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Mar 18, 2014 07:14 AM

Hogtown Smoke - brick and mortar location

I happened on to Hogtown Smoke this weekend at their Queen East location.

Outstanding. Magnificent. Superlative.

Shared the pulled pork, the brisket and sideribs. The brisket was shockingly good- moist where it needed to be, charred where it needed to be, juicy and smoky and tremendously good. The pulled pork was beautifully moist and the ribs were just perfect. Their squirt-on sauces were fantastic (though I'd have killed for a mustard sauce for the pork... I mean, Carolina, right?). Sides were good but ultimately unnecessary since they only took up room that would otherwise be reserved for the meat.

I don't like food trucks and waiting in line for hours just so I can overpay for a tiny take-away box, which means I've never tried the food truck, and likely never will. But their brick-and-mortar location is beyond good, just short of what I'd consider "championship" Southern barbecue, but leaps and bounds over anything else I've had in Toronto, with very few exceptions.

Guys from Hogtown, if you're reading this: you're awesome and your product is good enough to be worshiped. Great, great, great job, FWIW, I'd recommend you any time, any place, to any one.


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  1. wow. that's quite the review. will check it out later this week. thanks for the tip. can't wait.

    1. Really? Cause I can tell you, my experience was quite a bit different. Here's my review on yelp.

      We arrived fairly early on a Thursday so no problem getting a seat. Ordered a pinot first mistake. Comes room temperature, when I tell her its warm, she goes, you wanna ice cube? Ummm, no, I want a glass of undiluted cold white wine, but if the ice cube is all you've got, I'll take it. She goes on to tell me she had just opened the bottle. You might want to refridgerate the rest of the bottle...and the others.
      We started with the deep fried dill pickles. Deep fried dill pickles should not look like that. They were medallions. That's just wrong but they weren't bad. Would have been nice to have some cool ranch to go with them but they gave us chipotle without asking what we wanted.
      We then ordered the pork poutine, and the half chicken with beans and creamy coleslaw. Loved the poutine, but I've had better chicken from the grocery store rotisserie. It was so dry I asked for bbq sauce, thought I could smother it a bit. She asks me, do you want mild or spicy. Mild please. Squirted bbq sauce all over my chicken to find out mild means hot. I'm assuming the spicy means suicide. I couldn't eat the chicken, not that I wanted to anyway, it was awful. So incredibly dry. The beans had a musty taste (baked beans should not taste like that) and the creamy coleslaw was so salty I couldn't eat it either. And I like my salt, trust me.
      Was hoping to love this place but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Literally

      4 Replies
      1. re: BIGeater100

        I haven't been yet, so I can't comment one way or another, but I will note that deep fried pickles often come in battered medallions - it's quite traditional and not unusual. Just a friendly fyi.

        1. re: magic

          Seriously, I've never had deep fried medallions, that was my first time. We usually get them at Stouts or Flatiron pub and both are spears.

          1. re: BIGeater100

            Yepper, medallions are indeed common.

            Especially in the U.S.

        2. re: BIGeater100

          In Nashville when having DF pickles, they were medallions.. more batter per pickle.. .makes them taste more like dill pickle chips.

        3. I visited once - and didn't rush back.
          The good news was that I'd place it above average for Toronto - good smoke flavour (and ring), and my ribs were excellent at the 'thick' end but dried out at the 'thin end'.
          Service was excellent (albeit very casual) and I didn't mind sharing a table - this is a fairly small place and fills up quickly. But it was fairly cold - many patrons kept their coats on.
          I didn't realize that not all sauces were at my table until after I finished. The Carolina (vinegar, not mustard) wasn't as good as at Stack, but all were acceptable.

          Clearly there's a consistency issue here - obviously needs a second visit.