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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.


            2. Anyone know if they are open Sundays for lunch?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ms. cornbread

                They are not at this point, drove by there today (Sunday) at about 2pm and they were closed.

              2. I live by in the area and had to check it out (took a break from a tiling project).
                Had the puled pork and the brisket, and loved them both.
                Very nice family behind the counter and I wish them success on their new restaurant.

                1. Made our second visit here on Saturday, this time with our second BBQ critic, my son. He had the pulled pork and slaw, this time I tried the brisket and meat loaf. The brisket was first rate, very tender, nice smoke ring, smokey, clearly fresh.. The slaw was also fresh crunchy. The meatloaf was I thought amazing. My sons pulled pork was consistant with my first visit. Very good.
                  I am completely cool with the idea that you serve what you made that day , and if you run out..I guess you have to wait. I way prefer this to reheating BBQ.I was at a highly rated BBQ place in TO and I couldnt believe it when the actually boiled the individual servings for the sandwiches right in front of us. Just give me the old school. Other than chains in the US, thats pretty much how it works.

                  1. Thank you chowhound's Super Dave for finding and posting another opportunity to try southern BBQ here in Canada. It does help this girl feel less homesick...Looking forward to meeting Paul and Sandy and their version of a pulled pork sandwich soon.

                    1. thanks super dave, i live right in the area and can't wait to try a new BBQ place like this!

                      1. Had the pulled pork sandwich as well this week and really liked it. As noted by others just enough sauce to not overwhelm the meat which for me is a positive.
                        It's on the way to work so will be back again next week hopefully to try something different but who knows may just stick with the sandwich.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: damonster

                          Went for dinner around 6:45. Sat down and were quickly informed that everything but the ribs were sold out. Being an optimist I thought this was a good sign. My friend, his gf, and I all had a half rack with 2 sides each (sampling all 5 sides - Fries, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Potato Salad and I can't remember the last one...). We also split the last of the pulled pork for the day.

                          All three racks stuck together well if held, but fell apart nicely with just a slight amount of pull on the bone. No gristle, just the right amount of fat, and a decent amount of meat between the bones. The sauce was noticeable, but not overbearing and a very delicious (homemade) recipe without a doubt. Home run in my mind. If the sauce was only slightly thicker (better for side dipping) it would be a grand slam.

                          Side's all got great compliments, although for me personally (though I'm normally an exception) the fries could be (only slightly) more crispy. Not a big problem whatsoever.

                          The pulled pork was a good size, not like the heaping piles on a bun you get at Ribfests, but for a lunch it would be ideal without going overboard. Juicy, not overly sauced and just the right amount of kick for the average person with their house spicy BBQ sauce. Some purists will scoff at the fact that it's not on a wonder bread bun, but rather a hard(er) crusted bun. This is what makes Paul's perfect for lunch IMHO as the bun doesn't get soggy, nor fall apart in your hands, yet still fresh.

                          As great as the food was, the service was perfect, and I really mean it.. As one my companions mentioned leaving, Paul and Sandy "could be the nicest people I have ever met in my life". Sandy chatted with us throughout the meal to see how things were and talk about how things came to be for the non-restaurateurs that they are. Genuine, wonderful people who have an actual passion for making sure people are happy. Paul was behind the counter whipping up some of the last ribs of the day for another couple seated after us, but took the time to talk about his food, and quite evidently, his passion.

                          the half rack with side's were $14 and with a beer it came to about $22pp (splitting the sandwich) including tax and tip. I have the day off tomorrow so they will get my business again to have another pulled pork sandwich for lunch. My companions mentioned the same thing.

                          Overall it's been noted in my mind for repeat business, and on days where I don't feel like cooking and want something quick, Apache Burger will no longer be my go area food-fix. I'm happy central etobicoke now has a genuine BBQ joint in town, and even happier for Paul to be able to share his bliss with the public. I mentioned to the both of them that many people who shouldn't be in the restaurant industry are, and vice verca, those who should be, aren't. I can assure you, that in this case it is the latter.

                          Food - 9.5/10
                          Service - 10/10
                          Value - 9/10

                          Cheers, and best of luck in the future for this fine place.

                          1. re: craigger

                            After reading all these positive posts, it is a place I must try!
                            If they ran out of food at 6:45pm on a Saturday, they need to work on that , anticipating their numbers for that night. It annoys me when a restaurant runs out of food so early in the evening.
                            They can be the nicest couple on the earth, but good service is a must.
                            I am going to give them a try. I hope they make it work because the area needs some good food!

                            1. re: froglegs

                              Went for dinner at 6:45 on a Wednesday - Sat down quickly. Sorry for the poor sentence structure.

                              If the run out of food, it just means they're new to this and don;t want to over-cook, and have to much waste, as they refuse to reheat yesterdays food for today

                              thumbs up from me on everything.

                        2. Someone from my office went today on my recommendation.

                          When he got there at 12:30, they told him that they were behind schedule and they had no pulled pork, brisket etc. They told him it would be about 15-20 minutes. He waited half an hour and they told him that it would still be another half an hour. He went down the street to Espresso Bakery for veal.

                          I guess I will have to wait another time to try their pulled pork

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: iamam

                            We were the first customers in today, so they hadn't yet realized that the cooking times had been compromised. So they took our order and had started preparing our plates when they realized the brisket and pulled pork weren't up to their standards. My wife had ordered pulled chicken, so it was fine. I had ordered pulled pork and brisket. They refused to serve the pulled pork as it was not up to their standards, so I got pulled chicken instead. They explained that the brisket was a little more chewy than they wanted. I asked for the brisket anyways and subbed pulled chicken for the pork (they didn't charge me for the brisket). The chicken was awesome. The brisket was full of flavor (super-smoky), and though not overly tender, not overly chewy either, so I can't wait to try it when it is up to their standards!!! The sides were all good, especially the beans.

                            Apparently the story was that the gas man was supposed to come this morning and do some work on the gas meter. He came late and stayed longer than expected, throwing off all of their cooking times. They cook everything fresh, so pretty much everything is timed down to the minute.

                            I would imagine that they had a slow lunch rush due to the cooking issues, so if anyone plans to stop by to pick up dinner tonight there should be plenty left (they have been frequently selling out of many of the meats).

                            Will go back soon to try the brisket again, the pulled pork, and the smoked meatloaf.

                            1. re: Squiggles

                              By the sounds of things, they sound like a duo who are committed to doing things right. Which is obviously really tricky, especially when your business is BBQ and your business is NEW! I wish them good luck and fortitude. Keep up their commitment to quality. I'll be checking them out for sure.

                              1. re: magic

                                I'd rather they run out early than be stuck w/ extras they reheat the next day. If the bbq is that good, don't snooze or you'll lose. Can't wait to try it.

                          2. went here tonight, got in around 8:15PM or so.

                            they quickly told me , out of ribs, out of brisket. all they had left was pulled pork. out of fries too! oh and not serving any more people dining-in, just take-out

                            i could be mistaken, but the other table in the place ( a party of 3 ) looked familiar from Chow meet pictures I've seen before. A pregnant couple and a female

                            Anyway, just walked in the door, was quite a late night. will write more details back as i think of them, but it was a great sandwich. and the best part is that its properly PULLED.. finely shredded, the same way i do it at home.

                            1. Does anyone know what their hours are??

                              I stopped by today just shy of 11 and there wasn't a creature stirring inside.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Davwud

                                They open at 11:30am. I think they close at 7ish on weekdays 10ish on weekends, or whenever they run out of food.

                              2. I just had the pulled pork sandwich for lunch and it was as close to my definition of barbecue perfection as I can recall ever having, even when in the South. With ample smoke, richly flavored, sparsely sauced and full of lean-over sweet piggy juiciness this is going to become a habit.

                                1. After reading the posts here, my husband and I decided to give it a try. My husband rarely has a Saturday off, so we had to think long and hard about where we would have lunch on such a special day off! The only other time we could make it would be a Sunday, however the restaurant is not open on Sundays (perhaps in the future). We both also work during the week, so glad we were able to try it out today.

                                  We drove from Scarborough (45 minutes) and arrived before noon. Only the pulled pork and beef brisket were ready, so we didn’t get to order the BBQ sampler platter. The sandwich combo comes with a choice of 1 side, I had the potato salad and my husband tried the baked beans.

                                  Both had the sourdough bun which was very fresh and held up very well, excellent idea over the white bread, in our opinion. I can’t even imagine eating a BBQ meat sandwich on white bread after trying it on a sourdough bun! I think it would have been good on any type of crusty bun which wouldn’t get soggy, but the sourdough was a winner.

                                  The potato salad was good and the baked beans as most everyone mentioned was very good, with a generous taste of bourbon! We don’t drink alcohol so we really tasted the bourbon, another winner!

                                  On to the important details, the meat ...LOL. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk more to Sandy & Paul about how delicious the meat tasted, but I didn’t want to take up their time and figured there were already enough comments on the board. We love food in general; I’m at a loss for words! As Super Dave explained, the meat was juicy and had a very good hickory flavour. The sauce was perfectly seasoned, sweet and tangy/vinegary. We personally liked the pulled pork over the beef brisket, but this was just a matter of personal taste.

                                  Sandy & Paul were indeed very friendly, both coming over to check on us and ask if everything was ok. They are hard working and very genuine. My parents have a family restaurant that my father is still running after 45 years, and Paul and I had a nice conversation about how challenging the restaurant business can be. Paul was kind enough to take an interest in my father’s business and how I grew up working in the environment from a very young age, etc, which I found very refreshing. We felt like family, despite being of Asian descent ...lol

                                  We certainly felt it was worth the drive, and will certainly have to come back to try the BBQ sampler platter. I wanted to try the meat loaf and my husband loves ribs! Well, he does have one more Saturday off next week ...... The sandwiches at first glance looked small (but we do have hearty appetites, what with my husband eating 2 sandwich combos), but half way through, I was getting full, the amount of meat is generous, so don’t worry!

                                  We had an order of onion rings as well, with 2 drinks and tax; order came to just under $30.00 (without tip). Mind you what we ate could have fed 3 people.

                                  The restaurant is clean and cozy. Parking was $1/hour (street parking). It is located right next door to a Subway (we couldn’t see it at first glance). Since we were seated right in the front window, my husband wondered why anyone would want to eat at Subway when there is such a great BBQ place right next door!

                                  Would love to see them open on Sundays, but understand they’re already working very long hours.

                                  Everyone has their own opinion so I’m glad we gave it a try and we were very pleased. Thought we’d share our feedback and we took some pictures too. I was too lazy to drag my professional camera along so had to make do with my phone camera.

                                  Red Dragon

                                  Edited to add I wanted to post another pic, ended up attaching the same pic of the onion rings so I'll attach another picture below.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: red dragon

                                    Ok, here is the extra picture I meant to attach above, a close up of the pulled pork sandwich.

                                    Red Dragon

                                    1. re: red dragon

                                      Are the onion rings made in house??


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        Two photos and they look commercial.

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          I saw them. That was my first thought but I'm not convinced.


                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Hi Davwud, sorry, I'm not sure. I thought about it and there were different sizes of onion rings, from larger all the way to a very small one, like it was the core of the onion, I would call and ask if you really wanted to know :)

                                        2. re: Davwud

                                          No --- and when I asked if they were, the owners explained that homemade batter would mess up the fryer. What a shame! Homemade onion rings are glorious and well worth a trip to Etobicoke and some messy oil.

                                          1. re: jules100


                                            There should be no reason for it. A good beer batter or similar ilk won't leave stuff in the fryer. The breadcrumb like breading on frozen can.


                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              My beer batter rings always leave a goop (well a fried goop) mess

                                              1. re: South Carolina Girl

                                                The photos look commercial because there are no uneven spikes from a fresh batter. This may lead to detritus in the oil but it can be easily lifted out.
                                                If a cook says home made batter would mess up the fryer, well that is unprofessional.

                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                  They are definitely frozen and from a bag 100%, saw them go directly from a clear plastic bag with logos on it into the fryer

                                            2. re: jules100

                                              If you want home made onion rings. Drive west along Dundas about a kilometre to Apache Burger (Kipling/Dundas). They have the best home made rings in the area.

                                              Apache Burgers
                                              5236 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9B1A7, CA

                                      2. I went recently at lunchtime and was disappointed that the ribs were not available, but had the 3-meat sampler with pulled pork, brisket and smoked meatloaf. The pulled pork was sweet and juicy with nice smokey flavour; the brisket was tasty, but somewhat tough; the meatloaf was really yummy, but it's not a dish that I would normally pay for. My sides were baked beans - good but not what I would call outstanding - and cucumber and tomato salad - quite refreshing, although for my taste, there was too much oil and vinegar dressing.

                                        A person pet peeve was the pickle, complete with its juices, on the plate - I don't like the pickle juice running into the other foods. (Yes, I have the same complaint about deli sandwiches.) The complementary garlic bread made with what I think was a sourdough baguette was tasty.

                                        For people that don't know the area, if you're coming up Dundas from the west, you might not see the sign for Burnamthorpe as that road changes to Cordova on the southeast side of Dundas. I drove by without realizing I was past it until I was beyond Islington.

                                        1. I went tonight and got the pulled pork sandwich -- was just OK, nothing special, especially since there was no coleslaw for the top (which is unforgivable -- any Q place should always have coleslaw available, it's not like you have to throw it out at the end of the night). Honestly, I can do much better at home.
                                          The real problem with places like this, and they are popping up all over the GTA, is that they have as much to do with real barbecue as Bento Nouveau has to do with real sushi -- there's not a whole lot of inspiration or creativity here, and the food ends up being a pale substitute for the real thing. Why does everything have the same seasonings and the same sauce -- pork and beef are two different meats, shouldn't they be treated differently? I would love to see someone do Memphis-style dry ribs properly, for example, or using a Carolina-style mustard or vinegar sauce on their pulled pork. I'd also like to see a few more authentic sides than the slaw, beans and cornbread most places sell -- Smokin' Bones at least has that right.
                                          I know that Canadians are not very sophisticated when it comes to Q -- one restaurant owner confided in me that Canadians generally don't like a heavy smoke flavor, which is really what Q is about -- but it's ultimately up to these restaurants to educate their clientele on the finer points of Q.

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: Boodah

                                            Interesting, i didn't know it was Kansas Style.. guess I have alot to learn about the different styles myself

                                            I am going to try the ribs soon i hope

                                            1. re: duckdown

                                              Hey Duck

                                              One thing you need to know about BBQ. If you take someone from one BBQ region and plunk them down in another, don't expect them to like it. It's very strange.


                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Regional variations on BBQ are huge, sometimes it is from State to State sometimes it as much as across a city.

                                                One of the things people often confuse is Memphis style versus Kansas style. The reason people often use these two terms is strictly due to the two major organizing bodies in the US KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) and MBN (Memphis BBQ Network, which is also commonly referred to as MiM which is actually the major competition for MBN which is held in May). Since these two are the most read about and heard about many people assume these are the two major styles of BBQ - they aren't.

                                                North Carolina has a Vinegar based sauce for much of the state.
                                                South Carolina has a mish mash of sauce styles depending on where you are in the state
                                                Georgia has a mustard sauce
                                                Alabama has a white sauce made famous my Big Bob Gibson (which is fantastic on chicken as an aside).

                                                I could go on about this for much of a post.

                                                Best way to think of Southern BBQ is as a process. The basic process is the same (usually) low and slow cooking using charcoal or hardwoods as the main heatsource to help introduce the smokey flavour into the meat. In most restaurants (yes even in the South) the use of gas or electric ovens is most commonly used with either logs of wood, wood chips or pellets. A good BBQ Chef can use any of the available smokers and turn out a great product (the excuse of electric vs gas debate is a null debate, one of the best BBQ champion in Canada right now uses electric pellet smokers).

                                                In the end it comes down to one simple thing - and don't let anyone dissuade you on this. If they are cooking low and slow with true smoke (not liquid) it is Southern BBQ.... Do you like what they are cooking? If so then you like that type of regional BBQ. In a couple of more years Ontario will eventually figure out what sort of regional BBQ it will want to be. Until then we will have different styles at every different restaurant. My suggestion is to do what I do, try them - if you like them - eat there. Enjoy, its a labour of love to make good Southern BBQ and anyone who opens a restaurant deserves respect for all the long hard hours they put into them (especially Southern BBQ)

                                                1. re: BusterRhino

                                                  Well spoken BR, good-humored "ribbing" amongst regions aside I've never understood the whole "this style is so much superior to that other style" debate. Obviously taste is subjective, just eat what you like.

                                                  1. re: BusterRhino

                                                    Thanks for those details, an interesting read.

                                                    I have heard of this "white sauce" before -- is it truely white? It looks like an Alfredo sauce? Sounds very odd. I only ask because the last time I was at Blue Sage in Mississauga I noticed they're offering a white bbq sauce now as well. What makes it white? Is it sweet?

                                                    Thanks again!


                                                    1. re: duckdown

                                                      Depends on what recipe you are using - it is mayo and vinegar based though with seasonings added to make it what it is. It is surprisingly good with chicken. I haven't ever tried it with anything else - I usually have some laying around my fridge somewhere. Easy to make - just do a search on Alabama White BBQ Sauce Recipes and you will get many links for it.

                                                      As I always say, if nothing else it is definitely worth trying at least once right.

                                                    2. re: BusterRhino

                                                      I was talking to Mrs. Sippi the other day and told her that no matter how much it's "Wrong" and no matter how much she detests seeing it, BBQ up here will most likely come on a good bun. I'm guessing that's because we have access to so much good bread here.
                                                      That may be the first step to TO defining a BBQ style.


                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                        It's traditionally wrong in the south. There's no BBQ tradition in Toronto so it's right. It's not a matter of access to quality bread. I'm from NYC so if I could get my pulled pork on Italian bread, I'd be happy cuz the sandwich would be big enough for lunch and dinner.

                                                        1. re: GoodGravy

                                                          I hope most BBQ joints here serve their sandwiches on good buns. Having tried pulled pork on Wonderbread and crappy hamburger buns it's an absolute mess and makes for difficult eating. A good bun keeps the sandwich together and enhances the meat, not takes away from it.

                                                          1. re: lister

                                                            I've never understood the fascination with wonderbread being the traditional way to serve it either. The logic is that it doesn't detract from the meat and allows the product to be front and center. Wonderbread is really sweet and has a distinct flavour.

                                                      2. re: BusterRhino

                                                        Darryl who is this champ that you speak of?There are lots of teams using pellet munchers from home models to industrial units out there.Lots of awards won using other cookers too.
                                                        Aaron Ross

                                                        1. re: BusterRhino

                                                          As someone who lived six years in the South, I agree there are many regional differences. A couple of points:

                                                          (1) Choice of meat varies. Pulled pork is king in the Carolinas, Virginia; pork ribs in middle and western Tennessee and brisket in Texas. You'll find all meat everywhere, mind you, but some are dominant in certain regions.

                                                          (2) A vinegar sauce without tomatoes is east North Carolina fare, and as you move west, tomatoes are added and vinegar becomes more of a supporting player -- by the time you get to Western NC the bbq sauce is thick with tomatoes and much sweeter than in the east (as it is in eastern Tennessee).

                                                          (3) BBq is definitely about the process, as you say, and in that process a dry rub is much more critical than the sauce.

                                                          (4) I have found no decent bbq in London except what I make myself. But there is a joint in Windsor I hope to try -- the person who runs it went a few years back to learn from a place south of Nashville, I believe in Martinville, which I also went to.

                                                          1. re: CookatHomeinLondon

                                                            The place just south of Nashville that you're thinking of is Nolensville, CaHiL. The BBQ place is called Martin's BBQ and it's very good. I've been on a couple of occasions.

                                                        2. re: Davwud

                                                          I concur...very regional...although a lot of places will try to take a bit from each region...I was surprised when the owner of Blue Sage was making chicken with white sauce......pretty bold IMHO....Also, Southern Rub Smokehouse does have a tomato/mustard sauce which Adkatz was requesting. It was good....
                                                          I make BBG Alabama White Sauce myself and served it to a buddy a few weeks ago with smoked chicken wings and he loved them over the buffalo style....if someone wants to make it, find the copycat recipes with the horseradish in it...tried making both with and without and having had the sauce at BBG restaurant in Decatur, the horseradish does make it legit.

                                                      3. re: adkatz

                                                        AK, did you ask? I hope you shared your comments with Paul so he will learn to ask customers about their preferences and experience.

                                                        Last week I requested and was served cole slaw on my pulled pork sandwich which is just the way i like it. Many Toronto Hounds have complained on this board about getting slaw on their sandwiches. So Paul, like any smart operator who wants to survive, might just be trying to meet a local customer expectation.

                                                      4. Wow, brother just went here and brought some stuff home.

                                                        A full rack of smoked baby backs is only 14 dollars ANY day of the week! Wish I had've known this, I woulda bought my own!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                          All I could say is WOW. I have read so much about this place that finally got to go an grab a pulled pork sandwich to go. Out of this world it was to die for, after watch those bbq challenges on tv I think they hit it right, I will go back and try more. The only draw back for me was the sandwich was alittle greasy from what I do not know. The bun was delicious, the pulled pork had the right amount of smoke, sauce and just melted in your mouth. Yummy I am still drooling.

                                                          1. re: uke12

                                                            The sourdough bun is really good isn't it!

                                                        2. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you Chowhounders for this ChowFind! I went to Real BBQ last night and really enjoyed the Pulled Pork Sandwich. It was beatifully balanced. Not too much sauce so you could still taste the flavour of the pork. Sweet, succulent, smoky and perfectly-cooked meat.
                                                          There is a small parking lot behing the store, right off of Cordova Ave.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Hondapendragon

                                                            Just a note that name of the place is Paul and Sandy's BBQ, not "Real BBQ". :)

                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                              Actually it's "Paul and Sandy's Real Barbeque"

                                                            2. re: Hondapendragon

                                                              Oh, we got parking on the street ($1/hour). Did you have to pay for your parking?

                                                              1. re: red dragon

                                                                No it was free. I did take-out. I parked, ran in, ran out. Took about 10 mins tops. I think the lot is meant for the Turner & Porters funeral house next door. But there were plenty of spots open.

                                                            3. Always on the hunt for good BBQ, I gave this place a try for lunch today. I absolutely love pulled pork so my choice was never in doubt. The pulled pork was very tender and tasty served on a fresh roll. The only major concern was that it should have had a bit more sauce on it. If I had not bought take out I would definitely have asked for more sauce. At $4.95, this sandwich offers really good value, however, I would not rate it as one of the best I've tried. Of the west end places I've tried, my top rating still goes to the pulled pork at Big Smoke in Oakville. Then again, Big Smoke is twice the price. So, to summarize, enjoyed the sandwich, good value, but would not go significantly out of my way to visit again but would stop by if in the neighbourhood.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cynalan

                                                                On my third visit for lunch here I tried the brisket sandwich with a side of beans. Lucky me, I was their first customer of the day and I got lots of the extra tasty outside pieces in the ample portion served on the lightly toasted bun. A sweet house BBQ sauce was provided, but unlike many others I prefer to enjoy the natural smoky beef flavor and the little spicy explosions provided by the bark. It's good to be given the choice. The beef brisket is every bit as moist and tender as the pork, something fairly rare in most BBQ restaurants as it's a challenging cut of meat. I was told the baked beans were not quite ready yet, but I pleaded with Paul to try them anyway. My fault, he was right.

                                                                On this visit I discovered that they use specialized hot-holding equipment that maintains correct heat and humidity levels in the cooked food, something too many places skimp on to the detriment of their food quality. I am liking this restaurant more with each visit.

                                                              2. Just tried Paul & Sandy's for lunch, had a brisket sandwich with fries and a side of coleslaw. The brisket was very good, super moist, almost a little too moist for me as I'm used to eating brisket in Texas, which is a bit of a different style. Good smoke flavour, the rub probably could have used a bit more salt. The sourdough bun was perfect, more sturdy than typical white bread but still soft and squishy on the inside, good at sopping up all the juices. Fries were hot, crispy, and salty, and the cole slaw was a real winner, nice mix of spice and not too heavy for a creamy sauce.

                                                                My main problem was the sauce, which was so sweet I felt I might lapse into a diabetic coma halfway through my sandwich. It was slathered on, and I would have liked if they had asked me if I wanted it on the side - I'm used to Texas where sauce is definitely optional and even kind of frowned upon by purists . I tried a side of the "hot" BBQ sauce and it was not hot at all, and also sickly sweet. Given how moist and rich the brisket was, I might have actually liked a vinegary Carolina style sauce as an option. But yeah, they've got to work on their sauces.

                                                                Service was amateurish, I don't know if the kid waiting tables is their son but it would explain a lot. Long wait to take our order, no cutlery and napkins brought to the table, etc. But it felt good to be supporting a mom-and-pop place where there is obvious passion for the product, so that goes a long way.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: childofthestorm

                                                                  Was there for lunch also today. I overheard them saying that they ran out of everything last night and as a result they were very unprepared for today's lunch crowd. Paul was whipping up a batch of the sauce while we were waiting for our combos. We found the brisket too wet also, the pulled pork was a little better. The sauce too runny and thin in thickness and flavour. The fries were good and the beans were undercooked. No ribs when we were there, they were still an hour off from being available. If I was in the neighbourhood again, I might drop by to try the ribs and meatloaf but definitely would not consider it a destination spot.

                                                                2. Went to Paul and Sandy this weekend for lunch. There was no chicken or brisket ready yet, but we were there for the pork, so all was well! We shared the pulled pork sandwich and a rack of ribs. Had potato salad, baked beans, and fries for sides.
                                                                  I found the ribs really tasty and smokey (I'm not a rib expert; I like Carolina Rib King at the ribfest, just to give you an idea of my tastes). The sauce was a little thin and runny, but I don't add any to my meat anyway. I found the sauce sweet and tangy with a little bit of kick to it. Pulled pork was lovely; very moist and tender, and on a nice bakery roll.
                                                                  Liked the potato salad, nice smokey beans, but didn't love the fries.
                                                                  Service was attentive and efficient. Will definitely be back and will bring my dad; best ribs I've had in a while.

                                                                  1. My chowpal and I made it for lunch today...what an enjoyable experience...the 2 men looking after things couldn't have been more accommodating...seemed genuinely interested in our opinions on their food etc. We sampled the brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken...we really enjoyed the brisket but found both the pulled pork and pulled chicken dry and kind of chewy...all had nice smoke flavour. We started with some zucchini sticks which were very nicely fried...not greasy at all. We also enjoyed the coleslaw...very tasty and freshly made. All in all an enjoyable lunch and a good addition to the neighbourhood. Not very busy at lunch...hope they can make a go of it there...

                                                                    1. Someone on IRC just told me they're closed for a whole week or longer next week... uh oh

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Davedigger

                                                                          I guess so, but you would think that's turning away alot of business during a time where alot of people enjoy going out.. if they're making lots of money, then sure.. but if they're still trying to get off the ground.. seems like a bad choice to close during it to me

                                                                            1. re: South Carolina Girl

                                                                              Yes they are, with a slightly revamped menu.

                                                                              1. re: Boodah

                                                                                What kind of revamping have they done if you can recall?

                                                                                1. re: LTL

                                                                                  I was just there for lunch. Didn't notice any re-vamping, but I was only there once before. I had a half-rack of ribs and a side of beans. Yummeh!

                                                                                  1. re: LTL

                                                                                    Added corn bread, added some different combos, changed the prices a bit.

                                                                                    1. re: Boodah

                                                                                      I stopped in for take-out yesterday evening and also noticed the slight price increases as well as the corn bread. My order consisted of the coleslaw, pulled pork sandwich, beef brisket sandwich, fries and a side of BBQ sauce. The coleslaw is as good as ever; I love that it's crispy, lightly sauced and has lots of cracked black pepper. The sandwiches were piled so high that I could only polish off half of the pulled pork, saving the rest of the meat for a second sandwich tonight. I do wish this place had some sort of gravy option, but I quickly forgot my disappointment about this after dipping my fries in the homemade BBQ sauce.

                                                                                      It wasn't until I'd finished placing my order and Paul had begun making it that I remembered the smoked meatloaf which I've yet to try since I've only been three times now, but it's on my list for next time!

                                                                                      1. re: LTL

                                                                                        You gotta try the smoked meatloaf, you won't be disappointed. I like it better then his brisket

                                                                                        1. re: LTL

                                                                                          anyone know how much the prices increased?

                                                                                          how much is a full rack now?

                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                            Went last night for the first time...my mother in law lives near there so was hoping for it to be a regular stop...ordered the pulled pork sandwich with fries and a pop...came out to just under $10 with taxes....had cole slaw piled on it Memphis Style....was good...meat was lightly smoked, lots of bark...sauce was a bit runny and lacked flavour, even in the bottle i poured some on my finger and found it to be weak. Generous sandwich, saved 1/3, ok, maybe less, for the wife to take home..she added some Sweet Baby Rays sauce to liven it up and that really helped. Back to smokiness, I think restaurants either purposely make it weak in smoke flavour, or the gas or electric smokers they use don't allow for much as I find in all places i have been, North and South of the border, this has been the case...except at Interstate in Memphis, which is my version of BBQ Mecca. At least it was not dry as it is in a lot of places.

                                                                                            1. re: ebay3392

                                                                                              You're right, none of the stuff from a BBQ resto in the GTA ever has the proper amount of smoke, its always on the weaker side and this place is no different. When I do it at home, it's always good and smokey, I'll use a strong wood like Hickory.. But that being said I really do still like the food here, although I haven't been in a good couple months now.. Too bad I don't live anywhere near here. And I still think the rack of ribs a-la carte at $14.something is one of the best deals around


                                                                                              1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                Ummm, I think the best smoked brisket is here.
                                                                                                I used to like Caplansky's the best until I tried Paul and Sandys.
                                                                                                I think Caplansky's is "over smoked" compared to Paul and Sandy's but thats just my opinion.
                                                                                                If you like meat with a real smokey flavour try Caplansky's.

                                                                                                1. re: Petor

                                                                                                  Smokin' Bones has quite a smokey flavour (at least to their pulled pork - which is all I've tried there so far). Too much smoke for me actually. I love Paul and Sandy's - rib and pulled pork!

                                                                                                  Smokin' Bones
                                                                                                  117 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B, CA

                                                                          1. Went today for takeout. Pulled pork sandwich and potato salad. Loved both. Unfortunately the SO was home from work and I had to share part of the sandwich (well, I didn't HAVE TO, but ...). He enjoyed it too. We will definitely go back for a dine in experience.

                                                                            1. This is closed on Sundays, tried to attend yesterday. Ugggh.

                                                                              1. Hard to find but definitely worth the effort! I had the meatloaf and the brisket while my friends split a sharing platter for one ($6.50 add on for the extra person but well worth the additional money) The garlic bread to start is a nice touch and bits of garlic poking through was exciting! I had the beans and coleslaw for sides and the platter had bean and jalapeno corn bread the bread was a little dry. I like the fat on the brisket my friend didnt care for it. All in all excellent meal!!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Chef_Instructor

                                                                                  Went to Paul and Sandy's for my fourth time on Monday night. Made a reservation and preordered 3 racks of ribs so we wouldn't be disappointed. Ribs were fantastic! And I'm loving the creaminess of the potato salad against the spiciness of the baked beans. Tried the jalapeno cornbread for the first time - moist and yummy! Loving this place and it was good to see they were fairly busy with take away orders.

                                                                                  1. re: mispiggy

                                                                                    We tried to go back for our 3rd time last weekend. It's hard for hubby to get a Saturday off. I tried calling from 9:30 am right until 12pm, and again at 12:20 pm. I took a chance they might answer their phone since they have to start the BBQ prep a few hours before opening.

                                                                                    Anyhow, we kept redialing for hours and no one answered so we figured they were closed for the long weekend. Went to Apache Burgers since we drove all the way to Etobicoke.

                                                                                    While at Apache, I thought I'd try one more time to see what was going on, and Sandy did anwer (12:20 pm). Oh .... too bad.

                                                                                    Will have to give it another try when hubby can get another Saturday off :(

                                                                                2. Had take out from here today. Paul seemed flustered when I went in, Sandy had to ask him what he had available and he seemed... well distant maybe... he doesn't seem to handle pressure too well.

                                                                                  I really loved the smell so despite being told i couldn't have a dinner, only sandwiches for takeout (they didn't have brisket or meatloaf for a platter but I could have a sandwich?). I ordered a meatloaf, brisket, and pulled chicken. Sandy checked with him again and confirmed I could in fact have all that. (7:30 on a tuesday, maybe not peak time to try). Also ordered a side of beans, and potato salad, and at CH's suggestion extra bbq sauce.

                                                                                  Paul did come over as he finished up my order and apologized for the wait, which really wasn't all that bad, maybe 10 min.

                                                                                  So I split the meatloaf and brisket sandwiches with my cousin and my wife had the chicken. I enjoyed all, the meatloaf was nice, brisket was very good, not too fatty, nice and tasty, very smoky like I was expecting.

                                                                                  The chicken was just chicken, but when I used to have texas bbq in austin it was just chicken there too, not really what you go to bbq for.

                                                                                  The potato salad was very nice, the beans... as someone said, they bourbon flavour is a little much but not bad.

                                                                                  All in all, i'd like to go back and try eating in. I'm not a huge sandwich fan I would have enjoyed it more without the bun. That being said, all was tasty and I will go back. Better than anything I've had in a tex mex place trying to do bbq or brisket.


                                                                                  1. Tried a number of different meats here and I can say that the pulled pork is outstanding - easily their best product and better than anything I've had in Toronto. Their brisket is OK, same with the chicken, but the pulled pork is worth the trip. Portion sizes are huge, by the way.
                                                                                    Very nice couple, great hospitality. Next step is that they need to develop a better BBQ sauce for the squeeze bottles. Their basic sauce is bland and the hot sauce simply isn't. That shouldn't be too difficult a challenge. Sides are fine, they could use a classic BBQ-joint mac-and-cheese, but thats a minor point.
                                                                                    I think they are on their way to being a very good destination and a welcome addition to Etobicoke.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: romanruin

                                                                                      Mac & Cheese would definitely be nice. I like their jalepeno cornbread as well..

                                                                                      1. re: romanruin

                                                                                        We had pp sandwiches from there yesterday, and I was thinking the same thing about their bbq sauce. Otherwise everything else is spot on.

                                                                                        1. re: terrycar

                                                                                          The sauce is a little thin but isn't that part of the "Kansas style" BBQ which they serve?

                                                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                                                            Any KC style I've had is thick and very sweet.

                                                                                            Thin is usually from parts east of Memphis.


                                                                                            1. re: duckdown

                                                                                              By thin did you mean its thickness or flavour? I was thinking the actual taste of the sauce could be jacked up a bit.

                                                                                          2. re: romanruin

                                                                                            I agree on the sauce...very bland and runny..not a Kansas City BBQ expert (asked Paul his BBQ influence and he said KC) so not sure if that is how they emulate KC BBQ or what..but the sandwich is large and the pork had some flavour.

                                                                                          3. The boyfriend and I went for dinner on Friday. Overall, it was okay but certainly not authentic barbecue and not enough to make me drive out to Etobicoke. Service was also really slow given that there were only about six tables.

                                                                                            I had the BBQ chicken sandwich with beans on the side. BF had the two-meat dinner (brisket and chicken) with cornbread and coleslaw. The beans were bland: no smokey flavour, watery sauce. The slaw was way overdressed but I liked the cornbread. The meat was fine - cooked nicely but very little smoke flavour. The sauce was good but you had to put a lot on to get the flavour. However, the portions were generous and the prices are reasonable (unlike Phil's Original Barbecue).

                                                                                            I appreciate what they're trying to do but I just think they feel short of the mark.

                                                                                            1. hey hounds,

                                                                                              wondering if anyone's been recently? hubby wants to go there for his bday with a few friends (this doesn't need to be fancy) ... just want to make sure there will be food if we go on saturday evening!


                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: lilaki

                                                                                                okay - we went on saturday and had a great time. there were six of us in total and we got there at 6 pm. not quite sure the seating would be able to accommodate larger parties. we ordered two platters and a rack or ribs ... this came with a bunch of delicious sides. everyone was satiated and happy when we all left. however, by the time we left (around 8:30 pm or so), we overheard that they were out of meatloaf and brisket. so, take note ... if you want a selection of meats and sides, get there early. the place seemed to be do quite a bit of take out, which is great, if you're closeby.

                                                                                              2. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                Stopped in for the first time for a Pulled Pork and a Brisket sandwich. Both were excellent. Lightly smoked, good bun, with great sauces. Both meats were extremely tender and moist with a good charred "bark". Sandwich with a side is about $6-7. All this and friendly people (Paul and Sandy were both there - having the principals on site is a VERY good sign for me).

                                                                                                The only down side were the sides. They were out of coleslaw, the potato salad was so-so, and the fries were weak (soft). But don't let that deter you. The meat is the show, and the show is Mmmm Mmmm Good.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                  I have been twice recently and about 5 times total. The first time I was the only customer (weekday around 1:30). I had the pulled pork sandwich. It was a lot spicier than the last time I was in. And, the meat was piled so high on the sandwich I had to pull some off (and eat it with a fork) before I could bite into my sandwich. Though hot, it was delicious and smoky with lots of end pieces.

                                                                                                  On my second recent visit with my SO, we found all the tables full and were warned about a brief wait for service. He had the pulled pork, piled high again and I tried the meatloaf for the first time. I loved it. It was smoky, full of flavor, and not at all dry. They were out of coleslaw which my guy wanted for his sandwich; he had the beans instead which he said were "fine". I had the potato salad both times. It is nothing special but I really like it and we don't ever eat potato of any kind at home. We also had some good bottled beer brewed in Oakville. I don't remember the name, but we had the Auburn, one of three varieties they serve. A great complement to the meal.

                                                                                                    1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                      Yes, that's the name. I thought it was pretty good, but that's coming from a Budweiser girl.

                                                                                                2. I had been just after they opened and several times since. This last visit will be my last.

                                                                                                  at first Paul and Sandy were delightful, happy and i enjoyed being there and letting them know how dearly i love their pulled portk and brisket. On my last visit the service was so horrid, i'll likely never go back. The cashier/server, was quite rude with customers, and even raised he voise at a pair of men who has asked for sandwiched to go, on account of their limited dine-in area being full, She explained (very rudely) that she would not accomodate take out orders while their dine-in room was so full, she snipped "come back in 45 minutes". After my party had dined, our orders were wrong and some sides never even arrived, we went to the cash to pay our bill, when we were yelled at regarding the limited supply and told we could not order take out. which we werent even looking for, we were simply trying to pay and leave... The last few times I have been there they have told me and my guests what we could and could not order, or we were scolded ordered "too much". I understand they smoke their products for a long time, and smoking too much would be wasteful, but they have been open for a while and should have product for their customers, instead of running low and treating the customer poorly for even trying to order.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: seannston

                                                                                                    That sounds brutal. I don't think it's a big deal to tell people what is unavailable or politely mention portion sizes to manage expectations but there is certainly a manner in which you do it. This doesn't sound like the way you do it.

                                                                                                    1. re: seannston

                                                                                                      I only went to the restaurant once and while I enjoyed the food, I also thought that the service was "frantic". It was like they had their heads cut off and weren't able to keep up. I think they need to hire more staff. Seems like just a family operation (husband/wife and maybe daughter?). Maybe I am wrong but they needed more staff. It didn't feel "relaxing" when I was eating there seeing the staff not being able to keep up...

                                                                                                      I can totally picture what the above poster said... shame really....

                                                                                                      1. re: ylsf

                                                                                                        I don't know. I mean I've been there numerous times and once in a while they've run out of something, but they always told me so in a civil way and I accept that this happens sometimes with bbq operations. Granted I've never been there when it was crazy busy, but I'm having a hard time seeing these normally friendly & polite people going all Jekyll & Hyde during a dinner rush.

                                                                                                        1. re: terrycar

                                                                                                          i'm sorry but i'm with seansston too. i have only been once, and wont go back. the food was good, some better, the beans were a little too much bourbon (i can't believe i'm saying that). the bbq was good, nice tx style but....

                                                                                                          when i walked in i tried to order bbq for takeout. the lady asked the man cooking (i kind of assuem it was the owners but not sure) if i could have that. he impatiently told her no in such a way is if to suggest how could i be so stupid. then i tried to order sandwich's and they were out of almost everything. same with the beans but they managed to scrape some together.

                                                                                                          all together, decent food, but not nearly worth the hassle. it was like watching a couple with an abused wife having guests over and afraid to upset her controlling husband. awkward, really not fun at all. i'd go back to austin before going again.

                                                                                                          unfortunate, i had high hopes but won't be back.

                                                                                                          1. re: torontochris

                                                                                                            I'm with seansston and torontochris. I like the food and understand that sometimes BBQ can run out, but it's really not a pleasant experience to deal with Paul and Sandy.
                                                                                                            The last two times I've been there, they've said 'no, you can't take out, you can only eat in' even though the restaurant didn't have available seats to eat in. I didn't even get a chance to say what I wanted to order...
                                                                                                            One time we called to see if they had any ribs for take out and they said 'yes we have ribs, but no take out, you can only eat in'. What??
                                                                                                            I really don't understand the logic of this. If you advertise take out, let people take out. It seems so rude to just turn paying (and hungry!) customers away.

                                                                                                            1. re: mispiggy

                                                                                                              Maybe they were out of basic take out supplies such as clamshells. It doesn't sound like it was well handled.

                                                                                                    2. many reports of Paul being very rude and grouchy lately, we actually are in an IRC chat room where a bunch of us locals have dined there and people are really starting to get fed up with the attitude there apparently, this is not the first time I've read it

                                                                                                      I haven't been in probably a year, but when they first started out they seemed friendly enough. On my last visit though Paul didn't remember me at all and was very "short" to say the least not engaging in any conversation at all, I think he's stressed out :(

                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                        its a shame, i was originaly pretty optimistic for a mom and pop style place thats was warm and welcoming with great food, and i still cant knock the food.

                                                                                                        My new alternative for an artery clogging evening is Memphis BBQ just north of hwy 7 and islington... I appreciate that is a big trip for those of us in central etobicoke... but the food there is outstanding...

                                                                                                        no brisket, but the pulled pork, ribs and SMOKED WINGS are all well worth the trip, prices are good, and the staff is friendly and helpful, at least i have found this on 2 trips...
                                                                                                        granted this place may seem to be a little more of a dive, but to me, BBQ should not be too fancy anyways.

                                                                                                        Memphis BBQ
                                                                                                        8074 Islington Ave, Woodbridge, ON L4L1W5, CA

                                                                                                        1. re: duckdown

                                                                                                          Big Smoke closing, Phil's struggling for years, recent "accessibility issues" at Blue Sage, and now complaints at Paul and Sandy's. Me thinks there are too many BBQ joints in TO.

                                                                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                            I’ll have to respectfully disagree. Too many mediocre BBQ places, perhaps, but if a street were lined with GREAT BBQ places, I’d be there for breakfast lunch and dinner. Albeit; dead by age 30, with the physique of John Goodman and John Candy’s love-child.
                                                                                                            “Here Rests John GoodCandy, Stickey Fingered and Peaceful”

                                                                                                            1. re: seannston

                                                                                                              I think the problem lies in the product. Those who are familiar with what's down south aren't as pleased with what's being produced up here. Those who aren't seem to find it too fatty, smokey, whatever.

                                                                                                              The best I've had up this way is Big Bone in Newmarket. They could hold their own down south. That's a far cry from being great. BR's could too. All others have a long way to go.


                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                Gotta give Big Bone a try then.

                                                                                                                I've tried a few in the south during many road trips to Florida (Dukes SC, BBQ King SC, Bill Spoons SC, Drakes GA, and Bryant's KC) and one heavenly sweep across the south (Vegas to NO). Personally I not a big fan of the SC vinegar style BBQ sauce, or the dry rub only, so I kinda like most of the BBQ meat here. My biggest complaint is with the horrible sides. Paul + Sandy's sides leave me wanting too.

                                                                                                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                  I haven't eaten BB BBQ since my diet but it's always been good. The last time my buddy was there wasn't as impressed. He's said they have the best ribs he's ever had. He hasn't done a BBQ tour though.

                                                                                                                  I would rank them higher if they did more in house stuff. A lot of stuff (sauces, beans) is semi home made. Don't read too much into that though, lots of places in the south do that too.


                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                    Unfortunately my annual "Spring Training" diet is underway. I'll have to wait a bit before hitting BBs, but it's on my To Do list...

                                                                                                              2. re: seannston

                                                                                                                @ seannston,

                                                                                                                Like the old saying goes : How do you feel ? Better, better get a bucket... ;-)

                                                                                                            2. re: duckdown

                                                                                                              I was just there tonight and Paul was very polite to me. The food was still excellent. I certainly would have no problem going back.

                                                                                                              1. re: kwong

                                                                                                                Hopefully they'll get some of this feed back and focus more attention on Customer Service (one of the BIG 3: Food, Atmosphere, Service). Meat has always been good, just hope their sides are improved (especially learning how to make good fries).

                                                                                                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                  We frequented the restaurant that was previously at that location for years (Manna Korean). The food was very good, but the main reason we kept going back was the friendliness and hospitality of the owner. Now it has been replaced by an establishment that, though we have enjoyed the food we've eaten there, we will not go back to due to one too many run ins with a cranky Paul.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Squiggles

                                                                                                                    I had been itching to go the Cheese Boutique to pick up some Frontera Hot Sauce but was having difficulty rationalizing an hour's round trip for a couple little ($5)bottles.
                                                                                                                    However, I cleverly realized that Paul and Sandy's Real BBQ was nearby and had been on my to do list for some time.
                                                                                                                    I ordered the Pulled Pork sammy and was shocked by how good it was. It arrived very hot, very large, smokey and not smothered in gloopy BBQ sauce. The sandwich was huge, at least 8 ozs. of meat , and beautifully textured with burnt ends (bark).
                                                                                                                    I also thought it was a hell of a deal at roughly twice the size and half the price of the same thing at The Stockyards.
                                                                                                                    I look forward to a return to try more of the menu.
                                                                                                                    The owner may be a bit reserved, quiet or shy but he made me the best sammy I've had in years and at a bargain price too.

                                                                                                                    I am amused by the complaints leveled at this place, Stockyards and Caplansky's (among others) about running out of food. This is the ultimate slow food. Chains never run out - freezer to fryer to table in 3 minutes flat.
                                                                                                                    The sandwich with (pretty good) fries was $9 with tax and tip.

                                                                                                                    Cheese Boutique
                                                                                                                    45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                                                                                                                    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                                                                                    1. re: sumdumgoy

                                                                                                                      btw -you can Frontera hot sauce in other spots - i.e. Summerhill Market, Pusateris
                                                                                                                      and avoid the drive to Cheese Boutique
                                                                                                                      I work near Paul and Sandy's - it is unbelievably good food. try the brisket also - its sumptuous!!!

                                                                                                                      1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                                                                                      Summerhill Market
                                                                                                                      446 Summerhill Ave, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

                                                                                                                      Cheese Boutique
                                                                                                                      45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                                                                                                                      1. re: sumdumgoy

                                                                                                                        You can also stop at Kingsway Meats and get the city's best kobassa.


                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                          Jules - Pusateri only had the Jalapeno last week and Summerhill seems to stock only the marinades and salsas. Frontera's Red Pepper Sauce is incredible and was once available at Whole Paycheck too.

                                                                                                                          DT - Thanks for the heads up on the kobassa

                                                                                                                          1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                                                                              2. Well I finally got around to trying this place today and was very pleasantly surprised.

                                                                                                                I just got back yesterday from the south and had Q twice while I was there. I'd have to say that I'd go to Paul and Sandy's before I went to either of those two places. And one was David Gibson's. (He being the son of Big Bob Gibson. The grand daddy of Alabama bbq)

                                                                                                                Me and a bud split:

                                                                                                                Brisket sandwich. Fabulous. Great bark and good beefy taste. Nice hint of smoke. Plenty generous and the bun, while not traditional, fit in well.

                                                                                                                The ribs were very good. They were a bit on the paltry side (should use side ribs) but from a taste and texture standpoint, I thought they were some of the best I've had here. Served dry but for a swipe with a paint brush dipped in sauce.

                                                                                                                Pulled pork was nicely smoked, not overly pulled so there was nice hunks of meat, not tiny bits. A top dress of sauce only which is huge in my books.

                                                                                                                The chicken was also very, very good. Some of the best chicken I've had period. I do like the white sauce I get in 'Bama and it would've been even better in white than red. Paul is not a fan of white sauce though.

                                                                                                                Slaw was nice. Nothing special but a good solid Q joint slaw.

                                                                                                                The beans were great. Nice, rich broth that had a real peppery profile. I noticed some whole peppercorns in them.

                                                                                                                Two home made sauces were nice although they were fresh out of the fridge and wish they were at least room temp.

                                                                                                                Will return and will blog.


                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                  Yep they still got it. We phoned in a takeout order a day ahead for a 4 person brisket dinner and a 4 person pulled pork dinner. Specified sauce on the side. Came with 2 vats of beans and 2 vats of cucumber and tomato salad. We only had 4 people eating so I've been having leftover bbq for lunch and dinner for the past 3 days.

                                                                                                                  Ate the brisket without sauce. I haven't been to Austin for 2-3 years, but Paul and Sandy's brisket would be competitive in Texas and is the best I've eaten outside of Texas. Just needs a mess of collard greens on the side.

                                                                                                                  I haven't eaten pulled pork in the south, but I think P&S is better than Stockyards or the old Drake BBQ. Ate the pork dry and dipped in the vinegary sauce.

                                                                                                                  I've never been to the restaurant; only takeout. Luckily the sister-in-law lives in Etobicoke so she'll pick it up if we feed her cava and prosecco when she arrives.

                                                                                                                  I love this place.

                                                                                                                2. I went to this place last night with my two teenagers and was sitting down in a booth at 6:15pm. The waitress gave us our menus and said they were out of pork and brisket with only ribs, chicken and meatloaf available. I was quite disappointed but went with onion rings and two dinners of half ribs, one with one order of chicken and one with two orders of chicken with a total of four sides (two of coleslaw and two of the tomato cucumber salad). The waitress informed me there was a $6.50 sharing fee since I had not ordered three meals. I asked if I could then get it to go since I live nearby but the take out menu is not configured to match the eat-in menu. So I decided to order a hamburger for $4 and change since it was cheaper than the sharing fee, which I saw no mention of on the menu at all.

                                                                                                                  The rings came quickly, followed by garlic bread, then about 30 minutes after we sat down, the three plates of food arrived. Under one half rack of ribs was a quarter chicken leg and under the other was something that resembled maybe a chicken leg. I asked the waitress if this was supposed to be my double chicken order and she said they had run out of chicken and that was all I was getting. Nice to know. Ribs still had the nasty skin on the back and was passable doused in the sauce. Chicken was tender but one was so badly mangled I wouldn't have served it to my dog let alone a paying customer. Salads were ok but the kids disliked the strong dill in the tomato cucumber salad.

                                                                                                                  Our water was never refilled (and it was hot in there) and an hour after sitting down and $56. poorer, we left with our uneaten forced to order hamburger in a styrofoam tray.

                                                                                                                  The pulled pork may be good there. So may be the brisket. But I will never know because there is no way I would ever go back there again. My husband is not sorry he missed out on this experience so I guess we'll have to line up at Barque the next time the mood for some Q hits us.

                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: EastCoastGurl

                                                                                                                    $6.50 sharing fee. Disgusting.

                                                                                                                    This places does crank out some good food (I've had great to OK visits), but it is becoming obvious a visit here is Gastronomic Russian Roulette...

                                                                                                                    1. re: EastCoastGurl

                                                                                                                      Wow... They had something on the menu for 6.50 sharing fee if you ordered a "sampler" menu for one but that is crazy that you couldn't just split another dinner. I went a long time ago to this place (my review may be above) and I recall enjoying the food more or less but the service was far from great/friendly... I haven't been back since. I may go back to give it another shot if in the area but it seems like they only treat customers well that order a ton of food.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ylsf

                                                                                                                        That was exactly my experience. The food was fairly decent, but not great (aside from the meatloaf, which was amazing).

                                                                                                                        But the service (i.e., owners) was not overly warm. To say the least.

                                                                                                                        Haven't been back in the 2 years since.

                                                                                                                        1. re: magic

                                                                                                                          Operating a small restaurant as a novice has to be one of the toughest ways to make a living on this planet. It's a costly education. Before we accept the $6.50 sharing fee as a rule and not an error, has anyone checked with Paul on it?

                                                                                                                          They have survived over two years, more than most independents, so they are likely doing more right than wrong.

                                                                                                                          Acquiring a spirit of hospitality is the most challenging part of the business and far too many just never get it yet succeed.

                                                                                                                          1. re: iamafoodie

                                                                                                                            I don't know, to me at least a spirit of hospitality is essential in the service industry. Not something you might or might not pick up one day. But what do I know.

                                                                                                                            1. re: iamafoodie

                                                                                                                              these guys are clearly into the food and not people! a mystery why they opened a restaurant. it's great if you just go in, get a takeout sandwich and do NOT ask for anything other than what they serve, exactly as described on their menu. the idea that the "customer" is always right - is completely foreign here. lower your expectations about a "dining" experience and enjoy their food. most of it is very good.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jules100

                                                                                                                                My experience there was completely the opposite of all this. The service was good although we ordered a fair bit for two people and the food was great.


                                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                  Hmmmm. The term "BBQ Natsi" (trying to avoid the Moderators) may apply here. If you order well - and alot, you will be well served...


                                                                                                                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                                    Not necessarily true that they treat you nicely if you order a lot.

                                                                                                                                    We used to go there a fair bit when it first opened. Then one day I went in to get food to feed my family of three and my two parents (it was my birthday). Paul refused to give us the food we wanted. He said there would not be enough left to serve other customers. Though I personally don't agree with refusing to sell food you have in stock to people who have money in hand, it was the rude and abrasive way we were told that sealed it for me. We have not been back since.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Squiggles

                                                                                                                                      I've never had awful service there, but I've never had good service either. Shame, because it's tasty and close. If the kitchen was in the back, and paul's contact with the public was limited, I think that it would be a good move for them, bacause Paul can love barbecue all he wants. but if he's running a restaurant,he's more than a cook, he's a host. And that's my problem with the place - no charm, no recognition of regulars, no small talk. So, in the end, the quality (and sometimes the quantity) of the food available doesn't compensate.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: badrockandroll

                                                                                                                                        The funny thing is that the restaurant that used to be in that location, Manna Korean, was almost the opposite. The food was good - Korean home cooking - but the reason we kept going back was the owner. She would remember us, even if it had been months since we were last in. Despite doing the bulk of the cooking and all of the serving, she would always take time to talk, joke, tell us what we should have to eat, and sometimes how to eat it.

                                                                                                                              2. re: iamafoodie

                                                                                                                                I'm in the always a basically favourable experience camp, such as it is. At slow times we chat with Paul about his techniques and find him knowledgable and personable. He even smiles occasionally.

                                                                                                                                Being out of product in a limited menu restaurant is very stressful as it can mean out of business to guests. If it were my business I would apologize, invite them to return, and give the guests a complimentary credit note for the item I was short. No one in the restaurant business should be able to afford letting a guest leave unhappy.

                                                                                                                                If you want to experience serious bad attitude, try one of Philadelphia's cheesesteak emporiums.

                                                                                                                                1. re: iamafoodie

                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, I questioned that $6.50 sharing fee and Sandy herself told me that it was applicable. Couldn't do take-out so ordering the burger for $4.50 (I think) seemed the only way to get around paying for nothing but an expanded profit margin. I am really sorry I didn't get any of the pulled pork or brisket but running out of those items at 6:15 means it was not meant to be for me...ever.

                                                                                                                          2. Just read this on another forum:

                                                                                                                            "PLEASE READ


                                                                                                                            Dearest Customers & Friends,

                                                                                                                            Paul & Sandy's Real Barbecue Co. will be closing its doors at this location. Our last day of operation will be Saturday Nov. 22, 2014.

                                                                                                                            Our lease is expiring and we have been unable to reach a favourable extension or renewal term with the landlord.

                                                                                                                            We would like to sincerely thank all of our customers, friends, staff, suppliers and family for the past 5 years.

                                                                                                                            You allowed us to live a dream of opening a Ma & Pa Barbecue Restaurant that served great barbecue at family friendly prices.

                                                                                                                            We were thrilled to watch a new business start from nothing and grow into a vibrant busy restaurant, that on occasion would run out of food and would have lineups out the door. Our customers' kind words about Paul& Sandy's to their family and friends, allowed us to build a successful business without advertising, for which we are most grateful.

                                                                                                                            We will keep in touch on Facebook if and when we start a new adventure.

                                                                                                                            Thank you all again,

                                                                                                                            Paul and Sandy


                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Etobs_Finest

                                                                                                                              Shortly after reading the above closure notice I (and it seems many others according to Sandy) bee-lined it with my son from our east city home, across another latitude line to the west, to have another meal at Paul and Sandy's Real Barbeque.

                                                                                                                              It was my 4th meal there and probably my favorite. I'd had the pulled pork and brisket sandwiches before and they were great, but this time I wanted to finally try their meatloaf, ribs and we also shared a smoked pulled chicken with backbacon and cheese sandwich. (Not to mention jalapeno corn bread, fries 'n gravy, jalapeno poppers, some of which we took home).

                                                                                                                              The ribs were absolutely terrific IMO. I don't know that I'd rave about the place for aficionados in terms of "best" or "most authentic BBQ you can get in Toronto." But it consistently fulfilled my bbq cravings with delicious food, especially at reasonable non-hipster-premium prices.

                                                                                                                              I have to reserve special ardor for their beer battered onion rings. I'm an onion ring fan and always have to have them if offered on a menu. For me Paul and Sandy's onion rings were among the best I've found (outside of some places in the states).

                                                                                                                              I don't frankly know if they were made in house or not, but regardless, they were always a great combination of a thick, crispy, salty (but not too salty) coating with big onion rings within. The rings weren't trying too hard to be gourmet, and thus lose some of their charm, which happens in so many hipper establishments. They just took the basic fast food onion ring and elevated it toward "best of category" execution (IMO). I absolutely crave those onion rings, and they are largely why I'm going to have to get one more visit in before they close their doors. Makes me sad....

                                                                                                                              1. re: MattHooper

                                                                                                                                Sounds like quite the trek! Fortunately for me, I can walk to and from P & S in 20 minutes - give or take. Sometimes that was a bad thing.

                                                                                                                                Unlike many in thread, I never had a bad experience but I rarely ate in. Many times they were out food but I took it par for the course with it being a BBQ joint.

                                                                                                                                However, I do agree with some of the comments made within regarding certain things. Nothing that precluded me from coming back though.

                                                                                                                                I will definitely miss going there during the winter months. I found myself going more in the winter versus any other time of the year.

                                                                                                                                Plan to go tomorrow and time permitting, once more during the coming week.

                                                                                                                                If you get the chance try their soup.

                                                                                                                                P.S. Apache Burger makes pretty good onion rings. Something to keep in mind when in this neck of the woods.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Etobs_Finest

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the heads up about the Apache rings.

                                                                                                                                  Have you tried Paul and Sandy's burger? I know, it's a bbq place, but I've a hankering to try it.