Hillbilly Heaven - BBQ in Burlington!
I was surprised to find yesterday that Pete's Pepper Palace in downtown Burlington has now become Hillybilly Heaven cookin' store and BBQ diner. It is a small place with a couple of tables that specializes in BBQ sandwiches (pulled pork & chicken, beef brisket) & back ribs. They also sell BBQ and hot pepper sauces on the side.
I tried the pulled pork sandwich at $7.96. It was an absolutely huge mound of pork served Kansas Style on a very fresh bun. Had to be at least half a pound if not more. The most pork I've ever had in a sandwich - definitely a two-hander! The pork was very tender with good chunks of bark mixed in. The sauce was on the smoky side, not too sweet, which I really like. Served up with a side of rubbed potato chips but other options available - chili, slaw, mac 'n cheese, etc. All in all, excellent value for some quick takeout!
I checked out this place now called "The Original" Pete's Hillbilly Heaven. According to their website they have franchises opening in May in Oakville, Stoney Creek, and Barrie. I assume the name change is to differentiate the first store from the rest.
Upon walking in it's a cute little storefront with 3-4 round tables to eat in along with an outdoor patio. There was a good smell of smoke as we walked in the door. Walls of hot sauce & bbq sauces line shelves on the walls. The young guy working did mention that you can sample any of the sauces which they have in the fridge.
On to the food..my pulled pork sandwich didn't excite me, fairly dry. The beans and coleslaw were fantastic.
I must say, I had taken a look at their menu online and was surprised to see the prices on the menu upon arrival.
Their new menu is as follows:
Pulled Pork: (sandwich only)
Regular (1/4 lb) $6.20
Large (1/2 lb) $9.29
XLarge (3/4 lb) $13.27
The sides are roughly $3.00 each on top of this. The online menu still doesn't reflect the pricing found in store.
The part that blew my mind was the meats by the pound.
Here are the website prices:
By the pound
Pulled Pork 9.73
Shredded Brisket 11.50
Pulled Chikin 11.50
Here are the "new" in-store prices:
Pulled Pork 19.47
Shredded Brisket 23.00
Pulled Chicken 23.00
I am not sure what's going on but these prices are insane. While I was excited about the proposition of a new BBQ joint with good value, it doesn't appear to be that way anymore. I have a takeout menu and will try to post up a picture soon.
I'll likely check out the Oakville location once it opens to see what their menu will be like.
Okay...it looks like there are two different websites here.
It looks like the Burlington location is no longer on the 'franchise' site. It was there on Wednesday when I went.
Here is the website of the Burlington location which I found on their takeout menu. Their menu was updated March 23rd, and the prices have gone up and descriptions are different from the menu I have in hand.
I've attached a snapshot of their current takeout menu. Here's a direct link for a full size picture: http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/7188...
Just a heads up so no one is surprised based on the original prices listed here.
Another thing you must keep in mind - within the last month alone pork has simply gone through the roof for wholesale pricing. There are many reasons for this - the main being the big producers always slow production down in the summer time in order to be able to please 'we just don't have any' by several thousand heads a week at each factory. It is also summertime so prices go up for pork.
If everyone elses pork shoulder has increased like mine has (and it most likely has) you will see one of two things happening - smaller sandwiches or higher pricing.
What a cool shop, this actually used to be "Pete's Pepper Palace", a hot sauce only store. They kept the hot sauce part of it and also opened up a takeout counter serving southern BBQ.
I actually de-toured out of my trip to Oakville today to here just to pick up some hot sauces, but the place smelled good and smokey so I also grabbed a large pulled pork sandwich and their housemade rubbed potato chips. Just got home with my hot sauces and food, but I can tell you already, Burlington is lucky to have a place like this
Why can't we have something like this in Mississauga or Brampton! I just don't get it..
two thumbs up
Hillbilly Heaven - huge portion, more of a takeout place, smoky sauce with good bark in the pulled pork, good value $7.96 including a side. Served Kansas City style.
Big Smoke - still my personal favourite, the tenderest sandwich I've tried locally. Choice of three really good BBQ sauces each with a distinct flavour, super fresh bun and an enjoyable caesar salad option on the side. Served with option cole slaw in the sandwich. Tried the ribs last time I was here and found them on the dry side and not very meaty.
I also recently tried Real BBQ in Etobicoke - Dundas/Burnhamthorpe. Only $4.95 for the pulled pork. Sandwich could have used more sauce but at the price... pretty good value. Would go again if in the neighbourhood but probably would not go out of my way.
Sweet Smoke - Not really anything wrong with the sandwich. Some really like it. I just don't like the orange, citrus flavour in the sandwich. On the other hand, I found the ribs here much meatier and more flavourful than Big Smoke.