Showing posts with label pulled pork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pulled pork. Show all posts

Stack (Toronto) for delivery

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

Patience pays when you’re ordering from Stack. The first time we used Uber, we thought there was a mistake when the quoted delivery time was an hour and a half out. “Surely, this was a case of the restaurant giving themselves a significant safety net and the meal will arrive in no time?” we thought. Nope, it took almost the full 1.5 hours, but then, things aren’t rushed at Stack. After all, their meaty creations spend up to 14 hours in the smoker before it’s ready for a bite, what’s another hour?

The restaurant isn’t about short cuts. Even the patty of the Smokehouse burger ($13.99) is ground freshly on site, which allows them to cook it to medium well so that by the time it’s delivered it’s not overcooked. A non-frozen patty tastes different, the brisket and chuck creation already so flavourful and rich that it’s more than enough on its own. But the Smokehouse is then topped with zesty Carolina BBQ pulled pork and crispy onions. It’s burger that’s made for someone who is HUNGRY.

After having so many toppings, Stack goes light on the spicy ranch so the meaty flavours of the beef patty and pulled pork is the main draw. So, if you’re someone who likes it really saucy, you’ll want to order more condiments to augment the sandwich.

The burgers are served “a la carte” so sides need to be added. The fresh cut fries ($3.99) are large enough to easily satisfy two people. Just some hearty freshly cut potatoes simply seasoned with sea salt.

To describe the ribs & brisket ($31.35) as a “plate” is misleading as it’s actually a platter that feeds two people (maybe even two adults and a child). A half rack of ribs and three slices of brisket goes a long way when it’s so richly flavoured thanks to the many hours in the smoker. And Stack’s meat is much leaner, so while it may not be as juicy as other places, the still tender meat makes for a densely protein packed piece. So much so that three ribs and a thick slice of brisket was all I could handle.

Of course, I also filled up on all the fixings. A lovely jalapeno laced corn bread that starts to soak up the pan juices creating a creamy savoury cake. There were so many fries that we wondered why we even bother with getting another order of it for the burger. And an ample serving of baked beans that’s thick and hearty, but too sweet for our tastes.

Truthfully, some of their sides aren’t the greatest: the apple coleslaw served in the Wednesday wing feast ($32.97) is drenched in a sugary mayonnaise. Consequently, they were also items arriving in a non-environmentally friendly container, so if you’re in the mood to be sustainable, skip the sugary beans and coleslaw.

Don’t let that deter you from getting the wing feast as the smoked chicken wings are tasty. Bite into one and you’ll see smell, taste, and see the lovely smoke ring. I was also surprised by how crispy they were and not oily at all. It’s still a mystery to us … are the wings deep fried or just baked until crispy?

The wings are coated with a lovely earthy rub but not too salty, which makes them perfect for dipping into one of the sauces - my favourite is the creamy garlic dill aioli, but the warm barbeque sauce is good as well. If Buffalo sauce is your thing, Stack’s zesty buttery concoction is a solid choice.

As winter starts to descend on Toronto our barbeque begins its hibernation. Thankfully, Stack’s indoor smokers are still going strong so there’s plenty of feasts and plates to come.  

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3265 Yonge Street
 Delivery: Uber, Doordash, Skip the Dishes
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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!


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

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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 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!

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

CLOSED: 120 Diner (Toronto)

120 Diner

Based on my experience, 120 Diner should really be considered a music lounge as opposed to a diner. On Friday evening, a singer who was part of Music Can Heal, serenaded us with mellow songs which washed away the weekday worries and left us in a meditative trance. The restaurant also features jazz, cabaret, comedic acts and even karaoke nights if you want to grace the stage (here’s the full calendar). 

Similar to music lounges, they offer a variety of cocktails. Two of their in-house concocted mixes look similar but couldn’t be more different.
  • The Burning Ember ($7.10), the same signature red as the tables, is their take on a vodka cran with a splash of ginger ale for bubbles.  
  • Meanwhile, the White Freezie ($9.75) may not look like the childhood frozen treat, but one sip will bring back memories. Surprisingly, we learned it’s the combination raspberry Sourpuss and banana that gives the frozen dessert that distinctive flavour.

Even the Grey Goose Peach Mojito ($12), the least colourful of the bunch, has an element of whimsy from the skewer of candy that accompanies the refreshing drink. I don’t know about you, the anything with muddled mint makes for a great summer drink.


It’s a shame the chicken wings ($12.95 for 1lb) occupies so little of the menu’s real estate (compared to the quarter page dedicated to nachos and poutine) – I almost missed ordering them. Yet, it’d be a shame not to try their wings as they’re fantastic (certainly gives my current favourite, Real Sports, a run for its money).


Using a “jumbo” size, 7-8 arrive in a pound each having an excellent crunchy coating while retaining a succulent juiciness inside. Their in-house honey garlic sauce even incorporates cloves of roasted garlic, perfect for smearing onto the sticky sweet sauce to give the wing an additional richness.

The spicy fish sandwich ($14.95) caught my eye, an unusual sandwich that rarely graces menus … especially one that’s oven poached as opposed to deep fried. Despite the relatively blank looking fish, the sandwich has kick with its three spicy elements: firstly the sambal sauce, an Indonesian blend of chilis and fish sauce, gave it heat and rich flavours; a layer of spicy mayo for that creaminess that makes a sandwich hearty; and lastly pickled jalapenos for a sting that dances on the tongue.


With gooey melted cheese and a soft Ace Bakery ciabatta bun, the sandwich really comes together… seemingly simple but delicious. Even their fries were expertly executed using in-house cut potatoes: retaining a long length, a crispy crust encapsulating fluffy innards, and most importantly, arriving piping hot.

For those who love protein, the 120 Meatlover cheeseburger ($17.95) takes their thick lean beef patty and piles saucy pulled pork and double smoked bacon on top! Take it from me, there’s no way to eat this cleanly so ask for extra napkins at the beginning. This is a serious burger with tons of fixings including cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and crispy fried onions.


Perhaps the most notable feature that makes the restaurant a “diner” is their desserts – a selection of traditional favourites such as carrot cake, brownies, banana pudding and baked lemon squares. I suggest you enquire about their weekly special, as the cheekily named strawberry TALL cake ($7.99) was the perfect ending: pieces of dense white cake piled high with cold soft serve ice cream and tons of sweet strawberries. 


For a person who loves strawberry shortcake, it was that light but sweet enough dessert that left me satisfied. And since 120 Diner now has their own soft serve machine, expect more of these gems in the future.

A fantastic new menu for a restaurant that’s just celebrated its second year anniversary. Still the generous portions and affordable prices the restaurant’s known for, but now an even larger selection and some really interest options – spicy fish sandwich anyone?

Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in the mission statement, I will also provide my honest opinion. 


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 120 Church 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!

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120 Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Stockyards (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 699 St. Clair Avenue West
Website: http://www.thestockyards.ca/
Type of Meal: Dinner



After visiting New Orleans and having delicious fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, I was intrigued to sample what Toronto has to offer. The Stockyards was rated #1 in the city by Blogto, so naturally it seemed fitting to start with the best.

My friend warned me the restaurant is small with limited seating (about twenty bar stools facing the kitchen and wall). Since they don’t take reservations, we decided to head over earlier but found a line an hour long by 6:30. Luckily, the girl at the cash agreed to take down our number to call us when a table was ready. There are plenty of bars in the area to wait at. Since Stockyards isn’t licensed, also provided us the opportunity to have a drink before dinner.

Between the four of us we split two fried chicken dinners ($15). Each arrived in a cast iron skillet with four pieces of chicken, a large serving of fries, a decent sized coleslaw, ketchup and hot sauce.


The buttermilk marinated chicken was juicy and tender - even the denser breast pieces. The breading was crispy, thin and had some spice mixed into it. Personally, I would like a flakier crust to give more crunch and spices mixed into the buttermilk to brine the meat better. All in all, it was good fried chicken. Although I liked Stockyard’s chicken, I personally found the fried chicken at Patois more suited to my taste.


The sides were amazing! The fries were thin, crispy and full of potato flavour. Despite being stuffed I couldn’t help but continue to consume them. Additionally, the coleslaw was balanced between acidity and creaminess; I particularly liked the celery seeds mixed throughout.

Wanting to try some of the Stockyard’s famous BBQ (unfortunately, their ribs and chicken wasn’t available), we split a pulled pork sandwich ($8.50). The soft egg bun was piled high with big chunks of smoky meat. Although the pork was well flavoured, there could be more BBQ sauce – I like it saucy! Some coleslaw also topped the sandwich to add freshness. Note, when ordering sandwiches it will arrive by itself, for an extra $2.50 you can add a side of fries.


In an attempt to balance out the meaty starchy meal, we ordered a side of brussel sprouts ($6). They were delicious – cooked well (soft but still had bite to it) and flavourful from the addition of smoked ham and sriracha sauce. Consider ordering this as they arrive quickly and may help stave off hunger while waiting for the chicken to be made.


If the wait doesn’t appeal to you, Stockyards does offer take-out. In fact, it seemed to be a popular option. You should live in the area or be willing to eat without a table nearby as letting this delicious chicken sit in a paper container and get soggy would be a shame.

Overall mark - 7 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!

The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder on Urbanspoon

The Frog (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 4854 Yonge Street
Website: http://firkinpubs.com/thefrogandfirkin/
Type of Meal: Dinner



My husband is a loyal customer of the Frog and has been trying to convince me how good their food tasted. Admittedly, I was skeptical, as pub food is often greasy and frozen tasting. Nonetheless, one night I succumbed to his recommendation and visited the Frog for a proper meal. I was pleasantly surprised with the freshness and caliber of their food, so much so that a post seemed to be in order to share the experience. From the clean atmosphere, friendly & attentive service and piping hot dishes the meal was a success.

Firstly, a stuffed yorkie ($8) shared between us. It was delicious and if paired with a side salad could make a satisfying meal. A crispy Yorkshire pudding was stuffed with mashed potatoes and smothered with a rich gravy filled with cubes of tender beef. The gravy was already flavourful but the horseradish sprinkled on top added a great zip; if only there was more of it as not every bite incorporated the great flavour.


The maple BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($14) was one of the best I've ever had.  The pork was mostly shredded but there were also large intact pieces incorporated into the filling. Aside from the sweet BBQ sauce there was also a smoky flavour akin to honey glazed smoked ham.  But, what made it special were two tempura battered apple slices laid on top between the toasted ciabatta bun. As you bite through the soft bun you're met with a juicy crunch before reaching the meat itself. With plenty of hot fries (were okay and a bit dry) and a wedge of fried pickle (very crunchy) this was a filling meal.


An equally large sandwich, the turkey and avocado club ($15) also arrived with plenty of fries and a pickle. I enjoyed the thick slice of turkey (rather than thin deli meat slices), which was tender and smoky; but would have been even better if it was heated slightly.  Topped with thick slices of smoked bacon, creamy avocado, shredded ice burg lettuce, tomato and parmesan mayonnaise it’s a very hearty sandwich.  The toasted multigrain bread was fresh and soft with just a hint warmth from being toasted.


For something the lighter, the grilled vegetable and seven grain salad ($14) was still satisfying. It contains a variety of grains with tons of textures and flavours tossed with a light curry spice. From what I can tell there was quinoa, couscous, lentils, small white beans, wild rice and barley. The grains sits on a bed on spring mix with balsamic vinaigrette and is topped with goat cheese and slightly warmed grilled vegetables (onion, zucchini, peppers and eggplant). 


But, when you need to indulge the poutine ($8) fits the bill. Arriving in a cast iron skillet it's piping hot so all the cheese curds are completely melted. The gravy was beefy, salty and rich, what you want in a hearty poutine.


During my second visit, we entered from the back of the restaurant and this is when I discovered the great outdoor sitting area (on the top and bottom). The parking lot view aside, I'm sure it'd be a great venue during the warmer months.



In the end, I can see why my husband and his friends enjoy the Frog so much. So, if you're a skeptical foodie like myself, I urge you to try new things as you may have a pleasant experience. On the other hand, if you like pubs certainly give this place a try as it receives my stamp of approval.

Overall mark - 8 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 Frog: A Firkin Pub on Urbanspoon