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Jan 15, 2010 12:40 PM

Real BBQ in Etobicoke

A week ago I was driving around Dundas and Burnamthorpe when I saw "Paul and Sandys Real BBQ" with the full requisite Pig Neon type sign. I pulled over immediately and walked in . They were closed but Paul opened the door for me. We talked and sure enough this is the real Mcoy, a fully valid BBQ joint right in my neighborhood. He let me know that they smoke everything on hickory, they make all thier own rubs and sauces
I went over there for lunch today, I had the pulled pork sandwich. It was served not on a fluffy white wonderbread bun, but more like a sourdogh type of bun. The meat was beautifully juicy, nice chunks of bark, a beautiful smoke ring and a very nice vinegar South Carolina style sauce, also served on the side.They also have an amazing hot style sauce. I would say that the pork was very nicely smoked. I have heard some complaints on the board that some of the BBQ places in town you just dont taste the smoke as you might in the USA, (and I agree) but here I'd say thats not the case.
You get a choice of typical BBQ sides like coleslaw and beans. I picked the beans, at the suggestion of the waiter, and the enthusiastic support of neighboring diners. The beans were amazing, they had chunks of meat that Paul identified to me as thier own smoked Canadian back bacon, so boy am I ever impressed now..on the plate also a couple of thick slabs of garlicy pickles. Lunch all in with a coke and tax was $8.16.
I didnt try the other stuff but Paul did show me the ribs and they certainly looked beautiful.They also have brisket, smoked chicken and smoked meatloaf (Paul reccommended).
The decor is nothing special, and that suits me just fine.
I am not going to use this space to compare this spot to others in the GTA particularily since I havnt tried everthing on the menu, but I would say if I could only go to one place for a pulled pork sandwich it would be Paul and Sandys.
I do really love "Real BBQ". Maybe a bit over the top.This year I became a certified Kansas City BBQ Association Judge, and I have travelled to Austin, Dallas, and Memphis in May in a quest for ultimate BBQ. I am tickled pink that we have this place around now.

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        1. Me and my SO went today to check it out, as we were curious to see if the food was as good as it once was in that location (having been occupied by Manna previously, with chef Soo producing some of the best homestyle Korean I've ever had). We tried the BBQ sampler platter, which included baby back ribs (dry, horribly overcooked, and the membrane hadn't been removed from the backside of the ribs - a big no-no, at least in my books, but they had a nice smoke flavour), chicken (we were given only white meat, which I don't really like to begin with, and it was dry as well, though the smoke flavour was evident), smoked meatloaf (tasty, perhaps a little dry, but nothing that some of Paul's excellent tomato-forward homemade BBQ sauce couldn't fix), brisket (quite delicious, nice and smokey, falling apart, pretty moist, perhaps just a little under-seasoned - again, Paul's BBQ sauce solved that problem), and pulled pork (definitely the highlight of the meal - smokey, succulent, fatty (but not too fatty), nicely seasoned - really, really great pulled pork). We also tried the beans (not too bad - very dominant bourbon flavour, and they could have been cooked a little longer) and the cucumber and tomato salad (okay). The service was very friendly - both Paul and Sandy seem like lovely people, and Paul clearly has a passion for the 'cue. My biggest complaint would be regarding the ribs, for sure. They were so overcooked and chewy that, together with the fact that the membrane had not been removed, it was next to impossible for me to cut through them. I'll be back for more of the pulled pork, certainly, and I'll have to try Paul's ribs again, just to be sure that today's ribs weren't just an anomaly - one bad batch perhaps... Let's hope this is the case. And Paul, if you're reading this, remove the membrane before smoking your ribs. It makes a world of difference.

          6 Replies
          1. re: redearth

            Thanks for the writeup, I was thinking of checking this place out really soon. I wold have ordered a whole rack of ribs, so now I'm not sure what I should do.. Do I risk buying them even though you had a bad experience with them, and just hope that they were a bad batch? Or do I play it safe and just get a pulled pork sandwich to go...

            tough call..

            1. re: duckdown

              To be safe, I'd go with the pulled pork sandwich and maybe a half rack of the ribs (my fingers are crossed for you!). That way you wouldn't be shelling out too much coin (I think the half rack is $10.95, and a full rack is only $18.95 - very reasonable prices, at least compared to many other barbecue joints...), and you'd have the opportunity to try out at least a couple of Pat's offerings... Good luck!

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  I drove by this area the other day, having a yen for barbecue. But I don't know it that well, and the traffic wasn't terribly sympathetic towards my slow driving. Can anyone provide more specific directions - north side, south side, as far west as that turkish restaurant?

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    My mistake, I think it's Paul... Don't know where I got Pat from... Oops.

            2. I've driven by this restaurant as well, and decided to try take-out last night as well after deciding with some friends that it was going to be a "ribs and pulled pork" night. (for badrockandroll, it is on the southwest corner on Dundas at Burnhamthorpe - about 3 blocks east of the Turkish restaurant, but south side.) Showed up at 5:35 pm to order dinner for take-out. They only had 1 1/2 slabs of ribs left, no beans and not enough cucumber salad for a large order. We made do, and took the remaining 1 1/2 slabs of ribs (not sure what the other 3 parties that came after us did for dine-in service, if they were looking for ribs as well) and also ordered 3 pulled pork sandwiches as a result. Also ordered large orders of the potato salad and coleslaw. The restaurant was near empty when we arrived - there was one other table of diners and one person also there for take-out, but it took about 45 minutes for our take-out order to be prepared.
              The food that we did get was pretty good - the sides (coleslaw and potato salad) very tasty; ribs meaty with good flavour but a bit dry - not sure if it was because we received the last ones there. What we did get was a very generous serving though. Pulled pork - also generous with the quantity on a nice bun, but a bit dry - would've liked a bit more sauce on it. Seems like they are still trying to iron out the restaurant operations in terms of food quantities etc. - running out of the main items like ribs and baked beans before 6 pm on a Saturday night was a big surprise to us, and when I asked about that, was told apologetically that the number of customers / orders coming in had been changing from day to day. Would like to give this place another shot, but will probably wait a while until they get their operations better sorted out.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Madcar

                Given the "low and slow" cooking time required for things like ribs and pork (to make pulled pork), I imagine it can be very difficult to accurately predict how much cooked food will be required on a day to day basis -- especially for a new establishment. Once they start to get some steady business, it will be easier for them to have enough and not run out. I'd also guess that making too much food too often could be very detrimental for a new BBQ business, as the lost profit would add up pretty fast. I wonder if the so-far common complaint of dry ribs means they are serving them more than a day or two after they were made? They may need to think about cryovac sealing them and reheating for each order the way another place does. Or maybe they already do, which might account for long waits for orders.

                1. re: CeeQueue

                  I think you about nailed it; the biggest problem I see with ALL BBQ joints in the GTA is that it seems like ALL of them are re-heating food thats been prepared previously..

                  Memphis BBQ in Woodbridge seems to be a big offender for this too; I always see them take a saran-wrapped rack directly out of the fridge then re-heat it on a direct heat grill.. The ribs are OK as the end result but definitely nothing like they'd be fresh from the smoker..

                  1. re: CeeQueue

                    I'd say the reason for dry ribs is they're using back ribs. Not enough fat and connective tissue. You need side ribs.


                    1. re: Davwud

                      I prefer side ribs too, but back ribs seem to be the favourite of rib BBQers.

                      1. re: CeeQueue

                        Around here they are. Side ribs around here seem to be thought of as Cheap.

                        I'm personally getting to the point that if I see them at a BBQ place I won't bother.

                        In the south I'd say it's about 2 - 1 in favour of back ribs.