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Smoque n Bones

Any early reviews?

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      1. re: LexiFirefly

        Thanks! Yes I had read that....just wondering what others are saying...

        1. re: justsayn

          Haven't made it down yet. Not when the weather is nice enough to fire up my own! :)

          1. re: LexiFirefly

            I hear that! Enjoy. They just opened this week of course and I thought their brisket showed great promise!

        2. re: LexiFirefly

          Did I read that right? $4 for barely a half cup of sides??

          1. re: sbug206

            Sure, but you're confusing BlogTO with a review, rather than a paid promotional piece.

            1. re: yakionigiri

              Paid promotional piece?? I know BlogTO reviews can be questionable, but I've never heard anything like that. Is that true? Or is that just a conspiracy theory?

              1. re: Michael N

                It wasn't paid for. BlogTO writes about new restaurants(period) Smoque lowered their price after the article was written. It's a brand new restaurant opened by a newbie. Ignore the ignorant blogTO comments.

                1. re: justsayn

                  When it says "Profiled" it means the writer could have been comped food, etc... There are "Profiles" and "reviews" and maybe some other categories. THe profile could mean that the restaurant initiated the contact to BlogTO also.

                  1. re: ylsf

                    I was maybe being a bit sarcastic about the "paid" part, but BlogTO's "profiles" are definitely advertisement-bent (whether they say so or not). I consider BlogTO's reviews as highly as I do the chef-groupie bloggers who get invited to market (whether they believe they are or not) restaurants, or are comped food, etc.

                    1. re: yakionigiri

                      For those interested, this link provides more info about their review policies:

                      http://www.blogto.com/reviewpolicy/

                      I agree that most of the reviews are positive but I think maybe it is just the reviewers are inexperienced or just looking for a "vibe" vs. caring much about the food at times.

              2. re: yakionigiri

                I fail to see how they promoted in this case. Still doesn't justify the high prices. Look at the comments and you'll see they've quickly backtracked on charging $32 for a full rack.

                1. re: sbug206

                  When you eat there, you may understand why the price is 27 bucks for this huge rack of ribs. You may wish to compare the pricing with other bbq in the city, and I don't mean Swiss chalet. Sure value, Smoque is right in the middle, if not higher pound for pound. They just opened so I won't speak to my findings on their ribs based on one visit.

              3. re: sbug206

                It does seem a little excessive. However with how much pork is going up they have to make their money somewhere. As the comments show people don't seem to be willing to pay what the cost is right now. I have a friend who owns a pork processing plant, his costs have jumped 27% in the past six months! I'm glad I'm not currently in the pork business!

                1. re: LexiFirefly

                  And further to Lex's comment, the portion is HUGE!

                  1. re: justsayn

                    They're lucky to have your support JS. If the owners are reading this, Congratulations on your accomplishment! I wish you the best of luck!

                    1. re: LexiFirefly

                      Thanks Lex. Just trying to give them a chance because people always cut down even the things they don't know about. The chef is a super nice guy, super proud and says himself they are learning the new machine during their soft opening.

                      1. re: justsayn

                        <The chef is a super nice guy, super proud and says himself they are learning the new machine during their soft opening.>

                        So they're calling it a "soft opening" and working out some kinks, bit still charging full price? That kinda sucks...

                        1. re: petek

                          Sorry my bad...typo. I meant to write that the chef is an ass feeding everyone scraps that taste like shit while he learns how to cook pork.

                          1. re: justsayn

                            Easy killer.
                            All I'm sayin' is restaurants should work their shit out on their own dime, not the consumers..

                          2. re: petek

                            I think the other question is is there a way to soft open anymore? It seems to be the norm that you need to have various food bloggers, chowhounds, and media there on opening night to be considered relevant. It wasn't like this even 4 years ago. Blog TO were even posting prices. I mean Greenwood smoke say they are still in soft opening mode and it's been months. I'm wondering if the words really means anything any more.

                            1. re: LexiFirefly

                              Don't forget the legion of chowhounds who have no intention of ever going to a place but will comment negatively based on their impressions. Especially if there is a chance to throw in some expertise they think they have...

                              1. re: julesrules

                                I never meant to comment negatively. I'm sorry if it was taken that way.

                                1. re: LexiFirefly

                                  Oh sorry - I was not referring to you at all :)

                                  1. re: julesrules

                                    No offense taken. Sometimes the interwebs can be hard to understand. :)

                              2. re: LexiFirefly

                                Don't call it a soft opening then. Just open your doors and serve your food. But you better be ready if you want my $$$. Too many restaurants think that they can just fling open the doors and serve sub par food and deliver less than adequate service and people won't notice or care. Way too many choices out there.
                                My comment wasn't directed solely at Smoque n Bones in particular but at restaurants in general.

                                1. re: petek

                                  I think restaurant culture needs a referendum, lol! I agree with you, which is why I rarely visit a restaurant in its first month. Ah the good old days. :)

                                  1. re: LexiFirefly

                                    <which is why I rarely visit a restaurant in its first month>

                                    I'm with you there and it's too bad that it has to be this way. If it were any other kind of business, this practice would be unacceptable.

                                    1. re: petek

                                      Yes, you never hear of cars being recalled because there is a mistake in the design of any part... they are perfect from day one.. and that is why no product needs any type of 1 year warrantee because they are perfect day one...

                                      1. re: pourboi

                                        So are you saying consumers should accept subpar service and product from newly opened establishments just because they're new and haven't "worked out the kinks" or had an "off day"? They're still charging me full price right?

                                        1. re: petek

                                          Are you saying everyone is Perfect and cannot have an off day?

                                          Read this board for every one of the best restuarants you will have at least one customer who has experienced a restaurants "bad day" during a meal wether the place was open 1 day or 10 years.

                                          The difference is how the restaurant handles that "bad day". Do they realize there is an issue do you get compensated.. if they open Day one and your meal and service was perfect why should they charge you a lower price?

                                          Nobody can "work out all the kinks" without a restaurant full of customers.. no restaurant can afford to give away food for a month to a room full of customers.. It is easy to cook a perfect plate when you are alone and do not have 70 other orders lined up..

                                          So I say go, if they screw up then tell them, if they do not handle it correctly do not go back.. same if they screwed up after being open for a year...

                                          1. re: pourboi

                                            My initial comment was based on someone saying that this particular establishment was still in "soft opening" mode and were still tweeking their shit. When I hear soft opening, I assume that the owners would fill the restaurant with friends, family or whatever so they could see themselves in full swing BEFORE they opened the doors and started charging full price. Work your shit out on your own dime not mine.
                                            And you're right, if an establishment is having an "off day"(nobody's perfect) it does depend on how they handle the situation, but I see a lot of Chowhounder's are too quick to forgive and say "oh well off night maybe, I'll give em another chance" and not say anything to management.

                                            1. re: petek

                                              From what I read above they were tweaking pricing and portion size based on customer feedback.. not tweaking the food itself.. There is a difference

              4. I went at opening on Friday night. The space is long and narrow. It's an open kitchen layout. I sat at the bar alongside the kitchen. Open kitchens work when a crew has been together a while and they know what they're doing. Otherwise it's a little painful to witness which was the case here. That being said, Diamond the sous chef (I believe) did well with the crew getting the food out given they've barely been open.

                All meat was fresh off the smoker. Samples of the brisket were given out. Tasty. I had the pulled pork sandwich and brisket. I ordered the 1/4 lb brisket but got the brisket sandwich. Fine whatever, didn't complain, though it was server error. I also got the mac & cheese which is prepared in a skillet before you. All tasted fine except, here come my preferences, I would like more smoke with the meat, the pulled pork done a vinegar Carolina-style (I'd prefer my Carolina mashup that I do at home) and truffle (I know!) mac & cheese. I like having pulled pork Carolina-style otherwise the brisket and pulled pork are too similar. No judgement on the ribs as I don't eat them, the GF does and she's away.

                The wait staff were the let down. They seemed pretty green. With it being an open kitchen the wait staff were behind us and it was difficult to see in front of us for beverage refills, etc. Earlier wasn't too much of an issue as there were less people there. As people came in the service went into the weeds. The food came out in good time however drinks and getting the bill were slow beyond belief. I didn't really have any other place to be and was watching the kitchen so I didn't ask for the bill wanting to see how long it would take to be asked. I didn't time it but it took a damn long time. One of the owners jumped in to help with the servers who spent way too much time at each of the terminal stations.

                For the next visit with the GF later in the summer we'll probably sit at the far end with the draft taps so at least I'll always have beer. Hate having an empty beer glass. Big pet peeve.

                Lastly it's really nice having good beer available. I've been to too many BBQ places that either had no beer or crappy macro beer. Always a big letdown in those situations. I think the selections, many IPAs and pale ales, are suitable for BBQ.

                The food was way better than my two Lou Dawgs visits with their Sapporo/Sleeman owned taps (BOO!!) I still like Dinosaur, Buster Rhino, Stockyards and Memphis Fire better. We will make the occasional SnB visits as none of those other places are easily visited for us.

                10 Replies
                1. re: lister

                  "I would like more smoke..." This seems to describe nearly every TO BBQ place. You can even see the ribs in the BlogTO (I'm sure their review was glowing) article had little to no smoke ring.

                  Can't say the same for "truffle" (oil) mac 'n cheese.

                  1. re: lister

                    Sat beside you lister. I actually found there to be quite a bit of smoke flavour with mine. Too early for me to report on the rest. Thought the onion straw/rings were really good!

                    1. re: justsayn

                      So how much are the sides now?
                      Happy to see they have collards and some other options other than mac n cheese, fries and Toronto's default salad side baby greens which have no place with BBQ.

                      1. re: julesrules

                        I don't recall the prices but the sides did look small. The chef had to keep reminding prep to over-fill the container. The onion rings were a decent size severed in a bigger container than most sides. It's early but I think they should increase the serving size for the sides if the profits can support it.

                      2. re: justsayn

                        Which side of me?

                        I'm of the opinion that if you're going to go through all the time and trouble of BBQ then it should be quite smokey. Everyone has their own tastes of course.

                        1. re: lister

                          I asked you which sandwich you preferred...

                          1. re: justsayn

                            Ah chowhounds putting faces to handles. Brings back memories... :)

                            1. re: justsayn

                              I think both people either side of me asked which sandwich I preferred... :-p

                              1. re: lister

                                You must have looked like a real authority. ;-)

                                I was on your right chatting with the staff over my ribs, brisket and rings. Cheers

                      3. Yay. Another bbq restaurant. How exciting.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                          Funny because when someone out here wrote enuff with the ramen places already, it was soon followed by cheers from those who benefit from the new locations. Not everybody lives in the same 'hood and not everybody loves current offerings. There is NOTHING in the area that serves anything close to Smoque's menu so I agree it IS exciting!

                          1. re: justsayn

                            Oh I know, just being a curmudgeon.

                            Still, I see too many of these hyper-on trend openings. Does every neighbourhood need an "authentic" non-region specific bbq restaurant? Like cool and all that, but it seems that every time I see a plywood storefront I get my hopes up that we're going to see another chef-driven opening like we were seeing a couple years back and instead walk back a couple weeks later to find some deracinated genre food (bbq, tacos, ramen, hummus) executed barely better than competently or some too cute hipster-Asian-streetfood Momofuku derivative.

                            It's fine and I'm clearly in the minority that I'm bored with this stuff, but I'm really bored of it.

                            1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                              I hear ya as I am certainly bored of many Toronto trends that just won't die (mac n cheese! pulled pork!) . That said I think there is room for neighbourhood places that locals can support for the long term. For example in my hood, I'd be quite happy for Greenwood to become a solid local place that I can actually get a table at with my kids, no need for crowds of chowhounds / BBQ experts to deem it AMAZING and come from all over town - until they find the next greatest thing.

                        2. We were there at 8:30 last night. It was pretty empty for a Thursday and we opted to sit at the bar. The seating was tight - we were inches away from the pre-cooked sides that are placed right below the counter.

                          We ordered the pulled pork and brisket sandwiches($9 and $12), fries, collard greens, and cornbread.

                          The brioche buns were slathered with butter after being heated on the griddle, topped with protein and creamy coleslaw. It was a very delicious mess. They were very generous with the meat portions. I prefer the brisket but my companions like the pulled pork more. Two (large) pieces of brisket were sliced fresh of the rack and griddled again before assembly. They were on the fattier side, but I guess that's why I like them. I had a few pieces of the pulled pork - they were moist and delicious as well.

                          The shoestring fries ($4) were too salty. Collard greens with ham hocks ($5) were stellar. Cornbread was just ok
                          They still haven't worked out the kinks with service (even though everyone was Super friendly). Ten patrons tops when we were there. With owner (Alex), 2 staff on the barbie, 1 on frier, 2 at the bar, 2 bus/on the floor, we only found out 10 min after the orders in that two IPAs we had wanted were out, the water we requested at start of the meal didn't arrive until the sandwiches were half eaten.

                          I would return.

                          1. Went for lunch today. Had the brisket sandwich with onion rings. Shared the popcorn shrimp with my dining companion who ordered a 1/4 rack of ribs and fries. Everything was delicious but I found the portion/price ratio obscene. $12 for a sandwich that didn't come with any sides. $11 for popcorn shrimp that was a cup in quantity. $12 for 3 ribs that still had the back membrane attached and on the chewy side. After tax and tip it was $35 per person. Way better food can be had for half the price!

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: sbug206

                              Do you recall if there are any chicken dishes on the menu?

                              1. re: kwass

                                Nope, no chicken. At least on the lunch menu.

                                1. re: kwass

                                  I recall they had chicken wings as appetizer for dinner menu.

                                  1. re: happycamper

                                    Ok. Cool! It's a bit strange though, that they only have a chicken wing appetizer because most bbq places/smokehouses have 1 or 2 chicken dishes on the menu.

                                    1. re: kwass

                                      Hey Kwass, best to my knowledge, there is no smoked chicken on the menu, just fried wings. May be good given how great the onion rings/straws were when I had them.

                                      1. re: justsayn

                                        Thanks justsayn! I'll definitely check it out!

                              2. I meant to post a few weeks back but I stopped by Smoque n Bones back in October for a "snack" and was impressed by the BBQ. The space is small, I sat at the bar and ordered the 1/3 rack of ribs. Really enjoyed them, they were very meaty. The guy cutting on the bbq offered up a sample of the brisket and I enjoyed that as well. I will definitely be back at some point. It isn't cheap but I enjoyed it. Staff seemed friendly as well.