter peak, is say 2 to 3 cents.

                                                                                                                                                                    I come up with a cost of an ingredient cost per burger of 80 -85 cents each without hard work to push the costs down. If someone has a different understanding of ingredient costs and a different calculation, please post.

                                                                                                                                                                    This burger is not a final product. It is a vehicle to sell high markup extras- cheese slice, sauteed onions, fries, soft drink, etc. It would not be an unreasonable business strategy to reduce the usual markup on the basic burger in order to induce the purchase of extras.

                                                                                                                                                                    To repeat, this is a free country , etc. And my Stockyards burger was good according to its style, (although I consider the style low and certainly not meriting a premium). But this burger didn't give me an orgasm (in the non-food writer sense), and I can make a better burger at home easily. So I reflect on the difference between production cost of 80-85 cents and sale price of $7 . I conclude that $7 is excessive for this burger. Corresponding to the operators right, I have the right to my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                    Caplansky's $8 burger warrants its own post.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                                                                      atomeyes Nov 20, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Please factor in:
                                                                                                                                                                      cost of grinder
                                                                                                                                                                      cost of rent
                                                                                                                                                                      cost of griddle
                                                                                                                                                                      labour for a person to grind meat
                                                                                                                                                                      labour to hand-form burger.

                                                                                                                                                                      and there you have $7.
                                                                                                                                                                      go to one of Toronto's many horrible burger restos and get their "home burger" for $3. looks like Alpo's the main ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                      while i haven't tried Caplansky's or Stockyard's burgers, i certainly shudder when a place charges less than $5 for a burger. since i assume Stockyards isn't driving up beer sales by having at-cost burgers, $7 seems right

                                                                                                                                                          2. gregclow Nov 6, 2009 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Finally had my first meal at Stockyards last night, and it was just as great as I'd been led to expect.

                                                                                                                                                            I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was a generous serving of tender pork on a bun that pretty much disintegrated within a couple of minutes, so it became a fork & knife meal. My only complaint might be that the sauce was a touch on the sweet side for my tastes, but not enough to distract me from the fantastic meat.

                                                                                                                                                            Sheryl got the fried chicken, and we were completely astounded by portion served for only $12. As far as we could tell, she got at least half of a very large chicken. She ate enough to be full, I ate a piece, and she still had a large piece left to take home for lunch today, along with a a pile of excellent french fries that were also left over. She declared the chicken to be the second best she's had in the city, close behind Harlem, which is high praise indeed.

                                                                                                                                                            We were sitting at the bar, and the other things I saw being prepped and served all looked awesome. Especially the onion rings - will have to try those next time!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gregclow
                                                                                                                                                              y
                                                                                                                                                              Yongeman Nov 7, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I'll add my raves to both posts from yesterday. This was my first visit and I came away very impressed. I had the brisket on a baguette with fries. The sandwich was served on the freshest, crustiest bread. Plenty of lightly smoked brisket with caramelized onions and mayo. Maybe next time I'll have it with bbq sauce, but it was delicious. So were the fries--thinly cut and golden. Mmmmm.
                                                                                                                                                              By the way, when I was there, they were hauling out a bunch of smoked briskets (they call it pastrami) from the steamer. They also smelled very good. Maybe next time...or the pulled pork...or the awesome looking chicken.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gregclow
                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                Tatai Nov 7, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Those onion rings look and taste delicious and are wonderfully uber-crisp, but the batter absolutely oooozes grease. Love the fried chicken and pulled pork sandwiches, too, and agree that the pulled-pork sauce is too sweet. Still haven't managed to try the ribs and smoked chicken -- they've either been sold out when we've gone or we've been there on a rib/chicken-night-off. Will they ever be available every night of the week?

                                                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                                                Cup cake Nov 6, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Had dinner at the Stockyards tonight and it was out of this world. Beef brisket on french bread, pulled pork sandwich, fried chicken, potato salad and cole slaw. The meat was super tender and nicely smoked. Lots of tanginess in the sauces that I really enjoy. The fried chicken was unbelievably moist and great flavour. I also loved the salads. Only problem was the place was full of smoke from the exhaust, but we hardly looked up while digging in.

                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                  shillmon Sep 20, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I had the "never available" pastrami this weekend. Simply pit, it is the best smoked meat in Toronto, hands down. Reminds me of The Main in Montreal (across from Schwartz's).

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shillmon
                                                                                                                                                                    deelicious Sep 20, 2009 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    It IS never available. How did you manage to get some? I really didn't think they really made it and that they just wanted people to keep stopping by for it....so I gave up.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deelicious
                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                      Tatai Sep 21, 2009 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      It does exist -- I had it on a Tuesday night about a month ago when they were out of ribs. It IS very good.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                        millygirl Sep 30, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        We went yesterday and really enjoyed our fried chicken lunch. Huge portion, and in fact, took some home which I am looking forward to. The fries were outta this world, maybe a touch over salted, next time I would ask for less. The onion rings were fabulous. In fact best onion rings EVER! Not greasy at all. Thin and crisp, cooked perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                        The staff were very friendly, and I was quite impressed with how clean everything was.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                                                                                                    dubchild Jun 20, 2009 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I want to say only positive things about this place. So many things are right; the look, the staff, they use green shift products, the menu etc.. I'm moving into the area so its nice to have this option. That said, it has been mentioned that the prices are a bit high, and I have to agree. If everything was a dollar less, I wouldn't have noticed. Some things are great, like the BAT, others are average, like the ribs, pulled pork sandwich and whole chicken. I still have to try the pastrami sandwich.
                                                                                                                                                                    In another post someone mentioned that black cherry soda would go well with smoked meat, and it was awesome with my pulled pork sandwich. Thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                    My general complaint about most smoked products is that it doesn't taste of any specific smoke. The smoke at the Stockyard is heavy, but I don't feel as if I'm walking through a forest. This is the way I would describe Stadtlander's smoked products. In most scotches, the peat is well pronounced, even Lapsang Souchong tea has a very clearly defined taste of the woods. Maybe, much like Caplansky's, this should be viewed as a work in progress, and thus deserved our support.
                                                                                                                                                                    Like I said I'm moving into the area, so I wish them the best. I will be back.

                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dubchild
                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                      marcharry Aug 5, 2009 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Tried Stockyards on Sunday night. Much to love - the fries are outstanding, my ribs were well crusted and moist inside, the $13 fried chicken combo is easily large enough to split - the chicken was excellent - well crusted with tasty batter and moist and meaty inside. Limeade was a treat. Staff were very friendly and fun.

                                                                                                                                                                      Needs improvement:
                                                                                                                                                                      Need to rename it: "We'reouttathat" - No pulled pork, no pastrami, no chicken and waffles (that's an old menu) etc. But i knew that going in.

                                                                                                                                                                      Weird - way too many fries, way too little cole slaw in the combo - a tiny dish of slaw? why? Its not a garnish its a side.

                                                                                                                                                                      Dipping sauce served with the ribs - tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                                      Fairly slow at kicking out the food - i think it must be the fryer holding things up.

                                                                                                                                                                      Most important - all the food we did get was very good, go for that; just don't expect a flawless operation.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: marcharry
                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                        Arcadiaseeker Aug 5, 2009 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        We tried it last week. Ordered the porchetta sandwich, fries, onion rings and coleslaw. The sandwich was so-so -- a bit bland. It needed something other than mayo to kick it up. The fries were great and so was the coleslaw. The onion rings which looked fabulous were actually very greasy -- inedibly so (it was like a mouthful of oil - yuck!). I think the oil wasn't hot enough. We are going to try it again since it's around the corner and my husband wants to try the ribs -- I also want to try the fried chicken. Hoping it gets better since the place looks great and there have been some positive reviews on here.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                          Boodah Nov 7, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I recommend the Caprese Sandwich, the smoked tomato jam on it really makes it extra good. R had the fried chicken and really liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: marcharry
                                                                                                                                                                          dannyboy Aug 5, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Went there for my second time on the weekend and had to pipe in.
                                                                                                                                                                          This time i had pulled pork / fries & little one had a hot dog & onion rings...
                                                                                                                                                                          I notice they make the rings fresh, which is nice and they are pretty damn good - wasn't impressed though that with my order they added another order (which was in the basket) back to the fryer and was part of what i got - kinda cheap i thought for them to give me ones that weren't quite as 'fresh'...
                                                                                                                                                                          Pulled pork was alright, I didn't taste much smoke at all, texture was good but wasnt' very sauced either and with the BBQ sauce i got on the side wasn't that impressed with it's flavour - kinda bland imo...
                                                                                                                                                                          Also when i was leaving the gal tried to nick me for the $5 fry deal till i reminded her it was a side - so when she voided the bill was sure to remind me it was 'her first time' having to do that - boo hoo - as if i was a cheapo or something...
                                                                                                                                                                          anyway, I wanna like the place and i'm sure will go back for the chicken, but i think it's overpriced for what you get and that Phil's pulled pork is definately better.
                                                                                                                                                                          just my 2 cents...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dannyboy
                                                                                                                                                                            Satish Patel Aug 10, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Went to Stockyards for the 1st time a week ago for lunch and I have to say that I was a little disappointed. The service and staff are great and informative but both the pulled pork and chicken sandwiches that a friend and I had were disappointing. Firstly, for 9 bucks, the sandwich though filled with moist meat is rather small and overpriced. Secondly, the small roll used to hold the meat is so soft that the sandwich breaks apart in your hands and you end up eating the meat that drops onto their fancy cast iron service pans!! Finally, the flavor of the BBQ meat in the sandwich was as not as flavorsome as I would have expected. The sauce that the meat was marinated/tossed in tasted tart, almost vinegary. So, along with the coleslaw within the sandwich and their recommended lime&mint homemade drink, the sandwich eating experience was too tangy and tart for my liking. I have yet to try the ribs for which they are known for and I will venture there one evening for them, but my vote for the best BBQ pork sandwich at the moment goes to the Black Camel @ Rosedale.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dannyboy
                                                                                                                                                                              y
                                                                                                                                                                              ylsf Aug 12, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              What is the $5 fry deal?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                                                                                dannyboy Aug 12, 2009 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                fries are $5, if you get them as a side they're $2.50, but if you don't watch they nick you for the full $5

                                                                                                                                                                        3. a
                                                                                                                                                                          Arcadiaseeker Jun 14, 2009 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          There was a recent bunch of postings that started before the place opened -- if you scroll down people are pretty detailed about what they have tried and liked. My husband and I went in and got a takeout menu and we're hoping to try it this week. I had no idea it existed until I saw this earlier posting. I think the pulled pork sandwich is a hit:
                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607959

                                                                                                                                                                          1. estufarian Jun 13, 2009 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't been on a night when they had BBQ - I've only seen grilled and deep-fried food, so I'm still wondering what all the fuss is about (especially as it's almost inaccessible because of road works).
                                                                                                                                                                            But the one item I'd recommend is the porchetta sandwich, which is really good. The fries are ridiculously expensive!

                                                                                                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                              Dimbulb Jun 13, 2009 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Five bucks for fries is ridiculously expensive?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dimbulb
                                                                                                                                                                                estufarian Jun 13, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Cheaper at JKWB, Lee (and several others) - which are much more upscale.
                                                                                                                                                                                When you pay $7 for a sandwich (admittedly a great one), $5 extra for fries seems out-of-line (to me). Other places where I pay $7 for a sandwich are typically around $3 for fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                  Snarf Jun 13, 2009 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Went today. The menu very clearly states that fries with any sandwich are $2.50 . I can't say what size the individual fries portion would be, but the ones with came with the sandwich were about the equivalent of one and one half portions of either large McD's, or a JK cone. Not bad, though underseasoned (could have been spoiled by having had a JK cone earlier at the Brickworks).

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tried the pastrami, which had nice flavour and texture, good sized portion, but was too thickly sliced. I'll mention it next time, and see what happens, as I had takeout.

                                                                                                                                                                                  No real problem with parking on the sidestreets around there, such as Rushton, less than 100 yards walk. It's not far enough into the construction to be that daunting an experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Snarf
                                                                                                                                                                                    jayt90 Jun 13, 2009 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Isn't thick slicing expected for a hand cut sandwich?
                                                                                                                                                                                    The machine slicer allowed tougher cuts, and spread them out on a sandwich so that it seemed like more. Hand slicing reveals the potential and maybe the shortcomings, of pastrami or corned beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                      Snarf Jun 13, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a veteran of many sandwiches. Undergrad in Montreal, family homages to Shopsy's when it was on Spadina, etc. Generally, I expect an 1/8 to 1/4 inch for hand slicing. The slices today were varying between 1/4 to 3/4, which didn't seem right. Especially, it didn't seem right in context of the reviews, and the general appearance of the place, which appears to be authentic, sincere, and had these amazing looking smoked ribs in the front case.

                                                                                                                                                                                      All that being said, I'm going back, and didn't find my experience to be anything that would lead me to be dismissive.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Snarf
                                                                                                                                                                                      estufarian Jun 14, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      $2.50 eh?
                                                                                                                                                                                      Then they owe me $2.50 - I was charged $5 for the Fries!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                                        duckdown Jun 14, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        So was I.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And the only thing they had bundled with fries for an extra $2.50 was the Hamburger... Not "any sandwich"... I remember because I specifically asked...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown
                                                                                                                                                                                          Googs Jun 14, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          New business = kinks. If you really like it, give him patient guidance. If you don't, don't go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                            Snarf Jun 14, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            As of yesterday, fries were clearly available on the menu with all sandwiches for 2.50. Sounds like they're paying attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                                                                              estufarian Jun 15, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Any rule of thumb on how long one should wait until the kinks are worked out?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                                                Googs Jun 20, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                With very rare exception I won't try a place within a month of opening. I don't think that fair. After that should they show promise they get the first quarter of operations to get it together. In this case in particular, I'd give extra time credits for having to accept larger than expected crowds due to the rave reviews even if crowd size is hindered by this city's kooky notions of 'rapid transit'.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Dimbulb
                                                                                                                                                                                      duckdown Jun 13, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      What, you don't think so?

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 bucks for a small container. It is a rip off.

                                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: estufarian
                                                                                                                                                                                      Googs Jun 13, 2009 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      How big a serving is the ridiculously priced fries? Enough for two people or more? A meal in itself?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                                                                        pinkprimp Jun 13, 2009 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        $5 for onion rings got me about 7-8 small to medium rings. They were tasty though!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                                                                          fickle Jun 15, 2009 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          My fries could have been a meal in itself. We were there on Saturday for lunch and our porchetta sandwich came in one skillet, the fries another, a half rack of ribs in a third one and the potato salad in a medium size bowl. That was a lot of food for 2 people. Had onion rings on a previous trip with a porchetta & pulled pork sandwich and it was a good size also. Maybe I have good service karma? Can't wait to go back and check out the pastrami and fried chicken next (it looked really good!)...

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Dimbulb Jun 13, 2009 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        According to the Now, the ribs and chicken are only available Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dimbulb
                                                                                                                                                                                          Food Tourist Nov 19, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Had fried chicken and waffles on Saturday. Amazing. This place is so consistently terrific. Juicy perfectly fried chicken (3 pieces) and the best waffles I've had in years. The only down side is the weird spicy syrup covering everything. Hold the syrup or get it on the side and stick to real maple syrup or butter! Their bacon is still very tasty and the arugula BLT is terrific, too. Save your caffeine fix for next door at Noir Coffee where they make really good coffee and tea and the best mocktail around: the shakerato.

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