Showing posts with label barbeque. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barbeque. Show all posts

Parcheggio and Beauty BBQ (Toronto)

My husband had apprehensions about eating on a patio when Toronto’s stage two plans were announced. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we finally made our way to Parcheggio – after I promised we could ditch the reservation and leave if the table set-up seemed unsafe.

Thankfully, it never came to that; the tables were more than amply spread out and the extra safety measures immediately set us at ease. Of course, every staff member was donning a mask and they disinfected tables and chairs in between sittings. This was further augmented with a host of other tactics:

  • Menus were printed for single use or you could bring it one step further and scan the QR code to display on your phone.
  • Our table had an extra on the side where our server placed a tray with our drinks, water (in a bottle), and cups to serve ourselves. This table was also where we should put things we wanted taken away, so they could be removed without them reaching over our food.
  • All cutlery was tightly wrapped in napkins to keep them sanitary until ready for use.
  • Guests had to wear masks to enter the building to use the bathroom, a rule that was tightly enforced.

While choosing a restaurant, I sensed Parcheggio would be safe. After all, it’s owned by O&B, a chain with such a longstanding reputation that they wouldn’t risk tarnishing it with packed tables and sloppy service. The restaurant is also located in a structure detached from the rest of Bayview Village to keep the foot traffic around the patio minimal. If you’re also faced with a hesitant diner, this is the place to bring them.

Another attractive aspect to Parcheggio is their patio menu also includes items from their adjoining sister restaurant, Beauty Barbeque Smokehouse. Italian and Southern food in one? Sign me up!

We started on the Beauty side, with the Southern fried shrimp ($24 for 1lb). It’s exactly what fried shrimp should be: clean sizeable prawns that are lightly dusted in cornmeal flour and fried until they’re just cooked through. Boy are they good, and the “white sauce” accompanying it – like a less tangy ranch – was the perfect pairing.

In hindsight, we miscalculated the order size and would have been more than satisfied with half a pound… I couldn’t even count how many came on the plate. Luckily, they taste equally delicious re-heated in the toaster oven the next day.

From the Parcheggio side came the chicken parmigiana ($24). The chicken was breaded in the same light cornmeal flour and topped with a lovely tomato sauce and mozzarella. It’s one of the better chicken parmigiana I’ve had, using just enough of each ingredient to blend into a harmonious flavour. Plus, the addition of roasted cherry tomatoes is genius, a burst of freshness to lighten the dish. Even the side of spaghetti pomodoro was delicious, made from chewy fresh pasta tossed in a thick marinara and basil.

The only faux pas was how the chicken was served: the two thinner slices on the bottom, sandwiched between a warm plate and the hot thicker slice on top. It meant the first portion was juicy and absolute perfection while the other two seemingly drier after such a great start. To be fair, I had to pack the other two to go, so they likely would have dried out from re-heating anyways.

Having snuck a bite of my husband’s smoked brisket burger ($19), I had to have another taste. The combination of a perfectly seasoned smashed beef patty topped with a slice of smoked brisket is a brilliant blend. The fixings are kept simple – a thick slice of juicy beefsteak tomato, shredded lettuce, and caramelized onions that almost resembles a chunky chutney – all on a soft potato bun that disintegrated halfway through the burger. It could have easily become too salty, too saucy, or steeped in oil, but Beauty kept it balanced and smartly left off cheese.

The burger is served with either fries or tater tots – yes, you heard right, tots! Those delicious nuggets of miniaturized hash browns. We ended up getting both as they noticed the side was wrong while bringing it out and was already firing up the right side, which arrived minutes later.

By this point, I was in a delirious carb heaven. While the shoestring fries were a bit salty, they were nonetheless cooked well … crispy with a bit of creaminess in the centre. The tots were crunchy, hot, and fresh. As delicious as they were, I must admit it’d be too heavy with the burger, so the substituted fries were likely the better choice. Instead, the tots came home with us and was a great addition to breakfast.

A common thread to the meal, aside from all the dishes being scrumptious, is that the portions are BIG (almost every table was asking for a takeout container). Thankfully, Parcheggio also invests in biodegradable paper containers carried out in a paper bag. A big nod of appreciation from me, on behalf of our environment!

It was a great dinner (and breakfast and lunch to follow). Such a success, that my husband’s already asking when we can return. Apprehensions I’ll be damned.  

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2901 Bayview Avenue (at Bayview Village)
 Delivery: Uber
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Adamson Barbecue (Toronto)


As the age old saying goes, “Things are bigger in Texas”. When it comes to Adamson Barbecue, this isn’t necessarily true… their parking lot only holds 16 vehicles, they prepare enough product for the day (often running out before closing), and the meat on the lunch plates is satisfying but definitely not American sized portions.

For groups of four or more, ordering sides by the container and meats by the pound are their suggested value option. Visiting with only two people, we decided to each get a lunch plate, which allows you to choose from one ($15), two ($20), or three ($25) meats, all arriving with two sides.


Two pieces of lean brisket and baby back ribs are freshly cut and placed on my tray. Is that it? It’ll be gone like that, there’s no way I can share! I thought.  One bite into the succulent smoked rib, as it melted into my mouth, had me wondering if it’d be inappropriate to suck every ounce of sauce and meat off the bone in a public forum. That baby back rib was the best I’ve ever had, which made it SO difficult to share the other.


Even their brisket impressed, although eat it first and quickly. The initial bites of the tender cut were surprisingly moist for what can sometimes be dry and crumbly. Liberal amounts of dry rub melded into the beef so that it forms a beautiful smoke ring and creates a flavourful brisket – sauce be damned. But, once left for 10 minutes and starts getting cold, the meat becomes noticeably drier so that some of the thin tangy sweet barbeque sauce is required.


If you don’t mind the cholesterol, ask for the fattier cut of brisket instead. Having portions of my husband’s, this definitely stayed succulent to the end. While there are some blubbery areas, the fat is soft and simply breaks apart to combine with the beef.


The slice of white bread, mild thinly shaved white onions, and crispy dill pickles went perfectly with the pulled pork allowing us to make our own sandwich. Of all the meats, it arrives in the largest portion, a good baseball size that definitely gave us our fill. Salty, smoky, and having a light pork flavour, it made for a satisfying last bite.     

There are plenty of sides to choose from and after looking through the station the kale Caesar and cornbread were the things that stood out. Other options include coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, fancy pickles, beans, and loaded potatoes (available weekend only).


Kale is kale, but the cornbread is king. Moist, cakey, and just slightly sweet, it almost felt like a dessert to end the barbeque. Plus, it’s a side that’s perfect for wrapping to go (even without the Texas size portions a lunch plate is difficult to finish) and tastes great the next day.

I get the love and why people line up early for a taste of Adamson Barbecue, it really is that good. To be fair, I have yet to visit Texas to sample the smoked meats of the South, but really how much better can it get?

While most people rave about their brisket, the baby back ribs is what earned the golden star for me. Adamson does it low and slow in a wood burning oven and keeps everything warmed until it is cut-to-order. With barbeque this good, I’ll stay out of the states just a little longer.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 176 Wicksteed Avenue

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Adamson Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stack (Toronto)


When firing up the Big Green Egg is too much of a hassle, my husband and I go to Stack for our barbequed meat fix. With a huge smoker displayed in a glassed-in room, Stack is the real deal; they’re not preparing “barbeque” in a regular oven or salamander. Thanks to the equally powerful exhaust system, even with the centrally located smoker, the dining room only has a hint of smoldering wood and smoked meats aroma.

As expected, their pulled pork ($12) arrives with plenty of barque mixed into the mountain of meat. With three versions to choose from, the North Carolina version was my husband’s first choice – the vinegar based sauce has a pucker inducing quality that also helps mellow out the fattiness of pork. Indeed, the meat was full-flavoured and delicious, but the dense bun made the sandwich heavy and it felt like the carbs were at odds with the protein. Perhaps switching to a lighter brioche would make the pulled pork even better.


All sandwiches arrive without sides; the tacked on fries ($5) were an amazing combination of fresh cut potatoes, hot temperature, and crispy edges. They were much better than the house salad ($5.50), where the citrus vinaigrette was sickeningly sweet. Resourcefully, I salvaged fallen pieces of pulled pork from my husband’s plate to flavour the salad in lieu of dressing.


Stack’s brisket dinner ($20.49) is a popular choice. Despite being very lean, the meat is tender enough, although I’d prefer it cut thinner so it’d be less chewy. Topping the meat is a sweet barbeque sauce that’s thick enough to wipe off if it becomes too much; personally, I really liked it and wished there was more sauce. Although the plate doesn’t come with the pickles and onions noted on the menu, there was a sizeable piece of warm corn bread. With the large basket of fries (you receive a choice of side), it’s a filling meal so prepare to leave with a doggy bag.


The fish tacos ($12) were surprisingly good for a barbeque restaurant. While the grilled catfish did get a little lost amongst the toppings and could benefit from the spicy sauce being placed directly on the fish (since it’s under seasoned), the thin corn tortilla was a great choice for a wrapper and each taco incorporated ample amounts of guacamole, pico de gallo, and roasted corn kernels (a great addition that really made the taco).


Although I still prefer my husband’s barbeque creations, it’s difficult to dedicate the hours of preparation and cooking required to make really flavourful meat. Thankfully, Stack’s smoker is always preparing something that actually incorporates the smoky aromatic essence. During weekdays and the winter, Stack is where to go.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3265 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Stack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Food Society (Toronto)


Toronto’s 2017 summer has been a wet one; hence, when Mother Nature graces us with a sunny day, make the most of it and get out there! Seize every moment and opportunity as what’s left of the summer will be short.

For a quick weekday lunch enjoyed outdoors, Food Society has an ideal option: a $10 barbeque plate that includes a choice of protein, salad, and pop. Simply head to the patio at the back of their restaurant, grab a seat, and let Chef Joe know what you’d like.


The proteins are pre-cooked and then re-heated on the barbeque as ordered. Unfortunately, the meat isn’t at its peak juiciness, but this does allow diners to get a dish without a long wait. That afternoon I had a choice of a burger, jerk chicken, or ribs. Having had a taste of the jerk chicken and the ribs, both were well marinated and flavourful. The ribs incorporates herbs in the rub giving it a refreshing essence while the jerk chicken wasn’t overly spicy - there’s heat but it’s merely in the background.


Chef Joe hails from North Carolina, the mecca of barbeque cooking. He explains that there are three common styles: dry, wet, and vinegar-based. That afternoon he was featuring the dry rub method, which isn’t as popular in Canada given our love for sauce laden meats. It’s a style I’ve recently grown to like as my husband began experimenting on the Big Green Egg. For one, dry rubs are less messy to eat (no sticky hands and crumpled napkins) and you can appreciate the meat’s juices rather than tasting a ton of sugary sauce.

Nevertheless, Joe explains that he’s going to run through different types of recipes – so don’t worry if you like your meat smothered – and given his last stint was working as a private chef for a vegan client, he’ll likely feature a vegan-friendly option as well.

Generally, Food Society caters to those who want healthy but flavourful food. I experienced this with the barbeque plate where the salad was lightly dressed and the meat very lean. By the end of the meal, I left energized, despite the filling meal.

The adjoining cafe features an array of coffees including butter coffee (currently growing in popularity) and nitro cold brews ($3.95) that’s great for the summer. Even though I generally take milk and sugar with my drinks, the nitro cold brew coffee is full-flavoured without being bitter, so smooth I could handle it black.


Aside from all-day breakfast and mains such as soba noodles and quinoa bowls, Food Society’s café has items to satisfy your sweet tooth. From smoothie bowls (which could easily substitute for frozen yoghurt) to acai bowls, I still like the pastries sourced from La Bamboche best.

Having tried the gluten free coconut, dark chocolate, and oat cookie ($3.25) it was surprisingly good for something that didn’t have an ounce of flour. Rather than turning into cardboard, the cookie still had the chewiness and crispy edges you’d want in a biscuit. Saving it for an afternoon break, the dark chocolate was rich and satisfying, keeping me full well into the dinner hour. In the end, they want to ensure the food they serve is never frozen and free of preservatives.

While Food Society only opened in May, they continue to add on and expand. Oliver Knox, owner of Food Society, notes they’ll begin catering services later in the summer (complete with a cooler for chilling smoothie bowls) and will feature local bands on their patio starting September when they expect to receive their liquor license. Best of all, they’ll continue offering the barbeque plate in the evening, so when you go by to listen to the live music you can grab a bite to eat as well.

While the café and lounge areas are swathed in gorgeous lacquered wood and rose gold furniture. The backyard patio has a comfortable whimsical feel with tables in the sun or shade. It’s a space that can be rented for private events (complete with barbeque if you wish), holding 80 for comfort.




For me, I can’t wait until Food Society scores their liquor license. After work drinks on a patio? The requisite way to spend an evening while Mother Nature cooperates. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 650 Bay Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!
Food Society Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato