- The Entrée:
- The Sides/Drinks:
- The Atmosphere:
It’s only been a little over a week since Electric Mud BBQ quietly opened in Parkdale, but the lines are already miles long. It could be the limited seating (30 seats including bar stools) or it could be the high anticipation for Grand Electric’s second restaurant. Electric Mud BBQ is not far away from its parent either, only a few blocks west, just north on Brock Ave off of Queen West. It looks like co-owners Ian McGrenaghan and Colin Tooke are pretty set on taking over Parkdale’s restaurant scene.
|5 Brock Avenue|
Toronto, ON M6K 1L4
As a disclaimer, I’ve actually never tried Grand Electric so I won’t be able to offer any comparisons. Though I feel like Electric Mud BBQ is different enough that the food stands on its own. The new restaurant’s specialty is their barbequed meats with a southern twist. The menu is fairly small, with a handful of main dishes and sides all designed for sharing. And believe me, you’d want to share the meats as they are quite hefty for one person.
My friend and I decided to venture out on Friday night to test Electric Mud BBQ out. We got there at 6:30pm and waited for about 40 minutes for a table. Not too bad since they take your number and call you when a table is ready. We settled into a table by the door—which is a bit unfortunate because cold breezes of wind would rush in every time the door opened, and it was very often. But alas, we dived right into the food. The menu is separated into three main sections: a variety of meat mains (except for one vegetable dish) which range from $7.50 to $13.50; appetizer dishes are all $3.50; and two desserts which are soft serve ice cream for $3.50 or banana cream pie for $5. There’s also a short list of local lagers and a cocktail list to choose from for drinks.
We got the coleslaw and hush puppies as starters, and the pork belly, buffalo pig’s tail (we wanted to be adventurous), and southern fried chicken as our mains. We wanted to get some beers but didn’t know which to get—we got suggestions from our server, who kindly told us to get the bowe sound lager since it was one of the lighter beers they have. The coleslaw came right away and we dug right into it. It was fresh, drizzled with creamy dressing, and topped with sesame seeds, which I think, made the dish. Our second starter was hush puppies. Yeah, we had no idea what it was at first too. But with a name like that, how could we not get it? It turns out they are basically fried corn balls topped with chopped scallions on a bed of mayonnaise sauce. We were fans of it.
Now for the mains—the pork belly we ordered was delicious. Barbequed to just the right tenderness, the pieces of pork belly laid on top of slices of bread on a bed of mustard sauce, with a pickle on the side. Other than the inevitable fattiness, the meat had a great flavor and was tender and juicy. The mustard and pickle really helped in balancing out the grease. At this point, we were already getting full from all the foodgasm goodness. Then our adventurous dish came—the fried buffalo pig tails. I’m just going to come straight out with it—I didn’t like it at all. It was a risqué choice to eat an animal part that doesn’t promise normalcy, and we paid the price. It just wasn’t what I was accustomed to eating and it had a distinct flavour that definitely was an acquired taste. It was a bit disappointing, but hey, at least we tried! Our last dish made up for this slight mishap though. The southern fried chicken was fantastic. What made it stand out from all the other places that sell fried chicken was how on point the meat was cooked—it was just right. It came with real honey sprinkled with minced garlic, a true honey garlic chicken combination.
We were full to the top by the end of our meal and didn’t have room for dessert. The cold wind from the door and the rather loud rock-alternative music was making it hard to sit and chat as well. Overall, it was a great meal and the restaurant had a fun, relaxed vibe. If I come back, I’d definitely want to try the ribs and maybe some of the other starters. One thing to note is that they only take cash—but don’t worry, there’s an ATM upstairs. Oh, and if you go upstairs to the washroom, remember to turn back to look at the top of the stairs. You might find an… interesting surprise. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The Damage: $68 after tax and tip for two people
Notes to remember: Cash only; no reservations
Hours: Wed-Sun 5pm – 2am; kitchen open till 11pm