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YOU GOTTA GO TO BARQUE FOR BBQ!

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corywoulds May 11, 2011 06:50 AM

Seriously, best chicken wings, ribs and brisket I've had in the city. Plus the nicest staff and head chef (his name is Dave- make sure you meet him!). I brought 8 friends there last night for my birthday and the service, food, and environment were all excellent. Go support a new Roncesvalle restaurant and have an amazing meal!
(ps don't wimp out on dessert- the pecan pie was incredible!)
http://www.barque.ca/

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    00CP RE: corywoulds May 11, 2011 11:16 AM

    "Best in the city" is pushing it a bit much, but its pretty good. We spent some time talking to the owner/chef David as well while having dinner, about what he's trying to achieve with the resto. He wants to be "the best BBQ on Roncy" and I think he's doing a fine job. Our only suggestion to him was to get some pulled pork on the dinner menu. If he was selling his sandwiches (only for lunch currently) during the dinner rush he'd make a killing in take-out orders.

    BarQue have a small ways to go with regards to refining their service and plating, but they're definitely off to a strong start. I'll be going back in a month to give a fair assessment of the place, I think passing judgement 2 weeks in would be a bit un-fair.

    Bottom line; worth the trip to Roncy (make sure you make a reservation first or you'll be left out in the cold!)

    2 Replies
    1. re: 00CP
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      crawfish RE: 00CP May 11, 2011 05:54 PM

      Reservations? For BBQ? Really? What about on a week night? I really hate reservations. Just kills it or me.

      1. re: crawfish
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        00CP RE: crawfish May 12, 2011 07:23 AM

        I saw more than 10 tables turned away when we went last Friday around 7pm who did not have reservations. If you want to eat, a reservation ain't a bad idea

    2. atomeyes RE: corywoulds May 11, 2011 11:40 AM

      The greater question: how does he compare to the Drake, Buster Rhinos and Stockyards?

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: atomeyes
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        corywoulds RE: atomeyes May 11, 2011 11:49 AM

        Ok well stock yards wins for burgers and fried chicken- but this is more of a ribs,wings, brisket and pulled pork spot. The drake BBQ I have yet to try but I've heard it's par at best. Buster Rhino's I've never heard of or tried!

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

        1. re: atomeyes
          g
          geekwithspatula RE: atomeyes May 13, 2011 07:13 AM

          I haven't been to Drake but I have gone to Stockyards and the last sampler day of the season for Buster Rhino. For ribs I think Buster Rhino has the best ribs and brisket that I have tried so far. The Stockyards ribs are good but it's the sauce that brings it to the next level. The day I was planning to go to Barque got sidetracked and all I got were pictures of the storefront.

          In another thread someone also mentioned Paul and Sandy's in Mississauga as well. I always love places that are reachable by the ttc (unless someone else is doing the driving).

          As a side note, I found that Sweet Escapes sells pulled pork and brisket sandwiches from Buster's. This was a totally serendipitous discovery while roaming in the distillery district. Had a good talk with Jason about his food and Busters. He's a great guy.

          -----
          Sweet Escape
          55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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

          1. re: geekwithspatula
            GoodGravy RE: geekwithspatula May 13, 2011 08:00 AM

            Now this is news to me. Thanks for the Sweet Escapes tip!

            -----
            Sweet Escape
            55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

            1. re: geekwithspatula
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              Boodah RE: geekwithspatula May 13, 2011 11:46 AM

              Paul and Sandy's is not in Mississauga, it's in Etobicoke on Dundas and it's about 2-3 blocks away from the Islington subway station on the Bloor line.

              1. re: geekwithspatula
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                ebay3392 RE: geekwithspatula May 18, 2011 01:54 PM

                I thought the pulled pork at BR was the bomb...better than what I had in Memphis IMHO..the brisket was sliced a little too thin for my liking, I like it pencil thick with the flat and point separated, and that nasty non rendered fat discarded. But that's just me.

            2. kwass RE: corywoulds May 13, 2011 09:59 AM

              I went to their website and it still seems like it's under construction. I would love to look at the menu before I take a trip out there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kwass
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                slants RE: kwass May 13, 2011 10:30 AM

                its worth the trip even w/out seeing the menu .... food is AMAZING .... i love to bbq at home but this is way better than anything i could ever do .... def get the miami ribs!

              2. duckdown RE: corywoulds May 13, 2011 10:42 AM

                I heard it's not very good, extremely expensive, and does not even have pulled pork on the menu at all.

                Is charging alot for simple food where the "Gourmet" comes in?

                22 Replies
                1. re: duckdown
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                  plug RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 10:53 AM

                  1)does anyone have any pictures or specific comparisons to the bbq leaders in the gta?
                  2) how much are items on the menu?

                  1. re: duckdown
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                    corywoulds RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 11:18 AM

                    you heard wrong. its delicious and medium priced. and I talked the chef and pulled pork is currently just on the lunch menu but he's going to be changing that based on customer demand.

                    1. re: corywoulds
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                      plug RE: corywoulds May 13, 2011 11:27 AM

                      HI Corywoulds,

                      I assume you're there often since you speak to the chef regularly,
                      would you have any pricing on hand?

                      1. re: plug
                        c
                        corywoulds RE: plug May 13, 2011 11:44 AM

                        I've only been twice but I live on Sorauren and I love promoting anything great on Roncesvalle (after all that construction garbage its great to see a new business take a chance on the block again) I'll take a cellphone pic of the menu and prices and post it!

                    2. re: duckdown
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                      themiguel RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 11:24 AM

                      Why does a BBQ place need to have pulled pork? I don't think Stockyards has it do they? A place doesnt have to offer every single last permutation of BBQ to appease everyone, in fact I applaud establishements that want to specialize and become really really good in one or two things.

                      Its not that expensive, its quite good and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

                      1. re: themiguel
                        duckdown RE: themiguel May 13, 2011 11:30 AM

                        Why does a southern BBQ place need to have pulled pork? Is that really what you just asked me?

                        Yes, Stockyards has it. And they are not even just a BBQ place.

                        1. re: duckdown
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                          themiguel RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 12:54 PM

                          http://www.lulingcitymarket.com/menu....

                          Look at the website above, widely considered to be one of the best BBQ places in the United States. Do you see any pulled pork on the menu? Places in States frequently specialize in a couple of things, they don't try to do everything for everyone because they understand that a world class product sometimes requres dedication and time commitment. Outrage at a lack of pulled pork in a barbeque restaurant is misguided. Its like complaining that a tonkotsu specialist ramen joint doesnt offer any miso ramen

                          1. re: themiguel
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                            childofthestorm RE: themiguel May 13, 2011 01:02 PM

                            In fairness, Texas BBQ is its own animal. Most of the other BBQ styles in the US feature pulled pork. But yeah, Texas is my favourite, give me a nice sauceless beef brisket any day.

                            1. re: childofthestorm
                              estufarian RE: childofthestorm May 17, 2011 03:17 PM

                              ABSOLUTELY. Texas BBQ is beef - all the way. Most other styles are pork and there are multiple variations/styles.

                              however, I'd never heard of Luling City - but then I've never been to Houston. I stick to within about 200 miles of Dallas. Best I've had - and I think the most recommended, is generally south of Dallas, particularly around Austin.

                              1. re: childofthestorm
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                                ebay3392 RE: childofthestorm May 18, 2011 01:58 PM

                                Or with Au Jus..YES!!
                                I have been to Rudy's and Salt Lick in Austin and concur, no pulled pork, everything else. But they are their own animal.

                            2. re: duckdown
                              s
                              Sui_Mai RE: duckdown May 22, 2011 08:14 AM

                              In fact, according to the chef, Dave, it is not a Southern bbq place just a place with a guy doing barbeque in Toronto. Aren't we all over the mush that is pulled pork anyways. I mean it's good, but does this town ever beat a trend to death or what?

                              1. re: Sui_Mai
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                                plug RE: Sui_Mai May 22, 2011 08:28 AM

                                while i'm not saying a bbq joint needs to have pulled pork
                                .... i do not know what trend you speak of.
                                there isnt' a real good smoked pulled pork in the dtown region.
                                thats why you taste mush... they're roasted and slathered with bbq sauce.

                                1. re: plug
                                  s
                                  Sui_Mai RE: plug May 22, 2011 08:55 AM

                                  I know you're not saying that - someone else is.

                                  Drake bbq has nice pulled pork downtown. And the trend I mainly speak of is the ubiquitous pulled pork sandwich - also the Cubano sandwich - it's like the new bahn mi, elk slider etc...

                                2. re: Sui_Mai
                                  BritInTO RE: Sui_Mai Jun 20, 2011 11:06 AM

                                  I like pulled pork but it always just tastes like its covered in storebought sauce. I have not tried any N.American BBQ so far that is worth writing home about. Too sweet and not enough depth to the flavor. Raving about pulled pork is almost as bad as getting over excited about a big mac. Have not tried Texas BBQ. Sounds much more interesting.

                                  1. re: BritInTO
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                                    TexSquared RE: BritInTO Jun 20, 2011 12:21 PM

                                    Go to Buster Rhino's to try pulled pork that is not doused in sauce...

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

                                    1. re: TexSquared
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                                      ebay3392 RE: TexSquared Jun 20, 2011 12:32 PM

                                      I second it..BR's pulled pork is the closest to comp or back yard worthy as you can get here. All the others I have tried ended up being a little 'flat' tasting IMHO.

                                      1. re: ebay3392
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                                        jamesm RE: ebay3392 Jun 20, 2011 01:11 PM

                                        Buster Rhinos pulled pork was pretty good in store but I found the vac-sealed bag we brought home was mushy after re-heating and had an unpleasant texture and mouthfeel.

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

                                3. re: duckdown
                                  b
                                  Budca RE: duckdown Jun 7, 2011 09:24 PM

                                  Thats true not much pulled pork in texas bbq mostly beef

                                  1. re: Budca
                                    BusterRhino RE: Budca Jun 8, 2011 05:53 AM

                                    Actually that's not true, even pulled pork is a major staple in Texas - you just generally hear about how they are only beef eaters.

                                    If you really just want to end this debate here and now.

                                    The eastern seaboard is Known for pork. Usually a dry product, with a vinegar or tomato base, they do know what brisket is, also chicken, they smoke lamb, they also smoke corn, tomatos, oysters etc. (by the way, down south eastern US if you ask for BBQ you get pulled pork)

                                    The mid states are known to be a mishmash of bbq styles and products but one thing is definitely known about them - saucy products tomato molasses base, also known to smoke everything.

                                    The Texas state (and surrounding areas) are known to be a Brisket state, when in actuality they cook more pulled pork than brisket. Even more surprisingly they cook more Texas red hots and Kielbasa (yes, go figure, Kielbasa) than anywhere else and it makes up a major major portion of their products. Oh and these guys also smoke everything, apparently just bigger.

                                    BBQ is simple folks - it's a process, what is that process?

                                    To cook low and slow over hardwood or charcoal (this for all intensive purposes includes pellets, wood chips etc) - it always comes down to the same thing, low and slow.

                                    Essentially it comes down to local variations these variations can be as wide as areas (eastern US) to across the street in some areas.

                                    So this is always what I ask people, when you tried what they were smoking, when you put that piece of whatever food in your mouth - did your tastebuds stand up and slap you silly and ask for more, or did they roll over and go back to sleep from boredom. If they slapped you silly, then you found yourself some good southern BBQ, if they didn't, eat up, accept the fact that you didn't like this particular form of southern bbq and move onto the next BBQ Joint.

                                    1. re: BusterRhino
                                      d
                                      Dean Tudor RE: BusterRhino Jun 8, 2011 04:44 PM

                                      Succinct.

                                      1. re: BusterRhino
                                        South Carolina Girl RE: BusterRhino Aug 5, 2011 09:11 AM

                                        Well said Buster. Coming from the mustard region of the eastern seaboard it is important to appreciate the underlying idea of BBQ - how it's cooked! Once you've got the process down everything else is personal preference and/or regional style.

                                        Still hoping to stop in your place one day (I live west of the GTA) so you can slap my tastebuds silly!

                                4. re: duckdown
                                  s
                                  slants RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 11:48 AM

                                  everyone is entitled to their opinion but i encourage everyone with regards to any resto to taste w their mouth and not their ears ... lol

                                5. duckdown RE: corywoulds May 13, 2011 12:24 PM

                                  http://oshawalaser.com/Blog/wp-conten...

                                  Yum, yum. $70 for BBQ.

                                  Here's what $36 bought:

                                  http://oshawalaser.com/Blog/wp-conten...

                                  46 Replies
                                  1. re: duckdown
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                                    plug RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 12:33 PM

                                    that sounds/looks pretty pricey .... maybe its the area? than again purple pig's prices weren't even that high and that was right smack dtown.
                                    the product looks decent tho.

                                    1. re: plug
                                      duckdown RE: plug May 13, 2011 12:38 PM

                                      There is a .jpg of their menu I found on the same website.

                                      Their price structure makes no sense, I just don't get it.

                                      You have some things that sound very affordable like a shrimp appetizer for 8 dollars and wings for 8 dollars (not a pound though), but then it jumps all the way up to $18 for a _HALF_ chicken.. Yes, the same amount of chicken that costs $6.50 at a Portuguese churrasqueira is suddenly $18 here.. That one is a little hard to choke back.. The sampler for 2 sounds very chincey for 36 dollars as well I might add..

                                      1. re: duckdown
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                                        ylsf RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 12:58 PM

                                        The same review was pretty impressed overall though:

                                        http://oshawalaser.com/Blog/2011/04/2...

                                        1. re: duckdown
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                                          Boodah RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 01:28 PM

                                          Anyone familiar with the Dipamo's/Phil's Original saga will understand why I'm wondering if this place will last after the initial novelty of it in the neighborhood wears off; I'm convinced the high prices at the Englinton Dipamo's franchise location is what killed it off.

                                          1. re: Boodah
                                            Herb RE: Boodah May 18, 2011 05:22 AM

                                            If you were familiar with the Dipammo story you'd know why the Eglinton "franchise" went out of business. Prices had nothing to do with it.

                                      2. re: duckdown
                                        Full tummy RE: duckdown May 13, 2011 03:53 PM

                                        $12 for two beignets??? Those better be some pretty darned big and delicious beignets...

                                        1. re: Full tummy
                                          b
                                          Boodah RE: Full tummy May 13, 2011 05:57 PM

                                          Two orders with multiple beignets per order, not just two beignets.

                                          1. re: Boodah
                                            Full tummy RE: Boodah May 13, 2011 06:42 PM

                                            O.k., but they're still just doughnuts... That seems like a lot to pay.

                                            1. re: Full tummy
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                                              Boodah RE: Full tummy May 13, 2011 06:43 PM

                                              That seems to be a not-uncommon sentiment about this restaurant as a whole.

                                              1. re: Full tummy
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                                                ylsf RE: Full tummy May 14, 2011 03:54 PM

                                                The link I posted above includes photos of the donut dish. Definitely seems enough to share for one person. I think they should cut the portion size and charge half the price. Sounded like from the review there is a caramel sauce too.

                                                1. re: ylsf
                                                  Full tummy RE: ylsf May 14, 2011 07:52 PM

                                                  Thanks! I agree with you. No need for so many, which means they could charge less.

                                                  1. re: ylsf
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                                                    jamesm RE: ylsf May 17, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                    I just walked past and took a look at the menu in the window and the prices seemed fine. Desserts, including the beignets, were all 6 dollars. All appetizers were 8 dollars or under. Half rack of ribs 12 dollars, full rack 24. I didn't see any 18 dollar half chickens listed either. All sides were about 4 dollars if I recall correctly. Either there has been some changes to the pricing or there is some misinformation floating around.

                                                    1. re: jamesm
                                                      Splendid Wine Snob RE: jamesm May 17, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                      What I find absolutely astounding are the complaints about pricing from the same Chowhounders that haven't even set a foot in the place. Ridiculous.

                                                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
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                                                        plug RE: Splendid Wine Snob May 17, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                        Jamesm,

                                                        Heres the $18 dollar half a chicken on the menu.

                                                         
                                                        1. re: plug
                                                          ingloriouseater RE: plug May 17, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                          I certainly don't think $18 is too high for a 1/2 chicken. This isn't Swiss Chalet (about $11) but I think supporting a nice independent house smoked option demands a premium....

                                                          1. re: ingloriouseater
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                                                            jamesm RE: ingloriouseater May 17, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                            I don't really think it's outrageous either. It comes with 2 sides as well doesn't it?

                                                            1. re: jamesm
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                                                              corywoulds RE: jamesm May 17, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                              yup! and the fries were incredible!! I'd go with the fries and corn. both delicious!

                                                            2. re: ingloriouseater
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                                                              JennaBean RE: ingloriouseater May 17, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                              I fully agree. There is some truth in "you get what you pay for." Who wants to eat a discount chicken? I know I don't.

                                                              1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                GoodGravy RE: ingloriouseater May 17, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                                It's all about context. $18 for a half chicken and sides at Le Cirque? Awesome deal. $18 for a half chicken and sides at a BBQ joint? Total rip off. Before I get flamed, I'm not saying Barque is a rip off, I'm pointing out that the perceived value is related to how "fancy" the restaurant is, not the quality or method of preparation.

                                                                1. re: GoodGravy
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                                                                  Dean Tudor RE: GoodGravy May 17, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                  No flame here, but I'd like to see the chicken and its provenance. Is it a "big" chicken? Even Swiss Chalet had two prices, for "medium" and "large". It is smoked, and rubbed (?), and it may be a natural or sustainable or even organic chicken rather than a battery bird. I'd think the range, even with two sides, could be $15 to $22, depending on provenance and size.

                                                                  1. re: Dean Tudor
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                                                                    jamesm RE: Dean Tudor May 17, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                    I thought Swiss Chalet's size are quarter and half, with the half being 12 bucks with just one side? By tat measuring stick it doesn't seem egregiously overpriced. I'm not sure what the provenance of the bird is but if it was organic I'd bet they'd advertise the fact.

                                                                    1. re: Dean Tudor
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                                                                      JennaBean RE: Dean Tudor May 17, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                      Agree!

                                                                    2. re: GoodGravy
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                                                                      JennaBean RE: GoodGravy May 17, 2011 02:08 PM

                                                                      But that's silly. A good quality chicken prepared with love should cost more than a sh*tty chicken served on white tablecloths. I'm always willing to pay for quality regardless of the packaging.

                                                                      1. re: JennaBean
                                                                        GoodGravy RE: JennaBean May 17, 2011 09:48 PM

                                                                        What if both source the same chicken and use time consuming preparation techniques? Like I said, chicken served on a picnic table in a place w/ sawdust on a floor vs. on white linen table cloths w/ soft violin music playing in the background sets an expectation in people's minds w/r/t price. It's not fair, but it is reality. BBQing a chicken isn't as quick and easy compared to rotisserie chicken like at Swiss Chalet or Loblaws. $18 sounds like a lot, but it also takes more time and effort to properly bbq a chicken vs. set and forget rotisseries.

                                                                        1. re: GoodGravy
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                                                                          plug RE: GoodGravy May 18, 2011 04:47 AM

                                                                          agreed....like the lai wah heens, beggar chicken for $38 but thats on a different scale and quality.
                                                                          on the flipside Camp31 only charges $9.99 for half a chicken and they kick out good bbq but one can argue they are in Paris. but should being in toronto justify an 80% price differential?

                                                                          memphis bbq in vaughan also has fair prices but they dont' have whole chicken for us to compare... only chicken wings
                                                                          http://www.memphisbbq.ca/menus.html

                                                                          1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                            pinstripeprincess RE: GoodGravy May 18, 2011 04:57 AM

                                                                            have you seen the inside of their smoker? the meat goes for a spin and definitely has set it and forget it style controls.

                                                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess
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                                                                              plug RE: pinstripeprincess May 18, 2011 05:01 AM

                                                                              which institution? pinstripeprincess are you refferring to?
                                                                              i think most of the places use a southern pride

                                                                              1. re: plug
                                                                                pinstripeprincess RE: plug May 18, 2011 05:47 AM

                                                                                barque, the one that this thread is about.

                                                                                still doesn't change that it has a huge rotating chamber and control settings. haven't done half or whole chickens before, but chicken thighs and wings were practically fool proof in a tiny locker smoker and a whole duck was just as easy.

                                                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
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                                                                                  plug RE: pinstripeprincess May 18, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                                  agreed... i have WSM which uses charcoal as the fire and can still maintain the temperature for over 12 hrs without even having a muscle twitch.... i've done whole chickens over a dozen times.
                                                                                  altho my duck didnt' turn out as well has i had hoped tho ... did yours?
                                                                                  (i dind't render the fat out / puncture holes into it)

                                                                                  1. re: plug
                                                                                    pinstripeprincess RE: plug May 18, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                                                    my comments aren't meant to disparage the price of barque's chicken, they may do magical things to it that make it worth that cost (though it is really starting to sound more like a half chicken meal, for which $18 doesn't seem exorbitant). but really... it is not difficult if one is gauging that as part of the value. i've only had the wings and they were fine, not exactly sure how many ppl here commenting on the cost/value have eaten there...

                                                                                    as for the duck, we didn't render the fat out separately, but it was spatchcocked and the skin given a few slits. i'll admit that between the smoke (i typically use hickory) and the meat... it was RICH and so i didn't eat too much of it. now smoked chicken i can make many meals from.

                                                                              2. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                                                GoodGravy RE: pinstripeprincess May 18, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                                Got it. But bbq still takes longer than rotisserie. Time = money, more time, more money. More energy cost, more lost opportunity cost, etc.

                                                                                1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                  pinstripeprincess RE: GoodGravy May 18, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                                                  agreed. as per usual though these threads are comparing seville oranges to clementines ;)

                                                                        2. re: ingloriouseater
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                                                                          jmarcroyal RE: ingloriouseater May 22, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                          BBQ is a blue collar food, those arent blue collar prices...

                                                                          1. re: jmarcroyal
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                                                                            lister RE: jmarcroyal May 22, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                            No room for making something fancy? Different?

                                                                            1. re: jmarcroyal
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                                                                              piccola RE: jmarcroyal May 22, 2011 04:37 PM

                                                                              This is true of a gajillion other so-called blue-collar foods -- hamburgers, mac 'n cheese, pizza, basically everything we consider comfort food. There's room for upscale versions.

                                                                          2. re: plug
                                                                            j
                                                                            jamesm RE: plug May 17, 2011 01:15 PM

                                                                            I can't really see anything in that photo but I'll take your word for it. Not sure if it's still there or if I just didn't notice, I just stopped and checked it out in passing. Thanks for clearing it up though.

                                                                            1. re: jamesm
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                                                                              plug RE: jamesm May 17, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                                              LOL sorrry... i didnt realize they reduced the size into ant size.

                                                                              heres the link to the blog that was posted earlier

                                                                              http://oshawalaser.com/Blog/2011/04/2...

                                                                              the menu is bigger on there

                                                                              1. re: plug
                                                                                j
                                                                                jamesm RE: plug May 17, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                                                Thanks. I was wrong about the ribs too. Half rack 16 bucks, again with two sides. Still, seems decently priced all things considered.

                                                                                1. re: jamesm
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                                                                                  plug RE: jamesm May 17, 2011 01:45 PM

                                                                                  i think $24 for a full rack is very fair
                                                                                  I just thought the sampler and the half a chicken was overpriced.

                                                                                  which one should i try the sweet baby back of tthe dry rubbed?

                                                                                  1. re: plug
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    Dean Tudor RE: plug May 17, 2011 02:05 PM

                                                                                    Baby back ribs are usually a poor choice: too meaty. Persuade the owner to do side spare ribs (they're even cheaper to buy at sources). The extra fat absorbs the smoke and makes them more flavourful. Side ribs are the best for eating, and they are easier to handle. The price could also be lowered $2 a rack.

                                                                                    1. re: Dean Tudor
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                                                                                      childofthestorm RE: Dean Tudor May 17, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                                                      This thread has shades of "the fries cost $5 at Stockyards!" a few years back. That was fun.

                                                                                      1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                        estufarian RE: childofthestorm May 17, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                        Not for those of us who paid $5!!!!!!

                                                                                        1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          jamesm RE: childofthestorm May 17, 2011 04:06 PM

                                                                                          ha, that's true. Good times.

                                                                      2. re: Full tummy
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                                                                        ebay3392 RE: Full tummy May 18, 2011 02:05 PM

                                                                        The place seems to be catering to yuppies, not true BBQ enthusiasts hence the high prices. Yuppies will pay anything if it is high priced even if not good...Not dissing the place but this takes the whole origin of BBQ (cooking cheap cuts of meat low and slow for people who cannot afford the higher quality stuff) and murders it...give me a couple of hundred grand and a pair of Langs and I would love to enter the world of authentic Q.

                                                                        1. re: ebay3392
                                                                          j
                                                                          jamesm RE: ebay3392 May 18, 2011 02:21 PM

                                                                          Damn yuppies and hipsters ruining everything for all the real folks.

                                                                  2. re: duckdown
                                                                    dannyboy RE: duckdown May 17, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                    Yeah, it does look pretty pricey, I found it was as well --- i got the sampler for one which was good but could be more generous. The brisket is killer, i found the ribs a bit dry and the chicken so-so --- it was really just a little thigh, but it had a nice smokey flavour. Haven't went back yet and it's been a few wks, will prolly give it another try soon and see how it goes.

                                                                  3. d
                                                                    Doctormhl1 RE: corywoulds May 18, 2011 03:31 PM

                                                                    I notice a remarkable similarity in the comments posted about Barque BBQ on its opening and other previously newly-opened places. Remember Caplansky's, Stockyards, etc. etc. All had initial rave reviews, followed by minor complaints and criticisms. Then more serious complaints and criticisms. Finally, a short while later, no raves; no complaints; no nuthin'.!
                                                                    I guess it's just human nature. Like a surfer searching for that perfect wave, the true foodie is always searching for the perfect eating experience. And in almost every case, the ultimate bottom line is something less than complete satisfaction..
                                                                    But with the opening of each new restaurant, hope springs eternal in the true foodie's breast.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Caplansky's
                                                                    356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                                    1. meatnveg RE: corywoulds May 21, 2011 08:47 PM

                                                                      I went today for dinner.
                                                                      Since, I was dining solo and knew of the wait times, I called ahead and placed an order for pick-up. I got the sampler for one (chicken thigh, dry rub pork and beef ribs).

                                                                      Chicken Thigh: It was nice and juicy. I was expecting something to the 'falling off the bone' tenderness, which it decidedly fell short off. Still a very good preparation.

                                                                      Pork Ribs: Finally, a place with a dry rub, I loathe bbq sauce drenched ribs so this was already a big plus for me. The ribs were again a little underdone, i.e. not tender enough to pull apart, but tasty.

                                                                      Beef rib: This I liked, it nicely cooked, meat fell away easily and the rub was good, without overpowering the meat.

                                                                      Overall: For $22, I got 1 chicken thigh, 1/3 rack of pork ribs and 1 beef rib + 2 sides (pickled veggies and smoked asparagus, both good)

                                                                      Not too bad, and could feed 2 people, if you also got a dessert/appetizer or another meat.

                                                                      Also, they seriously need to get their website and telephones in order. I called in the morning and the recording said they only open for dinner, when in actuality they were open for brunch today.

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        superangela RE: corywoulds May 23, 2011 07:39 PM

                                                                        Bar-q? Or Bark? Still don't know how to pronounce it. Shrug.

                                                                        We were there for late night drinks and snacks, being in the area for an art gallery thingie. There was 10 of us all together.

                                                                        *Spinach salad with pulled chicken was as expected, but the chicken needed more smoke and one piece of the chicken had a seriously large piece of goose bump skin hanging off of it.

                                                                        *Chicken tenders were delicious-super crispy and salty on the outside, and tender white meat on the inside.

                                                                        *Wings were ok, but again we felt it needed more smoke.

                                                                        *Side ribs were tooooo sweet, and it ended up being the only item we didn't finish.

                                                                        *Beignets were not crispy enough on the outside, but the sauce you dip it in was delicious; tangy, sweet and gooey.

                                                                        I'd go back if I were in the area again, but I'd definitely ask for rec's instead of ordering on our own.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: superangela
                                                                          jennjen18 RE: superangela Jun 14, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                                          Thats what i thought too -- it just needed more smoke! I'm not a bbq expert.. but I thought bbq should be smokey, and tender .. which Barque did not earn points on ..

                                                                          1. re: jennjen18
                                                                            pinstripeprincess RE: jennjen18 Jun 14, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                                            the wood they use will inevitably give a weak smoke flavour. they clearly do not want a heavy smoke flavour based on interviews.

                                                                          2. re: superangela
                                                                            o
                                                                            oshawa RE: superangela Jun 15, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                            It is pronounced Bark a play on words for the "Bark" that you get on smoked meat

                                                                            1. re: superangela
                                                                              e
                                                                              ebay3392 RE: superangela Jun 20, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                              Wings are tough to do...they only cook for about 1-1.5 hours max so if you are using mostly gas cooker and weak smoke, you will not get the flavour you will by letting a hunk of meat sit in there for 6 hours for instance. I do wings in my backyard offset using charcoal and wood and when I do, I make sure I add some extra wood to pack a punch right off the bat. Otherwise they would be less flavourful. As for the weak smoke flavour, does anyone know what kind of smoker are they using? Southern Pride or Ole Hickory Pit? Or a large commercial Pellet? Definitely not a wood/charcoal combo.

                                                                              1. re: ebay3392
                                                                                j
                                                                                jamesm RE: ebay3392 Jun 20, 2011 09:04 AM

                                                                                I believe it is a 500 lb capacity Southern Pride smoker he's using.

                                                                            2. Bobby Wham RE: corywoulds May 25, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                              Brisket was on point, Chicken was good, Ribs were whatever, they were dry and they don't cut them for you? They need to step up the sides too, need mac and cheese and stuff,

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Bobby Wham
                                                                                j
                                                                                jamesm RE: Bobby Wham May 25, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                                had the fixed price family dinner Sunday night.

                                                                                Smoked prime rib -- excellent. Lots of flavour and extremely tender. Would love a sandwich made with this.

                                                                                Asparagus -- nice grill flavour, cooked well but it's asparagus so not too much to screw up here.

                                                                                French Fries -- fried were excellent. Still crisp even after a 10 minute walk home in a carry out container.

                                                                                Shrimp -- plump and tasty and a generous portion.

                                                                                Ribs --- decent smoke and flavourful rub. They weren't fall off the bone but rather had a bit of bite to them, as some people prefer. Not all bbq is supposed to be fall off the bone. Not sure if this was intentional on their part though. They were a little dry but not bad overall.

                                                                                Chicken -- sweet sauce, but not too saucy. Good smoke flavour. My girlfriend found them too sweet but I didn't mind them.

                                                                                Ceaser Salad -- would have preferred something a little more original but this was a pretty good salad. Good croutons, generous amount of bacon and the dressing was homemade and had a nice lemony-anchovy flavour.

                                                                                Chicken Wings -- excellent. Good size, great smoke and crispy skin. Some more heat and spice would have been nice but I have a high tolerance for spice.

                                                                                homemade cookies -- chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip. Excellent cookies. Nice and chewy. I don't care for sweets but these were tasty.

                                                                                Overall it came to 50 bucks and we both ate dinner and lunch so for 4 meals it was a good value. Will definitely return and am very happy to have them in the neighbourhood.

                                                                                1. re: Bobby Wham
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  corywoulds RE: Bobby Wham May 25, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                  mac n cheese is a genius idea- and maybe a garlic mash/hash type thing. you didn't like their fries at all? I thought they were great! I can't wait to try brunch too-

                                                                                  1. re: corywoulds
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    jamesm RE: corywoulds May 25, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                    Oh yeah, the brunch menu looked fantastic. Really looking forward to trying that out.

                                                                                  2. re: Bobby Wham
                                                                                    Davwud RE: Bobby Wham Jun 6, 2011 06:10 AM

                                                                                    Since when do you NEED to have ribs cut for you??

                                                                                    DT

                                                                                  3. ingloriouseater RE: corywoulds Jun 6, 2011 05:32 AM

                                                                                    a couple of minor corrections...

                                                                                    there are 3 beignets in an order, they are about the length of a twinkie but slightly wider/rounder and is served with smoked fresh pineapple and a dark caramel type sauce...$6

                                                                                    the platter for one is $20 ($36 for 2)

                                                                                    1. pinstripeprincess RE: corywoulds Jun 6, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                      if concerns are that it is too pricey then here's your opportunity for barque at a discount. https://gaggleup.com/toronto/deals/60

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jamesm RE: pinstripeprincess Jun 6, 2011 09:21 AM

                                                                                        10 bucks for the sampler is definitely a good deal.

                                                                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                                                          y
                                                                                          ylsf RE: pinstripeprincess Jun 6, 2011 02:31 PM

                                                                                          Thanks for the heads up. I was going to vow off of voucher deals for a while but I want to try this spot and this gives me a chance at a bit of a discount. Shocked to see the reaction to your post/sharing but like that poster said it will be deleted .

                                                                                          Just note to people to look at the conditions as this one is more restrictive than normal. Dine in for lunch during the week, or take out only in the evening. No sampler plate at lunch.

                                                                                          1. re: ylsf
                                                                                            i
                                                                                            insideman RE: ylsf Jun 6, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                                            Barque is mediocre bbq at best. Pretty good for Toronto but that isn't saying a whole lot. Compared to authentic bbq joints, this place falls way short. First, I don't need a bbq joint to have a casual/fine dining atmosphere. I don't need the requisite young, attractive female hostess greeting me at the door. I don't need a creative cocktail list or micro-brews or any booze for that matter. I want a good product. Not smoke and mirrors. Which is all this place is.

                                                                                        2. v
                                                                                          Vinnie Vidimangi RE: corywoulds Jun 7, 2011 04:34 AM

                                                                                          Extravagantly sweet, far too little to eat, way overpriced, wildly popular. Mindboggling. Must be the je ne sais pas.

                                                                                          21 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jamesm RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 7, 2011 06:35 AM

                                                                                            We had four satisfying meals out of the sampler for 2 which is a good value for 36 dollars. The only item that could be described as sweet was the chicken thighs. I enjoyed them but they weren't to my girlfriend's taste. She enjoyed everything else very much though.

                                                                                            I also don't need my bbq place to have a casual dining atmosphere. I like the selection of micro-brews but it's not a must have either. However, I'm not going to hold it against them that it isn't a tin-shack with picnic tables and some 80 year old guy singing the blues outside based on some misplaced adherence to 'authenticity'.

                                                                                            1. re: jamesm
                                                                                              ingloriouseater RE: jamesm Jun 7, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                              I agree. I thought our dinner was quite reasonable at $79 for the 2 of us.

                                                                                              1 order 1/2 ribs @ $16
                                                                                              1 sampler platter @ 20
                                                                                              1 pecan pie (huge and with greg's roasted marshmallow ice cream) $6
                                                                                              1 order of beignets @ $6
                                                                                              4 pints of micro beer @ $7 each
                                                                                              1 americano @ $3

                                                                                              a hostess makes sense to me given the popularity with both reservations and walk-ins-somebody needs to control the flow...

                                                                                              the room had a loud buzz with people talking so any music that may have been playing became lost in the background.

                                                                                              i also agree that i don't need paper napkins and picnic or plastic tables and chairs to enhance to authenticate the experience. i think i am old enough to enjoy food and whatever beverages (micro, organic, or cocktailish or finer wine) i want....if i just want water-i could have that too (plain or Qwater), some decent cutlery and napkins are a nice addition....

                                                                                              the food is good-is it outstanding? no, but we enjoyed the brisket and the beef rib most of all.....oh, and the beer was good too!

                                                                                              1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                jamesm RE: ingloriouseater Jun 7, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                What did you have when you went Vinnie? I'm assuming you did go.

                                                                                                1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                  Vinnie Vidimangi RE: jamesm Jun 7, 2011 05:01 PM

                                                                                                  No, no. I did what I usually do. Sat at the computer and was bombastic for fun.
                                                                                                  The BBQ sampler, $20.
                                                                                                  The beef rib deserves special mention. It was as named. A rib bone. Small and could not have been cut closer to the bone.

                                                                                                  Excellent Persianesque pickling though. Only thing that I enjoyed.

                                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    table4onthefly RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 7, 2011 06:21 PM

                                                                                                    Pickles aren't made in house, bro. Or was that part of the critique? ;)

                                                                                                    1. re: table4onthefly
                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: table4onthefly Jun 7, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                                                                      I know. It was just a statement.

                                                                                                2. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  TexSquared RE: ingloriouseater Jun 7, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                                                  OK, so how does it compare with Camp 31 (in Paris,ON, not the Ribfests) and Buster Rhino's? If you've been there, does it measure up to Kentucky Greg's in Buffalo?

                                                                                                  Those three are my "local gold standards" for BBQ. if it's not up to par with them it isn't worth the trip for me. And I'm talking strictly about the BBQ, not the decor, beer selection, music selection, etc.

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

                                                                                                  1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                    ingloriouseater RE: TexSquared Jun 7, 2011 08:37 AM

                                                                                                    I think it is meant to be and the owners want it to be more of a neighborhood joint rather than a destination restaurant. For that reason it should do okay.

                                                                                                    For many years people would bemoan that Toronto was bereft of a BBQ joint. Now there are a few but the complaints are that they are subpar. Even TexSquared has listed 3 places that aren't even in Toronto.

                                                                                                    Maybe we are getting BBQ light, but we are getting some BBQ-and the brisket is pretty good at Barque. The more restaurants that try to offer it will hopefully bring along others who will do it even better. This style of cooking hasn't been around these parts as it has in the south-so it may take us a bit longer to get it right....

                                                                                                    1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                      atomeyes RE: ingloriouseater Jun 8, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                                                      but we live in a city where people will drive 30+ minutes to eat at Buster Rhinos and will post 100 posts about a new pizza joint 1 month before it opens.
                                                                                                      you can't really open up and aim to be a neighbourhood bbq joint. that's setting the bar low and makes me wonder how good the product actually tastes (and I'm not saying that its bad, but I feel like its aiming to be a small Montana's instead of being a proud bbq champ).

                                                                                                      and as far as Toronto Life's BBQ rankings go: whatever. its great that they're pushing bbq, but I don't really hold much importance to their restaurant rankings. they've slipped slightly over the past decade.

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

                                                                                                      1. re: atomeyes
                                                                                                        ingloriouseater RE: atomeyes Jun 8, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                                                        for me it was just interesting that they have come to the debate finally, not that they are or ever have been an authority.

                                                                                                        i tend to like places that are neighborhood places rather than destinations...regardless of how great buster rhinos is-it is doubtful that i will ever set foot in whitby (just kidding folks-kind of....)

                                                                                                        but seriously, i would be more interested in pleasing my neighborhood as they would tend to become much more regular and frequent-given their proximity and if i took care of them well and got to know them.....i think that is a better, more enduring business model and has nothing to do with setting the bar low or high....

                                                                                                      2. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        TexSquared RE: ingloriouseater Jun 9, 2011 08:55 AM

                                                                                                        "Now there are a few but the complaints are that they are subpar. Even TexSquared has listed 3 places that aren't even in Toronto."

                                                                                                        They may not be "in" Toronto (Buster Rhino's would be considered GTA however), but what they have in common is none of them are in the South, they're all up in these latitudes.

                                                                                                        If Buster Rhino's, Camp 31, and Kentucky Greg's can produce authentic BBQ this far north, so can anybody else. Which is why I consider them the "par" by which all other Southern Ontario upstarts will be compared with.

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

                                                                                                        1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                          Davwud RE: TexSquared Jun 9, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                                                          Geography has nothing to do with producing top flight BBQ. It's about the right equipment, right meat and simple patience.

                                                                                                          I haven't yet been to Barque and don't know when I will go. I am glad to see that they say they aren't a BBQ place but a place that does have BBQ. They aren't married to a certain ideal.

                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            TexSquared RE: Davwud Jun 9, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                            "Geography has nothing to do with producing top flight BBQ. It's about the right equipment, right meat and simple patience."

                                                                                                            Exactly what I was getting at. Unlike how some posters try to match Toronto sushi head-to-head with Tokyo, unfairly I might add, I am not putting Barque up against places you've reviewed in TN, AL, or GA. I want to see how they stand with respect to 2 places in Southern Ontario and one in Western NY. I'm waiting for one of the real experts on BBQ on this board (specifically you, or Darryl from BR) to chime in on the quality level of the BBQ at Barque. I trust your opinion over the OP of this thread, or anybody who raves about Stockyards but has never been to BR or C31.

                                                                                                            "I am glad to see that they say they aren't a BBQ place but a place that does have BBQ."

                                                                                                            That seems like a double-edged sword, or shooting oneself in the foot. Like a pizza chain that also does wings and says "we aren't a wing place, we're a pizza place", to give themselves a ready excuse for lame wings. That's the underlying message here. Don't say "we aren't a BBQ place" when that's what most of your menu is! That's ridiculous.

                                                                                                            1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                              ingloriouseater RE: TexSquared Jun 9, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                                                              Barque says it is a smokehouse, not bbq. Whitby is as much GTA as Hamilton is...in any case...barque are wanting to be somewhat authentic, they are trying unique to themselves, playing with local flavours with some fun.

                                                                                                              i don't know why i am defending them, i have eaten there once, thought it ok, will try it again, glad it is something new and different from other spots in the neighborhood.

                                                                                                              i wouldn't want to get into an authentic vs. non-authentic duel, i don't want to be snobbish about it compared to whatever place wherever else in the world...but i think it ignorant to just right it off because someone from alabama or some such place hasn't reviewed it yet.

                                                                                                              try it, like or don't like it. but not everything south is better, not everything american is better, sometimes sushi in toronto can be better than sushi in japan-sometimes not....

                                                                                                              and sometimes the lcbo and beer store get it right.....

                                                                                                              1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                                The Chowhound Team RE: ingloriouseater Jun 9, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                Folks, we've removed a bunch of posts from this sub-thread, and would ask that you all let it go.

                                                                                                                If you've been to Barque and have a personal experience to relate, please go ahead and post about it, but more discussions of who should and shouldn't be allowed to comment on BBQ is just going to raise hackles.

                                                                                                              2. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                pinstripeprincess RE: TexSquared Jun 9, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                you seriously can't just go and eat at a place and THEN judge it for yourself? by your own suggestion if you've eaten at BR or C31 then you can do your own basic comparison, no expert necessary, to come to a conclusion. i believe that is what you're getting at

                                                                                                  2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                    Herb RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 7, 2011 07:17 AM

                                                                                                    Quoi?

                                                                                                    1. re: snooky
                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                      dubchild RE: snooky Jun 14, 2011 06:38 AM

                                                                                                      I can't think of anything wrong with Barque. Pretty much everything exceeded my expectations; balanced flavours, the right decor, the popcorn, good beers on tap, small but well selected wine choices, truffles for the end of the meal, reasonably priced, and the Dead is on the soundsystem. I did and would go across town for this.

                                                                                                      1. re: dubchild
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        jamesm RE: dubchild Jun 14, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                                                        We went back and I was hyper-aware of the sweetness complaints even though last time the chicken from the sampler was the only thing that could be described as sweet. It wasn't cloyingly so but if it isn't your preference than you wouldn't like them. The ribs were delicious wit a really nice smoke and noting overly sweet about them. The sides were great and all in we had leftovers for lunch and it was a decent value. We ate in this time and agreed with dubchild the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. It's fortunate that this is a neighbourhood spot for us,.

                                                                                                        1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                          GoodGravy RE: jamesm Jun 14, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                                                          Can you taste what kind of sweetener they use? For ex., was it like molasses or maple syrup?

                                                                                                          1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            jamesm RE: GoodGravy Jun 14, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                            With the chicken thighs that were noticeably sweet it was a brown sugar, molasses type sweetness. The spice rub added some sweet notes as well. I didn't mind it but my girlfriend did comment on the sweetness and it wasn't to her preference.

                                                                                                    2. ingloriouseater RE: corywoulds Jun 7, 2011 10:23 AM

                                                                                                      i just received the july toronto life magazine in the mail and their critic cn-s has rated barque 2nd in the city

                                                                                                      1. stockyards
                                                                                                      2. barque
                                                                                                      3. big bone in newmarket
                                                                                                      4. paul and sandy's at dundas west
                                                                                                      5. buster rhino in whitby

                                                                                                      for those that don't subscribe these articles usually show up on their website about 3 weeks later....

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                        The Chowhound Team RE: TexSquared Jun 7, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                                        Hi folks, please pardon the interruption. We've removed a bunch of posts from this thread debating how authenticity does or doesn't pertain to deliciousness; this is off topic for our regional boards.

                                                                                                        1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                          justsayn RE: TexSquared Jun 7, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                                                          I think the point of any such article needs to be taken for what it is. What is the best BBQ available IN the GTA...based on the author? Not the world.

                                                                                                          it seems to me we are getting there with each year that passes. Think back to the junk Thuet tried to pass off as BBQ!

                                                                                                          1. re: justsayn
                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                            corywoulds RE: justsayn Jun 7, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                                                            I may not be Mayor of BBQville or anything, but I eat food all the time and I thought this place made great stuff! I really recommend it.

                                                                                                          2. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                            ingloriouseater RE: ingloriouseater Jun 9, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                                                            here is the article that started the debate.....

                                                                                                            http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

                                                                                                          3. e
                                                                                                            ElizabethS RE: corywoulds Jun 11, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                                            Joanne Kate's reviewed Barque in today's G&M - liked the brisket but as others have mentioned finds some of the items too sweet.

                                                                                                            1. ingloriouseater RE: corywoulds Jun 11, 2011 02:06 PM

                                                                                                              great brunch today

                                                                                                              brisket sandwich - $12
                                                                                                              brisket hash- $12
                                                                                                              side of candied bacon -$4
                                                                                                              pint of pale ale -$7
                                                                                                              bacon rimmed caesar- $10
                                                                                                              large pressed apple juice -$5
                                                                                                              coffee -$2
                                                                                                              total $52

                                                                                                              incredible, delicious, the sandwich was moist, incredible with fries seasoned with salt and a hint of cinnamon bbq rub spice. the hash skillet with 2 perfect sunnyside up eggs and side of toasted challah. candied bacon is well just a bacon treat...

                                                                                                              enjoyed and will be back for more....

                                                                                                              1. l
                                                                                                                lilaki RE: corywoulds Jun 12, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                enjoyed dinner there last night. we joined the line at 4:50 pm (i was a bit surprised!). we were part of the first group seated ... so thank god we were there early. we had bbq wings ... i love that they were dry and not saucy (my preference) and the platter for two with chicken, beef ribs and pork ribs. we had pickles, spinach salad, and ravioli for sides. DH had a beer. the bill was about $65 with tax/tip. i know joanna kates had a thing about the sweetness of everything but personally, that was right up my alley (DH wasn't the biggest fan of the sweetness). people have compared barque to a bunch of different places ... i've only been to paul and sandy's (which i really enjoyed as well) but i find the two are really quite different (flavour-wise) and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. overall, we really enjoyed barque and will definitely be back.

                                                                                                                1. v
                                                                                                                  Vinnie Vidimangi RE: corywoulds Jun 12, 2011 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                  NOW magazine's Summer Guide in the restaurant section has Barque as the lead place; gives it a half page and a big photo. The photo is of the" sampler plate". It shows two chicken thighs, a part rack of ribs, a meaty beef rib, two pieces of corn and baby carrots and green beans.

                                                                                                                  The caption describes the plate as "supremely shareable". It is indeed a good looking plate. But NOW doesn't say that this is the plate for two, and that it is $36. Surprise.

                                                                                                                  What I got on the plate for one, $20, is one boneless chicken thigh, one small and thin beef rib with next to no meat on it and some brisket slices enough for half an OK sandwich.

                                                                                                                  Two pieces of corn are for the double plate. I had smoked asparagus (enough for a "nice" BBQ place, but uninteresting) and pickling , excellent and more than enough for one.

                                                                                                                  NOW describes the beef rib as "Flintstonian". As for the sweetness, throughout and overwhelming and so disagreeable to me that I would have had a tough time with another chicken thigh, NOW says only that the back ribs are "sweetly sauced".

                                                                                                                  So that you should not think that the ingredients are foie gras like in price, I should tell you that I bought nice whole briskets at European Meats this weekend for $1.69 a lb.

                                                                                                                  But if Barque is your cuppa, enjoy. Pecan pie with marshmallow ice cream the perfect dessert?

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    TexSquared RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 12, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                    I would never trust any NOW review. And here's yet another example.

                                                                                                                    1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                      ingloriouseater RE: TexSquared Jun 13, 2011 03:50 AM

                                                                                                                      i agree that now reviews leave much to be desired....cardinal rule is one example that stands out in my mind.

                                                                                                                      i tend to take printed reviews and reviews on this and other sites with many grains of salt.

                                                                                                                      we all have different likes and dislikes, so i think it best that we arm ourselves with enough information and judge for ourselves. that being said, if i see enough negative reviews and especially about things that really matter...i tend not to rush to try them out

                                                                                                                  2. Shorttyred RE: corywoulds Jun 19, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                    Went for the first time on saturday with a large group. Our server was very patient with a slightly rowdy party.

                                                                                                                    I tried one chicken wing we ordered for the table - and i do not like chicken, but it was amazing.

                                                                                                                    I ordered the sweet miami heat half rack with caesar salad and the pickle plate. The ribs were great with a bit of heat, the caesar was almosst overwealmed by the rest of the meal and could have used a bit more dressing, but the bacon and crutons were great. The pickle plate was almost like art. Two pieces of bread, a parsely butter, pickled beets, beans, carrots, califlower, turnip (?) and peppers.

                                                                                                                    I was stuffed and had help. Overall really enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                    1. y
                                                                                                                      ylsf RE: corywoulds Jun 19, 2011 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                      I tried to go this evening to get takeout since I had a voucher that could be used for takeout. I was told they weren't doing takeout today because they were too busy. The restaurant and patio seemed full but still I wasn't happy since I made a detour to stop by. Not a good first impression but I will give them another chance. Regardless, it sounds like the limiting factor isn't their space but their kitchen size/staff... I haven't had a restaurant ever turn me away from doing takeout before (when they already advertise that they do takeout).

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                        justsayn RE: ylsf Jun 19, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                        "I tried to go this evening to get takeout since I had a voucher that could be used for takeout. I was told they weren't doing takeout today because they were too busy."

                                                                                                                        WOW! I hope this is the first and last time such a report is made about this place. Either you have take out or you don't. Absolutely Brutal!

                                                                                                                        1. re: justsayn
                                                                                                                          y
                                                                                                                          ylsf RE: justsayn Jun 19, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                          Forgot to mention before , the prix fixe menu outside stated that you had to order prix-fix and couldn't pick off the normal menu.... paraphrasing. During previous times they have offered prix fixe they have allowed you to order off the normal menu right?

                                                                                                                          1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                            justsayn RE: ylsf Jun 19, 2011 08:56 PM

                                                                                                                            We've been on a Sunday and yes we were able to order off the menu. I should also say that we have loved this place since first trying it weeks before it opened to the public- so I have no bone to pick with them.

                                                                                                                            It sounds like they are struggling to keep up with their success and unfortunately they seem to be reacting in haste.

                                                                                                                            I say forget the fixed menu (special items) if they have to disappoint everybody else wanting take-out or free choice off the menu. They have their priorities very wrong. If I had personally shown up for take-out with hungry folks back home only to be told they are too busy for me, I would never return to the place. At least offer the choice to wait an hour because they're slammed.

                                                                                                                            I hate hearing this kind of stuff. I hope it is a hiccup.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                              Jacquilynne RE: ylsf Jun 19, 2011 09:45 PM

                                                                                                                              I went the first Sunday that they did the prix-fixe and they weren't offering the normal menu at all. Maybe they changed that in subsequent weeks.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne
                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                jamesm RE: Jacquilynne Jun 20, 2011 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                Same here. On Sundays they were only offering the prix-fixe menu and no other menu items. Had no problem ordering it for take-out.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                  y
                                                                                                                                  ylsf RE: jamesm Jun 20, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                  I think people should be made aware of this via their website (which links to their facebook page vs. an actual website). I didn't see it mentioned anywhere there. If you read the menu and are planning on going on the Sunday without knowing you have to order Prixe Fix you may be dissapointed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                    jamesm RE: ylsf Jun 20, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                    Agreed. We knew before we went but if i had gone in expecting something else I'd likely be let down.

                                                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                                                          ElizabethS RE: corywoulds Jun 25, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                          Had brunch there today as we are always looking for hash - not a traditional hash (lots of potatoes/not much meat) and the meat is just too sweet for our tastes. Excellent service and nice ambience - might try the regular menu again but the sweet issue is a problem for us.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: ElizabethS
                                                                                                                            5
                                                                                                                            5andman RE: ElizabethS Jun 25, 2011 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                            Went there for lunch (lunch menu), and had the pulled pork sandwich.

                                                                                                                            Really good, nice smoke flavour and the sauce wasn't overpowering or sweet.
                                                                                                                            Came with a side, picked an arugula salad (fries, spinach salad, soup also offered).

                                                                                                                            Looks like the patio is open, can't wait to check them out for dinner.

                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                            slradcli RE: corywoulds Jun 27, 2011 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                            Ordered a bunch of meat for takeout and they very nicely gave us a couple of extra sides at no charge (grilled corn, fries). The brisket and beef ribs are tender and delicious, and the pork ribs were so flavourful (and I usually don't like ribs!). The smoked shrimp were just okay: cooked perfectly but not a lot of flavour. The real winners for me were the chicken wings - those are dynamite!

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: slradcli
                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                              jamesm RE: slradcli Jul 10, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                              The Barque facebook update recently was to the effect "smoking trick achieved. Game changer." Anyone know what this is in reference to?

                                                                                                                              The family style night menu tonight sounds pretty good. I'd love to try those tacos, but we've already got dinner plans.

                                                                                                                              Family Night: Ginger Smoked Shrimp,Watermelon Salad,Smoked Beef Flatbread,Ribs,Chicken,Pulled Lamb Tacos,Herb Salad,Neapolitan Milkshake

                                                                                                                              1. re: jamesm
                                                                                                                                meatnveg RE: jamesm Jul 11, 2011 01:18 AM

                                                                                                                                Is it family style or just family night? I was under the impression that they only have the prix-fixe option on weekends

                                                                                                                                1. re: meatnveg
                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                  jamesm RE: meatnveg Jul 11, 2011 03:22 AM

                                                                                                                                  Sundays are family night. prix-fixe with three seatings, I believe 5:45 6:30 and 7:45.

                                                                                                                            2. y
                                                                                                                              ylsf RE: corywoulds Aug 22, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                              So I finally managed to make it back and get a take out order this time. I have to say the service was 10x better this time (last time they wouldn't let me do take out) Friendly guy working the takeout counter (Ryan I think his name was?) . It was Friday night around 7pm ish and they were pretty busy but I pre-called in my takeout order and it was ready a few minutes after I got there.
                                                                                                                              I got the sample plate for 1. I think there was some discussion about portion sizes earlier in this thread but I have to say that I was completely stuffed after eating it. At $22 I think it is a good value. I had the brisket, ribs and chicken. Sides of pickled veggies (from a company called Talash I think... he is down at Brickworks and other farmers markets) and also side of the smoked asparagus. They also included a mayonnaise type dipping sauce for the pickled veggies and a few slices of bread (which seem almost pretzel like). They packed the take out well and put the right things in the right spot and included cutlery and 2 wet naps (larger than standard size wet naps). There was also 2 types of sauces. One was a mustard base sauce and one was a red bbq sauce (don't ask me the "style" because I don't know... they both tasted great though).
                                                                                                                              I got the try rub ribs and I really enjoyed them. One thing I was a bit surprised by was the sea salt that was pushed into one side of the ribs. I imagine they added the sea salt after BBQ it but if I had known in advance I would have asked for it without the salt if that was possible because I found it was too much... DEspite that, I really enjoyed the flavour of the ribs but overall I prefer dry rub vs. something really saucy. I thought the brisket was delicious too. The chicken was good but wasn't a highlight for me.

                                                                                                                              I ended up eating it in a park because I was heading to another event (Duskdances... great event btw) and someone actually came up to me and asked where I got the food because I guess it looked so good :)

                                                                                                                              Overall I enjoyed the experience and I will try to go back sooner rather than later!

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                                ingloriouseater RE: ylsf Aug 22, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                the portion sizes are large for me too (and i am a large guy). we go less often now simply because it is too much food

                                                                                                                                1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                                                  hal2010 RE: ingloriouseater Aug 22, 2011 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                  We went for the Sunday family night and took home enough for dinner the next day!
                                                                                                                                  It was very good. One minor complaint was that the smoke flavour seemed to permeate everything from the meat to the pasta to the gazpacho so it was a bit one note.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ingloriouseater
                                                                                                                                    Davwud RE: ingloriouseater Aug 22, 2011 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                    Leftover BBQ on salad is awesome.

                                                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                                                  2. re: ylsf
                                                                                                                                    damonster RE: ylsf Aug 22, 2011 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                    Glad you liked it ylsf, I've had the sampler platter and tend to order to ribs when i'm eating in. I do get a side of the brisket though as i really enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                  3. Davwud RE: corywoulds Jun 8, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                    Had lunch there today.

                                                                                                                                    The Cuban Corn was very tasty although I wasn't really keen on the texture. I found the kernels a bit mushy, not bursting with goodness like I like. Perhaps when local corn is in I'll get that. It's not at all a deal breaker. It makes it a 9.75 rather than a 10 is all.

                                                                                                                                    The smoked burger was fantastic. I've really been disinterested in "Meatloaf" burgers lately, opting for my preference, smashed, 100% beef. As far as the ones that have fillers and flavourizers I don't discount them out of hand for being what they are. Good is good as far as I'm concerned and this one is well above good. The smokiness gave me hope that I'll like the Q here too.

                                                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
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                                                                                                                                      OTFOODIE RE: Davwud Jun 8, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      DT, I came away with the same impression after being there during burger week, I want to go back to try the brisket, wings, ...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                        hal2010 RE: Davwud Jun 8, 2012 09:47 PM

                                                                                                                                        I've been a couple of times and like the place, but their Cuban corn is very weak.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hal2010
                                                                                                                                          Davwud RE: hal2010 Jun 9, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                                          I've never had Cuban corn so don't have anything to compare it to but I quite enjoyed what I ate.

                                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                            justsayn RE: Davwud Jun 9, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                            That's exactly how I feel about their cuban corn. I have had it several times at lunch and think its delicious! Wings and brisket are best in the city IMO. Great burgers and I love their [expensive] beef ribs. Haven't had their pork ribs for a long time because I didn't dig them and I prefer Hadley's.

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