Showing posts with label brisket. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brisket. Show all posts

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

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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!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



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

On Lee Noodle Soup 安利魚蛋粉麵 (Hong Kong)


Located by the Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that fishing was and still is a major industry for the city. With access to fresh seafood, fish balls are a traditional food item you have to try in Hong Kong. On Lee Noodle Soup is one restaurant, frequently touted by bloggers and travel sites, as a go-to location.

Opening at 9am, there was already a line on our Sunday visit. Don’t worry, they’re a large restaurant with a number of communal seat-yourself tables holding six, so the queue was easily accommodated. On Lee is a well-oiled machine, noodles were flying out in less than five minutes, each bowl finished with a big ladle of soup and generous sprinkling of green onions.


The two items with rice noodles ($40) offered a taste of different toppings. Their fish balls are particularly delicate compared to the doughy versions we find in North America. Each bite sized sphere having an airy consistency with a light springiness to the bite. While the ones in Toronto often have a strong fish taste, these ones are lightly flavoured, akin to a freshly steamed fish.


Similarly, the shrimp wontons were also delicately packed, the smaller shrimp barely cooked through, although somewhat flavourless. Compounded by a plain soup base, a spoon of chili oil was really required to help add taste. Luckily, the rice noodles resisted getting soft despite sitting in the soup for at least 10 minutes (the broth is piping hot so I had to proceed cautiously). Moreover, despite looking like a small portion, a fair amount of noodles were packed into the bowl.

On the other hand, their braised brisket ($34) was terrible, the beef very tough screaming for some marbling, especially the few pieces were weren’t cut against the grain. Nevertheless, the soup base was much tastier, having that beefy soy sauce flavour and the thin wonton noodles incorporating a lovely chewy texture without the alkaline bite.


Shau Kei Wan, the district the restaurant is located in, lies on the far east side of Hong Kong Island. Although it seems out of the way, hopping on the inexpensive trams will get you there in less than an hour, On Lee Noodle Soup a further 10-minute walk from the station. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit the restaurant, if you’re going to take a long tram ride, you might as well make it a stop in Shau Kei Wan.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong
 Address: 22 Shau Kei Wan Main St E


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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!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



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

Door FiftyFive (Mississauga)


I wouldn’t call Door FiftyFive a speakeasy as their flashy sign and large frontage isn’t exactly discrete. Still, inside the bar, the dark environment and caged whisky selection excites your senses to want a drink … or two … or five. Without a host at the door, feel free to find an available table and even though their website notes they don’t take reservations, plenty of the larger tables were held so try calling if your party is six plus.


The boss platter ($60) was an easy decision and despite noting it serves two, this dish featuring a selection of meats can easily satisfy four.


The menu explains that Door FiftyFive’s offerings are Southern comfort food incorporating Mediterranean spices and uses a combination of cherry and maple wood chips to smoke meats for hours. Truthfully, I couldn’t decipher the Mediterranean twist and the smoking properties were light (you won’t experience thick barque rings). Nonetheless, the pork ribs smelled intoxicating and were good. A thin layer of tangy North Carolina style BBQ sauce tops them, there’s extra on the side if you need more.

While the brisket has an unappetizing looking layer of fat in the middle, it does make for a succulent piece of meat. The rub could be stronger as the meat itself was rather bland. Not being a huge fan of vinegar based BBQ sauces, I used the pesto type one instead and that also didn’t quite work with the brisket. It did however go nicely with the beef short ribs, cutting against the greasiness; they were tender and nicely cooked.

The fried chicken was surprisingly juicy for being pieces of boneless white meat. The breading was a tad thick, resulting in certain bites that had no chicken and could be salty yet provided tons of crunch. Gravy accompanied the platter but I found the fried chicken flavourful enough on its own.

A score of other items were included in the boss: a rich lean boar smoked sausage, nachos with a fantastic thick zesty chilli, crunchy pickled vegetables, not overly creamy Southern coleslaw and thyme fries (a potato and sweet potato mix). All delicious and provided crunchy, sour and bright contrasts against the heavier meats.

There was one thing missing that we wanted … mac ‘n’ cheese! So, a side of return of the Mack ($9) was required, chocked full of large chunks of maple boar bacon with a Tex Mex cheese base so it had a hint of spiciness. The dish is rather saucy and covered with a thick layer of gooey cheddar so best for sharing.


Door FiftyFive certainly caters to drinkers; they have everything to do with liberations that your heart desires. The selection of cocktails can take a while to make, but all things further than a simple cranberry vodka does. The botanical bliss ($14) sounded delicious with its gin base flavoured with elderflower liqueur, lavender bitters, lemon, Prosecco and syrup. Overall, I liked that it wasn’t sweet and refreshing, but found the mint sprig overpowering (the bits of crush mint were enough) as its infusion ended up overpowering the botanical properties, which are typically strong flavours in their own.

If you prefer alcohol neat, the bar has a selection of bourbon and whiskey flights and of course beer as well. And if waiting to get a beer sounds taxing, try securing one of the tables with its own tap – simply provide the restaurant with your credit card and keep filling to your heart’s content (you’ll be charged based on the amount dispensed).

Whether you want to drink like a Boss or eat like one, if you’re in the Port Credit area, Door FiftyFive is an interesting place to check out. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Mississauga, Canada
 Address: 55 Lakeshore Road East

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:


Door FiftyFive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Smoke (Collingwood)

The Smoke Collingwood


Collingwood has a thriving restaurant scene, especially in the Blue Mountain area. During a girl’s weekend, we decided to venture away from the Mountain and try the restaurants within the town itself – the first being a BBQ joint, The Smoke, which was featured on You Gotta Eat Here.

As their name indicates, the restaurant is known for smoked foods; not only meats but also fish and bananas used in ice cream. So, it’d be a shame to visit without trying something prepared using their namesake method. The smoked BBQ wings ($12) were fantastic, so delicious that we put in a second order right afterwards. The BBQ sauce had a light tanginess to it but wasn’t too strong to mask the aromatic smokiness. The wings were grilled after being tossed in the sauce to help provide a deeper caramelized flavour.


The Smoke sampler ($29) was perfect for our first visit, allowing us to share and try the ½ rack of back ribs, 8oz of pulled pork and 6oz of beef brisket. 


At the restaurant, they cook their meats in the smoker then cry-o-vac and chill them. As dishes are ordered, the meat is revived in a sous vide water bath before being finished on the grill. This method certainly makes for a juicy and tender meat, but also dampens the strong BBQ flavour.


However, if anything is lacking in the flavour department, the bottles of sauces at the table will correct the problem. I love the fact that we didn’t have to choose when we ordered and could take our time trying all of them. Indeed, everyone had their favourites. For me I found the smokin’ hot BBQ sauce great with the ribs, the smoky sweet BBQ sauce with the brisket the slightly vinegary Carolina mustard sauce great with pulled pork.

For the sides, two orders of mac ‘n’ cheese ensured we wouldn’t have to fight over it. The penne was nice and al dante but the cheese sauce could be stronger. Maybe it’s due to the meats and sauces being so intense, the pasta’s smoked cheddar cheese sauce didn’t stand out at all.

With all the heavy meats, the leafy garden salad ($8) was a welcomed side and had a great mustard dressing. Meanwhile, their soup of the day ($9), a potato cheddar, was thick, velvety and flavourful.


The complimentary corn bread was pretty bad – horribly dry, crumbly and lacked flavour… even a pat of butter couldn’t revive it. If the recipe can’t be improved, The Smoke should consider offering another carb instead. Based on the Charleston episode of Parts Unknown, supposedly the best one to pair with BBQ is plain soft sliced bread.


But, I can overlook this small misstep … really who needs to fill up on bread when you have such amazing smoked wings?

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Collingwood, Canada
 Address: 498 First Street
 Website: http://thesmoke.ca/

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:



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


The Carbon Bar (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 99 Queen Street East
Website: http://thecarbonbar.ca/
Type of Meal: Dinner



You won’t find gingham tablecloths, tin foil platters or uncut hunks of meat here. The Carbon Bar is refined with linen napkins, plate changes and meat cut into fork friendly portions. Between courses the table is wiped clean so all evidence of dripped sticky sauce is erased with it.

The dining room is surprisingly spacious with soaring ceilings, adequately spaced tables and minimalistic décor. Want to throw a “family” BBQ without messing up your home? The Carbon Bar offers a private room on the second floor that can hold 30-50 people.

Without a doubt, beer goes with BBQ and the Carbon Bar has plenty of that. But for the refined BBQ aficionados, fancy handmade cocktails are also available to swig back with meat platters. A refreshing spring soother ($16), tequila based with an elderflower syrup (?) and splash of citrus was a lighter drink complementing our appetizer. The C2 colada ($16) was the better choice. With a hefty portion of rum it’s stronger tasting but finishes nicely with a creamy coconut water.


With the sheer amount of meat to come, we decided to start with something lighter. The Hamachi ($14) fit the bill with cubes of delicate cool fish, sweet clementine, crisp pear and cherry tomatoes all melded together with kombucha vinegar and sesame oil. The dish was flavourful, simple and energizing; a great choice for the warmer months. I thoroughly enjoyed the sesame oil added to the dish that gave it a nice finish on the palate.


The pit master platter ($27 per person with a minimum order of two people) seemed like too much food for us. Instead, we shared an order of the pork ribs ($19) and beef brisket ($19). Both were delicious, but for me the beef brisket stood out just a bit more. It started off with a great cut of beef; in between the meat was a thin cap of fat that soaked into the beef to keep it moist throughout the cooking process. Although it had been slow smoked (same as the pork ribs) the smokiness wasn’t overpowering, just enough for you to get the essence of it. Served with a sweet molasses (?) BBQ sauce it was a good plate.


The pork ribs were equally tender but didn’t seem as smoked as the brisket. I have to commend the Carbon Bar’s butcher because the meat was another great cut. Too often ribs are either too fatty or lean, this one had just enough fat to add flavour but not too much that you felt the need to cut it off. Additionally, you could taste the pork but it didn’t have a strong “hog” smell to it, which can be such a turnoff. The rib’s sauce was much tangier; a bit sour for my taste so I opted to use the brisket’s sauce instead.


Some reviews from other diners had noted their meat was dry and/or bland. Our ribs and brisket were definitely not dry, but as for the taste? I wouldn’t say it’s bland, perhaps not as saucy as other ribs, but this is due to the Carbon Bar’s cooking style. Their menu warns about the simplicity of the preparation - that meat is rubbed only with salt and black pepper and then placed in the smoker, no sauce is applied through the cooking process.

Admittedly I’m not a huge BBQ connoisseur but when the cut of beef or pork is this good, shouldn’t you want to actually taste the meat? Afterwards, if you want to douse it with sauce than that’s what the sauce on the side is for. Of course, since the meat wasn’t basted during the cooking process, you won’t find a thick barque around it (there’s no layer of hardened caramelized sauce). So, as a warning, if you like sticky ribs and well crusted brisket then the Carbon Bar may not be the place for you.

We really enjoyed the collard greens ($5) which helped stave off the meat sweats. The sauce was tomato based but had a great zing of spice that hits you at the end. Not being a fan of mushy vegetables, I was glad that the stalks of the collard greens retained some level of crispness.


To end we shared the banana toffee cream pie ($16) and it was delicious. Comprised of a crispy shortbread crust, softened bananas pieces and light whipped cream, the dessert was satisfying but not too heavy. Interestingly, the toffee was cut into thick cubes and sat on the bottom of the crust; it wasn’t sticky or overly sweet and almost had a rich ice cream like consistency. All in all, I was quite happy with the reduced sugar levels and abundance of banana, you could almost trick yourself to think it was healthy if it were not for the buttery crust.


Kiri, our server, was extremely friendly and attentive. Consequently, you still get that small town charm despite the cloth napkins and real cutlery. The crowd also has a jovial atmosphere to it; as the night went on the groups got a little rowdier and soon cheers and laughter rang throughout the restaurant. But, the noise level was always bearable given the well regulated music level and the large space. In the end, my experience at Carbon Bar was enjoyable and perhaps will round up a larger group of people to try their pit master platter.

Since the above visit I've returned to the restaurant and tried some other items. Read about it at my other post.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - 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!

The Carbon Bar on Urbanspoon


Jake Melnick's Corner Tap (Chicago)

Location: Chicago, USA
Address: 41 E Superior Street
Website: http://www.jakemelnicks.com/index
Type of Meal: Lunch



We found Jake Melnick's Corner Tap by chance while looking for a place without a wait and close to the Magnificent Mile. It was a great find with their laid-back friendly staff, hearty food and monstrous portions. Trust me, you want to share your food. Especially if you order the cobb salad, as the plates are platter sized.

My husband’s sloppy pig ($11.95) was absolutely delicious. A great combination of 14-hour slow smoked pulled pork in a thick sweet sauce, melted cheese, onion frizzles and something spicy (pickled jalapenos perhaps)? I loved how juicy it was and just ate forks of meat and cheese with fries, making my own poutine in the process.


Meanwhile, my BBQ beef brisket sandwich ($12.95) was decent but not nearly as good as the sloppy pig. The sandwich had plenty of 17-hour slow smoked brisket but didn’t have enough sauce, so it was rather bland. I would have loved to have a squeeze bottle or small dish of BBQ sauce on the side so that I could add more when necessary.


The fries were my favourite part – hot and freshly made with real potatoes. Additionally, there was a side of coleslaw which was creamy and sweet (not the best combination for me and hence didn’t put it on my sandwich) and slices of juicy dill pickles which was great at cutting the brisket’s richness.

All in all, I wouldn’t consider Jake Melnick’s to be a restaurant you have to go to while visiting Chicago. But, if you’re in the neighbourhood, it’s a great choice for larger groups and will fill you with enough energy to last the day.


Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


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
  • - 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!

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap on Urbanspoon