CLOSED: Adamson Barbeque (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Right off the bat I’ll pre-empt the emails by saying – yes, I have heard about all the anti-masking antics and how the owner ignored city regulations and allowed customers to continue to dine in their restaurant. Does this bother me? A little, as I do believe there are a group of vulnerable people living in our society that needs us to sacrifice our freedoms to protect them.

Does it mean I won’t ever eat at Adamson Barbeque again? No. This pandemic has been a trying time for many people, especially for small businesses that are employing others who are trying to survive. How people react to stress can differ – fight, flight, or freeze. Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue, responded with fight. And in any fight, there are oppositions. I, for one, am staying neutral in this battle. Perhaps for the simple fact that Adamson makes damn good barbeque. At a level I’ve yet to find readily available in my neighbourhood.

I challenge you to think otherwise once you’ve had one of their pork spareribs ($20/lb; 4 large-sized ribs). Why so many restaurants use baby back ribs is beyond me. Sure, the order may look impressive with a half rack or the full thing, but I’m one for quality over quantity. I’d much rather have four AMAZING juicy ribs than ten okay ones any day.

What makes this cut particularly suited for barbeque is that there’s a layer of fat that runs throughout the meat. Think of it as the marbling you find with rib eye. And that layer of fat keeps everything juicy while it’s being cooked so the ribs develop a lovely smoke ring while being tender. And it doesn’t fall off the bone, so that you can eat it off the bone. For me, that’s all part of the enjoyment of having ribs. A greasy rib followed by some of the crispy pickles and I’m a happy camper. We’re definitely getting two pounds of this next time.

Another characteristic of an Adamson product is the absence of powerful sauces. The ribs aren’t slathered in a sticky sauce; there is a bit of a glaze and an underlying garlicky rub, but it’s not in your face. Yet somehow, it’s just enough seasoning to make it work.

Even their pulled pork ($16/lb; enough for 3 really stuffed sandwiches) isn’t drenched in sauce. Instead, the portion is wrapped in butcher’s paper, so all the delicious juices are kept inside and when opened releases the most heavenly smell into the room. The pork arrives in large chunks enhanced with a light tangy vinegar so you can easily eat forkfuls plain.

Or you can wrap them in the delicious white bread that comes with the order. I swear there must be some dairy product used in the dough - I wish I could order it by the loaf. Top with some of the thinly sliced pickled onions and it’s fantastic.

We usually have a couple forkfuls of the pulled pork fresh on delivery day, then let it steep in its juices and intensify overnight to make delicious sandwiches the following day. The leftover pork reheats nicely in the pan with some barbeque sauce thrown in to keep it moist.

I’m still not sold that I actually enjoy beef brisket ($30/lb; ~7 slices), my husband informs me that I likely just don’t like first cut portion of the meat. It’s the cut that you think of when you picture brisket – uniform rectangular slices of beef. It also happens to be the leanest portion so that it’s flavourful but seems dry, especially after having a pork rib to start. Next time, we’re going to see if we can get slices from the point cut, which happens to have more marbling.

Nonetheless, brisket does make for good leftovers – our third dinner from this meaty weekend feast. Re-heating it with sauce for about four hours in the slow cooker really breaks up the remaining beef fibers.    

While we had every intention of getting the corn bread ($20 for 8 pieces) and freezing half to enjoy later. We somehow consumed the entire batch within five days – they make for a great snack or even dessert after a quick nuke in the microwave to get them soft again. Wow is Adamson’s corn bread good.

Out of all the media-fueled frenzy, Adamson Barbeque has been temporarily shutdown from doing takeout and has pivoted to catering instead. It’s a boon for barbeque fans across the GTA, we can now get fantastic barbeque (and more) delivered to our homes on weekends. And as for all the haters: keep calm and eat barbeque.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: Various locations

 Delivery: store delivery

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

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