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Aft Kitchen and Bar - New BBQ at Queen and Broadview

  • mnajji Mar 14, 2013 01:41 PM
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Has anyone been and have anything to report back?

Early Yelp reviews are positive... but I need a 'Hounder's opinion.

Links:
http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...
http://www.yelp.ca/biz/aft-kitchen-an...

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  1. You got me so excited with Queen and Bathurst : (

    1 Reply
    1. re: justsayn

      Hahaha, the moderators caught me!

      It was a long day!!

    2. Went last night with a friend. Had the wings and ribs.

      Not bad. Not bad at all.

      My personal prejudices find it difficult to reconcile barbecue in a "nice restaurant", but there's no question someone back there knows his or her way around a smoker.

      Their patio, I predict, is going to be ridiculous.

      6 Replies
      1. re: biggreenmatt

        We decided to go to Aft this evening and we were very happy we did.
        We agree that the place is small and one wonders if it will soon outgrow this address. Soon after we were seated, the place filled up. Could be St. Patty's day had something to do with it.
        As soon as you walk in you notice the whiff of a smoker somewhere not too far away and this sets you up for the meal.
        We were fortunate to notice that they have a combination platter available for either one or two people that is only available on the weekends. For two people , it gave us the choice of three of: Pulled Pork, Beef Sausage, Chicken, Beef Brisket or the Ribs along with three sides for $32. We selected the Sausage, Brisket and Ribs with baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw (all made in house).
        The flavour in each of these was outstanding. The brisket was cooked perfectly and there was a hint of smokeyness present yet not overpowering and this allowed for a nice combination of flavour to come through. The meal was served with a habenero sauce, house BBQ sauce and ketchup for the less adventurous.
        We opted to have a dessert and we ordered the Vanilla cheesecake with cranberries. This was served in a familiar small mason jar that speaks to the lineage of Aft coming form the House of Parliament.
        Service was friendly and attentive.
        We were quite happy with all the items tasted and we will be suggesting Aft Kitchen and Bar to others. We will be going back.

         
         
        1. re: Poorboy

          Looks and sounds exceptional. Will definitely make a pit stop there the next time I am in the area (even if it's for brunch!).

          1. re: Poorboy

            Thanks for the report and pics. Looks good!

            1. re: Poorboy

              Maybe it is just the picture, but looks like they skimped out on the sides... Potato looks like less than a whole potato. If that was for two people you think they would give you a bit more sides (only one sausage?) Was it enough food for 2 people? I am all for quality over quantity but just curious to get expectations in check when I go (and I will go based on your review)....Are the owners of this place the same as the Toucan spot that was there before (crazy expensive tacos) ?

              1. re: ylsf

                Oh I just assumed that pic was one person's share.

                Yeah, that would seem a bit skimpy if it were for two people, I agree.

                I looks tasty though. And I will put it on my list.

                I will be mindful of portion size while there. If I feel like I did not get reasonable value I can always elect not to return I guess.

                1. re: ylsf

                  Yes, the portion size of the sides were small. There were 4 ribs (large and meaty) 1 Sausage and a fair amount of the brisket. These were not full portions as we ordered the combo for 2. The single orders of each were larger than what would be served in a combo. This was an early dinner for us so we were well fed. If I was extra hungry I might have ordered a full side of fries and that would have been plenty. Forgot to mention that we also had a sampling of their in-house Baked Beans that were enjoyable.

            2. <takes off glasses, rubs eyes and sighs>

              There are a few things that I find odd. First of all, the sous chef spent 2 years learning Q in Texas and there is nothing remotely Texas about what I've seen in pictures. Hmmm.

              One reviewer on Yelp said "Proper BBQ @ Queen and Broadview" and then goes on to extol the virtues of the smoked brisket burger. Hmmmm.

              The ribs in the TOLIfe picture do look promising. However the hours don't suit my schedule.

              I'm interested to see what people's thoughts are.

              DT

              3 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Davwud the hours are pretty extensive - Mon to Sun 430 p.m. to 2 a.m. Early open and late close all week. I don't think it gets any better than that.

                1. re: JennaBean

                  I do. I live in Aurora and commute to work. I'm long gone before they open. I pretty much only eat in the city at lunch. I'd hardly call 9.5 hours "Pretty extensive." It's akin to being open 11 - 8:30.

                  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm just saying they don't suit my schedule.

                  DT

                  1. re: Davwud

                    Oh you're looking for lunch. That's a whole other ballgame. To do lunch and dinner they would need a shift change. To be open for dinner at 430 p.m. depending on the prep required you have have kitchen staff in pretty early likely by about noon and then servers around 230 pm to do side work. Those are both very long shifts. So for a place that only does dinner, that's extensive hours IMO.

              2. I went last week for dinner. It was packed on a Tuesday night at 630 p.m
                My hamburger was salty as was my french fries.
                I hardly ever return food but I had too.
                The waitress was really kind about it and I then ordered a caesar salad that was tasteless.

                I talked to the manager who told me that it was a new chef in the kitchen and i wasnt the only one complaining about the salt.

                Conclusion: I really need to go back.

                1 Reply
                1. re: domesticgodess

                  You really "need" to go back?

                  Or really don't need to go back?

                  Hate when chef's are heavy handed with salt. If they have a regular chef that just wasn't there that night, then, yeah, I guess going back can improve things.

                2. went yesterday, shared a plater for 1 (about $20) & plater for 2 (about $30) amongst four people. had ribs, brisket, pulled pork, sausage & smoked chicken with beans, fries, potato salad & slaw x2. seemed like a decent healthy amount of food for four people. seems like they'd do well to offer corn bread and collard greens.

                  the meat was not cold and was juicy. but alittle lacking in flavour. I prefer dry rub and lotsa smoke. The meat needed the provided sauces.

                  1. I had high expectations for this place and my gf and I went there on a thursday evening. We had skipped lunch, figuring that should make it easy for us to be impressed. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre, maybe a little bit worse than mediocre. We had the wings and the ribs and the coleslaw.

                    The ribs were seasoned ok, but the meat was almost undercooked. Pretty much rubbery, trying to get the meat off the bone probably got me to lose more calories than I did from eating the actual meal. The wings were very meh. I don't want to order these again. The fries were great! We both took one bite of the coleslaw and that was it, never touched it again.

                    I went to AAA about 2 weeks before, and I enjoyed the ribs there a lot more even though the service was a little weird. Oh Leslieville, when will you actually get a restaurant that serves good food? I'm guessing never, since all the restaurants are packed no matter how bad the food.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: reversi

                      Haha that is harsh.

                      What about Bonjour Brioche?? That place is pretty outstanding!

                      1. re: mnajji

                        There are a few places in Leslieville that I really enjoy - Bonjour Brioche is definitely one of them (my favorite brunch place). I also like Mad dog cafe for brunch, the carribean food place in the mall at Gerrard square for jerk chicken, and I think that's it.

                        1. re: reversi

                          Haha, yup, Bonjour Brioche is pretty exceptional! Not sure about the other places.

                      2. re: reversi

                        hey rev, had the opposite experience at aft bar this past weekend. thought the service was ok, but the food spoke for itself. haven't had brisket like this anywhere in the city, was truly killer! the ribs had slight pull and tastey amount of smoke. Didn't try the wings so no comment, next time. I was told all sauces and rubs were made in house, very tastey. I really can't say the same about that triple AAA place, tried on two occasions.

                        1. re: jeverton71

                          Where else have you had bbq brisket?

                          1. re: MissBingBing

                            paul and sandy's, stockyards - both excellent. i think its the simple salt and pepper seasoning that works for me and nicely smoked. you? any fav's?

                          2. re: jeverton71

                            Haha, that's funny. Different strokes for different folks I guess. I definitely agree with you that the sauces were good. I found them to be the best part of the meal, but for me, the killer was the meat - they were just way too tough. I'm not sure what you mean by the ribs have a slight pull though?

                            1. re: reversi

                              yes, the habanero sauce is really good. although i prefer straight up dry rub. by slight pull, i mean not over cooked where they fall off the bone.

                        2. Really wish I hadn't wasted a meal in this place. I cannot even begin to guess what they are thinking. Brutal!

                          We split the taco plate. 3 tacos for 12 bucks. Apparently they were made of smoked chicken, brisket and pulled pork. The portion of meat was so meagre, it was insulting. If you closed your eyes you would think they were salsa vegan tacos. So at this point we have no idea what the meat in this joint tastes like and we feel completely ripped off. They were served with a tiny side of dirty rice which neither of us bothered taking a second taste of. It was over seasoned and gritty with seasoning.

                          Next we split the SIDE ribs with fries for 23.00. It came with coleslaw that tasted like they had sliced the cabbage minutes before and stirred in some cream dressing of some sort. Raw, not marinated, and tasteless. The fries are fantastic!! The 5 ribs we got looked so boring, and the serving so small for the money (2 from the long end and 3 from the short tip) we were reluctant to even eat them. We wondered if we should just grab a burger next door to go with these fries. Still fearing the ribs we ate the 3 spoons of baked beans served. Aft needs to offer baked bean poutine and end the menu there because those two items were really great! Mind you they would probably charge 15 bucks for it.

                          The ribs were chewy, dry and tasteless. Think old school red Chinese style long ribs but remove the sweet glaze, and the moisture. Thankfully they have some very delicious house-made sauces to save them.

                          I BBQ plenty. I know the challenges. But these ribs weren't close and the portions served at this place are just laughable.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: justsayn

                            Yeah, I had a similar experience and definitely agree the fries were the best part of the meal. Have you tried AAA yet?

                            1. re: reversi

                              Aft needs to completely rethink their plan if they wish to be a player.

                              I hit AAA when they first opened so I will reserve judgement. While I won't get into specifics, I can say I didn't have to run back. It is due for another go - perhaps for the brisket I've read about. Thanks - what do you recommend there?

                          2. I was thinking of giving it a go tonight since I will be in the area. Anyone been more recently? I recalled these negative reviews but thought maybe there would be some positive ones in here now... I might still take the risk out of curiosity and/or to confirm what everyone has been saying :)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: ylsf

                              I haven't been back since because that place made me mad :). If you are going to be around the area, I'd suggest making a little detour east and heading to The Wren. Great food, good rotating beer.
                              If that's too far, you can goto Prohibition right next to Aft. The food there is always good, nice pub.

                              1. re: reversi

                                The Wren is magnificent- their brunch polenta is the stuff that dreams are made of. So is their brisket.

                                That said, I'm a fan of Aft. Little pricey for what you're getting, but I find their side ribs magnificent and their sous-vide hangar steak steak-frites perfect (though in fairness, when sous-vide'ing steak, perfection is both expected and achievable).

                                1. re: biggreenmatt

                                  I know that this is a thread about AFT, but just wanted to say that The Wren needs to stop serving their burgers on wonder bread burger buns. Neither the marshmallow bun nor the dry burger inspired me to return.

                                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                    I've never heard of them serving on a wonderbread bun. Maybe they ran put of bread the night you were there?

                              2. re: ylsf

                                It was probably a couple of months since we've been there, but I enjoyed the meals I've had there. I thought that the food was pretty good, and would go back again.

                                1. re: ylsf

                                  Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I had a big mix up yesterday and ended up closer to Burger Priest with only a few dollars in change to my name so I ended up going there for a cheeseburger. I will give both the places a shot though at some point!

                                  1. re: ylsf

                                    You can't go wrong with Burger's priest.