First Look: Triple A Bar, a Texas-style barbecue joint near St. James Park
By Karolyne Ellacott
Dry-rubbed baby back ribs (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)
Old Town Toronto may not be the first place one would expect to find Texas barbecue in the city, but Triple A Bar aims to switch things up a bit. Owners Racquel Youtzy and Tiz Pivetta have more than a few years of experience — and businesses — between them, and say that the evolving east end ’hood was ready for something new.
“We really needed a good neighbourhood bar — one that’s family-friendly,” Youtzy says, as her pint-sized daughter — dressed in an Austin City Limits tee — babbles by her side.
A stone’s throw from St. James Park, the space would get the thumbs up from those down south: bottles of bourbon overlook a steel bar top, a Jose Cuervo mural is visible from the street and pallet wood — not barn board — walls are decked out with black and white photographs and vintage steering wheels.
Something of an ode to Youtzy’s Austin-residing mother, the carnivore-friendly menu serves up just a handful of items.
“We do five things, but we do them perfectly,” she says.
Picks include the chicken ‘n’ waffles ($14) and an Austin-style brisket ($15). Dry-rubbed, the brisket is smoked low ‘n’ slow over oak (which Triple A uses for all of its smoking) and is served with creamed corn, two slices of trashy Texas toast and a house barbecue sauce on the side.
Meanwhile, the Texas chili ($14) — a tested and true Lone Star State recipe from a family friend — has nary a bean or hunk or tomato to be found. Essentially an ancho chili and braised beef stew, the hearty meal comes with nacho chips and a dollop of sour cream.
In terms of drinks, “We’ve got a whole lotta bourbon — and tequila!” Youtzy says. Choices include Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Jose Cuervo, with shots of the latter always going for $3.
Just save those for after the kids are in bed.
Triple A Bar, 138 Adelaide St. E.