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Smokin' Bones - go while you can

I was at Smokin' Bones last week for lunch. Andouille sausage, made in house, pulled chicken, onion rings, corn bread and the beans between three of us. All of it delicious - hell they make their own onion rings instead of serving those Sysco or McCain battered circles.

Thing is, the place was empty. At 1:30 on a Tuesday. It shouldn't be. I'm sure part of it is the location, Church and Dundas can be off putting to some people, and all the Ryerson students seem to go north and west.

That brings me to yesterday - I've heard from another Smokin' Bones aficionado that their numbers are down. Way down. If they don't get better than they'll have to close the doors at the end of the month. Now I don't mind doing my part to help - eating southern bbq to keep a business going is a win / win to me, but I can only eat so much. If you've been and liked it, or plan to go, now's the time. I'd hate to see one of the more unique menus in town disappear.

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  1. I don't understand how any of you can be raving about how good this place is. For once it seems the general public knows better than the chowhounders on this board. I tried them once and hated it. The food sits on a steam table. Even the fried chicken! The sausage gravy had zero taste or seasoning. The onion rings were the one thing they made to order and even then they were falling apart and super greasy. What's unique about this place? Every bbq place in town is better than these guys.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sbug206

      Well gosh, I'm raving about it because I LIKED IT. Good reason eh? So you tried it once, you hated it - so be it. But some of us have tried it, liked it, and want it to stick around. As for every bbq place being better, I beg to differ. Some might be better, but some are a hell of lot worse too.

    2. That would be pretty crappy if they don't have enough cash flow/capital to support it past the end of March. You need to figure it will take a few months to get a restaurant up and going. I had a meal there a month or so ago and although it wasn't my best BBQ experience ever it was worth while going to for sure I would go back if I was in the area.

      1. I haven't been to the restaurant, but it's unfortunately not a very good location despite the proximity to the Eaton Centre. I used to go to school nearby, and while I would visit 241 regularly for lunch, I was rarely willing to venture east of Church for anything else. Keep in mind that this isn't a neighbourhood that can easily support the kind of lunch and pedestrian traffic necessary to keep a restaurant like this going year round, and the area just isn't attractive enough to sway visitors/food tourists away from other nearby "lunch strips." I hope they find a solution to this - perhaps following Buster Rhino's distribution model? But I won't hold out much hope for them filling their lunch needs without some kind of miraculous publicity campaign. Good luck!

        1. I went here last month.. Tried a pulled pork sandwich and rack of ribs.

          The pulled pork was indeed in a steamtable, and WAY "over steamed".. the pork was mushy and completely greyish brown throughout; no visible bark or smoke ring at all. I like that it was finely shredded, but other than that, wasn't too crazy about it. And then the ribs.. Well.. I didn't really like the dry rub on them, at all. It was way too savory, and again, didn't see much of any smoke ring or major evidence of smoke on them.

          And then it brings me to the guy taking your orders.. I'm not sure what his deal is but he's completely unhelpful and unenthusiastic. It was like ordering from Kevin on the TV show The Office.

          I always wish southern BBQ places all the best, but if I was in charge, I'd definitely change up alot of things.

          Oh and the mac & cheese was brutal. Underseasoned majorly, no flavor at all

          1 Reply
          1. re: duckdown

            I agree on the service. I realize it is just counter service but the guy behind the counter when I went as not very helpful, enthusiastic or very interested in informing customers about much. It was like pulling teeth talking to .

          2. I can walk there in 20 minutes or so, but I've never tried Smokin' Bones for one simple reason: I understand that they don't have any proper seats or tables. And by the time I carry food like fried chicken or pulled pork sandwiches 20 minutes home I know it's going to be a cold soggy mess. Proper seating would expand the range of potential customers beyond those who live within 5 a minute walk. Shame because from the email mailers I get from them, they do seem to be genuinely enthused about listening to customers and providing something different.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Gary

              That's exactly why I haven't been. I live and work a walkable distance, but I don't want to carry food that far. If I can't eat there, I'm not going to go unless I hear it is absolutely amazing, which it doesn't seem to be.

              1. re: Gary

                there is a "table bench" like you'd find at a pizza parlor with stools, if I recall

                I don't know if theres any truth to it, but I've heard that if a table has actual regular sit-down tables and regular-height chairs, then by law they're required to have a public washroom.. yet if they use a high table with stools, they don't need it. thats what the owner of my local pizza place told me, at least..

                1. re: duckdown

                  If you read the regulations attached to the Provincial Health protection and Promotion Act there are a number of exemptions to the requirement that food premises have 2 washrooms (that's right, in Ontario a single unisex washroom in a restaurant, no matter how small, is technically illegal) but this isn't one of them. I don't know how pizza places get away with this.

                  1. re: bytepusher

                    If it's anything like Oshawa (which it most likely is), the requirement doesn't actually come from the provincial health protection and promotion act. It either comes from a local bylaw, or building code (building code I do believe) and you are required to have at least 1 bathroom that is handy capable. This of course means there must be a hallway to be able to get that wheelchair down, then they must be able to actually turn the wheelchair around in a full circle inside the bathroom. Many smaller places do not have the room for this which in turn means no seating (newer places). This may be why they don't have seating or bathrooms for the public.

                    1. re: BusterRhino

                      I'm assuming that it's different from Oshawa, because most reastaurants in Toronto have the washrooms downstairs (ie. not wheelchair accessible).

                  2. re: duckdown

                    There's washrooms downstairs, you need to get a key for the door. Granted they're short on signage but there are washrooms.

                2. I went to this place last night in response to this post - had a pretty good meal that was fairly inexpensive. I got the pulled chicken sandwich with regular bbq sauce and a side of macaroni and cheese. It was a pretty solid meal, verging on great.

                  The mac and cheese at first tasted a bit unseasoned, but the taste was a lot nicer as the meal went on, and was a good compliment to the chicken. The chicken was nice as well, with a solid peppery taste and softness. I'd definitely head back, particularly if I'm down at yonge and dundas square for a movie or, god forbid, shopping at the Eaton's Centre.

                  The place was perfectly fine to sit down for a quick meal - the high chairs seem funny at first, but they're actually more comfortable after a while because you're almost eye level with your food.

                  I think I'll try the big plattters they have - 2 racks of ribs, 2 lbs of chicken, etc. - for groups next time. Should be a good meal for a sportsnight.

                  1. I went to Smokin' Bones last week and I guess the first sign, the surly, homeless-looking guy behind the counter should have given me pause. But, after living in the US South for many years, I was really hoping to find decent BBQ in Toronto. The second sign didn't send me out the door, though I wish it had.
                    As the counter-guy was describing the sauce options for a pulled pork sandwich, I interrupted and asked if they had any regional linkages. "Southwest", he replied. Don't you mean Southeast?, I asked hopefully. No, Southwest he reiterated. I replied that I was a bit of a student of BBQ and that the Southwest has no BBQ tradition. He gruffly shouted to 'Orlando' "Southwest or Southeast?". "Southwest" was the answer. Cilantro and lime. Oh dear. I think he may have been referring to a salad dressing, but my hope was mostly gone. I chose the "spicy" sauce and ordered a side of fries. I realize fries are not traditional, but I love them. If you are going to serve fries in Toronto, you should probably have vinegar available, FWIW.
                    The sandwich, while sporting a large amount of pork, was essentially inedible. A flavourless, watery, gray mush that tasted like it came out of a slowcooker. No smoky flavour to speak of and under seasoned. The fries were cheap frozen potatoes with way too much salt.
                    The counterguy asked me how the sandwich was. I very generously answered "It's okay". "Okay?" he replied, with some shock. I repeated my answer. "I'll have to try better next time", he said, with a cockiness available only to the ignorant.
                    As I walked down the street I could discern no smoky smells in the air, leading me to suspect that the food is not even smoked. I called the next day and the guy said they did smoke on-site. I asked what sort of wood they used. He paused and said "From a tree".

                    My advice: - do not waste a trip to this unfortunate enterprise - the service was awful, the food, far worse. The only good BBQ I have had in Ontario was at a long-defunct place in Port Dover. Why is this so hard?
                    J

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

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                      EatDrinkMan9000 asks, "Why is this so hard?" I wish someone would answer this question. Having been raised on Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Southeast (side of Chicago) BBQ, I would pay good money to enjoy the real thing in a Toronto restaurant. So far, even the places that come highly recommended have been ultimately disappointing. (Though none as bad as what EDM9000 describes above--that experience is truly appalling.)

                      Aren't there any US immigrants to Toronto who could contribute to the wellbeing of their fellow residents by cooking us up some honest-to-goodness BBQ and sides prepared with skill and care and love? Virtually other national and subnational cuisine on the planet seems to be well represented in the GTA. Why, indeed, is this one so hard to do?

                      1. re: waydowntown

                        I'm curious - do people not find the Stockyards good enough? I've always read good reviews of the place.

                        1. re: dibpal

                          I like Stockyards and Buster Rhino's. I don't think there will ever be a place everyone is satisfied with in Toronto because for some reason there is a didactic notion of authenticity and apparently part of what makes it authentic is where it is from, ergo Toronto can never have authentic BBQ. Kind of a catch-22.

                          And yes, I have eaten real southern BBQ in the real south and although it was good it certainly isn't the life altering experience you would expect based on the reverance with which it is discussed.

                          -----
                          Buster Rhino's
                          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                          1. re: jamesm

                            Sure there are some snobs who post here (we all know who they are, no need to name names...) who say crap like "the sushi sucks because I'm not in Tokyo" or "the seafood sucks because I'm not in Boston" or "the steak sucks because I'm not in New York" or "the Mexican sucks because I can't see the beach in Acapulco". But I don't agree with them.

                            "Authentic" to me means, what I order here is similar enough to the "original". The BBQ served at Camp 31 and Buster Rhino is as authentic as we have found here. My wife grew up on the gulf coast of Alabama. She KNOWS barbeque, grew up with it, and she says the food at BR and C31 is good. That means a lot more to me than some of these "elite frequent fliers" saying it after taking a few business trips down there and visiting a few tourist traps.

                            She also lived for a year in Cajun country (Lafayette, Louisiana) so she definitely knows what to look for in that cuisine. So far nothing up here can be called "authentic" to her. She's had the real deal. She hasn't found it here. Probably never will.

                            So, yes, there's hope in finding authentic BBQ here. Geez, if they can do it in Upstate New York (Kentucky Greg's in Buffalo, Dinosaur in Syracuse), that shows you don't HAVE to be south of the Mason-Dixon to have real BBQ. So you should be able to make it north of the 49th as well....

                            -----
                            Camp 31 Bar-B-Q
                            22 Paris Rd, Paris, ON N3L3H8, CA

                            Buster Rhino's
                            2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                        2. re: waydowntown

                          "Virtually other national and subnational cuisine on the planet seems to be well represented in the GTA. Why, indeed, is this one so hard to do?"

                          Exactly what I was posting here 5 years ago. The rest of the world, you'll find it. North American, fugget-aboot-it. Mexican, Louisiana, and Southern food. Nowhere. Can't even buy grits in the supermarkets.

                          At least some are making an effort at southern. Camp 31 and Buster Rhino are glowing examples and well worth the trip since they're not exactly "close" for most GTA residents. But beyond BBQ, you won't find anything else from the south. Forget traditional southern stuff like you'd get at a Cracker Barrel. And don't tell me Canadians won't eat the stuff -- go to one close to the U.S. border and you'll see half the cars in the lot with Canadian plates! So there's a demand that is not being satisfied. There's no way all those Canadian cars are driven by U.S. expats.

                          And give up looking for Louisiana or Mexican. Seeing long lineups at "Bourbon St Grill" in the mall sickens me. That's not Louisiana food it's fake Chinese!!!

                          With the Canadian dollar about at par with the U.S., the time is right to take a nice trip across the border. Do some shopping (and import a bunch of stuff you can't get here), and of course have some southern food....

                          -----
                          Buster Rhino's
                          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                        3. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                          You might be referring to the Camp 31 location in Port Dover... their main one being in Paris of course (and of course home in Alabama).

                          Wow, I'm glad I never bothered to try this place. Thankfully I live in Durham Region and have Buster Rhino conveniently located. As others have said here, I strongly recommend you take a trip out to Whitby and give them a try. If anybody working there ever served crap like you got downtown and gave such surly service I'm sure Darryl (the owner) would fire them!

                          -----
                          Buster Rhino's
                          2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                          1. re: TexSquared

                            Hey Tex

                            If you get a chance, give Big Bone BBQ in Newmarket a try.
                            http://www.bigbonebbq.ca/

                            DT

                            1. re: Davwud

                              OK, so the same people as Memphis BBQ in Woodbridge which I've been to... it was OK but not up to Camp 31 or Buster Rhino level, and the sides needed work.

                              -----
                              Buster Rhino's
                              2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

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

                              1. re: TexSquared

                                Same people but different place.

                                DT

                                1. re: TexSquared

                                  Memphis BBQ in Woodbridge isn't good at all in my opinion.. The ribs are decent but literally EVERYTHING else is bagged & frozen, from a bottle, or re-heated. The pulled pork is always re-steamed to order, the ribs are usually cold and re-heated on a grill, the fries are not only frozen but BATTERED too so they're extra brutal, and the salad dressing is Kraft.. smoked wings are decent but again they come from an ice cold fridge and are re-heated on the grill

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

                                  1. re: duckdown

                                    I never ate at The Purple Pig but it had a great reputation. The two brothers work at the Newmarket store. Think more PP than MB.

                                    DT

                                    -----
                                    Purple Pig
                                    1 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5H3W4, CA

                              2. re: TexSquared

                                That was it - Camp 31! It was terrific. I now live in Toronto, so a trip to Whitby for BBQ is not in the cards. Guess I am going to have to rebuy a Weber Smoky Mountain and make my own, I guess. I am going to try an indirect smoke on the gas grill tomorrow - the last time worked pretty well, but this time is brisket...

                            2. Smokin' Bones??!!

                              More like Smokin' Mirrors...

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

                              1. If you have wanted to try this place's Pulled Pork sandwich next week might be the time to do it. They are having a "grand opening" special. Got this in their newsletter last night. I had the ribs there when I went, and I was dissapointed. I would probably not go back for them unless I was desperate in the area (i.e. was late night, etc)... But, I would be willing to give something else a shot. I agree that the guy working behind the counter when I was there was not too pleasant...

                                From the newsletter:

                                Smokin? Bones is having an Official Grand Opening Week Celebration!

                                Monday, May 3rd to Friday, May 7th will be the official grand opening week of Smokin? Bones. To celebrate, there will be a door crasher special of a half-priced pulled pork sandwich (which happens to be our best-selling menu item); that?s $3 for a ½ pound of smoked, juicy pork drenched in a homemade barbeque sauce served up on your choice of bun. Please note, that in the name of attempted speed of service, it?ll be 1 sandwich per person per visit.

                                Thanks for your patronage & we hope you?re able to stop by to enjoy this special offer sometime next week!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ylsf

                                  "Grand opening" 4+ months after the fact? (the first CH posts about them were in mid-December!) And after all that time to clean up their act they still have quality and service issues? Wow... Surprised they're still around.... lack of competition is all that's keeping them in business.

                                  Buster Rhino or Camp 31 should open a spot nearby and put them out of their misery....

                                  -----
                                  Camp 31 Bar-B-Q
                                  22 Paris Rd, Paris, ON N3L3H8, CA

                                  Buster Rhino's
                                  2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                  1. re: ylsf

                                    I thought it was just ok in terms of the pulled pork. It's already gone down in quality alot since it opened. I find that the pulled chicken is better than the pork actually. And the sweet potatoe fries were pretty good. Don't bother with the fried chicken or ribs, neither were good.

                                    1. re: Wil

                                      Sure sounds like someone's pulling something there.

                                  2. I heard this place wasn't good, I'm not surprised the numbers are down, Only legit BBQ is stockyards in Toronto

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Bobby Wham

                                      yeah but isn't availability an issue? in the beginning at least they'd only have stuff on certain days, and on ALL of my visits they were out of stuff I wanted.. that's why i stopped going.. i settled for different items on all occasions but they were just OK and never really what i went there wanting.. porchetta sandwich with rapini was tasty but the rapini was like eating tree bark, it was very raw still

                                      pricing is (or was) not good too.. everything was expensive and i seem to remember the side of fries being 5 bucks or more which bugged me

                                      1. re: Bobby Wham

                                        I wasn't all that impressed with Stockyards. After all the hype surrounding their BBQ chicken I tried it out and it was good, but not all that great. The crown jewel was that the batter was extra-hard on one part of the chicken and ripped out my cemented lower retainer when I bit into it. $120 to go to my orthodontist, so not the best bang for the buck there, either :D

                                        1. re: Shimso

                                          The barbecued chicken isn't battered...you most likely had southern fried chicken...Marimba!

                                      2. Funny to hear all the bad reviews. I went a couple of times in January/February, got the pulled pork and a side of beans, and loved it each time. Has it gone downhill since? I'll have to go for their "grant opening" next week at lunch to find out...

                                        30 Replies
                                        1. re: Strongbad789

                                          Stockyards isn't expensive. You can add fries to a sandwich for 2.50 not "5 dollars or more." The 5 dollar fries are enough to share as a side. They are clear about when items are available and like real southern BBQ joints they run out of food since BBQ obviously isn't made to order. That's why other places put it in the fridge and re-heat it which isn't ideal. Although they've had what I wanted every time I've been there so availability hasn't been an issue for me.

                                          1. re: jamesm

                                            I'm with duckdown on this one. Rarely have a good choice and expensive for what you get.
                                            If I lived nearby I might drop by, but definitely not worth an effort to go to Stockyards.
                                            The porchetta WITHOUT rapini is pretty good - but they certainly charged me $5 for fries on the side - and there were none left to share! I recall paying around $25 (total)for a sandwich with fries and a soft drink. Yes, I can afford that - but with $25 I'd choose to go elsewhere.

                                            1. re: estufarian

                                              25$ will get you the prix fixe dinner at Tati, on Harbord, for example.

                                              1. re: mrbozo

                                                To be fair, the $25 was all-in, including gratuity.
                                                So I'd need a $19 prix fixe - e.g. at Sidecar.

                                                1. re: estufarian

                                                  Isn't the prix fixe at Sidecar is $25...Marimba!

                                              2. re: estufarian

                                                I've only paid 2.50 for on the side and it specifies the prices on their menu.

                                                1. re: jamesm

                                                  Was your 'side' served on the same plate, or on a separate plate?
                                                  Mine came on a separate plate, so I assumed I got a 'full' portion by not communicating well. And I'm certainly not going to argue over $2.50.

                                                  1. re: estufarian

                                                    The side was served on the same plate and when we ordered to share it was on a separate plate. I don't think it's that difficult to specify which one you want.

                                                    They also make it very clear on the menu that it's 2.50 to add fries to a sandwich. You can just specify that one. And the 5 dollar order we shared was enough for 2 people, easily.

                                                    1. re: jamesm

                                                      Hmm..there seem to be conflicting view points here. Who should we trust?

                                                      1. re: haggisdragon

                                                        Not really sure what you're saying. You don't have to trust anyone. Check out the menu online. What is considered enough of a portion varies from person to person but we had no complaints in that department.

                                                        I'm not sure I'd say less than 20 bucks for a sandwich, fries and a drink with tax and tip is 'very expensive.'

                                                        1. re: haggisdragon

                                                          Yes apparently there are conflicting opinions on both portion sizes and what's considered expensive.. If you think a sandwich with a few slices of porchetta and rapini on it with an expensive side of fries and drink for $20 is a good bargain, then by all means.. jamesm seems to have far & away the most experience with this place than anyone else on the board so I guess you should take his word for it over mine, I've only been here a couple times and am not eager to return

                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                            I've not claimed to have far and away the most experience so I don't know what you're talking about. And it's less than 20 dollars with tax and tip but if you want to round up to prove a point knock yourself out. The people I've been with have not had a problem with the portions but some may, opinions vary on that. I've always been satisfied. Furthermore I'm not asking anyone to take my word over anyone else's. In fact, the crazy thing is -- that I've pointed out several times -- anyone can easily look at the online menu to verify that it does in fact have an option to add fries to a sandwich for 2.50. It's really not that complicated. If you think it's a fabrication just type www.thestockyards.ca in to your web browser to confirm. It's not an opinion it's a verifiable fact. And while you're there you can look at the prices and decide if it's out of your price range.

                                                            Actually I'll save the trouble. From their website.

                                                            Sandwichs
                                                            Stockyards Pastrami on Rye:
                                                            in house, dry cured, apple wood smoked beef brisket served w/
                                                            classic deli mustard on rye._$9

                                                            Stockyards Pastrami by the lbs:
                                                            whole lb_$15
                                                            half lb_$8

                                                            Porchetta Sandwich:
                                                            fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly,
                                                            and cracklings served on a baguette,
                                                            with garlic aioli _$9
                                                            /add $1.50 for sauteed rapini

                                                            BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich:
                                                            Apple and hickory smoked pork shoulder topped with coleslaw and Stockyards BBQ sauce on a classic store bought bun_$8

                                                            BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich:
                                                            Apple and hickory smoked chicken topped with coleslaw and Stockyards BBQ
                                                            sauce on a bun_$8

                                                            Grilled Cheese:
                                                            Aged Cheddar, sauteed cremini mushroom, and green apple served on fresh sourdough_$7
                                                            Add: Bacon & cracklin's: $1.50 Caramelized onion: $1.50

                                                            BAT:
                                                            Stockyards house cured bacon, Arugula, fried green Tomato, lemon aioli on
                                                            a ciabatta roll _$9

                                                            BBQ Beef Brisket
                                                            served w/ caramelized onion, garlic mayo,
                                                            veal jus, bbq sauce on a baguette_$11

                                                            Smoked Trout Sandwich
                                                            House smoked lake trout wrapped in Stockyards pancetta w/ creme fraiche, watercress, and cucumber _$11

                                                            Hot Dog:
                                                            All Beef Steamed Hot Dog
                                                            with mustard, ketchup and onion_$4

                                                            Add fries to above sandwiches $2.50

                                                            1. re: jamesm

                                                              I'm just saying you seem to be very thoroughly familiar with the place, I haven't seen many others on the board with the experience you have had there.. It's not an insult or anything.. but seeing what you posted reminded of something, the 'cracklings' weren't crispy, thats another thing i remember

                                                              1. re: duckdown

                                                                To be fair, my cracklings were superbly crispy. And the menu DID say that a side was $2.50 - but I was still charged $5!

                                                2. re: jamesm

                                                  They made it VERY clear that it was 5 bucks to add a portion of fries. I know this because I told the woman "wow, this seems awfully expensive" to which her reply was "well it's big enough to share"... There were none left to share.

                                                  I stick by my assessment: very expensive and poor availability doesn't make for a place i'm racing to return to.

                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                    I called to ask about bulk pulled pork. $15 per pound. Way too expensive, I'm afraid. It isn't in my hood, so a trip there is risky, given the apparently high "stock out" possibility. By the way, a BBQ vendor has the choice as to how much they make. There are costs and benefits to making too much otr making too little. I prefer to deal with a place that errs on the "too much" side.

                                                    1. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                                                      There is a 50% loss in weight when pork shoulder is slow cooked and pulled.
                                                      If they buy premium shoulders at $2/lb then a $4 investment in meat, plus heating, spices, overhead, labor etc. will ease 1lb of shredded pork up to $15/lb with a modest profit. That is standard restaurant economics.

                                                      1. re: jayt90

                                                        The incremental costs on a pound of pulled pork are trivial - they are making this in bulk, remember. i would be shocked if it was much over 50 cents/pound. Since they are buying wholesale, I suspect they are buying at less than $2.00/lb, but let's assume that is the correct price. Yield will be more like 60-70%. At 65% we have a meat cost of $3.00. Add the incremental for a total of $3.50/lb. This gives a gross profit of $11.50/lb - a mark up of over 400%. I guess we all have a notion of what constitutes a "modest" profit, but this exceeds mine.

                                                        The comparison to Buster Rhino rather proves the point. Stockyards is making roughly double the gross margin. Seem rather immodest, to me, and hardly "standard" economics.

                                                        1. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                                                          No one can buy top quality pork shoulder, delivered refrigerated, for $.50/lb .
                                                          That is why I mentioned an upscale price of $2./lb which might be encountered during the year. The source you mentioned confirms that the yield for PP is 50%, not 65%. The standard economics that I read on this site would allow a food cost of 25%, which is about 1/4 of $15/lb.
                                                          I don't want to prolong an argument, but it seems as if Stockyards is providing a quality product, hard to find elsewhere, and is not willing to give it away as long as the demand is there.

                                                      2. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                                                        1 lb of pulled pork at Buster Rhino's is $9.50.

                                                        http://www.busterrhinos.com/main/main...

                                                        -----
                                                        Buster Rhino's
                                                        2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                        1. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                                                          $15/lb is way too much, especially if you're buying more than one.. This place is greedy

                                                          1. re: duckdown

                                                            Wasn't this supposed to be about Smokin' Bones?

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

                                                              1. re: terrycar

                                                                I raised a point about what people thought of Stockyards...although I don't see much real criticism of their food, just concerns about price.

                                                                1. re: dibpal

                                                                  The point being made is, why pay Stockyards 50% more than they charge for better quality at Buster Rhino's or Camp 31?

                                                                  To go with jayt90's point, you're paying a premium for their convenient downtown location. Since I live in Durham Region and have Buster Rhino's just 4 exits east of me on the 401, they're my no-brainer choice. I am not going to waste time, gas, and parking to go into the city and then pay more for the food. Aside: Thank you Darryl for setting up shop in Durham!

                                                                  Camp 31 is just too out of the way being out in Paris, can't really consider them as GTA given the distance, but I posted their price and a link to their menu for comparison purposes.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Buster Rhino's
                                                                  2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

                                                            1. re: EatDrinkMan9000

                                                              Pulled pork at Camp 31 is $8.75 a pound.
                                                              http://camp31.com/catering.pdf
                                                              scroll down to page 5.

                                                              Sounds to me Stockyards is a ripoff.

                                                              1. re: TexSquared

                                                                Well...what is the rental per square foot in the areas under discussion? That is another cost that I don't see being factored into the money charged per pound. I don't know myself, this is an honest question.

                                                                1. re: Pincus

                                                                  I'm pretty sure a prime restaurant location dowtown in a major metropolitan city is more expensive than a unit in an industrial strip mall in Whitby.

                                                                  1. re: jamesm

                                                                    Folks, this is all getting a little off topic. If you have an opinion on whether the pulled pork is delicious or not, that's great, but analyzing a restaurant's food and overhead costs is really pretty far afield from our focus. If you'd like to continue that discussion, we'd ask you to take it to Not About Food.

                                                      3. Another deal for their sandwich.... On Wagjag today - May 14th (Www.wagjag.com) they have a $5 for a Pulled Pork Sandwich and drink deal.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: ylsf

                                                          From their newsletter today, they said they are now serving hand cut fries. Also says they are extending their delivery area.

                                                          1. re: ylsf

                                                            Extended to where? If it gets as far west as Spadina, then I'm set.

                                                            1. re: Strongbad789

                                                              I shudder to think what the watery pork mush would would do to the bun during the time between it getting scooped out of the steam tray to delivery...