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New BBQ joint coming to Roncesvalles.

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frito Apr 15, 2011 11:45 AM

It occupies the old Bistro 299 spot. I believe it opens April 20th. Largest indoor smoker in the city? It's called Barque Smokehouse barque.ca

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  1. BusterRhino RE: frito Apr 15, 2011 01:29 PM

    It's not the largest indoor smoker in the city, there are a couple of BBQ joints that have large smokers - such as stockyards around the corner from there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: BusterRhino
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      Pantz RE: BusterRhino Apr 15, 2011 03:30 PM

      Stockyards sure isn't just around the corner from 299 Roncy or I'd go there a heck of lot more!

      With this place opening, there is a good possibility of a west end BBQ Triangle now - Stockyards, Barque and Drake BBQ.

      Hope they get it right. Or hey, maybe you could open up a spot in Parkdale?

      1. re: BusterRhino
        j
        jamesm RE: BusterRhino Apr 15, 2011 04:27 PM

        They aren't around the corner and I'm curious how it's inconceivable that this place could have a larger smoker? This isn't the first time I've heard it suggested. Is it really implausible that a larger smoker may exist?

        1. re: jamesm
          t
          turntablejockey RE: jamesm Apr 15, 2011 06:24 PM

          i think 'around the corner' is a reasonable figure of speech considering their only 6km apart....don't think you're supposed take that statement literally.

          1. re: turntablejockey
            m
            magic RE: turntablejockey Apr 15, 2011 07:57 PM

            Agreed.

            1. re: turntablejockey
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              JennaBean RE: turntablejockey Apr 21, 2011 08:31 AM

              Nope. For me around the corner is up to a 15 min walk. 6k is a 33 min run or a TTC trek! :-)

            2. re: jamesm
              Herb RE: jamesm Apr 16, 2011 04:23 AM

              If you live in Whitby like Buster, it's around the corner.

          2. damonster RE: frito Apr 15, 2011 01:57 PM

            Very very good news

            1. justsayn RE: frito Apr 20, 2011 03:05 PM

              OPENED TODAY!

              1 Reply
              1. re: justsayn
                j
                jamesm RE: justsayn Apr 20, 2011 03:40 PM

                Damnit, I already bought dinner. Will try it this weekend though. Looking forward to hearing reviews.

              2. m
                mmargo78 RE: frito Apr 20, 2011 03:57 PM

                Menu is up on their facebook page...

                5 Replies
                1. re: mmargo78
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                  lister RE: mmargo78 Apr 20, 2011 07:58 PM

                  Hmmm... Not a rib fan but the girlfriend is. No pulled pork? No fancy mac & cheese?

                  What beer is on tap? Looks like two, one possibly Steamwhistle, the other I can't make out from the picture on facebook.

                  *EDIT* http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/E... says the beers are from McCauslan. And in May pulled pork sandwiches for lunch. Lunch only?

                  1. re: lister
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                    table4onthefly RE: lister Apr 20, 2011 08:13 PM

                    Sweet! Gotta check this place out soon!

                    1. re: table4onthefly
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                      5andman RE: table4onthefly Apr 21, 2011 12:00 PM

                      Nice to see they're going to be doing lunch.
                      Looking forward to checking this place out!

                      1. re: 5andman
                        pescatarian RE: 5andman Apr 21, 2011 08:35 PM

                        I had take out from this place tonight with some friends. We all loved it. We tried the brisket, beef rib, and pork ribs. All the meat was tasty and moist. I tend to be a brisket fan in general and it was so good. Very moist and full of smokey flavour. The corn on the cob was fabulous with smokey spices. We had combos which included green beans and asparagus. We also had the coconut corn soup which was delicious and had bits of bacon which also made it nice and smokey. The sauces for the ribs were good - one had a strong taste of mustard. We also had a fresh tasting spinach salad. Looking forward to checking it out again soon.

                    2. re: lister
                      duckdown RE: lister Apr 25, 2011 09:47 AM

                      McAuslan rules!!

                  2. The Chowhound Team RE: frito Apr 24, 2011 04:52 AM

                    A discussion of what mac and cheese should be like at a BBQ place has been moved to the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can follow the discussion here:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780627

                    1. m
                      meativore RE: frito Apr 25, 2011 08:40 AM

                      4 of us tried it out this weekend. Everything was great, we shared a couple of sampler platters so we could get a taste of all the meats. The brisket was the best I've had in this city, so moist. Dry rub ribs awesome, beef rib falling off the bone, and the chicken thighs make me excited to actually order chicken in a restaurant. Miami style short ribs were also really fun especially since they're usually not found in bbq joints. Like a tasty meat candy appetizer! Really nice to have a selection of healthy sides as well to balance out the meatfest. Tried the cuban corn, the greens (green beans that night), smoked asparagus and the spinach salad. Oh, and the pecan pie was kick-ass too and made in-house. Loved the room too, really comfortable and warm, could hear my friends at the table even with a full house. Welcome guys, so happy to have you in the hood!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: meativore
                        Herb RE: meativore Apr 25, 2011 10:19 AM

                        What other briskets in the city have you tried?

                        1. re: Herb
                          m
                          meativore RE: Herb Apr 25, 2011 11:02 AM

                          Mainly Phil's and my mom's:) Another one at a place up at Bloor and Spadina a couple years ago. But I used to live in the States and even at the Salt Lick outside Austin which I looooved, I still found their brisket dry.

                          1. re: meativore
                            e
                            ebay3392 RE: meativore May 7, 2011 05:30 PM

                            Austin...the first place I ever tried brisket was at Rudy Country Store and BBQ on S. Cap Tx Hwy...got the moist, (why eat lean on vacation?) and it has been the measuring stick for brisket ever since...had Salt Lick at Austin Airport, was very dry and lacked flavour. I personally make a good brisket and burnt ends but do not like what some local places do keeping point and fat together to serve..fat does not render. How does this place serve it?

                          2. re: Herb
                            j
                            jamesm RE: Herb Apr 25, 2011 11:04 AM

                            Walked past it this weekend and they've opened up the windows garage-door style and the place was hopping. The atmosphere looked great. Looks like it's bringing a lot of life to that corner. Unfortunately we had pop in guests and didn't get a chance to try it but it's on the list this week.

                        2. g
                          glickjor RE: table4onthefly Apr 29, 2011 08:39 AM

                          I couldn't agree more - the brisket is fantastic, as were the chicken thighs when I was there. I loved the upfront popcorn with a tangy bbq sauce to drizzle on top. I'm a sucker for smoked trout and found Barque's version to be delicious. I also loved the various combo opportunities for sides.

                          I'll definitely be back to try out the lunch sandwiches and echo earlier comments that this place is a must try before the masses start to flock.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: glickjor
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                            5andman RE: glickjor Apr 29, 2011 12:04 PM

                            Anybody know what their hours are?
                            (Nothing on the website or Facebook page)

                            Drove by it yesterday afternoon, but it looked closed, so I kept driving.

                            1. re: 5andman
                              m
                              meativore RE: 5andman Apr 29, 2011 12:07 PM

                              Think they're just open for dinner right now...

                              1. re: 5andman
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                                table4onthefly RE: 5andman Apr 29, 2011 12:13 PM

                                They open at 5 and go until the meat runs out. About 10PM I was told.

                                1. re: table4onthefly
                                  domesticgodess RE: table4onthefly Apr 30, 2011 06:24 PM

                                  i called this week to find out if they were open for lunch...was told that they would be open for lunch in a few weeks.

                            2. damonster RE: table4onthefly Apr 30, 2011 10:37 PM

                              I would also recommend the 'Miami Ribs' for an app. Their brisket, I thought was amazingly well done, I would like to see a sauce that you could dip it in similar to what you'd find at Muellers in TX, but that's just splitting hairs. Found the rub that they use on the ribs(pork) was very black peppery, but I love black pepper so not an issue for me. I've been twice and will be back as many times as possible, til the inevitable review comes out and spoils it as a 'hood spot.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: damonster
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                                jamesm RE: damonster May 1, 2011 12:18 PM

                                It's already packed and I'm not sure how a review will ruin it for anyone. People here heard about it on the internet, which isn't exactly a super-secret club.

                              2. Jacquilynne RE: frito May 1, 2011 05:53 PM

                                I tried this place out for their Sunday prix fixe dinner tonight.

                                We were served:

                                The popcorn snack thing which I honestly could have done without. It was dry and blah.

                                Dry-rubbed chicken wings - tasty and juicy but very heavy on the salt, until you put lemon juice on them, at which point they were tasty and juicy and perfect.

                                Miami ribs - larger, meatier pieces were great, smaller, less meaty pieces were a little dry.

                                Peel-and-eat shrimp -- very nicely done. Not spectacular, but solid and well done.

                                Caesar salad -- good bacon, great croutons

                                Spinach salad -- not particularly noteworthy either way

                                Corn -- delicious, surprisingly so for the season

                                Brisket -- fantastic and moist and tender

                                Ribs -- a little on the dry side, possibly because it was the small end of a small rack

                                Smoked chicken -- very nice, very juicy

                                Fries -- fine, not great

                                Dessert -- make your own ice cream sandwiches with house made cookies and greg's roasted marshmallow ice cream, smoked pineapple on the side. Good cookies, good ice cream, a little hard to eat once put together. Smoked pineapple was horrible, but that might have been purely a personal preference issue.

                                I will note that there was some flakiness happening in the service. It was supposed to be a prix-fixe everyone gets exactly the same thing service, but some tables got asparagus and others didn't (we didn't), and many tables got twice as much corn as we did. There was also a lot of randomness to who got what when, with dishes being handed to tables seemingly without regard for when they arrived, when they finished their previous courses, etc. Also, some tables ended up being offered the same dish more than once. I think there might be some confusion about table numbers, or how the ordering works for the prix fixe. But I also think this was their first night of doing the prix fixe and we arrived just as they opened, so it's likely just kinks that they need to work out with that style of service.

                                Despite the long list of dishes, it wasn't a huge, insane amount of food. For $25 it was definitely a good value, and I came away feeling full but not uncomfortably so. Other than serving 5 ribs to 2 people, I think the portion sizes were very nicely thought out.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Jacquilynne
                                  h
                                  hungryabbey RE: Jacquilynne May 3, 2011 06:04 PM

                                  so with the prix fixe, was there any choices allowed or that is the only menu/options... and was the regular a la carte also offered on sunday or just the prix fixe?

                                  1. re: hungryabbey
                                    Jacquilynne RE: hungryabbey May 4, 2011 04:25 AM

                                    It was the prix fixe only, and there were no options.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne
                                      Lazar RE: Jacquilynne May 4, 2011 07:11 AM

                                      Just to clarify a couple of thing from last Sunday (I wandered in to get out of the rain).

                                      The prix fixe menu was comprised of everything on their a la carte menu, just smaller portions so that you could try everything that they currently offer. The way the meals were portioned was dependent on the number of people at the table, and somewhat subjective by the platers. For example, Jacquilynne mentioned that her table only received 5 ribs, whereas I was dining alone (I sat at the smoker bar at back) and I felt that there was too much food. I didn't finish the chicken or ribs (of which I counted about 8) and I declined dessert.

                                      As far as missing out on some things (e.g. the asparagus...which was amazing BTW) from what I understand, they basically keep cooking until stuff runs out, which could have been the case.

                                      I was also able to chat with David about the other barbeque places in the area as well as posting on Chowhound (which he has read). He is a very affable guy and really likes his craft. He has a specific vision for the restaurant, and really wants to promote it as a neighbourhood place.

                                      And as far as the flakiness, not to offer up any excuses, but in speaking with Dave they were expecting maybe around 50 people for the entire evening and they really got slammed, it was very, very busy there. But they still seemed to handle everyone well for the most part.

                                      1. re: Lazar
                                        pinstripeprincess RE: Lazar May 4, 2011 07:30 AM

                                        i suspect they have very green servers... they seemed a little nervous and so in the process would do some odd but inconsequential things. once they get more experience and get used to being far busier than they expected, i'm sure it'll improve.

                                        1. re: Lazar
                                          Jacquilynne RE: Lazar May 4, 2011 11:22 AM

                                          We were there within 5 minutes of the restaurant opening for the day. The tables on either side of us, which were served before us and after us both got asparagus, so it wasn't a case of something having run out.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne
                                            GoodGravy RE: Jacquilynne May 4, 2011 01:04 PM

                                            Did you report the oversight to the waitstaff? They probably would've tried to rectify it if they were aware of it.

                                            1. re: GoodGravy
                                              Jacquilynne RE: GoodGravy May 4, 2011 01:15 PM

                                              I couldn't see myself whining about things like other tables getting more pieces of corn than me, no. I'm wasn't then and am not now upset about the situation -- as I noted in my report, I suspect they're just stumbling a little out of the blocks and will get things together after they've had more -- hell, given that we were amongst the first customers on their first night of doing this, ANY -- practice.

                                              1. re: Jacquilynne
                                                j
                                                jkmanosque RE: Jacquilynne May 4, 2011 06:30 PM

                                                The meat was served warm to cool - there was a persistent spice throughout the popcorn,the ribs/brisket and the sauce that unless you liked it was too overpowering throughout. Not very impressed and man do they whack the salt on everything. If you want bbq go to Paul and Sandy's - much much better and more authentic.

                                  2. j
                                    justtasteit RE: frito May 8, 2011 03:44 AM

                                    Roncesvalles dwellers can breathe a sigh of relief -- a great place to eat in our neighbourhood, finally!

                                    We had a group, with kids, and had a great meal! They were definitely kid-friendly and the addictive popcorn was really tasty. The homemade dipping sauces were a good sign of things to come -- they were delicious!

                                    Loved the ribs and the brisket -- edges of the brisket has a nice, natural smoke and a great bark (like the name of the restaurant). The peel and eat shrimp were cooked perfectly. Caesar salad was insanely good and garlic-y. They serve it with candied bacon done in the smoker and I could just eat a big pile of that bacon! Sides were all tasty as hell. The corn was really good and the green beans were al dente and flavourful with just the right amount of butter and garlic. nice fries, if a little flaccid ... No problems with "too much salt". I'm usually very critical of over-salted food and I have to say I found the food was seasoned properly across the board.

                                    I have three suggestions that would make this place even better! First of all the service was a bit slow. I admit, this was amplified by the fact that we were with kids so, if we weren't it might not have seemed that bad -- thank god for the popcorn... I think the kitchen should also give more consideration to the serving sizes. For a table of 7, we got 2 three- inch pieces of roasted corn, for example. So, I would like to see a more consistent size for the sides and upping the portions a bit. Having said that, we had ordered the sampler so maybe the regular order of sides is bigger. We'll find out next time ... I think baked beans, cornbread and cole slaw would be great additions to the menu here.

                                    The beignets for dessert were fresh, light, eggy and an absolute delight! Nothing like a plate of warm, fried dough goodness to top off a great meal. Can't wait to go back and try the pecan pie with Greg's Roasted Marshmallow ice cream!

                                    The servers were patient and friendly. The place was packed and there was a lineup the whole time we were there ... on Roncesvalles ... a lineup! Inprecedented ... Can't wait until their patio gets going!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: justtasteit
                                      TorontoJo RE: justtasteit May 8, 2011 04:01 AM

                                      I'm not sure how you can criticize the kitchen for portion size just because you ordered one sampler for 7 people. If that same sampler had been order for 2 people, would it have been sufficient? Or was the sampler advertised/recommended as being enough for 7?

                                      1. re: TorontoJo
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                                        justtasteit RE: TorontoJo May 8, 2011 05:45 AM

                                        Absolutely, I'm not really faulting them ... it was a friendly suggestion ... As I mentioned, it was fine as a sampler size -- two pieces of corn for two people. I admitted that I'm not sure about the regular size of sides. I just would have liked to be advised that maybe we should order more; I love to offset the richness of barbeque with vegetables... We ordered two 2-person samplers with additional salad, shrimp and dessert. We certainly didn't leave hungry ... Anyway, I clearly loved the place and plan to return!

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