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Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

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Goon23 Aug 26, 2011 02:17 AM

looking for any good reccos for best BBQ in Vaughan/GTA

Thanks.

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  1. Davwud RE: Goon23 Aug 26, 2011 05:16 AM

    So far the best I've had is Big Bone BBQ in Newmarket.

    Buster Rhino's in Whitby is another good option.

    IMHO nothing is as good as the best places I've found in the south but these two could certainly hold their own down yonder.

    I find we tend to not have enough smoke flavour up here. That's a personal thing though. As well, I feel most places over try on their menu. Fancy mac n' cheese and upgraded buns for pulled pork just don't cut it. If you know what I mean.

    DT

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

    11 Replies
    1. re: Davwud
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      ylsf RE: Davwud Aug 26, 2011 07:15 AM

      If you want smoke (and good BBQ in general) hit up Memphis Fire BBQ in Winona. They have a wood smoker out back. My car smelled like smoke during the ride home with takeout :) There is another thread on it here.

      I like Barque (by high park area), Sweet Smoke (Oakville) and Camp 31 (Paris, On). I enjoyed Buster Rhino's too but that is the further away of all the places for me. I did not like Highway 61 at all, and I hear that the other "Memphis" bbq place on Yonge north of 401 is not good.

      1. re: ylsf
        s
        Snarf RE: ylsf Aug 26, 2011 07:49 PM

        Highway 61 has a nice room and decent beers. But it's on Bayview, which means there is some karmic reason they can't serve good food. Might be over a burial ground or something.

        Also good in town is Stockyards, though not licenced when I was last there.

        1. re: Snarf
          y
          ylsf RE: Snarf Aug 26, 2011 09:17 PM

          Oh yeah, totally forgot about Stockyards. I guess because it is a bit tricky actually getting some chicken or ribs there (high demand, only certain days/etc). But, I really enjoyed the ribs I had there too.

          1. re: Snarf
            Philip T RE: Snarf Aug 26, 2011 10:26 PM

            Highway 61 on Bayview is crap. Stay far away if you want real BBQ.

            1. re: Philip T
              h
              hski7 RE: Philip T Aug 27, 2011 10:11 AM

              Agreed 100%, I avoid it completely.

              1. re: Philip T
                g
                Gary RE: Philip T Aug 28, 2011 02:22 PM

                Sadly I agree -- I made two visits to Highway 61, and wanted to like something about it other than the beer selection, but didn't. Last time I shared a meat sampler platter that contained almost every type they have: two types of ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork, and more. All the meat was simply flavourless, some was dry, some was chewy. The sides were boring. Service was odd and lacklustre both times.

                1. re: Gary
                  justsayn RE: Gary Aug 28, 2011 02:29 PM

                  One word - Barque

            2. re: ylsf
              t
              TexSquared RE: ylsf Aug 27, 2011 07:47 AM

              Yes... the big avoid is "Memphis Style Smoke House" at Yonge and Sheppard. Went once. Big mistake:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3689...

              "Memphis BBQ and Wicked Wings" in Woodbridge is not associated with them at all, and is fine:

              http://www.memphisbbq.ca/home.html

              1. re: TexSquared
                t
                TOFoodie1 RE: TexSquared Aug 27, 2011 08:57 AM

                "Memphis BBQ and Wicked Wings" is the original location for the Big Bone BBQ franchises. Apparently, they couldn't copyright the original name.

                1. re: TOFoodie1
                  t
                  TexSquared RE: TOFoodie1 Aug 27, 2011 09:42 AM

                  Thanks for the heads-up (I think Davwud pointed out the common ownership in other posts); they use the same logo/mascot design which is also a clue.

            3. re: Davwud
              t
              TOFoodie1 RE: Davwud Aug 27, 2011 08:55 AM

              I had great ribs and smoked wings at the Big Bone BBQ in Barrie a few weeks ago. I had a bad experience at Camp 31 - was served totally dried out ribs and had to send them back (no apology was offered). I've only had take out from Buster Rhino's (their north Oshawa location), but the ribs were excellent.

            4. s
              SuriniGirl RE: Goon23 Aug 27, 2011 02:42 PM

              Buster Rhino's has just opened a location in the Distillery District - I found that out when they were at the recent food truck festival. Worth a visit.

              -----
              Distillery District
              55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: SuriniGirl
                justsayn RE: SuriniGirl Aug 27, 2011 02:53 PM

                I believe they sell their pulled pork and brisket to Sweet Escape for sandwiches, but I am pretty sure they havent opened a location there!

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

              2. Googs RE: Goon23 Aug 28, 2011 10:14 AM

                While I hate to say this out loud because I've enjoyed not lining up for them, Big Bone BBQ is also in the middle of the Food Bldg at The Ex. It's my one and only must-have when I'm there. And a ride on Craaaaazy Mouse.

                Please open in Toronto soon BB bbq, please. Preferably near me in East York.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Googs
                  t
                  TexSquared RE: Googs Aug 28, 2011 11:20 AM

                  That booth's been there for years. It was Purple Pig's booth for awhile, then Memphis BBQ (Woodbridge, same people as Big Bone) took it over.

                  Anybody remember who used to occupy the current Epic Burgers location in there?

                  1. re: TexSquared
                    Davwud RE: TexSquared Aug 28, 2011 11:54 AM

                    Purple Pig begot Memphis BBQ begot Big Bone. All the same people.

                    DT

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

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

                    1. re: Davwud
                      t
                      TexSquared RE: Davwud Aug 28, 2011 12:00 PM

                      Thanks. I thought Purple Pig was a different group (and they were downtown, right?) while Memphis/Big Bone were strictly York Region.

                      1. re: TexSquared
                        justsayn RE: TexSquared Aug 28, 2011 02:15 PM

                        Purple Pig was downtown when it was open yrs ago - real dive!

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

                        1. re: justsayn
                          g
                          Gary RE: justsayn Aug 28, 2011 02:23 PM

                          There was a Purple Pig location downtown at Yonge and Richmond, and another location in Aurora. Both were decent when they first opened, but then in later years went way downhill, rode on their early reputation for a few years, then finally closed.

                    2. re: TexSquared
                      Googs RE: TexSquared Aug 28, 2011 03:12 PM

                      Yes, and in the 3 years(?) I've been going to the Big Bone booth, I've lined up for more than 2 minutes exactly never. You'd think people didn't know it was there.

                      1. re: Googs
                        t
                        TexSquared RE: Googs Aug 28, 2011 03:27 PM

                        I know. That booth never had a long lineup... it's kind of hidden in that alley that too many people bypass....

                        1. re: TexSquared
                          Googs RE: TexSquared Aug 28, 2011 03:41 PM

                          And so, against my own interest, I point it out. Good places should also be successful even if it does mean waiting.

                  2. l
                    Lefty RE: Goon23 Aug 29, 2011 03:46 AM

                    It's not in TO and it's only open Wed to Sat. but Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene (north side of Rice Lake) is serving up some great BBQ and even the digs feel down south.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Lefty
                      Googs RE: Lefty Aug 29, 2011 10:26 AM

                      That looks mighty cool. Do you happen to know if there's a marina where one might "park" nearby?
                      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Muddys-...

                      1. re: Googs
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                        Lefty RE: Googs Aug 29, 2011 11:47 AM

                        I have never done it, but I am told that with a small boat you can go up the Indian River from Rice Lake right to Keene .... contact the Indian River Campground? they might have more info

                      2. re: Lefty
                        PoppiYYZ RE: Lefty Jul 25, 2013 06:52 AM

                        Bump. Finally got around to trying Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene (open since 2010 so I have been slouching on the job). It was great !

                        Got the "Sampler" which has two ribs, portion each of Pulled Pork and Brisket, and a Smoked sausage. The sausage was the weakest (a little dry), the brisket was good with a nice bark, sticky sauced ribs were great, and the Pulled Pork was excellent. They have KC style BBQ (v good but a little cumin-y IMO) and a sweet heat Carolina mustard sauce that was fantastic (not overpoweringly vinegary).

                        Lots of sides available too (coleslaw, salads, beans). Licensed with 2 drafts.

                        Cozy southern style setting, open indoor and outside picnic table seating, friendly staff, gorgeous drive along County Rd 2...

                        Destination spot.

                        1. re: PoppiYYZ
                          shekamoo RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 25, 2013 02:49 PM

                          Hours

                          Tue - Thu: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

                          Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

                          Sun: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

                          1. re: PoppiYYZ
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                            C mac RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 28, 2013 12:11 AM

                            This place is in Peterborough....

                            The name of the thread is "Authentic Southern BBQ spots in TO"...

                            1. re: C mac
                              PoppiYYZ RE: C mac Jul 28, 2013 06:19 AM

                              Lefty already mentioned that above. It's worth the drive.

                              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                m
                                magic RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 28, 2013 08:12 AM

                                Regardless, thanks for the report! Close enough to Toronto area to pay a visit. Sounds good.

                        2. Food Tourist RE: Goon23 Jan 14, 2014 11:34 AM

                          I was at Memphis on Islington north of highway 7 last night for Monday dinner. It's a family-run place: dad, daughter, sons, etc. The ribs and brisket have decent texture, though brisket is on the dry side and ribs are on the softer-interior side. Ribs have great texture on outside. But…NO SMOKY TASTE. Considering they claim to hickory smoke for 5 hours. Decent though bland corn bread, decent though unremarkable beans, nice tangy creamy coleslaw is a highlight. They don't make their own beverages, either.

                          I will stick to other parts of the GTA for my smoky meat fix.

                          20 Replies
                          1. re: Food Tourist
                            k
                            kwfoodiewannabe RE: Food Tourist Jan 17, 2014 10:40 AM

                            I've listened and read for years now as one T.O. poster after another has lamented the lack of good Southern BBQ joints in the GTA. People even make the trek to Camp 31 in Paris, ON (just average) and other long drives (Peterborough, etc.) when KW is about an hour away.

                            At the risk of upsetting the locals here (lineups are already the norm), you folks really need to get to KW if it's BBQ you crave. Hogtails BBQ and the Lancaster Smokehouse are both top notch. Honorable mention to SOS BBQ as well. There are others here BTW (Smokin' Tony's, Q-BBQ), but those 3 are best IMO. I have never been to Busters or Big Bone, but my T.O. friends and family drive here for BBQ - and they live in Thornhill. They are close to BB but say it does not compare.

                            Just my 2 cents. I simply can't bear to watch "y'all" suffer anymore. and please don't all come at once. LOL.

                            1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                              s
                              Snarf RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 17, 2014 10:49 AM

                              The Smoke in Collingwood is pretty decent as well, if we're going to take Torontonians out of their comfort bubble.

                              1. re: Snarf
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                                magic RE: Snarf Jan 17, 2014 01:27 PM

                                I had an awful meal at The Smoke but perhaps my experience was unique.

                                1. re: Snarf
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                                  abigllama RE: Snarf Feb 2, 2014 10:40 PM

                                  We got take out from The Smoke to eat while staying at Blue Mountain. Split the sampler platter and added on some sides and really enjoyed it.

                                  The brisket was melt in your mouth awesome. The smoked sausage was also a highlight. Everything was good, the only disappointment was a bland potato salad that needed lots of salt and pepper.

                                2. re: kwfoodiewannabe
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                                  lister RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 17, 2014 04:58 PM

                                  Those places are noted if we're ever out that way. I can't justify a trip out there solely for BBQ though. Thanks!

                                  1. re: lister
                                    Food Tourist RE: lister Jan 17, 2014 08:05 PM

                                    Google maps tells me I can get to Lancaster Smokehouse in 1 hour and 6 minutes. It's a doable food tour. It's been on my to-eat list forever.

                                    1. re: Food Tourist
                                      Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Apr 4, 2014 05:55 PM

                                      http://www.hogtailsbbq.com/smokehouse...

                                  2. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                    biggreenmatt RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 24, 2014 07:03 AM

                                    I think there's a difference that needs to be made here.

                                    There's BBQ. BBQ is good. BBQ will scratch a craving itch. BBQ is fine.

                                    There's barbecue, and even some southern barbecue. This is the good stuff. There are various places in the GTA that make this stuff. This will bring warm memories to people who've eaten down in the States, and can even get pretty authentic.

                                    Then there's Championship Southern Barbecue. This is the kind of barbecue that wins competitions. This is the kind of barbecue so good that it makes you want to slap your sister. This is the barbecue that dreams are made of. This, we don't have, no doubt as some other poster mentioned, because our health regulations forbid it.

                                    God I want championship southern barbecue.

                                    1. re: biggreenmatt
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                                      pourboi RE: biggreenmatt Jan 24, 2014 09:14 AM

                                      What health regulations forbid it? This does not make sense. I do not know of any regulation that would forbid any type of BBQ that I have ever seen.

                                      1. re: pourboi
                                        Googs RE: pourboi Jan 24, 2014 11:12 AM

                                        I suspect the inspectors wouldn't like the low-and-slow aspect.

                                        1. re: Googs
                                          p
                                          pourboi RE: Googs Jan 24, 2014 11:38 AM

                                          It is the final internal temperature that matters not the time it takes to get there. 225°F for 18+ hours is the rule of thumb in Texas. Ontario health code is only concerned with holding temperature above 140°F and that meat is cooked to an internal temp of at least 165°F (depending on type etc). So there is no issue.

                                      2. re: biggreenmatt
                                        k
                                        kwfoodiewannabe RE: biggreenmatt Jan 25, 2014 06:50 AM

                                        With apologies, I'm not sure I understand your post biggreenmatt. Is there some specific detail you could provide re: the difference between BBQ, Southern BBQ, and Championship Southern BBQ?
                                        From my experience, the public does not get to eat the "championship product" delivered to judges at BBQ Championships. This is high quality product to be sure, and is judged on aesthetics (presentation) in addition to taste, smell, etc. While there is an opportunity to become certified as a judge, most folks attending BBQ championships are not judging, but in fact eating from the local vendors set up, some of who may be competing, but generally not - as competitors usually need to focus on their competition offerings being just perfect.
                                        Re: the product being served at the establishments mentioned in my post, a quick check of the Lancaster Smokehouse menu reveals pulled pork smoked for 14 hours, and brisket smoked for 12 hours. It's as good as just about anything I've tasted "down south". At the risk of encouraging you to an act of violence against a female sibling, I suggest - if BBQ food is actually worth a trip to you -(trust me, I get it if not) that what is being served here may satisfy your cravings completely, unless you are a certified BBQ judge and used to getting "Championship quality" offerings. No restaurant, trailer, pit, etc. I know of is even aiming for that championship standard - at least not in terms of how the food looks. Usually the presentation is important (especially in a higher end place, I suppose) but it seems that in a retail setting, good ribs, brisket, pork, etc. do not need to meet the standard of BBQ judge aesthetic. It's usually more about taste.
                                        My post was simply meant to alleviate the frustration of those in the GTA who are lamenting the sad state of BBQ restaurants there. As with any food advice... take it with a grain of salt.

                                        1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                          p
                                          pourboi RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 25, 2014 07:56 AM

                                          In watching those shows on the BBQ competitions, they usually have like 10x more product on the smoker than they actually present to the judges. If a restaurant wanted to waste that much food I am sure we would all be getting championship quality meals.

                                          Also it is funny how people on this board complain about inconsistency in meals at BBQ places yet if it was so easy to get quality consistent output you would think that the competitors who are vying for tens of thousands of dollars would be able to make consistent food each time, which at least according to the TV shows about them... they cannot.

                                          1. re: pourboi
                                            TorontoTuna RE: pourboi Jan 25, 2014 09:21 AM

                                            There are some pretty decent joints in the area, some even better than many of the commercial joints in the U.S. I've eaten at over a hundred BBQ joints in the U.S., and the top tier group, mostly in Texas, are superior mostly due to their loving attention to marinade and the fact that they use only logs over an open oven, the billowing smoke visible for blocks. You can't get away with this in Toronto for the obvious N.I.M.B.Y. reasons (although my downtown neighbours are quite reasonable...as long as I share) I've been a BBQ cook for over 40 years (see my avatar) and know from where I speak.

                                      3. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                        Food Tourist RE: kwfoodiewannabe Apr 4, 2014 05:54 PM

                                        What are the top 4 things we should order at the Lanc? Going before the City and Colour concert on a Monday night.

                                        1. re: Food Tourist
                                          k
                                          kwfoodiewannabe RE: Food Tourist Jun 9, 2014 09:09 AM

                                          Food Tourist: Sorry! just noticed your post today!

                                          I was in LV enjoying Sage and Gordon Ramsey Steak (among others) when you posted.

                                          Did you make it to the Lanc?
                                          What did you eat?
                                          Any thoughts?

                                          1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                            justsayn RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jun 9, 2014 12:55 PM

                                            Rib cap at Steak I hope! Not to mention the tartare...

                                            1. re: justsayn
                                              k
                                              kwfoodiewannabe RE: justsayn Jun 9, 2014 01:55 PM

                                              Not a rib steak fan (NY usually) but it was late and I just went for a smallest steak (filet) and it was surprisingly good. I was tempted to do the 1/2 wellington thing, but didn't want to wait the 30 minutes (it was approaching 10pm)

                                              However, I could NOT resist the Sticky toffee pudding cake for dessert.

                                            2. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                                              Food Tourist RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jun 9, 2014 02:06 PM

                                              Sadly, we ended up missing both the concert and a good dinner out due to severe gastro illness that made a trip to the Grand River emergency a reality.

                                              1. re: Food Tourist
                                                k
                                                kwfoodiewannabe RE: Food Tourist Jun 9, 2014 03:05 PM

                                                Oh... terrible news. Hope all is well now.

                                                For next time... I like the chicken (thigh) best. but the brisket, pulled pork and wings are all good. Ribs can be hit or miss, but that's likely just me as I prefer baby backs (they smoke side ribs) sides I've tried (coleslaw, fries, rings, hush puppies, collards, mac and cheese) are all good and made in house.

                                                recently, I have been frequenting the original (Hogtails BBQ) no longer owned by the Lanc owner but still consulting(?) or affiliated in some way (recipes?) I found when the Lanc was crazy busy, the kitchen seemed to stumble a bit and food was not as good. I think Hogtails might actually be slightly better...

                                      4. a
                                        AngeloTO RE: Goon23 Jan 15, 2014 08:36 AM

                                        I'd say Big Crow or The Carbon Bar (just opened though)

                                        15 Replies
                                        1. re: AngeloTO
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                                          Michael N RE: AngeloTO Jan 15, 2014 09:12 AM

                                          Hmm, I was under the impression that the food at Big Crow was grilled, not BBQ. Haven't checked it out yet, though -- am I mistaken?

                                          1. re: Michael N
                                            estufarian RE: Michael N Jan 15, 2014 09:28 AM

                                            You beat me to it.
                                            Big Crow is NOT bbq - it's wood-grilled.

                                            1. re: estufarian
                                              s
                                              Snarf RE: estufarian Jan 15, 2014 03:39 PM

                                              They have a wood grill and a smoker. The ribs are most definitely smoked.

                                              1. re: Snarf
                                                estufarian RE: Snarf Jan 15, 2014 03:52 PM

                                                The ribs I had there had no taste of smoke and no smoke ring. And the ones I saw put on the grill were basted ON the grill. I didn't check on what they were basted with (could have been water).
                                                Do you have any more details on their smoking process?

                                                1. re: estufarian
                                                  s
                                                  Snarf RE: estufarian Jan 16, 2014 03:55 PM

                                                  If you walk to the back and have a look at the mechanics, there is a smoke box to the left of the main grill. I think there are pics on the website. It's not an overpowering taste of smoke. The box is relatively small, so I am presuming they do the reheating on the grill.

                                                  1. re: Snarf
                                                    estufarian RE: Snarf Jan 17, 2014 07:17 AM

                                                    I think that's a 'warming grill' NOT a smoker - it's less than half the size of the actual grill.
                                                    But as I won't be back anyway - my body doesn't like picnic tables - I won't be able to confirm.

                                              2. re: estufarian
                                                a
                                                AngeloTO RE: estufarian Jan 16, 2014 08:02 PM

                                                Fair enough, they are more Backyard BBQ, like you'd do at home not down south.

                                                1. re: AngeloTO
                                                  estufarian RE: AngeloTO Jan 17, 2014 07:22 AM

                                                  At the risk of being pedantic (and possibly to not mislead casual readers who don't read the entire thread) I'd call that Backyard Grilling, although obviously the term BBQ is widely used in that situation.
                                                  BUT this is a thread on 'Authentic Southern BBQ' so I think it is a completely different situation. I wouldn't object to it's use in a thread on 'HOME backyard BBQ'.

                                            2. re: AngeloTO
                                              Davwud RE: AngeloTO Jan 15, 2014 11:52 AM

                                              I'd say, without question, the 3 best in the GTA are Paul and Sandy's in Etobicoke, Big Bone in Newmarket and Buster Rhino's in Pickering.

                                              There's a steep drop off from there. I've thoroughly enjoyed items from Stack, Rally and Stockyards but I wouldn't call them "Authentic Southern."
                                              Phil's, Chris's & Big Foot need not apply. I didn't find Camp 31 good enough to warrant a 2 hour drive. Most of what was at the couple ribfests i went to wasn't very good.

                                              DT

                                              1. re: pourboi
                                                b
                                                BigBabyYeezuS RE: pourboi Jan 15, 2014 12:20 PM

                                                It's a bit pedantic, but Carbon Bar leans more Texas style than "Southern Style" (of which there are a few - Carolinas, Memphis, Kansas City). So Carbon Bar is more dry rubbed, "open" pit, oak wood and lots of beef and goat (though they have pork and chicken as well).

                                                1. re: pourboi
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                                                  lister RE: pourboi Jan 15, 2014 12:21 PM

                                                  We've been to AAA once last year in the summer. It's not life altering but we liked it. They have decent beer on tap. I wouldn't go out of my way to go there but if you're in the area...

                                                  I refuse to go to Hogtown after doing their food truck several times. The portion sizes for the $$$ is way too small. Sounds like that continues at the restaurant.

                                                  I want to go to Aft but can't until the significant other is back in town. (There's a tonne of places I want to go to but I'll never hear the end of it if I go by myself. I'm tempting fate with a P&L Burger visit on Friday...)

                                                  1. re: lister
                                                    estufarian RE: lister Jan 15, 2014 12:35 PM

                                                    Their portion sizes are bigger than Carbon Bar.
                                                    I never tried at the truck - only the restaurant.
                                                    But size isn't everything anyway!

                                                    1. re: estufarian
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                                                      lister RE: estufarian Jan 15, 2014 12:41 PM

                                                      Oh I'm okay with smaller sizes as long as it's pretty obvious what has gone into the food to justify the price and the smaller portion size. I just don't think that's there with Hogtown. I'm not expecting an American "size of my head" portioned sandwich but a little more than what they're giving.

                                                  2. re: Davwud
                                                    l
                                                    lister RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2014 12:36 PM

                                                    We've been once to Paul & Sandy's and it must have been a bad day because we weren't terribly impressed. Given where they are and where we are, it's not convenient to go again just to try again. If we find ourselves in the neighbourhood some how we may revisit.

                                                    We have liked our couple of visits to Memphis in Woodbridge but haven't tried their sister location in Newmarket nor the Barrie location.

                                                    Buster Rhino's, well, what can I say, he's doing everything that I want in a Southern BBQ joint. Good beer and good BBQ! Too bad it's out in Oshawa. :-(

                                                    I've given up on Camp 31. Two years ago they got some solid business from me as I was commuting from Toronto to the south west for a month. I honestly don't know what they do to massacre their brisket.

                                                    Memphis Fire in Winona was good. One visit only so far.

                                                    Mad Michael's in Midland was pretty tasty. One visit too.

                                                    Stockyards is good though lately we just get the pulled pork and the fried chicken. The GF has stopped bothering with the ribs.

                                                    Stack has been fine. I've been twice before with a third visit coming up. If one opened up downtown we'd probably go occasionally. (Though I'd prefer a Buster Rhino's downtown instead!)

                                                    Phil's hasn't been relevant for a long time. I can't comment on Big Chris. I want to try the place out in Peterborough some time, maybe whenever we do the Church Key Spring Revival again. Rally is out of the way for us and it sounds like the beer selection blows.

                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                      Food Tourist RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2014 04:19 PM

                                                      My one visit way back at Paul and Sandy's was hugely disappointing. I never went back even though it's in the west end and therefore closest to me. Is their meat truly smoky and properly-textured these days?

                                                  3. c
                                                    cdollarsign1979 RE: Goon23 Jan 19, 2014 04:50 PM

                                                    I really like Buster Rhino's. Love their fresh cut fries!

                                                    1. mnajji RE: Goon23 Jan 19, 2014 07:06 PM

                                                      A recent visit to Carbon Bar was really enjoyable.

                                                      And I got a picture with David Lee (which I didn't outright ask for, and was kind of an embarrassing situation for my friends haha).

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: mnajji
                                                        c
                                                        C mac RE: mnajji Jan 24, 2014 01:28 AM

                                                        There still is no good BBQ places in Toronto. I've tried all these places and disappointed everytime. phil's, buster rhino's, paul and sandy's, Memphis ect. None of these places are good.The ribfest used to be great but they seem to have gone downhill.

                                                        There is a food truck that's open in the summer that I'm hearing good things about called phat louies. There is a thread somewhere on chowhound for it.

                                                        1. re: C mac
                                                          m
                                                          magic RE: C mac Jan 24, 2014 03:54 AM

                                                          I think it is just called Fat Louie`s.

                                                          And I think this is them:

                                                          https://www.facebook.com/FatLouiesBBQ

                                                          1. re: magic
                                                            y
                                                            Yongeman RE: magic Jan 24, 2014 04:12 AM

                                                            Summer...what's that? Brrrrr. I went once to Fat Louie's and it was quite good. It's in the Rona parking lot just off St. Clair W. in a trailer. I'll be back when it returns in the spring.

                                                            1. re: Yongeman
                                                              m
                                                              magic RE: Yongeman Jan 24, 2014 04:15 AM

                                                              Kept on meaning to go but never got around to it.

                                                              Spring!

                                                          2. re: C mac
                                                            estufarian RE: C mac Jan 24, 2014 06:07 AM

                                                            That’s not particularly helpful – surely at least one of these places is making BBQ that is ‘better than the others’.

                                                            The ribs at Carbon Bar are good (albeit not cheap).

                                                            Buster Rhino’s is competent across the board – although I prefer more smoke in my meat – but that’s my preference, not an indictment of Buster’s product.
                                                            The Lexington style pulled pork at Stack is excellent (their sauce is even better) and as good as (mostly better than) any I’ve had anywhere in the U.S.

                                                            Ribs are good at Hogtown and variable (sometimes good) at Barque, Triple A and Stockyards (at all three they’re sometimes dried out, particularly at the ends). None are at the Kansas City level (IMO) – but that comment could be made about most places in the US as well.

                                                            Brisket is the challenge – still working on that, but the standard in Texas is impossibly high – local by-laws here would probably not permit the necessary equipment to be used – unless it was outside the city. Which means that Mad Michaels in Wyebridge is still my destination of choice (and his BBQ Bison has to be the best as there’s no competition!).

                                                            I don’t accept the statement that “None (of the local) places are good”. Having said that, I’ve never had good BBQ from a truck – anywhere; particularly at ribfests. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

                                                        2. y
                                                          ylsf RE: Goon23 Feb 3, 2014 05:40 AM

                                                          This thread is making me want to do a trip down to the USA for the sole purpose of eating BBQ.....

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: ylsf
                                                            justsayn RE: ylsf Feb 3, 2014 05:54 AM

                                                            Always a great thing to do! :-)

                                                            1. re: ylsf
                                                              Food Tourist RE: ylsf Feb 3, 2014 03:56 PM

                                                              Dinosaur in Buffalo ain't far. http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/locati...

                                                              1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                Davwud RE: Food Tourist Feb 4, 2014 11:50 AM

                                                                Went once and thought it was fine. Not nearly worthy of the praise. Mrs. Sippi didn't like it.

                                                                DT

                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                  Googs RE: Davwud Feb 5, 2014 12:46 PM

                                                                  The loved Dinosaur BBQ is in Rochester. That's just a LITTLE farther.

                                                                  1. re: Googs
                                                                    PoppiYYZ RE: Googs Feb 6, 2014 02:13 PM

                                                                    Don't forget the original Dinosaur Syracuse too ! Lived in Syracuse for a while, barely made it out alive after eating so much Q...

                                                                    1. re: Googs
                                                                      Davwud RE: Googs Feb 8, 2014 06:15 AM

                                                                      That's where we went. I guess I was misleading.

                                                                      DT

                                                                    2. re: Davwud
                                                                      y
                                                                      ylsf RE: Davwud Feb 6, 2014 08:24 PM

                                                                      Which location did you go to since the Buffalo one isn't even opened yet? I went to the Rochester one and I got takeout after a day of eating. I tried some right away and even though I was stuffed I ought the ribs were excellent as some other stuff I got pulled pork, brisket). I will definitely make it to the Buffalo one!

                                                                    3. re: Food Tourist
                                                                      f
                                                                      FresserGuy RE: Food Tourist Feb 9, 2014 07:14 AM

                                                                      I have been to Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester a couple of times, and once to their Syracuse (original) location.

                                                                      It is the BEST BBQ I've ever had - keeping in mind I've never gone to Texas or Carolinas or St. Louis, etc for real BBQ.

                                                                      Their ribs are fantastic. Also, I LOVE their wings - they are the biggest wings I've ever seen, and they smoke them first and finish them on the grill.

                                                                      So, I am very excited the Buffalo location is about to open. If it is as good as Rochester, I think I'll be crossing the border more often :)

                                                                  2. l
                                                                    lister RE: Goon23 Feb 4, 2014 06:23 AM

                                                                    Certainly won't be Phil's whether operating or now not:

                                                                    http://www.blogto.com/deadpool/2014/0...

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: lister
                                                                      BusterRhino RE: lister Feb 4, 2014 10:17 AM

                                                                      Oh Phil's closed, that's too bad.

                                                                      1. re: BusterRhino
                                                                        Food Tourist RE: BusterRhino Feb 4, 2014 07:51 PM

                                                                        Phil's was the scene of my first birthday party when I moved to Toronto in 05. Loved his brisket.

                                                                        1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                          f
                                                                          frogsteak RE: Food Tourist Feb 4, 2014 08:02 PM

                                                                          ah i was there a few weeks ago. i had a brisket sandwich. it was a bit on the dry side but the bbq sauce and coleslaw were fantastic. if it had a better vibe and slightly lower prices, i'd have gone there all the time.

                                                                        2. re: BusterRhino
                                                                          TorontoTuna RE: BusterRhino Feb 4, 2014 08:35 PM

                                                                          Well pal, your Q, though not up to the standards of the monster Q in Texas and 'Lina, is still the best around and dam good Q. Phil's was never good. I waited decades for a B.B.Q. joint to come to the 'big smoke' ...(irony?) only to be let down by this poor excuse for pit. Real Q is about smoke... that white stuff that comes out of the papal election or from Papa's briar. Phil's sammys were decent and a far cry from most lunch joints, but it wasn't real Q.

                                                                      2. justxpete RE: Goon23 Feb 6, 2014 02:16 PM

                                                                        Triple A Bar on Adelaide East. We may have a winner.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                                          Food Tourist RE: justxpete Mar 26, 2014 04:17 PM

                                                                          AAA or Triple A bar is fantastic. Ribs are amazing, smoky, perfect texture, no dry ends. American bourbon selection is interesting with a few unknowns to try. Great service. Spicy coleslaw (red cabbage), onion rings (a bit overcooked), beef brisket and texas chile weren't as spectacular but I'd happily return to try a bit more.

                                                                          1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                            icookgood RE: Food Tourist Mar 27, 2014 08:24 AM

                                                                            I had a different experience a couple of weeks back at AAA. A good beer and a couple of nice bourbons to start and then it all fell apart. 50 min wait for a 5 ribs, chicken and waffle, a mac and cheese and coleslaw. The place wasn't busy either. WTF. The ribs were okay, the waffles were better but the sides were bland and uninteresting. I'm still looking for decent BBQ in this city.

                                                                            1. re: icookgood
                                                                              justxpete RE: icookgood Mar 27, 2014 01:25 PM

                                                                              The only thing worth eating there is the full rack of ribs. I posted about this somewhere but lost track of the post.

                                                                              Everything other than the ribs were mediocre. They didn't even have real coke/pepsi. Absurd.

                                                                        2. m
                                                                          MAWC515 RE: Goon23 Feb 23, 2014 07:40 AM

                                                                          Had my first trip to Hogtown Smoke on Queen St. E. and was impressed. Texas BBQ is my first love, but this was pretty darn good for Toronto. I had the sampler platter to try a few options. Very good brisket, but the back ribs were a bit dry. The meal was a bit pricey, which is typical of BBQ in T.O. There are lower cost menu options available.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MAWC515
                                                                            biggreenmatt RE: MAWC515 Mar 27, 2014 06:44 AM

                                                                            +1 on Hogtown Smokehouse.

                                                                            Phenomenally good barbecue. Pricey, but really excellent.

                                                                            1. re: biggreenmatt
                                                                              eller RE: biggreenmatt Mar 27, 2014 08:36 AM

                                                                              Seconding the love for Hogtown. Go with friends. Get a selection of meats on a platter and eat until the cows come home.

                                                                          2. y
                                                                            ylsf RE: Goon23 May 18, 2014 07:48 PM

                                                                            At TUM last night I tried this place:
                                                                            http://stokestackbbq.com/
                                                                            I had the Texas sampler. Brisket, rib and sausage. Was very good overall but the brisket in particular was great. They seem to be set up at Gerrard/Greenwood on a regular basis. Not sure how their regular sandwiches compare but the brisket meat has me wanting to try them again. Curious to here what other CHers think

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ylsf
                                                                              j
                                                                              James Cristinian RE: ylsf May 18, 2014 08:27 PM

                                                                              I live in Texas and that's how we roll, brisket, ribs, and sausage. I checked out the photos and it all looks good, smokers included. Good to see no baby backs, we usually do full spare ribs, but those St. Louis look good. I wish these folks well.

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