Taste Test: T.O.'s top rib joints
The unofficial kick-off to cottage season, May 2-4, is here. So we invited chef Ted Corrado, the man behind the kitchens at the Drake Hotel, Drake Devonshire, Drake One Fifty and the soon-to-open Drake Commissary, to give us the skinny on the city’s best new rib joints.
Ted Corrado sampling some of the city's best ribs
WINNER: Big and meaty
Adamson Barbecue, 176 Wicksteed Ave., $18/pound
“This is a proper rib. It’s got a bark to it, and the size is good. You can tell these guys are proper, and this is really good. It doesn’t fall off the bone, it’s got a good bite to it, it’s super moist and it has a peppery crust, which is good. That’s a solid rib, hands down,” says Corrado.
Bring the heat
Stack, 3265 Yonge St., $20 for a half rack
“They’re cooked really well. I’m not getting a ton of the smoke flavour, but I think that’s because the barbecue sauce is kind of dominating. But the sauce is also really good. It’s sweet and it finishes with a little bit of heat, which is nice,” says Corrado of the double-smoked baby back ribs.
A secret sauce
Boneyard Grill, 1554 Avenue Rd. & 10 Disera Dr., $19.95 for a half rack
“These are not the most flavourful,” says Corrado of the baby back ribs that are cooked in a signature house-made sauce that boasts 20 secret ingredients. “They’re cooked well and the sauce is fine, but I just wish there was more depth to the flavour.”
Cherry Street Bar-b-que, 275 Cherry St., $19.95 for a half rack
“The sauce is really good. It’s got good vinegar, and it’s peppery. And you do taste the smoke in it. It’s got a nice chew. They’re not falling off the bone, which is a good thing in barbecue. It should really hold up and not fall off the rib,” says Corrado.
Dry rub rules
AAA Bar, 138 Adelaide St. E., $15 per order
“These ones are nice and meaty. I can taste a bit of the smoke, but I think that smoke flavour could be a bit stronger,” says Corrado. “These ribs are dry rubbed and cooked really well. They’re also really moist and the meat is holding up well on the bones.”
Barque, 299 Roncesvalles Ave., $19 for the 5-bone ribs
“I can definitely taste the pepper,” says Corrado of the baby back ribs that are cooked in a lemon pepper rub and served with a lime wedge. “These ribs have a good kick to them. I like that but they are just a little bit dry, and I wish there was more meat on them overall.”