dre & Nelson @BarqueBBQ: After a Jays game, we made a trek out to the west end in Roncesvalles Village to check out Barque Smokehouse. We went early, as the earliest reservation they could give me was at 10pm! I even called a couple days in advance! We tried our luck to get there early instead and hope for a table at least on the patio. We arrived around 5:30 and there was a table available for us! It was already really busy.
On the table was a tin of popcorn, and I think it was flavoured with one of the BBQ sauces that they have. It was pretty addictive. (Nels: The popcorn was flavoured with bbq salt which is a neat idea. They also provided some sauces for us to try. A mango chili was insanely spicy and I could only handle a tiny amount. The owner brought out another spicy one for us to try as well and I used mostly that one. They provide brushes for you to apply your sauce to your meat. Fun!)
|We tried out the smoked wings with a dry rub. It was so juicy and delicious! The rub was very flavourful and it was my favourite dish of the night. (Nels: Mine too, the dry BBQ rub tasted exactly like BBQ flavour chips. Plus the wings were large and juicy with lots of flavour)|
We ordered the Sampler for 2, which gives us a choice of 3 meats and 3 sides. We actually got 2 Samplers for 2, so that we can try out all the sides and all the meats.
The first side is the spring vegetable salad - asparagus, red pepper, radish, smoked lime vinaigrette. Nothing too fancy about this, and it made us feel better that we had some sort of veggies with all the meat that was served.
|The next side is the potato Salad - chipotle mayo, red pepper, green onion, chives. This salad was really good, though I think it was the chipotle mayo that made is very tasty and unique. (Nels: These looked like nothing special but it was surprisingly good. They were crispy with a nice salt and salsa on them.)|
|The Smoked Cauliflower was different and I enjoyed the lemony taste when we squeezed the lemon on top. (Nels: This didn't taste like cauliflower to me at all because of the slight burnt flavour along with lemon transforming into something else entirely)|
|The fries were really good, as they were cripsy and BBQ spiced. (Nels: I think there may have been a bit of parm and herbs as well adding even more flavour)|
|The penne with bacon in a pea cream sauce was heavy and probably made the meal more filling. But I can't resist pasta, and this didn't disappoint. (Nels: A change of pace for a BBQ restaurant, but adding bacon and I think even brisket makes it belong)|
Tucked under the first plate of meat was the last side, the smoked asparagus. It had a lemony taste as well, and another welcomed veggie dish.
Finally the meat! On the first plate were the chicken thighs, Italian sausage, 1/3 rack of baby back ribs with dry rub. The chicken was really delicious and I really liked the BBQ sauce it came with. The sausages were my least favourite, but that's not to say it wasn't tasty. It was good, but nothing special about them. The ribs were good as well, but the dry rub didn't have the same effect with the ribs as they did with the chicken wings. (Nels: Agree on the sausage as they were good, but nothing special and as a result, my least favourite. Also because it had a strong coriander/parsley taste to them that I didn't particularly like. The chicken was surprisingly moist, which is difficult to do at a BBQ restaurant and had a great flavour from the BBQ sauce. The baby back ribs did have a similar sauce as the chicken wings, but the combination wasn't quite as tasty and had slightly more herby taste to it. All the ribs were tender and delicious).
|The second meat platter had another 1/3 rack of baby back ribs, this time with barque rack ‘o bama sauce, the beef rib underneath, and brisket. My favourite out of those was the brisket which was really juicy (but fatty) and not dry at all. I also enjoyed gnawing at the beef rib. The saucier back ribs were better than the dry rub, but I think it might have been better if they fell off the bone. (The baby back ribs were quite sweet, but still delicious. I thought it was really tender so perhaps I got a better rib than Dre. The beef rib is huge with a lot of soft tender meat mixed with a nice amount of fat. The outsides were filled with flavour. It was fun eating such a big piece of bone. The brisket here was one of my favourite ones I have ever had. They were so moist from the nicely marbled fat and resulted in a delicious mouth watering, mouth melting meaty goodness. Yum.)|
|The fun part of coming with more people is that you can try more dishes!|
|I would definitely come and eat here again, but it was quite out of the way, so hopefully one day it will still be around when I really crave some BBQ food! (Nels: Almost everything done well here, so would definitely come back here as it's rare to find a place that consistently does every dish well).|
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