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

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...

Restaurant Recap: Hanmoto and Furlough open, Moe Pancer’s closes and Shedden out at Boulud

Restaurant Recap: Hanmoto and Furlough open, Moe Pancer’s closes and Shedden out at Boulud

The Han Brothers have opened their new izakaya, Hanmoto and the brothers Chau are apparently close to reopening Lucky Red. We’re still waiting on Grant van Gameren and Bar Raval, but word is that will be any day now.
Posted 1 day ago
Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: Piazzano Chianti, 2012

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: Piazzano Chianti, 2012

Tony Aspler completes his tour of Tuscan reds with the 2012 Piazzano Chianti. In Vintages and a good value at $14.95.
Posted 2 days ago
First Draught: Frost Quake, a barley wine for a frigid weekend

First Draught: Frost Quake, a barley wine for a frigid weekend

Wellington Brewery from Guelph, ON aged their barley wine in Four Roses bourbon barrels, packaged it in a swing-top bottle and called it Frost Quake.
Posted 2 days ago
Buster Rhino's BBQ Toronto moving into Phil's Original space on College

Buster Rhino's BBQ Toronto moving into Phil's Original space on College

Michelle Edgar, Jason Poynton, Manon Hurtubise and Irene Tzaras are bringing Buster Rhino's BBQ to Toronto. They hope to be open by Spring 2015 in the space that used house Phil's Original BBQ.
Posted 3 days ago