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May 22, 2013 04:50 PM

Buckstop BBQ on Denman - now open

I have been passing by in the morning for weeks and apparently, a new barbecue joint has opened on Denman St. (where the Main Dining Room used to be). Will report as soon as I'm had a chance to go, gorge, lick m fingers clean and nap.

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  1. Found their FB page:

    And Scout's write-up:

    IMHO there's always room for another BBQ joint in this city. Having been disappointed by Peckinpah and The Hog Shack.

    1. Please do check it out and let us know. thanks

      1. Well, Buckstop has now been open for a week and I've had the chance to try most of their menu now.

        First the drinks list. As you would expect, they have a number of bourbon and rye-based cocktails. We tried a number and enjoyed them. We also got a jug of white sangria which had watermelon, cucumber and mint. My favourite drink of the night was a peach sweet tea with apricot pieces and jalapeno-infused tequila.

        The food menu is divided into 'Dinner' and 'Barbecue'. Off the small plates, we tried the barbecued buttermilk calamari. It is battered and deep fried and slathered in housemade bbq sauce and mango. It was tasty but a little heavy handed, batter wise. We also tried the brisket-wrapped scallops and microgreens. These were tasty and the ginger dressing that it was served with was delicious. Third, we tried the pickling glazed pork belly, served with a Waldorf salad. Flavour was decent on this dish. Be warned it's served in a slab form. Other things I would have liked to try but didn't were the grilled cheese sandwich, buttermilk fried game hen and the prawn tostada. Prices for the "Dinner" menu were between 7 and 15/item. One notable menu issue was the lack of vegetable content beyond the salads served on the side of apps. I would have expected a collard green-like side, but it wasn't there.

        On to the goods. All the barbecue menu items are served with navy beans (very good), celeriac slaw (also good) and fries (tasty but not especially crispy). There were three different housemade barbecue sauces you could order on the side. The menu includes a pulled pork sandwich, Kansas City beef brisket, St. Louis cut maple smoked pork ribs, Texas-style beef back ribs and platters. We ordered a platter which included all of the above and the hush puppies, cornbread and honey butter.

        The pulled pork was enjoyed by all. It came on the platter pre-sauced and had good tecture and flavour. The brisket was tasty but extremely lean with almost no fat cap or marbling throughout so it was on the dry side. The beef ribs were one of my favourites of the evening. I love a beef rib and because they were back ribs, they weren't overwhelmingly fatty. Good smoked and nice char crust exterior. The pork ribs were very good with a touch of soy in the baste. A couple of them were totally dried out which I don't think should have been served.

        The hush puppies and cornbread both need work. They both lacked flavour and, unlike almost everything else on the menu, there wasn't a special touch that made them a little less boring. One of my companions who grew up on her grandmother's cornbread spotted the number one problem right away - no cast iron crust. That was disappointing.

        Overall, the Buckstop is a much need addition to the West End. There are a few kinks that I've noted but nothing that I wouldn't expect in a first week of operations and, most importantly, the barbecue core was pretty good - much more promising than what we currently have to offer in Vancouver.

        17 Replies
          1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

            Thanks for TOOFT and if you enjoy it better than Mehkinpah and Hog Slack, I'll have to give it a try!

            1. re: flowbee

              What did you think of Peckinpah & Hog Shack, Flowbee ?

              My experience with both of them was rather disappointing (pre-heated, bland brisket, very dry ribs).

              1. re: LotusRapper

                I gave Peckinpah about 3-4 tries and just wasn't wowed enough to go back again. Meat's kinda tough, dry, lacking in smokey depth of flavour. I do enjoy Hog Shack because of their beers, burnt ends and nice people but the bbq is ok. I don't hate it. But it could be so much better. I think you can only go so far with an electric smoker. Nothing I've tried in Vancouver is even close to Podnah's Pit in Portland. All wood, no electric/gas/charcoal. Smoke rings all the way.

                I find it a little infuriating that Buckstop doesn't say anything about their process on their website.

                1. re: flowbee

                  OK, this is where I'm a bit confused. The *proper* way to BBQ ribs ought to take a good 1.5 to up to as long as 5 hrs on very low heat, whether on BBQ grill, smoker or oven, right ? Key is low heat over long time (obviously not nearly as long as briskets which could go anywhere from 6-12 hrs). So why the heck is Hog Shack "flash grilling" their ribs, as they demonstrated to Lindsay, here:


                  Sigh, we didn't make it to Podnah's Pit when in PDX last year.

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    They do that for every order of ribs?? That's gonna take forever considering the volume he needs to make in a day. I dunno if that demo is what they actually do for the restaurant or if it was just set up for Linsday that day. There's a chance that John could've set up that grill/smoker for indirect heating but who knows... I think he just set that up to carmelize the sauce he puts on after the ribs are done smoking. That said, John's pretty active on Twitter and is probably responsive to questions ( but I have a feeling that all bbq places here are hampered by some bylaws that prevent someone from running an all hardwood bbq restaurant. Just speculation, I'll let someone else with more knowledge chime in on this...

                    1. re: flowbee

                      Have you tried Back Forty? They use real smokers, real wood. It's good. Admittedly, I usually go for their bucket of chicken.

                      1. re: fmed

                        Fmed, I never even heard of this place. Checking out menu:


                        Dang, I'm there. I got a b-day comin' up :-D

                        1. re: fmed

                          I never heard of this place either! Thanks for the intel, as usual :D

                          Looking at their menu, the impression I'm getting is that this place is a restaurant that happens to have a smoker, rather than a "serious" bbq place... ie. their brisket is only available in a beef dip sandwich (?!!). But I'm a sucker for fried chicken, so I gotta check it out.

                          1. re: flowbee

                            Me too. It was the combination of buttermilk fried chicken, brisket flatbread, St. Louis pork ribs and Bourbon apple crumble sundae that got me. Makes for a well-balanced meal ;-)

                            Oh look, they have buttermilk fried chicken 'N waffles for weekend bunches .....

                            1. re: flowbee

                              It's Vancouverized for sure. They even have a couple of vegetarian options. (Gasp!). They do have a 15(?) foot smoker in the parking lot and they use wood. I'm not a huge southern BBQ guy, so please check it out flowbee. Need some relevant intel on the place.

                              1. re: fmed

                                Yup, check out the smoker in their parking lot. With something like that in the lot, you have to stop and check it out.

                                1. re: moyenchow

                                  The bucket of chicken with the magical sauce:

                                2. re: flowbee

                                  To add: Alexandra Gill reviewed it a few weeks back in the Globe.

                              2. re: flowbee

                                Well I seem to have jumped the gun there. I asked Lindsay (in her thread) how long the ribs took, and she promptly confirmed it was about 3.5 hrs. So it's all good.

                    2. re: NoMoreSnuggles

                      Thanks for the report. I'll be there Thursday to see for myself.

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