T.O.’s best ribs

The city is awash in new southern barbecue spots — from Barque to Stack and back again. Whose Hogtown smokehouse is putting out the tastiest ribs? Chef Grant van Gameren gives us the Texas lowdown.


Published:

AAA Bar, the winner, at front (Image: Cheol Joon Baek)

 

The city is awash in new southern barbecue spots — from Barque to Stack and back again. Whose Hogtown smokehouse is putting out the tastiest ribs? Chef Grant van Gameren gives us the Texas lowdown.

WINNER
Triple A Bar, 138 Adelaide St. E.,
Smoked dry rub ribs, $15

“These are super simple, but very well executed,” van Gameren notes. “There’s a super amount of char. Some people might think they’re burnt, but they’re actually delicious. Someone is serious about their smoker!”

Heat for miles
Barque Smokehouse, 299 Roncesvalles Ave.,
Sweet heat baby back ribs, $19

Chef would’ve prefered a fatter rib, but commends the juice levels. The sauce rocks his boat: “It’s definitely got a spicy kick to it –– there’s this nice lingering heat.” This sauce and AAA’s ribs would’ve been a perfect pair.

Rustic rack
Two Bite Saloon, 840 Bloor St. W.,
St. Louis side ribs, $17

“These ribs stayed on the bone a bit too well. “It’s not a bad rib,” he notes, “but the cardamom — a flavour I don’t associate with ribs –– is a bit too overpowering.”

Captivating cap
Marky & Sparky's Smokehouse, 520 Annette St.,
Wet baby back ribs, $15

Visually, this pick wows. Chef points out his favourite part –– the cap that remains on when the pair is pulled apart. Flavour-wise, they are a tad too porky and could use a bit more char. 

Chili kick 
Universal Grill, 1071 Shaw St.,
Rajah’s dry rub baby back ribs, $25

“It’s nice when the meat falls off the bone,” chef notes, “but if it stays on the bone somewhat, it really screams low ’n’ slow.” This pick comes off too easily, but fresh chilies are a nice addition to the dry rub.

Touch of tang
Joey Don Mills, 15 O’Neill Rd.,
Backyard ribs, $21

With Southern ribs, chef notes, you can put your own twist on them with the sauce or the smoking technique. This pick is too dry, but the spicy tang to the sauce is a definite plus.

Top-notch taste
Stack, 3265 Yonge St.,
Smmmoked ribs, $18

Right off the bat, chef applauds the great quality and juiciness. “Visually they’re stunning, too.” More salt and smoke would’ve upped the pick’s standing.

So-so sauce  
Boneyard Grill, 10 Disera Dr.,
Back ribs, $17.95

This pick fails to conjure up southern BBQ for van Gameren, and the sauce could use more flavour. 

 

 

 

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Toronto Neighbourhood Food Fight: Part One

Toronto Neighbourhood Food Fight: Part One

We scoured Toronto's best neighbourhood bites and put them head to head with the city's top-ranked foodie hot spots.
Posted 1 day ago
Restaurant Review: All that glitters ain’t gold at RH Courtyard Cafe

Restaurant Review: All that glitters ain’t gold at RH Courtyard Cafe

Joanne Kates sat down and refuelled at RH Yorkdale's Courtyard Cafe, but the eye-catching eatery was more style than substance.
Posted 1 day ago
First Look: The Civic is the showpiece restaurant inside the Broadview Hotel

First Look: The Civic is the showpiece restaurant inside the Broadview Hotel

Eastside restaurant veterans John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal (Ascari Enoteca, Gare de L’Est Brasserie) have been quite busy over the past little while. They built four kitchens in the span of a year, half of them are in the Broadview Hotel, where the duo manages the entire food program from the café to the rooftop patio to the hotel restaurant, The Civic.
Posted 2 days ago
Yitz's deli celebrates 45 years

Yitz's deli celebrates 45 years

Yitz's deli has been serving customers classic comfort food since 1972. Owner, Barry Silver, chats about how the eatery has adapted to recent changes in the area.
Posted 3 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module