- The Entrée:
- The Sides/Drinks:
- The Atmosphere:
Barque Smokehouse is a barbeque joint that’s located on the west end of Toronto garnering much attention the past few years. They’re known for their brisket and overall barbeque goodness. They have also been featured on Kates’ Top 100 in Toronto with their biggest jump from 96th to 42nd on 2012’s edition. So if you’re craving barbeque food, you are definitely in for a treat. Now would I recommend getting reservations? I would say yes, as even on a Monday night there was a 40 min wait before getting seated.
299 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto, ON M6R 2M3
Barque Smokehouse has been on my list of foodie recommended places to try for a while. However, as our map above shows, it’s a little far west from the downtown core which probably was the main reason behind my failed attempts to check it out. My friend and I took the TTC streetcar west and were seated after a 40 min wait. Once again, get reservations if you can. While deciding on what to order, we were given a nice bucket of popcorn to snack on. They were lightly seasoned and definitely addictive enough to keep munching away while deciding.
For a table of two, I would recommend getting the Barbeque sample for two. Which will give you the option to select three meats and three sides which will fill any two people I know. My friend and I ended up deciding on trying out their famous beef brisket, 1/2 Rack of baby back sweet heat ribs and their competition chicken thighs as our meats. Moving onto the sides, we ended up picking corn, spinach spaetzle and asparagus.
The apps took about 20 mins to arrive which gave us time to talk and catch up. The corn was probably the best out of the three apps. And who can hate corn right, there’s almost no wrong way of cooking it. =P. The spinach spaetzle is a soft spinach egg noodle that’s cooked with olive oil, butter, sauteed mushrooms in a light cream sauce. This was easily the most unique dish that had an interesting taste to it. I’m not sure how we both felt about it in all honesty, but appreciated the freshness. The asparagus wasn’t memorable, so feel free to pick a different side. I have heard nothing but great things about Barque’s Caesar salad so when I come back, this is the side I MUST have.
From the sampler for two, as expected, their famous beef brisket was amazing. The brisket was tender with a smokey flavour that didn’t overpower the meat but complimented it. This is a MUST HAVE for anyone coming to Barque’s. I felt the ribs were a slight disappointment. I felt the flavour was there, but the ribs were tougher and were not of the typical ‘fall off the bone’ tenderness that one would expect from eating ribs. We finished the three meats with the chicken thighs and they were good. The chicken was tender and juicy. The only recommendation I would make is to broil the chicken for a little longer to bring out the crispness of the skin. Other than that, there are no complaints.
Overall, I liked Barque’s Smokehouse. Getting great barbeque food in the middle of winter or whenever my heart desires is a win in my books. One may ask, how does this compare to other barbeque spots in the city like Stockyards? Well I do have to say, I will always have a little spot in my heart for Stockyards. But Barbeque’s Smokehouse is different. It’s a nice spot where you can sit down and catch up with friends. Stockyards isn’t. As well, I personally really enjoyed Barque’s brisket which in itself is enough for me to make a trip back (which is happening.. I want moar!). The comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples, and both are good. I would definitely recommend Barque’s Smokehouse and thanks to Yasha who’s the manager there. He took good care of us. With summer still a few more months away, the 500-pound smoker at Barque’s will serve to satisfy those barbeque craving… this I’m sure of. =)
The Damage: $65 after tax for two